Thailand has always been a bucket list trip since Brian and I first got married. We were all set to go for our 10th Wedding Anniversary but at the last minute our childcare fell through and our trip got cancelled. Determined to go, three years later we re-planned the trip taking our two oldest children, 11 & 10. If you can't escape them, you might as well take them, life is short and there is a lot of world to explore!
We used our Delta Skymiles to fly from Atlanta to Shanghai, Shanghai to Bangkok for our first ever long haul flight. Logging in at 19 hours, it was very long with Eastern China Airlines being the worst part on the last leg. We spent two nights in Bangkok then headed off to Krabi on our $11 Air Asia flight. Yes, the flight really was $11 USD. Brian checked his luggage, the rest of us had backpacks and his luggage actually arrived!
From the airport we took a one hour cab ride to Phulay Bay, a Ritz Reserve property in Krabi. A Ritz Reserve property is locally owned and uses the Ritz brand. This property is close to a National Park so the builders were not allowed to chop down a single tree. Some of the villas have trees growing inside them to meet the restrictions! The property is very large and very private. We opted for a 2 bedroom villa and it was absolutely amazing! Anytime you want to leave your villa, you can call your own private butler who will take you via golf cart anyway you want to go on the property. The butler can also make your dinner reservations.
After our arrival we did enjoy an amazing lunch of sea bass tacos and ceviche while our kids opted for Margarita pizza. I was looking forward to a sipping a nice glass of Chardonnay after finally getting settled in and to my horror, there wasn't a bottle to be found on the menu. Not a bottle, not a glass, zero Chardonnay to be found!!!! When I asked, no Chardonnay, they looked at me like they never heard the word. I asked Google Translator to translate Chardonnay into Thai, no matter how I said it, Chardonnay did not exist here!
I remembered I had brought my own stash, semi-legally. You are allowed to bring into Thailand one liter of alcohol or a bottle of wine per person and I may have stashed a bottle of two extras. I was set for awhile.
After our first night full nights sleep, we were ready to check off one our bucket list items, a day trip to the Phi Phi Islands. All along, I have been mispronouncing this bucket list destination of mine. Instead of Fi-Fi Islands, it's actually pronounced the Pee Pee Islands. As soon as the kiddies asked where are we going today, both were rolling on the floor at the thought of going to the Pee Pee Islands.
Getting to Phi Phi, even from Krabi is not an easy task. I felt like I was in an episode of planes, trains and automobiles since it was quite the journey. First we took an hour cab ride from The Ritz to the Krabi Pier. I guess there is only one because we ended up in the right place. I booked a private longtail boat charter through Rob Brew with Private Phi Phi Boat Tours. But before we could board our longtail, we first had to get to Phi Phi. Besides a speed boat which was pricey, the next best options was the Fast Ferry. If this was the Fast Ferry, I would hate to be on the slow ferry. The fast ferry took almost 3 hours to get to Phi Phi Don, the main island.
It was a long ride. There was no entertainment, no television, no cell service. There were some snacks to purchase but that was about it. In Asian culture, I read that is rude to show the bottoms of your feet. If this is true, we must have caught the boat with the rudest group of Asians on the planet. Everyone had their shoes off, laying all over the seats, feet propped up, feet flailing in the air, I hate feet anyway and this was about to gross me out the door. On top of the feet, there were sunbathers wearing next to nothing on the lido deck. At one point I considered swimming alongside the boat, I could probably keep up, we were going so slow.
Finally we arrived on Phi Phi Don, paid our fee to get on the island and easily met our longtail boat captain. We did stop at a store for some drinks and snacks since once you are off the main island, there really isn't anything.
Our first stop right outside the harbor was Monkey Beach. A tiny beach tucked in between towering limestone cliffs was a paradise to monkeys. We saw dozens of them, baby monkeys, big monkeys, monkeys mating. Yep, my kids got the full monkey education that day.
Our next stop was Pileh Lagoon or Blue Lagoon. This was probably the most blue, most clear most beautiful spot I have ever been in my life. The limestone cliffs, the water so clear you can see fish swimming 20 feet down. It's moments like these that you make you realize God created this amazing Earth and there is so much to explore and enjoy. Even though I spent 24 hours on a plane to get Thailand and I was crossing my 31st country, according to my "Been" app, I've only explore 14% of the Earth.
Our next stop was Bamboo Island where the kids got to run around on the beach and do some snorkeling. The water was so clear, the fish were practically jumping out of the water.
Our final stop of the day was the famous Maya Bay. So much tourism is causing damage to the fragile coral so boats are no longer allowed in but you can still drive far and see if from afar. This is where the filmed the Leonardo DiCaprio Movie, The Beach.
After a few cocktails, a fariytale cruise on our longtail, it was time to say Kob Kun Ka to our captain and take the smelly feet slow boat back to the Mainland.
The vibe on Phi Phi Don was party time. If we didn't have the kids with us, it would have been fun to spend the night on the island and check out the bars and hotels. There was definitely a party going on so not the best vibe for young kids.
After a long ride back to our hotel, we enjoyed one of the most amazing sunsets on the planet. An amazing day in the Phi Phi Islands, put this on your must do list if you ever visit Thailand.