Scuba diving in the Andaman Sea in Thailand

Andaman Sea diving, notice the Starry Puffer towards the bottom.
Andaman Sea diving, notice the Starry Puffer towards the bottom.

I went scuba diving in Thailand while on Phi Phi Island. This is on the West coast of Thailand and the body of water is called the Andaman Sea, it is a part of the Eastern Indian Ocean and it is separated from the Bay of Bengali by the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

I chose Princess Divers for my dive and Felix was an excellent companion for someone who does not do a lot of diving but is a certified open water diver with both PADI and NAUI. Here is little clip from the dive:

Bridge on the River Kwai – on location

Bridge on the River Kwai
Bridge on the River Kwai

Bridge on the River Kwai, is the bridge that the Japanese built with civilians and Allied POV’s during WWII (1943) to complete the rail-line between Bangkok and Rangoon in Burma (now known as Yangoon in Myanmar). As many as 12,000 people perished during the construction. A Movie with the name “The Bridge on the River Kwai” was made in 1957, starring Alec Guiness and William Holden and directed by David Lean.

A view of the Bridge on the River Kwai.
A view of the Bridge on the River Kwai.
Looking out over the River Kwai.
Looking out over the River Kwai.
Train stop on the River Kwai.
Train stop on the River Kwai.
The Bridge.
The Bridge.
Unexploded ordinance at one end of the bridge.
Unexploded ordinance at one end of the bridge.
Train coming over the Bridge.
Train coming over the Bridge.

Phi Phi island – a wild ride or tranquility?

Long Beach on Phi Phi island.
Long Beach on Phi Phi island.

(Kho) Phi Phi Island is in what is called the Andaman Sea, part of the Eastern Indian Ocean and separated from the bay of Bengali by the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

On approach into Krabi airport (KBV).
On approach into Krabi airport (KBV).

You get to the island on a ferry from either Krabi (about 90 min) to the East or Phuket (about 2 hrs) to the West.

Krabi limestone rock formation.
Krabi limestone rock formation.
You likely will wind up on a ferry like this, there are also faster alternatives, but not really worth it in my opinion.
You likely will wind up on a ferry like this, there are also faster alternatives, but not really worth it in my opinion.
Andaman Sea Master Krabi - Phi Phi island.
Andaman Sea Master Krabi – Phi Phi island.
View of the Andaman Sea from the Andaman Sea Master Krabi - Phi Phi island.
View of the Andaman Sea from the Andaman Sea Master Krabi – Phi Phi island.

Once you arrive you need to pay the fee for entry into the national park area, payable by csh – it is currently August 2018 THB 400 for foreigners, add another THB 200 if you plan on going diving in the waters off the islands.

A girl wearing of all things a t-shirt from a Swedish hockey team (Djurgårdens IF) may be among the people greeting yiou upon your arrival on Phi Phi island.
A girl wearing of all things a t-shirt from a Swedish hockey team (Djurgårdens IF) may be among the people greeting you upon your arrival on Phi Phi island. Note that she is also wearing a “Foppa” toffel.

Once on the island, it is really up to you to decide which Phi Phi you prefer, wild ride or tranquility. If you chose to stay in “town”, that is by the ferry landing – it will likely be on the wilder side of things. The little town is bustling with bars, restaurants and other places of activity. However, if you prefer the tranquility part you may want to stay a little bit out from the ferry landing, just remember that you are pretty much at the mercy of the long tail boats for transportation into town.

In the longboat on the way out to Long Beach.
In the long tail boat on the way out to Long Beach.

There are no cars or really no motorized vehicles allowed, there are a few utility vehicles and there are also some “law-breakers” that have scooters, but not many. You can walk, but I can not recommend it and especially not if you have been in town imbibing, the walk is pretty long and at times treacherous. The long tail boats run most of the time, but there are exceptions, such as at low tide and with too high surf, they may not run, the captains are very much adverse to taking any risks with their boats so if the tide is too low or the surf too high you will have a hard time talking them into making the trip, offering better pay of course may help – standard fare somewhere between 100-200 THB (Thai Baht) each way ($3-6 USD) some of the resorts located further out on the island also may offer some boat services that are included.

A view of a longboat from shore.
A view of a long tail boat from shore.

Hotel Majestic – Kuala Lumpur

Hotel Majestic, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia - main entrance.
Hotel Majestic, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – main entrance.

As the name implies, the Hotel Majestic in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, is just that, really really – Majestic. It is full of old world charm and the staff is fantastic, they all take such pride in their jobs and it is all centered on making you feel as welcome as it is humanly possible to make you feel, it is just a really great hotel and well worth the trip all on it’s own!

Hotel Majestic logo by the main entrance.
Hotel Majestic logo by the main entrance.

If you are lucky, Reza, the guest services manager of the Hotel Majestic will meet you upon your arrival and escort you up to your suite. Beforehand, he will have reached out to you to inquire about any dietary restrictions or other requests that you may have – all to make you feel so very welcome to the Hotel Majestic. At least this is true if you are lucky enough to have status with United Airlines Mileage Plus program that translates into status with the Marriot Rewards program.

Hotel majestic 14th floor suite, entrance.
Hotel majestic 14th floor suite, entrance.
Hotel Majestic 14th floor suite, living room.
Hotel Majestic 14th floor suite, living room.
Hotel Majestic 14th floor suite, living room desk area.
Hotel Majestic 14th floor suite, living room desk area.
Hotel Majestic 14th floor suite, living room.
Hotel Majestic 14th floor suite, living room.
Hotel Majestic 14th floor suite, bedroom.
Hotel Majestic 14th floor suite, bedroom.
Hotel Majestic 14th floor suite, bedroom with a view of the bathroom.
Hotel Majestic 14th floor suite, bedroom with a view of the bathroom.
Hotel Majestic 14th floor suite, view from the bedroom window.
Hotel Majestic 14th floor suite, view from the bedroom window.

The highest looking building is the KL Tower (a.k.a. menara KL) which is not the tallest building, the tallest is the Petronas twin towers, but because the KL Tower sits on top of a hill in downtown KL, they appear to be the tallest. In the above picture there is a sideview of the Petronas twin towers which appear to be the third tallest in this picture. I recommend not trying to get up into the Petronas twin towers, you can not book tickets less  than 24 hrs into the future and the staff at the towers are extremely rude and unhelpful. There is also no outside viewing area in the Petronas towers, but there is in the KL Tower where you also get a nice view of the Petronas towers which you will not get if you go up in those towers.

Breakfast time at the Hotel Majestic, waiting for the Oatmeal porridge to arrive.
Breakfast time at the Hotel Majestic, waiting for the Oatmeal porridge to arrive.
Teatime in the salon at the Hotel Majestic KL.
Teatime in the salon at the Hotel Majestic KL.

If you feel like being a bit British while in Malaysia, you may take tea in the salon or Library at the Hotel Majestic in KL. You can enjoy some relaxing piano music and indulge in the goodies with your tea!

Tea time at Hotel Majestic.
Tea time at Hotel Majestic.
Tea time goodies at Hotel Majestic.
Tea time goodies at Hotel Majestic.