Day 6 Off to Koh Phi Phi Don
We used an airport transfer through Tong and left the Pullman at 4:30am. We thought an early flight to Phuket would be best because we still had to get to Koh Phi Phi Don. We were flying Air Asia on cheap tickets. We had prepaid some extra bags with Air Asia so all worked out well. We upgraded to Priority seating. It was so nice! It seemed worth it, too especially with kids and carry-ons. I liked that if you wanted food or drink you could buy what you wanted. Having donuts from Mr. Donut was better to us than other things we could’ve gotten. The flight to Phuket was smooth. Sleeping was easy since we’d gotten up so early. A private transfer from the Holiday Inn was waiting for us to take us to a private boat transfer. This was so smooth! The boat ride was fine. When we arrived at the Holiday Inn they brought all of our luggage and carry-ons up which was no small feat. They had us set down and brought us cold towels and welcome drinks. Our rooms weren’t ready since it was so early in the morning. So we hung around the TV room for awhile. Then one of our rooms was ready. So we took our stuff there and went to have lunch. By the time we were done, our other room was ready. This would be the only time we reserved two rooms and got adjoining rooms. We had paid for ocean front and we were so close to the sand and water it was really nice. The rooms were a little worn, but the location was spectacular. We went swimming in the pool which was nice. We ate all of our dinners while there at the Holiday Inn. Some nights were better than others. Little did we know that our first day would be our only day without rain. We also played in the sand with buckets and toys we’d brought and went into the ocean.
Day 7 Rain on the island
My husband’s scuba trip was cancelled. We understood it was because of weather, but we wish the employees would’ve taken the initiative to call us or make a decision. My husband called and was told to wait, etc. Then we asked about the afternoon fishing trip. They said they didn’t know, but my oldest two and husband signed up. No luck, it to was cancelled but not decided until it was time to go. I wish they would’ve told us it would likely be cancelled. My husband and kids went for a walk. Then I took a nap with the four year old and my husband and two kids went to Tonsai Bay for awhile. They had fun shopping and looking around and I enjoyed the nap. I took the youngest swimming in the pool. We all went swimming in the pool and ocean towards the end of the day. It only rained in the morning and afternoon for about an hour each time, but it was very heavy rain.
Day 8 More rain on the island
We had booked a private trip first thing in the morning to see some of the local islands and go snorkeling. When we showed up, they said we couldn’t go to Maya Bay or most everywhere. We could only go from the resort to Tonsai Bay and there was a place we could snorkel in between. We were bummed but had no choice. (We later found a couple who was allowed to go to Mosquito Island.) So much for our day of sightseeing by boat. The snorkeling was nice where they took us. Beautiful fish and coral and since we left early in the morning we were the only people there for about and hour. Then on to Tonsai Bay. Our main goal was to get our two girls’ hair braided. My oldest daughter took off her hat and we were told – too much hair!! I can’t do that. It’s too much. She has waist length hair that is thick and wavy. Then when we thought they wouldn’t do it, she said 1,000 baht. She probably thought that would deter us, but it didn’t. This was something my daughter wanted to do before coming to Thailand. So it took her 2 ½ hours with 2 or 3 people working on her. My other daughter was about 1 ½ hours with long hair, but thin at 400 baht. We took turns doing shopping while all this was going on. The boat ride was fairly rough in parts. At dinner, we asked how much it cost to braid my daughter’s hair. They were obviously shocked because it is expensive for them. Where we live it is a good price.
Day 9 Off to Phuket
My husband is still feeling good about this day. While at breakfast, he was told he looked too young to have 3 kids, etc. – especially one that was 14! I do have to say that the breakfast buffet here was great and was included with our room. I got a call saying we couldn’t leave to go to Phuket that day (we had private transfer scheduled.) We were of course shocked and hysterical. So my husband called them. They said the sea was too rough. We had a hotel waiting in Phuket and were worried about getting to Chiang Mai the next day. They told us that the afternoon ferry would go. We unwillingly agreed to go on the ferry since we needed to get to Phuket. It took longer than usual on the ferry. And we can laugh about it now. When we got on the ferry, they were passing out seasick pills and barf bags. There were times I thought we had no business taking our kids on that boat (it looked like a picture you see on the news that says “Ferry Disaster in…you name the country”). It was so crowded and full. It took so long to load. And getting your stuff off and on was crazy. At first there were a lot of people outside on the front of the boat. Then as we started and waves were crashing over the whole front and sides, people would come in drenched. As we continued and our boat was rocking I thought of Gilligan’s Island. Then the barfing began. The person next to my son was throwing up and crying throughout the trip (about 2 hours!!!). I pulled my youngest on my lap so he could scoot away from all of the drama. Other people were throwing up without all the drama. About half way through a man came and asked if the barfing woman could scoot over so he could set by her. I was in shock. What could I say – we were trying to get away from her? No, I said okay. My son leaned onto me the best he could but I was holding his sleeping sister. They kept telling people to go to sleep or close their eyes and this woman wouldn’t do it. The boat trip started out with everyone oohing and ahhing like a roller coaster ride, but so many people got sick. We were all okay. Although we were quite late, our driver was waiting to take us to our night at the Marriott Vacation Club on Phuket. What a beautiful resort. My husband and kids didn’t feel like it had a real “Thai feel”, but I loved all the space and the grounds were beautiful. Again, we were brought cold towels and welcome drinks. When we got to the room, they had decorated our bed and bathtub for our anniversary. There were towel love birds and rose petals on the bed. A filled bathtub with floating rose petals was also waiting for us. A card and candy and drinks were also waiting for us. It was just so first class especially considering it was night. We were supposed to leave Phi Phi on a private boat transfer and be at the Marriott midday. However we ended up on the afternoon ferry that took longer than usual and had no time to enjoy the resort. The pools were already closed. We had really looked forward to them and we were leaving in the morning. This was quite common and many of the hotels that pools closed at 7pm. My kids ate at a resort café with my husband while I did some laundry. I found out that I wasn’t good with their washer and dryer. Great beds and large room!
Continued on First Time Family Trip Report to Chiang Mai
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