The first stop was monkey island where there were monkeys of all shapes and sizes chilling on the beach, waiting for some tourists to come by and feed them- rough life.
Next we scooted by the Viking Cave on our way to Pileh Bay. There we hopped off the longtail and into the water where we snorkeled around and saw all kinds of tropical fish- it was like a scene from Finding Nemo down there. We then went further into the bay over some very shallow water (the guy driving our boat actually had to get out and push at one point like it was a stalled hoopty) and into this gorgeous lagoon. It was probably one of the most beautiful places I've ever seen- the sun was shining and the water was basically glittering and green. The boat went back into deeper water and we got to jump off and swim around for awhile. Even though there were a few other boats and people around, it was still very peaceful and just floating in the water and looking up at the cliffs surrounding us was surreal.
I probably would have been content to just float there and get picked up the following day but I reluctantly got back on board and we motored over to Maya Island, where The Beach was filmed. The fact that you that you have to dive off the boat and basically do a ropes course over the slipperiest rocks in South East Asia to get onto the island and may almost be eaten by a giant crab during the process is not included in the brochure. On your way to the other side of the island, you also have to pass through a campground that you could not pay me to stay in because it is permeated with the smell of restroom. I am pretty sure Hell smells like a Thai toilet. Not that bathrooms usually smell great but the ones here really are their own special level of disgusting.
We got to spend about an hour on the island and then swam back to the boat for some pineapple and mixed drinks- or just mixed drinks for those of us that are allergic to Thailand's favorite fruit. Our boat driver mixed us up some Sangsom Thai whiskeys with redbull and coke. Fun fact: Red Bull originated in Thailand and has even more caffeine here than in the states, and is therefore even more likely to make your heart stop. This however didn't stop us from drinking an actual bucket of it, because another awesome thing about Thailand is they serve their drinks in mini beach buckets.
We got to enjoy our drinks for about 10 minutes before our driver took off, sending our wooden boat hurtling across the Andaman Sea at warp speed, as giant waves came splashing into the boat, adding a refreshing salt water mixer to our beverages as we white knuckled the sides. Being on the receiving end of nature's bitch slaps didn't make for a very relaxing sunset watching, but it was fun! It was pretty beautiful but we have yet to see the kind of mind blowing beach sunsets I have been envisioning- there's always this hazy low hanging cloud cover that blocks the sun as it sinks to the horizon.
Back on dry land we headed to the main strip for dinner. We went to a BBQ attached to the Banyan Tree hotel where you can basically point to a skewer of raw whatever you want and they grill it up for you. Given my limited love for seafood, I ordered some traditional thai- or at least I thought I did, as the Pad See Ew I got was angel hair with a different kind of sauce but at that point I was too starved to care.
We were pretty exhausted but managed to rally for another fire show at the beach. These guys are just my type; exotic looking, skinny, and appear to be about 15 years old, which they probably actually are lol. We did a couple hours of dancing at the beach, where there really is some excellent people watching- and called it a night.