When leaving Ko Tao our original plan was to head to James Bond island for the night and then onto Krabi. These are both on the opposite coast to Ko Tao we we knew we were in for a days travelling, but needs must.
When we got to the jetty we found out how hard it was to get to James Bond island and considering our lack of time we decided to head straight to Krabi. We thought the travel agents at the jetty were over charging for their bus to Krabi so we decided to try and book it ourselves once we got to the mainland. This part did not go to plan as by the time we reached the mainland and found some travel agents all the buses had already left. We really didn't want to stay here the night so we eventually managed to find a bus going to Suratthani which is closer to Krabi so we thought we would be able to get a bus from there as its only a 2 hour journey. Unfortunately and annoyingly we arrived at 6.00pm and the last mini bus went at 5.00pm, typical...this is when travelling gets a bit stressful, especially when there is a time restriction. It was then when we were both really pissed off with Thai travel that we decided not to go to Krabi and headed straight for Ko Phi Phi the next day.
We arrived on Phi Phi at around 5.00pm and at first glance there were no signs at all of the effect the tsunami had on the island, to say it was one of the most devastated places, it certainly looked to have recovered well. Phi Phi is a very busy island an caters for tourists a lot more than Ko Tao so we decided to stay in a bungalow in the hills away from the busy streets. It was on the way up to our bungalow that we saw the remaining effects of the tsunami. The main street where all the bars, restaurants and hotels are has been redeveloped and rebuilt to keep tourism going, however once you turn the corner you see the locals have been left to fend for themselves. Their living conditions weren't great at all while huge development is still happening all over the island. It also hit us about the water shortage on the island when we passed the reservoir and the local kids were all having a game of football in it! This lack of water meant that the island was covered with big blue emergency water containers supplying all the hotels and restaurants. We were not really sure that the building of more hotels should continue as they wouldn't have enough water for everyone.
On our first full day we walked to long beach that took us around 30 minutes. The beach and the sea were not a patch on Ko Tao, but the scenery and the limestone peaks gave it something different. We had another relaxing day topping up our tans and then caught a boat back to the main jetty, had a really nice 'all you can eat' BBQ that was really cheap and a few drinks.
The next day we decided to go to a different beach on the other side of the island, it meant a bit of a walk as there is no road network, but we thought we could do with a bit of exercise, and exercise it was. The walk to the half way point took us to the main view point of the island, it was hard going with very steep steps in the midday heat but once we got their the views were definitely worth it, the island looked amazing and the water so green. When we arrived at Rantee beach the sun had disappeared and was replaced with rain, we still went for a swim though to cool down and then spent the rest of the afternoon under cover. On the way back we decided to stop for a few drinks, this then turned into a few more and then a very late night. We ended up in hippies bar that had a flame thrower show on, they also did really nice cocktails so we got very merry!
The rest of our days were spent on Rantee beach (we went by boat) as the snorkelling was amazing, we both saw so many colourful fish that came right up to us, who needs diving! We had some really nice food and lots to drink over the 5 days we were there. We did have a few problems ordering what we wanted on occassion, at one restaurant we both odered pizza, i ordered a set one from the menu and Matthew ordered a 'create your own'. We though the waitress understood, however what we ended up with was one pizza with all the topping on! I ate that while Matthew went up to the chef and pointed at everything he wanted on his!
Although Phi Phi was a lot busier than Ko Tao, we really enjoyed our selves especially the snorkelling! Another great island.