We took a boat over from Krabi to Koh Phi Phi. I couldn't believe the number of backpackers on the boat. The backpacks were all piled to the roof! After leaving slightly overcast weather behind in Krabi it was nice to arrive in Koh Phi Phi with blue skies and sunshine. Looking out from the boat coming into the harbour we could see all the beaches and beautiful scenery. I was really excited!
As we arrived, rounded up our bags and made our way on land we discovered a slight problem. Apparently there was not a spare room to be had on Phi Phi. Loads of backpackers had ended up sleeping on the beach! Uh oh! This was not going to be as easy as anticipated. After rejecting a few offers of rooms at extorionate prices we began to panic. Thankfully however, Hugo's friend who works as a diving instructor on Phi Phi came to the rescue. His manager was able to locate us a couple of huts to stay in at a not too extortionate price.
My first impressions of Phi Phi were not too good. However, by the time we left I had completely changed my mind and loved the place. It was very very busy. People everywhere and loads of bars. Its not how I expected Phi Phi to be at all. When we went for a walk along the beach on that first day there was not a space to be had. Seriously there were people and boats everywhere! That first night we went to check out the nightlife. Had an amazing pizza in one of the restaurants. We then went on to a bar called Hippies. It was pretty good. Had a cocktail sitting right on the beach. There was even entertainment, a nutella eating competion and a fireshow! Now thats what im talking about, entertainment while you drink.
The next day we did a little bit of exploring. We took a trek to a nearby quieter beach, Long beach. However our sunbathing was cut short as the rain came on. It was a beautiful beach though and the water was crystal clear.
We had previously been undecided about where to do our diving but decided Phi Phi may be the place to do it with Hugo's friends diving school. We started our open water diving course the very next day. We got most of the theory done on the first day as Lauren's leg was still a bit dodgy from the burn (During our time in Phi Phi Lauren became really good friends with the hotel staff due to her daily change of bandage on her burn). The following day we were into confined waters. It was strange breathing under water for the first time but pretty exciting.
The next couple of days we were out at sea diving! I must admit I was petrified at first and found it a lot harder than I expected to. Learning to take of my mask underwater and then clear it of water again in particular proved hard for me. We learned lots of other skills as well necessary for diving. In the end we had an exam and luckilly me, Lauren and Adam all passed. Dont know how I managed that! The next day we went out for a couple of fun dives. They were really good fun. I loved going out on the boat and seeing all the beautiful scenery. We had two really good dives that day and what made it better was that we were all qualified divers! We got to see so much. We saw a stingray, a sea snake, a leopard shark and a turtle amongst many other amazing things. In fact I managed to scare the shark off, woops! Shall try not do that next time. My favourite part was seeing the turtle though. Rhys our instructor had searched high and low in order to find us one and just as I was about to run out of air we found one. It was amazing! We were right next to it. He didn't care, just kept on munching away. We watched him for a while then as we were forced to surface due to my diminishing air he swam up the surface with us! Incredible.
One day on the boat we passed Maya Beach, the beach from the film 'The Beach'. It did look beautiful but by afternoon time it was impossible to see it due to all the tourists and boats everywhere. Not quite how it is in the film.
Im so glad we did our diving in Phi Phi. It was so beautiful and we were reallly lucky with everything we got to see. Scool Diving in particualar were a really good diving school and took really good care of us. We got lots of individual attention so that we got to practice the skills we were having trouble with.
While on Phi Phi we had a number of good nights out. The Reggae Bar (which played no reggae whatsoever) had Thai Boxing matches every night. This was for anyone who wanted to participate. Dont worry I didn't get up to fight, although it did always seem very tempting after a bucket! Decided it would be best to keep my face intact. Dont think my insurance would cover drunken Thai Boxing injuries! Anyway the nightlife in Phi Phi was certainly good and there was always loads going on.
By the time we had to leave Phi Phi I actually felt sad to be leaving. I never thought I would be sad to leave on that first day when we arrived. However, after all the diving and sightseeing I did think I may miss it. We had had a really good time and have many good diving memories from there.