Koh Phi Phi
We left Koh Tao on the 12th June and discovered a new form of transport, a sleeping boat. We were all lined up in a way which can only be likened to the transportation of slaves in the slave trade. But we were surprised to find it was actually really comfortable as we had our little space on the soft mattress and our own pillows. Saying that after 30 mins it got extremely choppy and Mish went into panic mode!! I know a lot about boats and I reassured her that the boat could not tip, therefore we wouldn't drown. We then arrived at Surat Thani at 5am and we got moved from pillar to post for 3 hours not really knowing what we were doing. Eventually we got on the mini bus headed for Phuket at 8am. The mini bus was the smallest you have ever seen and was packed full of stinky men!
We arrived in Phuket around 1pm and straight away we realised it wasn't that much to shout about. But I stumbled into a hostel and saw the room that Leonardo DiCaprio slept in (supposedly in Bangkok) in the film The Beach. This made my day, I couldn't believe that you could actually rent out the room it was filmed in!! It was called the On On Hotel.
We made a quick decision to get down to Koh Phi Phi where our friends Lara and Dave were. It was a beautiful ride, only 1hr 30 mins. Phuket is the long way to get to Phi Phi, if you want a shorter journey its better to go to Krabi.
We had been looking forward to Phi Phi so much because the film The Beach was filmed here and initially inspired me to go travelling. We got to Phi Phi Dong, checked into a gorgeous hotel and went to meet up with Dave and Lara down the beach. We then hit the Chiang (local 6.4% beer) and watched some Muay Thai fighting. You can actually have a fight yourself here (for a free alcohol bucket!), I wanted to do it but fear got the better of me!! After the Muay Thai we partied on the beach with Lara, Dave and Darren (from Cwmbran). And a funny Scottish bloke called Adam who was obsessed with skipping the fire rope, which he did impressively well considering his alcohol consumption!!! Though I think he may have burnt his ankles a few times, ouch!!
The next day we slept off our hangovers and took advantage of the aircon room at our hotel. Air con is a real treat on a backpackers budget! The next day we checked out and found the cheapest room on Phi Phi at only £5 a night and a 2 minute walk from the centre of the beach. It was basic but had everything we needed and was also very clean.
We met up with Dave and Lara again and Dave suggested we pay a visit to Tsunami village which is sign posted throughout town. He thought this would be a memorial place for those killed in the boxing day 2004 tsunami which devastated the island and killed thousands. We wanted to pay our respects to the many victims. We soon realised that after an hours hike it was an evacuation village for future tsunamis, Laura was not a happy bunny as the walk was up many huge hills!!! It turned out to be a really fun day, we found a little beach, played Jenga and just relaxed. It was class as Dave and Lara are a really good laugh and are similar to me and misht night we went out for a couple of Chiangs, and to say goodbye to Dave and Lara as their visa's had run out the day before and they had to cross to Malaysia as soon as poss.
The next day was pretty much a write off as we experienced torrential rain for 24hours solid. We drank coffee, watched films and had the best oil massage's ever!
The following morning we woke up early and we were so glad to see the sun again! We walked down to the harbour to do our boat trip, we were so lucky as we had a massive boat with only 8 passengers and a legendary crew. The first stop was Maya Bay, this is 'The Beach', the water was amazing and the beach is almost hidden from the sea but in the film they superimposed a lot of things so it didn't look quite the same. The most beautiful stop, without a doubt was bamboo island, this really was paradise and the nicest beach we have ever been to! The boat trip was absolutely class, we stopped at 6 different places, kayaked around the limestone cliffs and did a hell of a lot of snorkeling and swimming. At one point the guys threw a load of food to the fish and we got bombarded with them when we were in the water, it was incredible!!! Though unfortunately we still did not see any sharks! That night we met up with the guys from the boat trip, played some quality drinking games and partied until late on the beach.
Phi Phi really is an amazing island with a relaxed vibe, no cars, no motorbikes and we spent 6 days here and are finding it very hard to bring ourselves to book the next part of our trip. And to be honest we are dreading the next 12 hour trip as its meant to be a tough one into the North East of Malaysia.