The Maller Family Travel Gazette:
Thailand, The Land of Smiles

July 22: Dangerous Aquatic Adventures


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The weather once again is wonderful, despite the warnings about this being monsoon season. If we've had three or four hours of rain in the two and a half weeks we've been here, I'd be surprised. Delighting in the paradise that is our final resort location here in Thailand, we decided to go for the higher-end form of entertainment today: a speedboat snorkeling trip. It cost about eight times what a longboat trip costs, but it gets you around a lot faster and lunch is included, so it seemed worth it. So off we went after breakfast. Our boat drivers delivered us to some spectacularly beautiful areas around Phi Phi Don (the larger island, where we're staying) and Phi Phi Lei (a smaller, uninhabited island). We all had fun snorkeling around enormous numbers of fish, beautiful (yet terribly battered) coral reefs, and lovely limestone formations. We finally stopped for lunch on a scenic deserted beach. Max and Sam went to play in the water, and Max ambitiously swam out to a nearby coral reef. Moments later, we heard him yell to us that "the urchins got me". We were terrified, and as Max made his way back to the beach, the boat drivers sprang into action. As he approached the beach, Nut, the head man of the three man crew, quickly cut open nothing other than a lemon, and immediately applied it to the three distinct urchin spine punctures on Max's heel. I'm sure modern medicine has numerous, more complex and expensive antidotes, but the men seemed convinced this was all we needed to do. Proud of Max's courage and his positive attitude, we all loaded back into the boat and returned the our hotel. We had a quiet afternoon, except for a small expedition Sam and I took to see a huge colony of nutty little fiddler crabs near the hotel.
Click any of these photos to see a larger version. Enjoy!
Displaying photos 1 to 17 of 17

Such scenery!
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No sooner had our boat drivers dropped anchor, the fish began to gather
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Max leads the family into the water
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It was a little disarming being swarmed by dozens of these little clownfish
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Doreen, ever vigilant on her puppies
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Max and Sam playing in the water at Maya beach, one of the locations for the 90's movie "The Beach"
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My snorkelers in the Andaman Sea
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Sam, Doreen and Max swimming with the fishies
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Sam attracts a crowd of clownfish with a few pieces of bread
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A tiny island nearby Phi Phi Lei
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The Mad Max-like caves of the birds nest gatherers. These nests, created by swallows in the caves and cliffs of these islands, are coveted by gourmets all over Asia
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Max and Doreen at our deserted beach lunch destination, just before Max headed into the surf for his eventual urchin encounter
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Sam, looking studly on the beach
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This was our luncheon spot
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After lunch, Max hobbled back onto the boat with the rest of us
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This is Max's actual wound. There are three small spines embedded in his heel. Ouch!
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A few of the massive collection of fiddler crabs living in a putrid pond out back of our hotel
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Click any of these photos to see a larger version. Enjoy!
Displaying photos 1 to 17 of 17

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Wed, Dec 31st, 1969 at 5:00:00 PM