Our last day
Trip Start Nov 02, 2006
81Trip End Jun 21, 2007
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In the early morning Mike and I hiked 312 steps up to the Viewpoint lookout. Many of the tsunami pictures were taken from this location, so we thought it was appropriate to take some of our own. As we neared the top, both of us drenched in sweat, we realized that we forgot to bring money for water. There was a second point that we could have continued on to, but the heat was too great. The area was also considered one of the safest places on the island when the waves hit. Seeing the rest of the island from so high up gave us a perspective on how fragile life on Kho Phi Phi really is. Since almost everything is build on the isthmus connecting the two mountainous regions just twenty feet of water could wreak havoc, let alone the hundred foot waves in 2004.
After the much easier climb back down the mountain we decided to rinse off in the ocean. We ventured out until we hit a patch of coral. The water was still just four feet deep even though we were far from the beach, and its clarity was perfect. We noticed several brightly colored fish swimming around, including a light yellow and black striped fish that was paying much attention to myself. At first I thought that the fish was acting cute as it rushed towards me and then quickly swam backwards, but then it decided to bite! My initial reaction was to blame the pinch on Mike but as I swung around I realized he was over six feet away from me. Before I could swim away it successfully nipped both my side and little toe.
We decided to take the Sunset Snorkel tour to round off the trip. The boat was packed full of people from the UK, Ireland, Germany and the like... as usual Mike and I were the only people from the States. To begin the tour we sailed to Kho Phi Phi Ley, the smaller island just south of where we were staying. We passed by the caves from which birds nests are harvested for the coveted birds nest soup. Small bamboo poles connect the ground to the nesting places of the birds. To reach them one must shimmy up the poles, some of which are sixty to seventy feet off the ground. The cave is guarded by the Chinese family that makes its living selling the nests at prices comparable to cocaine. One kilogram can cost up to $200,000 baht (or $5,000 USD) The nests are so vital to their living that thieves have been shot while trying to enter the cave.
After seeing the nests the boat stopped at a beach to allow us to snorkel for about forty minutes. The guides followed us over the the reef and threw pieces of bread into the water, causing the fish to swirl into a mass feeding frenzy just feet from our bodies.
After our swim the boat travelled to the side of the island opposite of Maya bay (the famous backdrop for 'The Beach'). We swam to shore and then walked through the jungle to reach the breathtaking bay of the other side.
Our last night was spent at the same beach front restaurant that we first dined at. After such a relaxing trip to the island, we thought is was only appropriate to finish as we began. Tomorrow we will spend the day traveling north to Chiang Mai. Our ferry boat leaves the dock at nine in the morning and our last flight will not touch down until almost ten at night. At least we didn't opt for the 12 hour bus ride!