Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Day 2: Phi Phi Island here We Come
The day began with me waking up at 5am. I knew we were suppose to get up early, but not as this early!

Uncle Jeq set his alarm for 6am - forgetting that his watch was still in Malaysian time. The time different is about 1 hours, hence, me waking up at 5am. Uncle Jeq however, woke up at 6am. Fully unaware of what had happened.

We had our breakfast - bread and rendang - and got ready for our day ahead.

As promised Narin fetch us from the hotel. We stopped by to picked up another 4 passengers (2 couples) from Holiday Inn before heading to the jetty. The drive took approximately 50 minutes through hilly roads. At one of the traffic light, we saw a motorbike rider being fined by the police traffic. Seems to me, in Thailand only the 'driver' needs to wear crash helmet.

We reached the jetty and were ushered to a waiting ferry. We were among the first to boarded the ferry. Thus, we got the luxury of choosing the best seats - which we did. The ferry left the jetty around 9am. The captain made announcement regarding our journey but I didn't catch much of what he said. Roughly, Phi Phi Island is 48km or 1 1/2 hour ride from the jetty. At the start of the ride, I sat on the top deck - out on the open. Then, when the sun became unbareably hot, I returned to our seat. Half way (or so) through the ride, I began to feel dizzy. It might have been due to the choppy sea. I walked about and found a lower deck. It was less 'bouncy' at the lower deck. I stayed till I felt better.

We were transfered to a boat (smaller than the ferry) in the middle of the sea. The boat took us for Phi Phi Island tour. I didn't catch much of what the boat's captain was saying either. Phi Phi consists of six islands. Some of the islands are merely limestone formation with no supply of fresh water, thus no one live on these islands. We passed by island featured in James Bond film (can't recollect which film), as well as the island where they shot Leonardo de Caprio's film (I can't seems to remember the title). We stopped at Maya Island (I think I got the name right) for snorkeling. This would be the first time we went snorkeling together. Little Ajad aced in 'water-proficiency' after we found better-fitting life jacket. The water was deep (according to the captain 4-5 metre) but crystal clear. We could see the corals from the surface, and fishes swam very close to the surface. However, in term of snorkeling experience, the one I had in Perhentian Island Malaysia, was better. Perhaps this time, I was more concerntrating on enjoying the swim with Litte Ajad. We spent approximately an hour snorkeling.

We left for Long Beach where they served lunch. The boat, however, only stop near the island. We were transferred to an even-smaller boat which took us ashore. We took rice with vegetables and sea food tom yam. The tom yam was suprising mild (not spicy). Perhaps the tour operator was considering the Europheans who don't normally eat spicy food. We also ate the 'rendang' that I re-packed earlier today. After lunch, we had some time to lay back and relax.

We left Long Beach very much the same way we came - using the smaller boat. While sitting on the floor, I was reminded of the illegals crossing the sea for a better future. Anyway, the bigger boat took us to Ton Sai Bay where our ferry to Phuket await. This island was among the islands devasted by Tsunami. We almost 'lost' Uncle Jeq during the transfer. The ferries docked side-by-side at the very small and crowded jetty. Uncle Jeq got on the wrong ferry. Instead of getting on the other ferry to search for him - and risk myself, I decided to stand on the top deck, in the hot sun. I just hoped he would see me. Lucky for us, Uncle Jeq saw me and quickly jumped into our ferry.

We reached Phuket jetty where Narin was already waiting. We drove through the hilly roads. Along the way I couldn't help but notice the high utility poles. To my untrained eyes, it seemed that telephone cables share the poles with electric cables! We reached our hotel about an hour later. We relaxed for a while before getting ready for our next agenda - FantaSea.

The van to FantaSea came to our hotel. We picked up another group of tourist before heading to our destination. We reached FantaSea at 7.15. My first impression - a souped-up funfair. We busied ourselves by taking photographs. Then there was a dance show around 7.45pm. The other show was scheduled at 9.00pm. We killed the time by taking more photos.

We entered 'Palace of the Elephant'. We had to leave our camera at the counter. I don't know how to describe the show. It's a combination of musicals, cultural show, magic show, circuis, phyrotech, laser show and acrobatic performance rolled into one. The animals: elephants, buffolloes (I must be very tired to be unable to spell this), goat, chickens, and even doves; all trained for stage performance. And they make full use of space in the hall. The elephants and the performers entered stage from the doors behind us. We had to look left, righ, and even above - there were acrobats, swinging above us! Not to forget the magnificent stage props. They inter-weaved every thing into the story of Prince of Kamala and his elephant, Ayuthia. Even though everyone mimed (except the magicians), the show was superb!

We reached hotel around 11.30pm. By the way, 3 missed calls during snorkeling. I have no idea who. Try telephoning me on Thursday night.

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