Tuesday 24th - Friday 27th February
Phi Phi Island
Thanks again for your comments everyone. So much has happened since we've been gone. Rita announcing their wedding in May, news from friends back home and Gill getting a new job as head of the kindergarten. Great to be able to keep in touch with everyone.
Rita - we didn't do James Bond Island as I thought this was the one you got stuck in the cave, so passed on that.
Linda + Ken good to hear from you. No more nippers. Not enough cocktails I suspect!
Tuesday 24th February Phi Phi Island Palmtree Resort
We're not being picked up until 11 so we thought we'd have a swim in the pool before breakfast. When we woke up it was freezing in the room, aircon blasting all night, so didn't really feel like it then. But I said to Sam I'll go and check if it's warm out!!! What was I thinking? It's been roasting every day!! Anyway, low and behold it was really warm even though it was only 8am, and leaning over the balcony there was a lovely scent of flowers as they must have been spraying earlier. So we popped over to the pool. I was bracing myself to get in but it was like a bath! Really, really warm. Lovely. Few lengths then changed for breakfast. Pack (10 minutes, love these packing cubes) and chill until 11.
Well off to a good start with taxi arriving bang on 11 so fingers crossed. Yep. All good. Arrived at the hotel P P. Palm tree resort. 1.45 so excellent! The speed boat was great. Only about 45 minutes on the boat.
Off to have a look around now. It's really hot and it's very crowded. Koh Lanta is much quieter, at least where we were so it's a bit of a culture shock coming here but we did choose it because it's more lively in the evening.
Had some lunch at a bar on the beach but It wasn't much to write home about. Then we walked along the front a bit then headed back to the hotel to try the pool out.
It's very nice with a curved swimming pool and a bridge to swim under. The water seemed a bit cooler but maybe because it's very shaded around the pool area. It's our most expensive hotel yet at 4040 bht pet night (£80) well except for the Fairhouse in Koh Samui but we won't count that as we got an offer. Should have been €300 a night and we paid £50 including a massage each so a Travelzoo bargain!
Went out about 7.30 and headed for 'papaya' restaurant as recommended by Mike and Brian. After we ordered we found out, they don't serve beer!! Only soft drinks! Can't imagine Mike n Brian going somewhere where there's no beer. Sam thinks they've set him up. He had a green curry and I had sweet n sour chicken and they were both very nice. I sent a message to Brian and Mike regarding no beer and they thought it was really funny. Not sure if you can take your own in as some people did have cans of Chang. Then We headed for the beach as we heard there were fire performers on at Carlito's and there was!! I'm like a moth to a flame. They were really good and were on for over an hour. You certainly wouldn't be able to put this on at home. One of the flaming batons fell and bounced almost on someone's knee!
After the show we headed for bed at round 11ish. Walking past, most bars were closing but then we started walking into some loud music - right near the hotel. Fingers crossed the noise won't keep me awake!
Wednesday 25th February
No. Music didn't keep me awake at all. Slept like a log.
We were thinking about our next stop, Phuket and where to stay then we remembered our stay in Southern Fried Rice some years ago. Mike and family and David have also stayed there in the past. I emailed Terry to see if there was any room and he came back right away. So we've booked the suite! Sounds grand doesn't it. At 1800 bht it's a big room and near Kata beach which we liked before so that'll do nicely. So all we have to do now is book the boat to phuket and plane to Bangkok and we're all done. Mike, I can't think of Southern Fried Rice without laughing thinking of Terry the turtle and the helium balloon
After breakfast we walked through the shopping area and along the coast to have a nosey. Everywhere seems quieter now. It must have been the hustle and bustle of people getting off and on the ferry yesterday. We stopped at a small bay on our way to long beach and after a swim and a read, walked round to long beach. Think Chang may be calling by then!
Long beach was quite busy with boats coming and going and the water there was deeper sooner, if you know what I mean.
