Friday, 20 March 2009

Phi Phi Island

Phi Phi island was bloody lovely! This was the first place I actually felt like I was in the Thailand you see in the magazines and on TV, it was beautiful. I had 4 great days there even though I was still recovering from my little illness it was great to finally kick back on a proper chilled out island.

Getting to Phi Phi was fairly funny and defiantly worth a mention. Feeling still not 100% I struggled on board all alone and just sat in the main seating area where I was going to stay for the duration of the boat journey. Surround by mainly Thais, as most of the other back packers were on the sun deck enjoying the sun, I spent the nearly all the journey watching various episodes of Mr.Bean on the boats many TV's. Something I didn't realize at the time was that Mr. Bean seems to be a BIG deal out here. They laughed their heads off to the whole way to the island as Mr.Bean went about his slapstick antics. It was well funny to see them get so much pleasure from early 90's British television and really made me feel a lot better. Bless 'em

Towards the end of the journey the boat takes a small detour round part of Phi Phi as a chance to take a few photos of the awesome scenery that covers Phi Phi. So I headed up to the deck as I thought I better grab me a few snaps as so far had taken very few. I was just sitting on the deck minding my own business when a Thai couple sit right next to me. The man produces a camera and goes to take a picture of his wife/girlfriend whoever she was. So not to ruin their photo I shuffle out of the way. However it turns out that I seem to be the photo opportunity and to my surprise she shuffles right up next to me puts her arm round me and the man snaps away. Quite taken back I sit there and sort of smile trying to work out what was going on. Then she gets up and ANOTHER Thai sits next to me and gets her photo with me as well. I couldn't help but laugh and wonder why out all the things they could have taken a photo of they chose me? The thing is the same thing happened on the way back and the Thai women I had some polite conversation with on the way back got her friend to snap me and her together as we were leaving the boat!

After the boat journey I some how ended up in Phi Phi hotel for a buffet lunch (not that I was staying their or anything). Upon booking the boat over I was never told about this but was pretty hungry at this point so got involved. I phoned Tommy who came to meet me at the hotel and couldn't really understand how I ended up in the buffet as he had done the same journey the day before and there was not even the slightest mention of a buffet lunch. Interesting.

Accommodation on Phi Phi is quite hard to find due to its popularity and just generally not being very big. Thankfully though as they did in multiple occasions through out our stay on the island the 2 Swedish guys Jesper and Robin come up trumps and managed to get us in an all Swedish hostel. This did mean that myself and Tommy were the only English people there but it meant we had a good, cheap and clean hostel to stay in. The only draw back was that Ms.Lee the small Thai owner didn't actually like the English (Apparently we are loud and always break things?!?) so the service and general attitude towards us was poor. Our only ticket in there really was the fact we were with Jesper and Robin. So spent our time there getting introduced to the many Swedes there by Jesper and Robin.

The majority of our time in Phi Phi was spent on the beach. It one we stayed on the most was the main little stretch on the island so was quite busy but no where near as busy as Patong. The sea there was so warm, it was actually like taking a bath. I don't normally go in the sea as I seriously hate getting sand stuck on me but I just got over it on Phi Phi as the sea was so warm and clear that I really didn't care how much sand got stuck to me it was just so nice.

Those of you who know me well will be aware of how I am slightly less evolved than most of mankind and have been cursed with a surprising amount of body hair, or fur, which ever you think suits it best. Therefore I finally did something I have talked about for many years and went to get a wax, mainly due to it being so cheap. This was seriously one the most painful things I have voluntarily subjected myself to and burnt so much is was unbelievable. I only got my back and shoulders done by the way as thats the only bit I don't like. It was a strange experience but was real pleased with the results dispite having to sit under the air-con for about half hour afterward to stop the burning. I will probably get it done again during my travels as I did like the finished article and so far the growing back has not been that bad at all.

Despite being on Antibiotics I decided to get involved in one of the many beach parties that go on in Thailand. I didn't drink obviously as my main aim was still to get better but I still had a awesome time. The general plan is normally the bars and clubs till about midnight then everyone heads to the beach to one of the handful of clubs that open up on the beach when darkness falls. It was one of the coolest things I had done while I have been traveling and despite not having a drop of alcohol I really enjoyed it. I could just tell it was one of those things I was going to remember for a long time. The only problem was, when you haven't been drinking at all you really notice other people who have. This meant I did feel quite out of it as literally everyone was off their heads. This did add a small damper to the night and I am not really needs to be drunk to enjoy myself but in this particular occation a bucket or 2 would have been nice.

The highlight of the entire trip to Phi Phi island though for me had to be the snorkeling day trip we decided to take. It was the absolute bomb. It cost only about $9 (These keyboards don't have the pound sign) and for that we got a lot. We got a whole day on the motorized longboat which holds about 9 people and it took us to 2 snorkeling reefs, 1 swimming spot, Monkey beach, Maya bay - the beach where the film "The Beach" was filmed and some island called viking cove or something like that some rock with crazy stalagmites or something like that. It was all brilliant, monkey bay was great, as like the deers in Nara, the monkys came right up to you and you got to see them seriously close up. Maya bay was just beautiful, in the middle of no where very few people on it and was just so chilled was amazing. I had never snorkeled in the sea before but just loved it and could not believe how much was concealed by the surface of the sea and how much you could see once you stuck your head in just a few inches below the surface. Was a great day and worth everyone of the very few pennies it cost.

That was about it for Phi Phi really, just had 4 really chilled out days with the Swedes. We were going to head to Ko Tao after Phi Phi another island the other side of Thailand. For this unfortunately meant we needed another night Patong so we could catch the boat there the next day. But just one night in Patong was bearable after the awesome time I had had in Phi Phi.

Here are a few photos of Phi Phi for you to cast your eyes over: