"The perfect fish photobomb"
On the Saturday in Thailand, Luke and I booked in a day tour to the Similan Islands because we had heard good things and also because I love snorkelling. Worst decision we made this whole trip. Word to the wise, if you are staying south of Phuket, near Patong and Rawai Beach it is not advised to take this tour. It doesn't seem that far away when you look on a map, but it ends up being a 3 hour bus ride in a disgusting bus that picks you up at 7am.
I was told before I went to Thailand that there would be a lot of Russian tourists, but it was not until this day that I was actually confronted by it. When booking this tour we didn't think about it but on the brochure there were Russian translations. If you are planning a day tour make sure the brochure does not have this, because you will like we were, be the only non Russian people on the whole entire trip. And what made it worse was that none of them could speak English. Between all of these tourists, they did not have one single person who could translate what the Thai people were telling them about safety etc. Halfway through the trip the Thai people realised this and pretty much would just exclusively be telling Luke and I what was happening.
By the time we got there we were starving and had to survive off awful coffee and some sort of sickeningly sweet pastry we picked up from a store next door. The water was really choppy that day so the 1 hour boat ride turned into 2 hours and it was just beyond awful.
After 2 agonising hours being knocked around on the boat we could finally see the Islands on the horizon. This made everything worthwhile. The blue! I can't even. As you approach these Islands you can start to see a ring of turquoise around each of them. It is like you are seeing this colour for the first time in your life. It is completely mesmerising.
We didn't end up climbing this rock because be didn't want to waste our reduced snorkelling time. I have a feeling it looks better from this angle anything. But seriously, LOOK AT THAT WATER! THATS REAL!
My crappy underwater disposable camera.
This was my favourite part of the day. The snorkelling was amazing. There were so many amazing tropical fish, at one point Luke and I saw this huge groper looking fish that opened its mouth to reveal a huge set of fat pointy teeth so we bailed.
This was the second place we snorkelled. Luke didn't join me this time until the end. We were only here for what felt like 10min. It was a pretty amazing spot. It was really deep but underneath it was just like looking into a whole functioning underwater city. It was breathtaking. Although the immense beauty was slightly ruined by receiving flippers to the face from some real douchebag tourists. Our tour group was definitely not short on those. Tourists who were on a snorkelling trip, had hired the flippers, were in the water wearing the snorkelling gear but not actually looking down, just swimming. This isn't an attack on Russian tourists, just tourists in general, we were just unlucky and had some real thick headed ones in our group.
The water was extremely choppy that day and by the time we got to the third Island we were told we were not allowed to snorkel because it was too dangerous. We were still allowed to swim if we wanted. You can tell how choppy it was, that water is pretty much meant to be flat and crystal clear.
This was where we finally stopped to eat at yet another buffet. By this time we were all dying of hunger so of course we all gave ourselves self inflicted food comas and ended up lying on the beach afterwards unable to move. After we recovered we went swimming on the other side of the beach which I sadly don't have photos of. Not even on the film camera because we used our last shots this day.
All the tour groups waiting for their boats to be safe to board.
After this was another 2 hour boat ride and 3 hour bus ride. Was the trip worth 10hr of travel, probably not. But we made the most of the one awful day we had in Thailand. If you are staying above the Airport I would recommend you go on this day trip, just try to make sure you find a tour that isn't translated in Russian. This tour was definitely not as amazing as the Phi Phi Tour, but I have a feeling the Phi Phi Tour is just one of those special gems that you are lucky enough to come across by chance.
Always check how far away a tour is from where you are staying
Avoid tours that have translations from other languages, or you may end up being the only English speaking tourists
Always be careful with what you eat
Drink as much water as you can
Only pack thongs if you are travelling to Thailand, you won't need any other type of shoe I promise you
Pack tissues and baby wipes because they don't have toilet paper in a lot of places, just a shower head to "clean yourself" with.
If you are travelling to Thailand and have any questions, I'm not professional but I may be able to help.