Posts Tagged With: Phi Phi Island

The Beach Lyfe in Nusa Lembongan

Oh, how relaxing the last two days have been. We were picked up from Kayun hostel and driven to the pier at Sanur in Bali after a quick stop at the Scoot Cruises water taxi ticket office.  Our boat left at 9:30 for Nusa Lembongan, an island off the coast of Bali, about a 40 minute boat ride away. We arrived in good time and good spirits, loaded up into a crowded cart (!) with an Aussie family who we would get to know over the next few days.  When we got to our place, called Star 2000 Bungalows, we thanked our lucky stars that BT had arranged such a sweet place for us to stay.  The beach was right in front of our place, there was an infinity pool and great food and wifi to be had! Woo!

After a couple of hours in our beach chairs, I walked along the beachfront both ways to check it out.  It’s gorgeous here!  I love how the island life mixes with the tourist life so naturally – the Balinese kids all play on the beaches, the seaweed farming goes on at low tide, and fishermen walk by with huge fish that we get to eat for dinner 🙂 We did absolutely nothing our first day here, just moved from the beach chair to the pool to the ocean and back again. After some Bintangs (beers) and pizza and a bit more exploring, Chelsea and I were wiped. So we hit the sack at….wait for it…7 pm!! Well, actually we laughed and talked and hung out in the room before sleeping, but we were fully out before 8:30 pm – old ladies!! No it was actually awesome – when was the last time you got a full 12 hours of sleep?? huh? huh?
Besides we wanted to be in tip-top shape for our snorkeling trip the next day. The Aussie family we had met were aboard as well, and we got to know them as we drove around the island to check out the manta-rays, the COOLEST sea life I have ever seen besides the lil Nemo fish i saw last year in Thailand in Ko Phi Phi.  They were huge and scary with these wide mouths and what looked almost like wings.  I was scared but assured they wouldn’t hurt us. And absolutely no safety instructions. Hrmm.
I started to feel sick in the huge ocean waves, and as soon as I got on the rocky boat – well – I barfed like a champ. Off the side of the boat.  There’s a first time for everything I guess 😦 wah.  I tried to snorkel and enjoy but after the second stop i just hung out on the boat since it was less wave-y in the next few stops.  It was cool to see the island but i was more concentrated on not puking again to really enjoy it. Bleh.
The afternoon got way better after that, I hired a Balinese guy to scooter me around the island so I could see what it was like.  This is one of my fav things to do when I get to a new place, to get my lay of the land and see whats around.  He didn’t disappoint – there was sweet beaches to check out and cool rock formations and temples in the jungle and rickety Indiana Jones-style suspension bridges to see, and even though my bum hurt from the bumpy roads, I was stoked to see and experience it all.
When I got back we did more sunning and swimming and then hit up the place next door to gawp at the Japanese tourists and eat the yummy food.  We joined the Thompsons in celebrating their son’s 19th birthday (HB, Cade!!) and ate cake and compared travel stories and stories about home.  We got convinced to hit up a party with them a short ride away, and off we went to Jibatu (sp?) for a sweet little beach jam, not too crazy but just the right place for a couple of beers and sandy beach fun.
And today?  We are off to even tinier islands for more beach-themed fun!
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Dives and Hunts in Phi Leh Bay

Our dive the next day was thankfully at 1pm, so we didn’t have to stress out too much about lost sleep or hangovers.

It was a good thing too, cause the dive was not to be missed! After a lesson on diving at the shop, we headed out on the boat to Phi Leh bay, the island which is the smaller (and more beautiful) sister of Phi Phi, untouched by development as it is a national park. It is also the site where The Beach was filmed, we got to see the real beauty of this little island the next day, but today was for exploring under the waves!

I was nervous and a bit claustrophobic in the dive suit on land, but as soon as we got in the water our dive instructors totally put us at ease!
It was amazing to swim through the depths, watching the neon fish swim in schools, the nemo fish dart in and out of the sea anemones, and we even saw a sea turtle feeding on the wall!! Our two dives were over too soon, and lunch on the boat was super good as well.

The next day we went on a boat trip, where we had an ocean swim party in a secluded bay, and climbed the (treacherous) rocks into Maya Bay to gaze in wonder at the pristine beach. It was truly breathtaking, even though the weather wasnt perfect we could all appreciate how beautiful this place was, and how lucky we all were to be there together experiencing it.

The third stop on our boat trip narrowly got rained out, but not after a yummy lunch and several successful beach pyramids!  The ride back on the front of the speedboat in the pelting rain listening to loud hard rock was a fun, albeit very wet, memory from that day!

The night brought us back  to land and off on a scavenger hunt that would lead me to the piercing parlor, down the street on a piggyback ride, into a muy thai boxing ring, and off the club, to dance with my friends and fend off all the guys we had met on our various misadventures on the island during the night!!

Overall I’d say Phi Phi was crowded, touristy, and not my favorite place we’d visited even though the natural beauty of the island was incredible. Id hate to think of what that island would be like during the high season, if I found it too busy right now during low season!

I was happy to leave the next day for Railay, which rivals Bottle Beach as my absolute favorite place I’ve visited in Thailand so far!!!

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Everybody Come to Phi Phi Island Must Pay 20 Baht

Actually, we weren’t in Phi Phi yet, we did have one more night in Bottle Beach before we left, and I actually managed to stay up most of the second night as well, on account of some energy drink aftermath and my night owl tendencies! It was almost more fun than full moon in a way, there were very few of us out and we sat at the bar laughing and making friends with the locals, listening to awesome music and watching fire spinning.

The sun came up too soon and took us away from paradise onto our next adventure, the island of Koh Phi Phi!

A very hung over speedboat, ferry, bus and ferry ride later, we arrived in Phi Phi to cloudy skies and a bustling little port.  There are no cars on Phi Phi, but TONS of bikes and carts that WILL run you over if you’re not being careful!!

Our guesthouses were far enough away from the centre of town to be a bit more tranquil in the evening, but made for a longish walk to the beach and centre of town. Not that we really went to the beach, it was pretty cloudy and rainy during our stay 😦 oh well. once again – rainy season = stupid tourist!

We went out for dinner on the first evening after we had settled, but I was sooo tired after staying awake for the better part of the last three days, and passed out soon after that.

The next day our exploration of Phi Phi started, there was TONS of cheap shopping to be had, and we signed up for a scuba course the next day. The night passed in the usual way – group dinner, buckets with friends, dancing (on the speakers) at the club on the beach, and a semi-early night to prep for the dive the next day.

Semi….because we actually couldn’t sleep as we were total night owls by this point, aaand also because my friend Nikki bashed up her foot real good on the way home and had to be doctored by our (hero) guide Jon and cheered up by us and a bottle of vodka!!

Trust me….if you had seen her foot you would have passed her the bottle too…just sayin!!

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