26 November, Monkey Beach, Phi Phi Don

Mon 2 Dec 2013 04:16
07.44.6N 99.45.7E
Sadly we left Koh Po at 6.30am and motor sailed north west for about 25 miles to anchor at Ton Sai Bay at the famous Phi Phi Islands. The Phi Phi Islands are well established as southern Thailand’s most popular destination with honeycombed cliff faces encircled by crystal clear waters. However they are also bursting at the seams with tourists (young backpackers) and there was nowhere we could safely anchor in Ton Sai Bay. We continued to the east of Koh Phi Phi Don and found a terrific anchorage at Monkey Beach just 50 metres off the beach with a fringing reef. We did share it with about 7 or 8 tourist boats (speed boats and Thai longtails) at a time – on average they spent 45 minutes and then left. It is quite a sight to see Asian tourists snorkelling with life jackets on! Unfortunately as we arrived to anchor a rogue tourist boat mooring line got caught around our shaft/propeller – which meant a dip underneath the boat to cut free. However the water was beautiful, clean and clear and we swam into the beach and snorkelled around the reef. It is aptly called Monkey Beach because of the local monkeys who run and play along it (and steal from tourists!) The beach itself is no longer idyllic because nobody cleans the rubbish up after the tourists leave every day – it is hard to believe that the tour operators don’t take their rubbish back with them. We enjoyed a beautiful evening there with about 5 other yachts and catamarans until Dadang woke us up at 1am to advise that the yacht next to us was dragging their anchor and came close to hitting us in the squall. So the boys slept on deck for the rest of the night.