Phi Phi Islands are a beautiful and very popular part of Thailand, used for film sets and holidays and a huge number of different water sport activities. We took a speedboat out to the islands, which, all in all, was about an hour’s journey. Taking a speedboat was so much fun – it was exciting, it allowed us to see beautiful 360` panoramic views, and it gave us a wonderful cool breeze to help us cope with the 37`c and blazing sunshine right over us!
Snorkelling at Phi Phi was incredible and I highly recommend it, although I would definitely suggest researching the different boat trips available as there are multiple places you can stop, and different activities to choose from.
For our first stop, out speedboat moored itself a little way off one of the islands and provided us with snorkelling gear. Just sitting on the edge of the boat you could see a whole array of fish close by. The water was about 3 metres deep and you could see the coral covered bottom astonishingly clearly as the water was wonderfully clear and calm. We had forty minutes to swim and snorkel by the boat in the open sea, and it was epic.
As soon as I put my head under I was almost face to face with a curious blue and yellow striped fish. We were warned not to try and touch any of the marine life we came across, but the fish themselves came so close they hit you with their tails as they swam by. My absolute favourite sighting was some parrot fish – they have iridescent scales that make them shine all different colours as they glide past you. There were also ‘Dory’ Regal Blue Tang fish (someone tell Ellen, I found her already), black fish, white fish… you name it (because I couldn’t!). The coral covered sea bed was amazing too – so many different colours and shapes were below us, and looked so tantalisingly close. Our forty minutes flew by.
The boat trip also included a forty five minute stop on ‘James Bond Island’, however this was so crowded it was hard to go swimming or even sit on the beach with a drink. Instead I walked to a photography spot about ten minutes from the beach. It was still busy but offered a bit of shade and the picture point is looking across the sea, so at least you can get a people-free photo there! Although I like James Bond as much as the next person, I would recommend not bothering with stopping here if at all possible, or at least going really early in the morning to avoid the masses of people.
After lunch we went to a different beach which, whilst busy, had plenty of space for everyone, and there was an area cordoned off for swimming and snorkelling too. It was a bit more difficult here as the sea was out and so the water was only a maximum of a metre or so deep in some places, making it risky to be near the coral when the strong waves came in. However the fish were even more plentiful than before, and as the water was so shallow you didn’t even need the snorkelling mask to see them clearly. The blue and yellow striped fish were the most common and the friendliest – especially when some people started feeding them. We saw hundreds!
This was my first time snorkelling and it was fantastic! It was incredible to swim amongst such colourful and unusual fish that I’d only ever previously seen in aquariums, and definitely something I want to try again.