Phi Phi Lay

T he Beach

Bamboo Island
1$US =~ 40 Baht
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Room in Krabi












One of many Ao Nang Beaches








Map of Thailand

Thursday, Jan.19th

The all day snorkel tour was amazing and certainly worth the measly 600 Baht that it cost. First we went to Phi Phi Lay and snorkeled off Maya Beach (The Beach). Relatively busy there with lots of boats coming and going. We hit a couple of other pristine spots, Monkey Beach with plenty of monkeys that get fed and drink out of cans and Bamboo Island which probably has the most live coral. Nowadays when you see more than half alive, it's pretty good. See it while you can! We ended the tour with a shark snorkel but I still don't know whether to be disappointed or relieved that we didn't see any.

At night I went to Hippies Bar, which is a great bar-restaurant on the beach. They had a fire show where performers were twirling weighted bags on a chain by rotating their wrists.The bags had been soaked in some flammable fluid and lit up. It created amazing patterns and eventually they twirled them so fast that the flame went out and they were just glowing. Too bad I didnt have my video camera! It was very reminiscent of the spike and chain in Kung Fu weaponry.

Friday, Jan.20th

I took the ferry to Krabi at 9.00 and then a mini bus to Ao Nang. I found myself a great room with sea view for 1300 Baht (32.50 US$) at the Ao Nang Sea Front Thai Resort and booked it for 3 nights. Ao Nang is exactly my speed and this whole coastline is wonderful. I rented a motorbike for 200 Baht, bought a couple of beers and am now relaxing in my beautiful room. I have TV with an English movie channel, a cold fridge and a nice terrace to watch the sunsets from.
At this point it's time to reflect on the Thai people. Now that I've scratched the surface I find they are very likeable. Religion is a very integrated part of their lives. They have these miniature temples carved out of wood, not much bigger than bird houses and they're everywhere. A bar girl working in one of the many bars will take the 30 seconds before starting her shift and put her hands together and bow her head in quiet meditation and then go to work. They are also very artistic. There are galleries in row where you can see them paint original works or copy anything you like. Would you like the Mona Lisa king size? Their most obvious artistry is in their cuisine and garnishing skills. You see melons carved into intricate flowers etc.. I eat for about 100 Baht on average and yesterday I had baked rice and seafood in a hollowed out pineapple. I go off the beaten path to find these places but they are plenty. The touristy, beach front restaurants are 3X the price but still not expensive by our standards. - I also came to understand that it's really difficult for them to learn English.
Their writing , although derived from Sanskrit, is totally distinct.


Saturday, Jan.21

I drove along the coastline and swam and snorkeled off some beach. There is always some interesting marine life even when you're not on a coral reef. Today I witnessed some eel like creature darting half way out from under a rock and getting his lunch. Then out of a sudden I was surrounded by thousands of mini fish that must have just slipped the egg. Later I went for a Thai massage around the corner. They're really in a league of their own, using hands, feet, knees and elbows to search out any tensed muscles you might have. One hour is 5$ and they even serve you a cup of tea afterwards.

Sunday, Jan.22

I took an all day longtail boat tour to 4 islands. Magnificent everything. 350 Baht. I decided I will have to make an effort to travel on to Chiang Mai because I could stay here indefinitely. It just seems like I found something that I have been looking for for so long that it seems senseless to go elsewhere. This is a scouting mission , however, and I'll surely be back.- I'm only publishing skeleton writing because a lot of the stuff I'm putting down I'll have to do some editing on, but I just want to give a little something every day, while I can..... The internet access is really easy here. I go into any internet place and just plug one of their network cables into my laptop and upload my work and read my email at 1 Baht/min.


I left my beautiful sea side to fly to Chiang Mai and booked 2 nights at the Rux-Thai Guest House. Tonight I'm going to the famous Night Bazaar where hill tribes from the surrounding area come to sell their crafts.

Tuesday, Jan.24

Lots of hustle and bustle at the night bazaar and interesting arts and crafts.- Today I rented a motorbike and drove to Doi Suthep which is a major temple on top of a mountain 1600 m high. The splendor is such that they're giving the Catholic Church a run for the money. Gold roofs and buddhas of all shapes and sizes, the highlight being the emerald buddha, which is made out of jade. I had to adjust my view on Buddhism. I thought they were mainly ascetics meditating on mountain tops and under trees but there is major money going into all of this and Thailand might just be the richest and most devout buddhist country in the world.

Wednesday, Jan.25

I spent 5 and a half hours on the motorbike riding to Doi Inthanon, (the highest spot in Thailand at almost 2600 m) and back. It's almost 2 hours to get there, 2 hours to look around and then back. It was worth it. It's in a national park and one can see mountain villages where they're farming and crafting as well as spectacular waterfalls. I booked a flight online to Mae Hong Son for Friday and I'll stay there for 2 days befor returning to Chiang Mai and continuing to Siem Reap in Cambodia to see Angkor Wat

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Little carved temples


Miniature Temple










Approaching Railay Beach