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Clare’s Travel Diary

Sunday, 29 Jun 2008

Location: Krabi, Thailand

MapSawasdee from Thailand!

Its taken me 2 weeks but I have finally learned to say hello, goodbye and thank you in Thai. This evening finds me in Krabi on the South Andaman coast of Thailand having left my desert island paradise of Ko Phi Phi earlier today.

Its been a great week of swimming, snorkelling, kayaking, & diving, at least when we haven't been dodging the storms which were lashing into the island at the start of the week. Ko Phi Phi Don itself is just divine, the central village is pretty developed and like any other place but the beaches and bays around the island, reachable by kayak or Longtail boat are mini paradises backed by virgin jungle with crystal clear emerald seas, fine white sand, ocean temperature of 30 degrees and teeming with tropical fish who will swim right up to your mask and have a look back at you. The island has no roads or motorised transport (other than boats) so its peaceful and calm and the setting is just amazing. Its sister island Ko Phi Phi Leh is smaller, uninhabited and was used as the setting for the film 'The Beach'. The limestone cliffs rise straight up out of the water and its looks like something out of Jurassic Park as you approach. Nestled on the far side of the island is 'The Beach' - Maya Beach and last night myself and 6 others camped on it and had it all to ourselves till the first day-tripper boats started arriving at 9 this morning. Only one company runs the camping trip so I'd been waiting all week for better weather to come round and boy did it pay off! We all slept under the stars after swimming in the lagoon and seeing the amazing sunset. It really is a beautiful spot - I hope to get some more pictures up soon.

On top of all that the diving there is just amazing. I did 2 days of diving with an outfit called Viking who were just great and courtesy of their policy to be the first boat out in the morning I've now finally seen my first sharks, lovely lazy spotty Leopard sharks (about 2m) and little mean looking Black-tipped Reef sharks (between (0.5-1.5m). I also feel like I've really settled into my diving now, Amy and I never really lacked confidence about diving but we would often have some trouble equalizing or with our buoyancy, this time however I really just felt like it all came together on these dives and I could start to understand what I was looking at - poring over those fish ID books is finally paying off!

So this is the end of Thailand, at least for now - I think I'll be back quite often in the future. Have to admit though I have paid a heavy price in Mosquito bites for my time here and camping on Maya Beach was obviously a Clare Banquet for the Thai mosquito population - don't worry little guys I'll be back for the dessert in years to come!