29 March 2011 · 3 comments · Categories: Travel

Rock climbing. Mountain biking. Kayaking. Sight seeing. These are a few activities you can do when you are in Krabi, Thailand. In fact, there is something for everyone regardless of age and gender. Despite being on the mainland of Thailand, one of the famous and must-do activities in Krabi is to go for island hopping. After all, Krabi is a coastal province of Thailand.

Chicken Island

Chicken Island

With more than dozens of islands around the Andaman Sea, there are various types of island hopping (also known as island touring) services available for tourists to choose from. But having said that, not all of those islands are readily available for tourist to step their feet on because most of them are still uninhabited.

Clear Waters

The most notable and common tours are The Four Islands, Hong Islands and The Phi Phi Islands. Not all of them visit the same islands as some tends to overlap one another. And hence, it’s up to tourist’s choice to choose which island they are interested in with some offering different activities such as rock climbing and/or snorkelling.

Mountains at Maya Island

There are two modes of transportation for said tours; longtail or speedboat. Price may vary from one another so as the service providers. Therefore, it’s best for you look around for good deals as some tour agents tend to offer high rates.

Viking Cave

Viking Cave

These islands tours are usually considered as full day tour that could last up to 8 hours. It normally starts in the morning around 8AM and ends in late afternoon around 4PM. Included in the package, tour agents will pick its customers from their respective hotels before proceeding to nearby docking station for boarding (the boats).

Bamboo Island

Bamboo Island

You are advised to bring along a towel and sun block lotions as you will be sun bathing and sea dipping most of the time. It’s best to leave your personal belongings such as mobilephone, passport, and wallet in the hotel room to reduce risk being submerged into the sea.

Warning Sign at Bamboo Island

That said, bring some small change (cash) along for emergency use or if you want to purchase something in Ko Phi Phi Don. The ride can be bumpy especially if you are on a speedboat and while on idle in the middle of the sea, those who are prone to seasick might not enjoy that much. Unlimited soft drinks and mineral waters are provided throughout the tour while fresh fruits will be served towards the end of the tour.

Bamboo Island

Bamboo Island

As I mentioned early, different tour will stop at different islands. The photos shown in this post were taken during The Phi Phi Islands tour. I couldn’t confirm whether every tour agent uses the same route but the one that I was on bypassed quite a few islands along the way for sight seeing.

National Reserve Park at Maya Island

Islands such as Chicken Island, Monkey Island and Viking Cave are viewed from a far for photo taking session while Bamboo Island, Maya Island and Ko Phi Phi Don (island) are the ones that island hoppers stop over for a certain period of time to enjoy thoroughly.

Monkey Island

The sight of white sandy beaches, the touch of crystal clear sea water and the feel of cool breeze, which are commonly found on these unspoiled islands, are a perfect combination to conjure a feeling of being in paradise. With given ample amount of time, one gets to sun bathing, snorkelling in crystal clear water, or laze under the shade of a tree at the beach side and let the sea breeze and sounds of pounding waves soak you into relaxation mode.

Monkeys

Monkey Island

Besides that, island hoppers will be given a chance to snorkel in the middle of the sea. It’s a great experience for snorkelers as they get to view at the beautiful corals found few feet beneath the surface as well as to fool around with the tiny colourful fishes.

Pileh Lagoon

Pileh Lagoon

Upon entering Pileh Lagoon, if that’s if your tour agent brings you there, all one needs to do is sit back, relax and enjoy the breathtaking view of the rock formations surrounding the lagoon with crystal clear water beneath it.

Maya Island

Maya Island

Various stories of histories of the islands are told through the tour. For example, I was told that before The Beach movie was out on the silver screen, Maya beach was relatively quiet with very little tourists knew about it.

Camping Site at Maya Island

Camping Site

But in the year 2000 when the movie was shown, the little quiet island has changed into full blown hot spot with herds of tourists poured in daily to check it out. But little did they know that 20% of the movie was shot in the island itself while the rest was shot somewhere else.

