When we left the Holiday Inn Resort, we had been going to get the complimentary long tail boat transfer back to Ton Sai Bay for the ferry back to the mainland. However, we were keen to see Phi Phi Leh (the smaller of the main Phi Phi islands) so took the opportunity to charter a speedboat to take us there, and drop us off at Ton Sai in time to catch the ferry. The hotel reception arranged it for us, but there are many agents around all the resort areas that can arrange such trips. It cost approximately $75 and our trip lasted about two hours.
It was a fantastic experience. The boat picked us up on time as arranged and we felt like royalty as we glided away from the beach, picking up speed and passing the long tail boats. The views back to the resort and the beaches and forest were amazing.
It did get pretty choppy as we went out to cross the open sea between Phi Phi Don and Phi Phi Leh, and the boat lurched to a halt a couple of times between giant waves, resulting in a couple of soakings. There were some pretty big impacts as we crashed from one wave to another out there.
When we got to the calmer waters around Phi Phi Leh, things improved. Our driver took us into Phi-Leh Bay which was beautiful, and Maya Bay where the film of Alex Garland's The Beach was filmed. We were able to get out there to have a swim and explore. Then we re-boarded and set out on our way again. At the next bay we got back in the water for some awesome snorkeling. Because we got in from the boat, we were straight in amongst the rocks and an incredible variety of colourful tropical fish. (Incidentally, the boat driver lent us the snorkeling equipment).
Then back on the boat once again, next stop the "Viking Cave." I thought that it was interesting but Anne wasn't so keen. It is quite dark and dingy. We paid a guide 100Baht or so and he showed us the paintings and demonstrated the traditional method of climbing up to harvest birds nests. He was a bit of a comedian too!
Back aboard our speedboat, the driver took us all the way back to Phi Phi Don and some more beautiful views of this idyllic island as we came back into Ton Sai Bay. All in all I'd highly recommend taking in Phi Phi Leh if you have the chance, and travelling by speedboat made it into a truly memorable experience.