We recently visited Thailand for a week and had booked a one day Phi Phi island tour. The operator was Sea Angel and the experience was kinda mixed.
A quick summary of the events during the day
- The pick up would be at 7:45 AM. I confirmed this by calling the driver who was supposed to pick us. Me and my wife reached the lobby at 7:25 AM. The driver who was waiting in the lobby, was throwing such an attitude that we were late. Later I got to know that these guys were trying to combine the pick up of speed boat passengers and cruise passenger. We learnt from the hotel desk that generally, the cruise passengers are picked up at 7:00 AM -7:15 AM. For no fault of ours, we had to start the day on a negative note
- Reached their office where all the speed boats and cruise were docked.. This place is chaotic. Once you get down, based on your reservations, they stick a sticker on your shirt. Honestly, the entire place looks like an overcrowded bus station. They cajole you into hiring fins for 100 bahts (According to them it protects your feet )and also purchase stuff to eat etc from the shop nearby.. Please do not fall for these.
- The speed boat was crammed and people were asked to sit in make shift boxes in few instances. We were surprised to see that the operators had an indifferent attitude.
- Many of the people on board were doing snorkeling for the first time.. I do swim, but ain’t an expert in high seas. We were hoping that first timers would be given some safety tips before venturing into water.(Mind you, we are jumping into deep sea..) they did not even bother to check if people wore their life jackets properly.
- You hardly get 45 minutes to snorkel around the beautiful reefs. The 45 minutes includes, people wearing their equipment, line up to jump into water and then climbing back onto the boat.
- They provided us with the snorkeling kits, which according to them had to be taken care by us. In case you lose one we have to pay 1000 bahts. Better to buy your own kit and keep them handy for future adventures
- Lunch was very average
- On our way back, one of the engines blew and had to be shut down. The boat no longer was a speed boat 🙂 .
Amidst all this ruckus, I need to call out that Phi Phi islands are beautiful and a must watch for everyone who is visiting Phuket. The pristine white water beaches and the clear blue waters make it a must visit place.
But, one needs time to experience the beauty. Though an expensive option, my recommendation would be to hire a separate boat to explore the places at your own pace.
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