Thailand: Day Five

Thailand: Day Five.

I think God worked a miracle on our behalf.  I don’t know if either of us slept last night.  I was up numerous times for a trip to the bathroom thinking something was going to come up, but nothing ever did. (Sorry if that’s TMI for you).  When I wasn’t waiting for the volcano in my stomach to erupt, I was wide-awake tossing and turning.  I don’t think I slept more than an hour or two, but by six am when we had to get up to get ready for our ride to Rasada Port, I was thankful to be on the mend.  Still not 100%, but feeling good enough to still enjoy the next phase of our trip, we made our way downstairs for a light breakfast.

Rasada Port is, I believe, the primary port for ferries making the two-hour trip to Phi Phi Don.  When we arrived, we didn’t wait more than a few minutes before we boarded a large ferry with at least a hundred others.

On the ferry for Phi Phi Don.

If you want to know why Mr. Bean is so famous around the world, it’s because of the miniscule amount of dialogue, and his facial and action-driven comedy.  It was a smart move on behalf of the company who owns the ferry to entertain all of us from many different world areas with a few of Mr. Bean’s best skits on the TVs while we rode along.  Often, dialogue dependent humor doesn’t translate across language and culture, but hearing people from around the world (including myself) laugh out loud at Mr. Bean’s actions, created a feeling of solidarity among us passengers—if only briefly.

When I could peel my eyes from Mr. Bean, I looked out at the vast Andaman Sea and noticed as we went, the water geting clearer and bluer.  I had this sense that we were approaching something wonderful, something too awesome to describe.

When we docked in Ton Sai Bay on Phi Phi Don two hours later, my intuition of something too awesome to describe was affirmed.  A short way after stepping off the ferry, we found some of the employees of our resort waiting with a longtail boat to take us to the southern end of the island where we would be staying.  When we got into the boat, we looked into natural water more clear than we had ever seen before.  The surface of it was like glass, and we could easily see hundreds of beautiful exotic fish swimming around right below us.

When we stepped into our longtail boat we saw the clarity of the water and all the cool fish!

Arayuburi Resort is only a five-minute boat ride from the ferry dock to the beach just in front of the lobby.  As we rode along we had a spectacular view of Phi Phi Leh, which is the uninhabited island just to the southwest of the main island of Phi Phi Don.  The sun shines right to the bottom of the clear waters in Ton Sai Bay, and the sand is as white as it can get, so the brightness of the landscape is almost unbearable unless you’re wearing sunglasses.

On our way to Arayaburi Resort.

We were pleased with the location of Arayuburi (which is also called Bay View Resort) because it can’t get any closer to the beach, and it’s away from all the day-trip crowds.  The only people on these stretches of sand are the ones staying at this intimate resort, or the people who’ve made the long trek to this part of the island.

Anchoring in at the entrance of Arayaburi/Bay View Resort.

A bellboy took our luggage and led us what seemed like a mile into the jungle trail to our room.  As we walked, we were amazed by the views of the bungalows with patios facing the bay…and we were disappointed by our room’s view of the pool.  I wondered, “Why do you need a pool in a place like this?”  Wanting a more memorable experience for Jill and I, I phoned the front desk and asked if there were any bungalows available with a beach view.  They said “yes,” but that it would cost an extra 1400 Baht total for two nights.  I said “heck yes!” because 1400 Baht is only about $45 dollars, and that is cheap for a location like this!  They moved us to bungalow A108, and we immediately fell in love with our gorgeous view.

The view of Ton Sai Bay from our bungalow!

Here are a few pictures of the inside of our bungalow:

Our patio's nice deck.

Inside our bungalow.

A108 is nestled amongst tropical vegetation close to the end of the trail in Arayuburi Resort.  A stones throw from our hillside balcony is a small beach where we haven’t seen more than five or ten people populating it at a time.  The experience on the beach is one of tranquility, with an awesome view of Phi Phi Leh.  The beach’s vicinity to our bungalow makes us feel like it’s our own private shore.

The beach just a few meters from our bungalow.

We’d done some research before coming to Phi Phi Don, and learned that many people who visit think that Long Beach at the southern end of the island is the most beautiful and peaceful of the beaches on Phi Phi Don.  So after spending part of the day at the beach just near our accommodations, we decided to find the trail that would lead us through the jungle, along the coast, and around the southern tip of the island.  It was only a fifteen-minute trek until we descended from a small rock face onto the white sands of Long Beach.  The name is a good description of the beach’s shape and size, but it definitely doesn’t do justice in describing its beauty.  The people in the reviews were right.  It’s worth finding and visiting.

 

Unloading deliveries on Long Beach. View of Phi Phi Leh on the horizon.

Longtails on Long Beach.

Wanting to give my sunburned skin a break (I caked sunscreen on at least three times a day since being in Thailand but still got fried), we found a nice tree on the beach and relaxed in its shade for the rest of the day.  When we weren’t enjoying the clear waters, we were snoozing like the other people who were hanging in hammocks from the tree’s limbs, or we were reading, or writing.  We stayed long enough to see the sun set over Phi Phi Leh, and then headed back for our Valentines Day dinner on the beach.

Our shady tree on Long Beach.

Ahhh, rest for my burned skin.

The sun is setting on Long Beach.

Arayuburi resort has a great restaurant with tables and chairs set up on the beach.  For Valentines Day they tried to spice up the atmosphere for lovers with a giant pink heart and some red and pink streamers.  They could have done without the decorations because the beach atmosphere is romantic enough as it is!

The decorations were a bit cheesy.

Chef cooking up our food!

Jill's smoked salmon.

My mushroom chicken.

Jill ordered smoked salmon, and I had a mushroom chicken entrée.  Both meals turned out great, but neither of our stomachs were back to full working condition, so after a few delicious bites, sadly neither of us had any more appetite.

Before we made our way back to our bungalow, we hired a longtail boat to take us in the morning to the island made famous by Leonardo DiCaprio’s film “The Beach.”

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