Diving around Phi Phi is world-famous, and a nice opportunity to get away from the beach once in a while. All major dive sites around Phi Phi can comfortably reached by day trip booked in one of the dive shops around Phi Phi Don Village. Another option would be to travel by boat from Phuket to the Phi Phi islands and stop along the way for diving. Unluckily this time the weather did not look as if it would favor such an adventure: everything was bleak and gray both above the water and below, but at least the water was bath-water warm and there were even some sharks to be found, so it was a nice day all-in-all.
Leopard Shark at Phi Phi Shark Point
More about this Phi Phi dive trip from Steve:
At 7:45 in the morning we were picked up at the hotel by a small pickup remodeled into a passenger bus. Besides the other divers we were also transporting several bins of food, some huge bags of ice and some bags of fruit. All on board!
Soon we were all on top of our luggage, the food, and each other, bouncing our way to the harbor and our boat, Greta.
We arrived at the port, everything was quickly thrown on board, and then we were off. The head guy, Owen (Irish, by the way), told us to get our dive gear ready while the seas were calm. He gave us a full orientation on the boat, making sure to show us where to find the Dramamine. Oh oh! (It wasn't bad in the morning, but got very choppy later in the day). The group was broken up into smaller groups of three or four divers each, each with its own guide. Steve, Edgar, and I had the most number of dives logged and were matched up with Owen, who would be our guide for two days.
The first stop was Phi Phi Shark Point. Our dive guide told us to expect a strong current, and instructed us to use the mooring line to guide us to the bottom where the four of us would meet up. I had planned to follow my people down right away, but got hung up behind another group, who for some reason was just sitting on the line. I couldn't pass them, and the waves were crashing around me, pulling me up out of the water as the boat was tossed around, then plunging me back under. It was grueling and stressful. I hate to bounce around in the waves -- it's always so much calmer just below the surface. I just couldn't get there!
In the end, I still felt that the Phi Phi Shark Point was the best of the trip. Shark Point actually lived up to its name -- we had two leopard shark sightings! The first shark was sleeping on the bottom, blending into the sand very well. Even with Owen pointing directly at the thing, it took me some time to recognize I was actually looking at a shark. I also spotted a small blue-spotted stingray, and Owen pointed out a large school of squid, swimming above us. They looked picturesque, silhouetted by the dim light above and I wished once again that I had my underwater camera with me. Everywhere, there were swarms of fish. It was a nice dive. We ascended after 45 minutes.
There were a total of three dives for the day, all pretty hazy, with a strong current. The conditions were less than ideal, but we did see some good stuff: a turtle who appeared to be stuck headfirst in some coral (Owen didn’t touch the wildlife except this turtle. He pulled him out a little to make sure he was OK), a small white seahorse, a very fast and shy black-tipped reef shark, some enormous moray eels, my first cuttlefish (bizarre looking thing), and of course, lots and lots of other fish.
Grumpy Hawksbill Turtle
On deck, we were fed very well. For lunch they put out several meat Thai dishes, and they served me a special vegetarian tofu-curry dish that was very good. For dinner, they served spaghetti, and I have never seen a bunch of guys consume so much pasta in one sitting!
We arrived at Phi Phi island (Koh Phi Phi) at about 4pm and were greeted by... more rain, and lots of it. We then had quite a LONG walk to the Bay View Resort Phi Phi, which I believe was on the other side of the island from the pier. We walked through a town area, then through some resorts, then across the beach. This was a potentially miserable walk, but to me it felt festive somehow. I love walking in the rain, and this was a nice, warm kind of downpour. I was the slow one, stopping to take pictures of the beautiful beach along the way.
The Phi Phi Bay View Resort was nicely situated on the very end of the beach, and from our bungalow we had a great view of the water. I hopped in the shower which was... salt water! I had taken a fresh water shower on the boat, and here I was getting all salty again!
Now I am ready more diving tomorrow, and hopefully some sunny skies.
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