After our attempt at booking with Adventure Club (well reviewed as a more ethical option) was cancelled at the last minute disappointingly due to low numbers, we went with a cheaper (400 baht) 4 hour afternoon snorkelling tour of Ko Phi Phi Le, through one of the many agents all over the town. We got taken to a longtailboat boat and taken out first to monkey beach, just off the main harbour, where heaps of boats were parked up with tourists throwing food at the monkeys who were performing for the tourists. Our Thai guide gave a monkey a sugary drink in a plastic cup which the monkey took up a tree (obviously) and was still holding when we left. No wonder the sea is full of plastic and rubbish. We each got given white bread to feed them, despite a massive sign on the cliffs saying please don't feed the wild monkeys. Some people on the boat didn't care, as the guide himself encouraged it, and they wanted cute photos with the monkeys. I just found it truly tragic. If you do this trip, please just say you don't want to feed the wildlife, and hopefully the guides will start to realise. Maybe even pick up the odd bit of rubbish you swim through instead of just ignoring it like everyone else contributing to the destruction! We stopped at Maya Bay for an hour which is nice but spoiled with the line up of over-revving speedboats and tourists taking photos of themselves in a place where a famous movie star once set foot. The snorkelling bit was ok (what we actually did the trip for primarily) just don't expect coaching, a suit or flippers. Know to swim, wear a T-shirt and shorts for the sunburn and be a little experienced at least with snorkelling off the beach first. We jumped off the boat in a sheltered cove to snorkel. Just remember its not like some countries when every risk is highlighted. The guide couldn't speak much English so only explained the basic, pretty much 'its getting shallow so jump out carefully this time' and 'watch your feet on the coral'. If you want a life jacket on in the open sea, just put one on, don't assume it will be offered to you! Use your common sense and a little consideration of the wildlife and contribute to ethical tourism rather than sucking the place of all its beauty like the majority of our species I'm ashamed today to belong to.
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