Saturday, February 7, 2009

Snorkeling by Phi Phi and Malaysia!

Hello all,

I am sitting at an internet cafe in Penang, Malaysia. We just arrived a couple hours ago by minivan, minivan, and then minivan. : ) We thought it would be easy to find a place to stay once we arrived, but apparently there is some big hindu festival happening for the next couple of days so it took us a while longer to find a place to crash. Luckily, the owner of PD Guesthouse offered to put us in one extra room he had. Not the nicest, but we just needed a place to lay our heads. We are actually pretty excited about the festival tomorrow.
We are excited about Malaysia. It’s quite different from Southern Thailand, and it was a change we needed. We have no idea where we’re going after this, but that is the fun part about backpacking.
Yesterday was our last day on Koh Lanta. We had a blissful day of snorkeling and exploring the islands around Koh Phi Phi.
We woke up around 7 am and waited for our ride to take us to the boat. The boat took us to the island of Koh Phi Phi where we transfered to what is known as a long tail boat. It seats about six people.  You can see one at  Ours only had about 1/2 the top though.
There are a couple islands next to Phi Phi that are absolutely beautiful. The islands are filled with caves and secluded beaches. Has anyone ever seen the move “The Beach” with Leondardo Dicaprio? Well, supposedly one of the beaches we ate lunch on was where the movie was filmed or inspired by (we never did receive that information). Anywho, the color of the ocean and the snorkeling was absolutely magnificant. We went to a couple different snorkeling locations and saw thousands of colorful reef and fish. The visibility was also amazing. We could see about 5 -10 meters ahead (I’m not really good at judging measurements). They only gave us a half hour for snorkeling at both locations which, in my opinion, was not enough time. I could have stayed there for hours.
We also went to what is known as Monkey Island. Obviously, this is where we saw several monkeys. There was one monkey who found a can of Chang beer and was opening the top and sucking the juice right out of it. The monkey was getting drunk.
It is a good idea to never show teeth to monkeys, right? Well, most of us idiotic tourists don’t realize this, and so what do we do? We smile at the monkeys. I imagine the Thai guides know this, and I bet they just sit back and enjoy what is about to happen.
I of course am so excited to see monkeys, and so I tell Bryan to take a picture of me and the monkey. For those of you who don’t know me, I have incredibly big teeth. So, when I smiled right next to a monkey, I should have been the one to be attacked.
Instead, it was a helpless German girl who was surprisingly calm when two aggressive monkeys attacked her leg. It was actually really funny to see how calm she was as they  were scratching and screaming at her. If it were me, I would not have been that calm. I probably would have ran screaming and crying down the island, and then the whole gang would have been after me. One of the Thai girls we were talking to was bit by a monkey a couple years ago and had to get rabies shots for six months. 
Anywho, around 1 pm our guide took us back to Koh Phi Phi where they wanted us to shop for 2 hours. We had 50 minutes to snorkel and two hours to shop. I was very sad about this. I would have rather explored “the Beach” island and snorkeled during that time.
Bryan and I did not shop. Reason number one – no room in our pack. Reason number two – I don’t like shopping. So we ate lunch instead, and I ordered a burrito. I recently decided that my stomach was no longer capable of eating Thai food. In fact, I feel nauseous just thinking about it. I’m not sure why, but I am pretty sure it’s because I need to eat a variety of foods.
We made it back to Koh Lanta around 4 pm, and then decided to find tickets for a train to Singapore. However, we quickly changed our minds when we realized that we would be taking a Thai train instead of a malaysian train all the way to Singapore. Apparently, the trains in Malaysia are much better than in Thailand. So, we decided to take a bus to Penang and then hop on a train from there. We may even explore Malaysia longer than expected because we are liking it so far. We will see what happens.
Hugs to all,

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