My out-of-this-world experience swimming with Planktons in Thailand
If you’ve read any other posts in this blog you are probably familiar by now that I lived in Thailand for a year for two internships at luxury properties in both Phuket and Bangkok.
During that time I had many opportunities to travel around and discover the Land of Smiles throughout various adventures with different friends.
I’ve been lucky to go to Phi Phi islands more times than I can remember. One of this trips I went with my roommate Erin, who also attended the same uni as I did in Switzerland and was also in Thailand for her internship.
We were in Phi Phi for one of our weekend getaways, and as we were already familiar with the island, we knew how we wanted to explore it by boat.
By the way, I gave this tip to sooo many friends and I honestly think it is a very valuable one.
There are basically two ways of taking a boat to go island hopping: You can either take a speed boat, which of course is faster, but fuuuull of other people, OR you can pay a bit higher and take a private wooden boat.
Since I worked in concierge for one of my internships, I had the chance to go to numerous ‘site inspections’. Meaning I could go for free on the tours that I was supposed to sell, so that I would know what it was about.
Pretty cool, right??
And because of that I had the chance to experience the speed boat too.
Needless to say the wooden boat is muuuuch better!!!
Not only you have the boat to yourself, but you decide how long you stay on each island. Also, it is sooo much preeettier.. 🙂
The speedboat offers you water, some fruits, which are nice, but basically every time you anchor, there are all those other people who are on (literally) on the same boat as you, and all dive into the water together…
It kind of ruins the magic, if you ask me.
So naturally Erin and I decided for the wooden one and our boat driver, Oat, was actually the coooollest dude EVER! He looked kind of like a Thai pirate, and had a Bee Gees way of walking…
On top of that, we all really hit it off and had an amazing day island hopping on our private wooden boat.
If you have ever been to Thailand you know what I mean.
There is something special about the Phi Phi islands.
The tone of emerald green water reflecting the numerous island hills and green trees.
It’s kind of like being in an entrance to the Jurassic Park movie, and you can kind of even imagine the Pterodactyls flying above you and the John Williams song playing in the background (sorry, little nerd moment here. But I swear that is how I reaally felt!).
The unusual idea proposal
By the end of the day, we were supposed to head back as we had rented the boat for 5h if I remember well and Oat then asked if we would be interested by any chance in swimming with planktons….(!!!)
Swimming with planktons? You mean those microscopic organisms that sparkle under water when you make a sudden movement?
There was a thing though. In order to be able to actually see them, it would have to be very dark.
Meaning we would have to wait for the sun to set, and then go to a small cave and jump into the water there.
Writing this seems super sketchy, now that I think of it, but I don’t know why but for some reason Erin and I never had a second thought. We were like, ”yess, of course we wanna do this!!”
So we waited on the boat, in the middle of the Andaman Sea. It was so calm and it is always warm in Thailand, so we never cared if our only clothes were the ones we had on the boat (our hipster Thai pants with the elephants, most probs).
The sun finally set and there we headed to the so famous cave that Oat talked about so much.
By the way I just remembered here, Oat’s English was actually really bad.
It was so funny how we managed to stay all day on a boat with him and get along so well when we could barely communicate. I love to see how language is only a barrier if we make it one.
Anyway, we arrived at the cave and shortly after, we were joined by another boat with two Russian couples.
We were all pretty sketched, gazing down into those pitch dark waters, not knowing what the heck Thai monster could be swimming underneath us.
Erin was the first to jump. She has a lot of balls for such a tiny girl!
Immediately we saw everything around her sparkling.
It was so magical! The more she moved, the more the water shone. I couldn’t believe my eyes. It really was how they described it.
I immediately grabbed a snorkeling mask and jumped right after. It was just SO COOL.
I twirled around under water just observing everything around me shine more and more. The moment we stopped still, it got dark again. So we twirled again and again (trying not to think of the Thai monster below us as well)…
The two Russian girls joined us at last, but the guys seemed to have opted out and remained on the boat.
After a few minutes we decided it was time to go back.
We were so pleased with our experience and both had the biggest smile across our faces. Of course we gathered quite the generous tip to give to Oat, but then something else amazing happened.
He refused our money.
Oat said it had really been a pleasure and he had taken us to the cave because he really liked who we were. He didn’t do it for the money (as you usually expect in Thailand).
We were just so touched by it. It really did seal the perfect day, to be greeted with such altruism.
This was just one more night of our adventures in this magical country called Thailand.