One piece of advice I’ll give you, for Thailand in particular, don’t ever go with any of the cheap tour options. My friend had actually warned me that everyone in Thailand tries to rip you off but trust me to be Nigerian in that something sounded like a good deal and I was up for it. You know I’m not even exaggerating on that point, Nigerians buy things that say buy one, get one free simply because it says buy one, get one free, no other reason.
When we found someone offering us 1900 Baht instead of the 3500 Baht the hotel charged for a trip to the Phi Phi Islands, Monkey Island and Maya Bay we were so quick to jump on it. It was the ‘See Sea Blue Marine’ tour and just an awful experience.
The day started weirdly; I slept through my alarm (well so I thought), we got up to the hotel lobby’s call at 7.45am and literally jumped up, brushed our teeth, packed our bags and ran out to catch the bus. Don’t worry, we showered the night before.
Something we know now, we should’ve taken that late wake up call as a sign because God knew the day we would have, the fact that the tour would’ve been a waste of money and we should’ve just slept through the day.
When we got to the Pier, we had a quick safety briefing where they talked us into buying swimming shoes for safety because of the beach and what not, something we later realised we didn’t need, but being the tourists that we were, we wasted money getting them.
We were told the trip to Phi Phi Leh Lagoon would be an hour and 15mins long, after which, we’d get to swim for a few minutes and continue on in our journey. To my surprise when we got to the Lagoon, and we were only allowed to take pictures and that was it, even though we saw other people on another tour swimming. I didn’t care much at the time because I felt so sick – the boat ride was the bumpiest and most uncomfortable thing I had experienced because the tides were super high I experienced sea sickness for the first time in my entire life and I like to think I’ve spent a considerable amount of my life at sea.
The tides were too high otherwise the next place we would’ve gone was Maya Bay (where the movie ‘The Beach’ was filmed) so after taking pictures, we stopped over at Monkey Island where once again, all we did was take pictures. This particularly irritated me because I had seen some girl’s really cute pictures with monkeys on Instagram just the night before and I wanted to recreate that image. (I spend a lot of time bookmarking pictures I want to recreate on Instagram, it’s actually a totally fun activity) all we got were pictures of monkeys that were the same colour as the wall. I guess I can use the photos to play a game of spot the monkey for a giveaway on Instagram.
Next up, we stopped to snorkel at Hin Klang, where I decided to jump off the boat because the motion was driving me insane. I didn’t see anything interesting, I mean I saw nothing at all, no aquatic animals, just humans – I guess that had something to do with the high tide, or possibly the fact that I also did not get to swim very far because we only stopped for about half an hour and I did not get in till 15minutes in.
The tour ended at Koh Phi Phi Don Island where we had lunch which was also not great. We went by so many other tour groups in really cool restaurants with amazing seafood, but ours was literally two types of rice, with chicken sauce, mixed vegetables, and fish cakes – some buffet!
The tour guide told us that the ride would be a lot more rough than when we headed there so if we wanted to go back on the big boat which would be a smoother ride, we’d have to pay another 700Baht each, even though we had already paid for the entire trip.
Anyway, I was mainly irritated because I knew the day could be a lot more fun, simply because I had done the Safari Blue tour in Zanzibar, which was pretty much the same experience and that was amazing! I guess one bad day in a 2-week long trip is not so bad.
Two takeaways here, never settle for the cheap stuff, and do not go on any See Sea Blue Marine tours while you’re out in Thailand.
The funniest thing, when we got back to the hotel, my bloody alarm when off at 7.45pm, I am not sure how I set the alarm to 19.45 instead of 7.45. Such a doughnut!