ko phi phi

Posted in ko phi phi, thailand by moonwire on August 8, 2009

After a week in Hat Kata I got a good beach fix and though I was ready to move away from the beach, I did want to visit one of the islands. I picked Ko Phi Phi. Not only is it apparently one of the most beautiful (and sadly expensive) islands, it was also one of the closest.

I booked a ticket so a minivan would pick me up from the hotel and it also included the boat to Phi Phi. Easy breezy. At least that part. Then I got on the boat and after about 10 minutes the sea got really rough and the staff started handing out puke bags. Lots of people didn’t feel so good but luckily I don’t get sea sick; I just get scared. It was a pretty scary ride and I was glad when we got to the pier.

Through the Lonely Planet forum, someone had recommended the Rock Climbing Bungalows at the very end of the main Southern bay, Ton Sai Bay. It was about a 15 minute walk and when I got there, there were still two bungalows available. One very nice one with a big bed and a hot shower and a rickety one with a mattress on the floor and cold water. The cheap one was only 400 baht (about $12) and the big one was double that, so I opted for the cheap one. It was fine. Only a mattress, a fan and a mosquito net, with a private bathroom in the back.

It was lovely there. I could just roll out of my hammock to go for a swim, or have some delicious food at the ‘hotel’ restaurant. There were many cats roaming around and it was very quiet. Also a good place to meet people. In the first one of the three rickety bungalows was an Australian guy, Nick, who is a dive instructor on Phi Phi and had been living there for three months. And right next to me was Sarah, a woman from California who had been there for a week.

I didn’t do much there. I just went for swims and read in my hammock. The cats provided great entertainment, and so did a Multiple Personality Disorder bird who would have conversations with himself in two different voices.

Though the best were the monkeys who would occasionally make an appearance. I was just chilling out in my hammock when I witnessed a macaque making a run for the glass container where the kitchen kept their bananas. The funny thing was that the bird went absolutely nuts and started screaming. The owners were on the other side and didn’t have a clue. I was not going to say anything because I had too much fun watching the monkey trying to open the container. Obviously, the owners were well aware of this practice and had the container locked. After the monkey realized he wasn’t getting anywhere, he walked back to the wooded area and opened a coconut he had found on the beach.

Another funny thing was the first morning I woke up around 6 am and it was stuffy in my room, so I opened the door a bit to let some air in. I went back to sleep and in my dreams I heard the ringing of little bells. At one point it got so loud that I woke up. I open my eyes and what do I see there? Two kittens, a white fluffy one with blue eyes and a tiger striped kitty, looking at me with big eyes. They had obviously been playing in my room. That was cute.

So, Phi Phi was a lovely place to chill out and read. From the little I have seen, Phi Phi is indeed absolutely stunning. It got immensely popular after that Leonardo Dicaprio movie, The Beach, which was filmed there. Development and prices sky-rocketed. However, half of the people on the island died during the boxing day tsunami in 2004 and much of the development was wiped out. However, I didn’t see any evidence of this tragedy, other than tsunami evacuation arrows and designated buildings with outside stairs and upper decks. If something had happened while I was there, my bungalow certainly would have washed up the limestone cliffs.

The weather was pretty good. There were a few scattered showers but nothing too big. Though this morning when I left it was storming pretty bad. I had bought a little dry bag for my cameras but I’ll have to buy a proper thing for my backpack as the rain can come on very sudden and when it does, it usually rains a lot in a very short time. Enough to get soaked.

I am in Krabi town now for 2 days. I hadn’t booked a room yet and I told the driver I wanted to go to a certain hotel. He told me he knew something more quiet and a lot cheaper so I decided to check it out. It doesn’t have much charm, but it’s off the main road. The room is big and clean and there’s a decent shower and a small balcony looking out at a garden of some sorts. Perfect for these two nights. Then off to Bangkok on Sunday.

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