03.02.2012 30 °C
It was a long flight from Goa via Mumbai and Bangkok to land in Phuket. To make the voyage more exciting our flight was extremely late landing in Bangkok, to the point that Meera and I were resigned to having missed our connection to Phuket. But as we walked off the jet a young women in a Thai airlines outfit was holding a sign with our names. Twenty minutes later having passed through diplomatic passport control and literally running through the airport at the (high) heels of our Thai Airways angel we were winging our way to Phuket; our luggage arrived one hour later as promised. This was our introduction to the friendly, well-oiled Thai tourism machine.
We were only in Phuket long enough to catch a ferry to Tonsai, Phi Phi Island. Here we immediately loaded into a taxi boat that took us to our resort. A taxi boat is a thai longtail boat made of wooden planks and propelled by a large air-cooled engine that sits at one end of a twenty foot pipe/linkage at the other end of which sits the propeller. The boat can carry about 15 passengers and all their gear but will carry anything you can imagine as it serves as the vehicle of choice around the car-free island.
Phi Phi island and our resort is the tropical paradise one sees on Lotto 6/49 commercials. Thatched huts and Pina Coladas appear wedged between a steep, limestone cliff thick with vegetation and a warm, clear sea stocked with fish and coral in a rainbow of colours.
To make it better my sister Lara and her fiancé Lindsay arrived the next day. Even more Pina Coladas and fresh fruit shakes magically appeared after we snorkeled in the sea. A highlight of our time together was celebrating Manas' birthday with a snorkeling trip to swim with sharks (gulp!) -
see Manas' "Shark Fast Facts" below).
All too soon we were saying goodbye to Lara and Lindsay and were back on the ferry for Lanta Island to hook up with Yukon friends Mike, Jane, Mac and Megan Prawdzik. Megan and Jane met us at the dock and escorted us back to our resort complete with massive swimming pool and excellent air conditioning - two "must- haves" in this hot and sticky weather.
So press rewind with us as this beautiful beach, snorkeling trips and Pina Coladas story starts all over again...
- **Manas' "Shark Fast Facts"
THE BLACK TIPPED REEF SHARK...
...grows up to 1.8 metres.
...is not to be confused with the Blacktip Shark.
...is Near Threatened (in other words it is doing pretty well).
...can be attracted by banging metal tools together underwater.
...eats almost any small creature like mullet, squid, rays and even smaller sharks!
...the way to discourage these sharks is to submerge yourself.
...lives mainly in shallow water.
...is found in the Pacific near the equator including Southeast Asia (and I have the photographs to prove it).