The aircon in the VIP room was quite cold, and we stepped outside a couple of times. The boy pulled a lot of faces for the camera:
Phi Phi Islands are beautiful, with breathtakingly tall limestone cliffs, large caves and long white beaches. We saw Maya Bay, where "The Beach" was filmed (but didn't go in because the ferry was too big), and we went past the Monkey Beach. The following photos are more of what we saw.
This is Pileh Bay, which our ferry was too large to enter:
Viking Cave, where birds' nests are harvested for the thriving bird's nest soup industry:
The boy pulling more faces for the camera:
A panorama of the view as the ferry was approaching Phi Phi Don Island where we docked (click for larger image):
After the ferry docked at Phi Phi Don, we transferred to a snorkel boat that took us to Coral Bay. The VIP group got on to a barge that was moored in Coral Bay while the other group got ready to snorkel. On the barge, we could go down into the hull, where we could experience the Under Sea World Aquarium, which is apparently the "first and only live aquarium". It's a pretty unique concept - we stood on a wooden frame about 2m under the sea surface, and fish were swimming in and out and all around. We were also given some bread to feed the fish. Our boy was terrified and refused to let go of us the whole time we were in the thigh-deep water, but he loved feeding the fish.
The whole room was cast in a greenish blue hue because we were underwater:
We could also watch the fish swimming in the open water while staying dry in this Under Sea World Aquarium:
We also got to swim and snorkel with the fish in the open water. Super fun, but not easy with a non-swimming 3-year-old!
We then got on the snorkel boat which headed back to Phi Phi Do. Lunch was provided, and the food was pretty good, but my dSLR had just taken a fall as we were stepping into the restaurant, and I was too upset and distracted to take any food photos. There was time to explore the island, but we headed straight back for the boat so that the boy could get his nap. It was a fun day, but we spent so much time travelling. The live aquarium alone was worth the small extra we paid to get the VIP package.