After my time in Singapore, I flew to Phuket and then spent the next week or so exploring the wonderful islands around there. I ran into tourism running rampant as I have never experienced it before, but I was there for the busiest week of the entire year and I was still able to find solitude and beautiful nature. I first went to the Phi Phi Islands, then to Phuket and Phang Nga before spending two days in the Similan Islands Here are the best of my photos!
The ferry from Phuket to Phi Phi, preparing for departure
The colourful longboats with the stunning karst limestone cliffs of Phi Phi Don in the background.
Sunset over the North bay beach
At night, the beach comes alive with loud music and fire dancers
A Pufferfish washed ashore on Mosquito Island, which is in the NE of the Phi Phi archipelago and luckily did not have many mosquitoes while I was there
It did have lots of cool rocks though
Navigating with bare feet became difficult at times, but I was able to make my way around the whole island.
We continue around Phi Phi Don, which has steep limestone cliffs most of the way around
A mom and her baby lounge at the beach
Some more cool rocks
The cliffs and stunning water of Maya Bay, which was the setting of the Leo DiCaprio movie The Beach
It is easy to feel small in these surroundings
Ready to go
One of the many secluded beaches of Phi Phi Lee, the island south of Don and the home of Maya Bay, which is uninhabited and breathtakingly beautiful
Made some friends on the beach
Saying goodbye to the cliffs as I head back to Phuket
The sleepy downtown of Phuket Town, which is where I was based out of for the next couple of days.
One of the many temples of Wat Chalong. When I arrived here they were just starting this ceremony where they set off a whole bunch of fireworks in a big clay construction of sorts, which was easy on the eyes but hard on the ears.
The Big Buddha of Phuket, which sits on one of the highest hills on the island and towers over the landscape.
A puppy that I ran into on Natai Beach in Phang Nga, which is just north of Phuket on the mainland.
Natai beach, which I had more or less to myself, which was impossible to find anywhere in Phuket
The beautiful rocks of Phang Nga Bay
Ancient cave illustrations along the cliff face
Entering the cave…
And coming out the other side
The iconic James Bond Island, which was used in the filming of The Man With The Golden Gun
A beautiful place to spend my Christmas day that is a far cry from my prior Christmas experiences.
The village of Koh Panyee is built almost entirely on stilts. Is started off as being a fishing village, but it now survives mostly off of tourism.
Houses right under the cliffs
There’s even a large Mosque amidst the houses.
A floating football pitch amongst amazing scenery. Even though Koh Panyee has almost no land mass, they consistently win the Phang Nga province’s regional tournaments, which I found so awesome. They have more training grounds than just this, but this was easily the coolest of the bunch.
More rocks as the sun descends.
The next day I was in the Similan Island chain in the Andaman Sea, which was very different but just as stunning
The water was just surreally blue
Driftwood on the beach
The obscenely blue water below sail rock
The rock’s namesake doesn’t really become clear until you climb up to see it closely, as it looks like a sail in the wind.
The perk of staying overnight on the beach was being able to explore it without the hordes of people that descend on it every day
The sand was some of the softest I have ever felt
A wider view of the bay as my tour group has a beautiful dinner on a boat
Watching the sun descend over the water was magical
Saying goodbye to a wonderful day
The Thai flag ripples in the twilight breeze
A massive land crab I found while wandering around at night
The beach with only one person at sunrise
Fish swim around the boat as we anchor up for a snorkel.
Really just a wonderful place
After my time on the Similan Islands, I made my way back to Phuket to catch my flight to Siem Reap, so stay tuned for my next installment about my time spent exploring the ruins of the ancient city of Angkor.