Maya Island

Maya Beach

With a fee (I think), campers can actually stay in the national park on the (Maya) island for a night or so as there are tents set up readily available for them to use.

Ko Phi Phi Don

Ko Phi Phi Don

Or the story of sailors and captains of yester-decades took shelter inside of Viking Cave during treacherous weather and now, it became the main area for harvesting bird nests where Singapore is their main importer for such exquisite delicacies.

Concrete Hut at Ko Phi Phi Don

Lunch at Ko Phi Phi Don

Ko Phi Phi Don is the final stop of the tour whereby lunch is served in one of those concrete huts. For the uninitiated, Ko Phi Phi Don is the main inhabited island of the group and it also was the worst hit area when the deadly tsunami struck both sides of the narrow spur on 26 December 2004. Massive clean up as well as reconstructions have been conducted over the years but there are still signs of the carnage left by the tsunami.

Ko Phi Phi Don

Ko Phi Phi Don

Do take a scroll along the beach after you are done with your lunch. There are small stalls selling souvenirs like t-shirts or flip-flops or if you are still hungry, there are hawker stalls selling finger food and snacks at affordable rate. For those who love fresh coconut water, do check out the stall located along the main beach that sells fresh chilled coconuts for 40 Baht.

Ko Phi Phi Don

Ko Phi Phi Don

Overall, Phi Phi Islands Tour is a must for those who have yet to explore / view the group of beautiful islands. I’m not here to say the remaining tours are bad and pale in comparison. The other tours are equally good as well.

Ko Phi Phi Don

Ko Phi Phi Don

But from what I read and experienced, Phi Phi Islands tour is probably the best bang for the buck. The hours maybe long since you are out in morning and back to hotel in the late afternoon but those are easily forgotten after all the exploring and viewing of beautiful serene islands one after another. As mentioned, rates (price) may vary from one tour agency to another but it should lingers around 1200 Baht per person. A word of advice for those who are prone to seasickness. You might suffer as the sea might get a little rough at times. Hence, precautionary steps such as taking anti-seasickness/nausea medication before the tour are recommended.




There are plenty of camera straps available in the market right now. Unlike the generic one that usually comes with the camera, camera straps by brands such as Matin, OP/Tech, Domke, Tamrac and etc are designed to be more stylish and comfortable without sacrificing its usability.

Crumpler Popular Disgrace Camera Strap

I stumbled upon this camera strap while I was strolling in Ion Orchard shopping mall. I was told by the salesperson (of Crumpler shop) that this product arrived the day before. I was awestruck by the simplicity and look of it. Unlike its (Crumpler’s) other famed camera strap; Industry Disgrace, this one has a much slimmer profile of strap which I really like.

Crumpler Popular Disgrace Camera Strap

This means that it’s easier to wrap around my wrist while on-the-go. I bet I couldn’t do that with Industry Disgrace camera strap. Furthermore, it’s easier when comes to storage as it is not bulky and thick. Another additional point is that it’s lightweight that it doesn’t add much weight to my arsenal.

Crumpler Popular Disgrace Camera Strap

On the padding department, it is covered with neoprene material which provides less friction to the skin. It is a plus point as rough surface like my original strap can cause irritation to the skin. But, having said that, I foresee that the sock will be the first one to fall (tear) apart due to constant abrasion (or wear and tear).

Crumpler Popular Disgrace Camera Strap

Besides, it falls short if you would to compare it with Industry Disgrace. As you can see, it is not as thick and wide and the broadness of the padding is equivalent to the strap. Nevertheless, it is still comfortable hanging around the neck for a long period without causing any problems.

Crumpler

It comes in two colours; black/green and black/black. And it costs SGD$24 per strap. As far as I know (or as of writing this), I can’t find this strap in Malaysia (but they are easily available at Amazon). Hence, I took the chance and bought the black/green strap instead of black/black. I would strongly recommend this to those who like to wrap their camera strap around their wrist.