Heading back we stopped at 'save the day' bar and they were getting ready
for tonight's fire show. Making the stage and preparing the bottles with wicks to light along the beach. We've booked the high speed ferry to phuket for 28th at 2pm. 300bht each (£6)
Unni's was recommended by Brian and Mike, although after the no beer at Papaya last night, we'll wait and see. Booked a table for 8pm and Sam had the pannibiff (280 bht) which was like small burgers in a nice gravy, oops I mean sauce, and small roasted potatoes and veg. I had pork steak, mash and veg and pepper sauce and both were lovely. Thanks Brian! I also tried a frogspit cocktail which was pretty horrid. Could've even been genuine frogspit!
We headed off to see what all this night life stuff is all about. First stop, watching some beer pong. Made me think of when we went to the lake in New Zealand with Mike and Gill and Thelma was playing it with Gills friends. Next stop, Reggae Bar with Thai boxing. Never heard of dirty sanchez but apparently the fight was filmed there! There were 2 kids in the ring knocking 7 bells out of each other and if you were in any doubt that it was real, when the little one got kicked and he went down with his head bouncing off the floor, and the sweat splashing all around, you soon realised it was the real thing. In the end though he won. I think he may have been about 10! The 2 boys then went round shaking hands with everyone in the bar obviously hoping for tips but didn't stand round waiting if they didn't get one. I asked could I take a photo and they kindly obliged going straight away into boxing pose They were quite cute.
Then they had people from the audience volunteering to fight each other for a free cocktail bucket. The first fight was a bit mild but the second one, one guy came out looking for blood, jumping around and shadow boxing. He got the blood! Think the other guys nose or mouth was bleeding. It was a bit too violent I think for 2 people who don't know each other to start punching and kicking for no reason, whilst on a night out, on holiday. So we left then.
We headed down to where we could hear some music, on the beach. There was a guy walking round with a notice saying 'topless women and naked men, free cocktail bucket'. Well we didn't see any naked men (but it was still early) but one young topless lady was dancing around like she was on drugs, or very into the music. One local guy tried his luck with her, but she obviously wasn't as drunk as he thought. They were doing the skipping there too but the rope wasn't on fire. Dread to think what it would look like later in the evening with naked men and topless women skipping!!! And in case you needed it, you could also buy a balloon full of laughing gas for 200 bht!
So, starting to feel our age, we headed home.
Thursday 26th February - Uphill walk to rocky beach
Sam was trying to book flights from phuket to Bangkok this morning but every time he finished filling in all the info and pressed the last button, error message came up. So think we'll leave that for now.
Headed off for a walk around the other side of the island today. There seems to be lots of accommodation available right near the beach and one looked really nice in a garden setting. It was either the sunflower resort or next door. It had backpacker accommodation too.
We walked uphill and down dale. The coast is really rocky on this side but very pretty. We found a couple of sunbeds at 'sunset bay resort' and intended it for a break but ended up staying the whole day. When I was walking across the rocks earlier and held on to one, I'm sure you could've fried an egg on it, it was so hot! I hear it was 36 degrees today! Nice here but a bit isolated and difficult to get in for a swim without beach shoes which of course are back at the hotel. I managed to wade in wearing my flipflops which also proved handy for helping me stay afloat! It was lovely in the water. Really warm. It turned out to be our private beach with our own private bar and free sunbeds too! A lovely day.
Have had to keep my shirt on all day today, including swimming, as caught a bit too much sun yesterday, when we were in the water.
When the sun came round to our chairs and there was nowhere else in the shade, we headed back. We could've got a boat over but thought we could do with a bit of exercise to walk off these extra pounds!
Back at the hotel we had a lovely swim in the pool, shower, drinks on the balcony (well we did do all that walking) and getting ready to go to a different restaurant with fire show tonight.
After several more attempts to book the flights unsuccessfully, Sam looked on the help section and it said you can go and pay at the 7 -11 supermarket!!! Who knew?? How bazaar is that and it was a few pounds cheaper too! So everything is booked now except the bus or taxi from the pier.
We thought we'd give the naked men and topless women a miss tonight and go back to our old favourite, fire performers. These guys are great and the fire cannons are just awesome. The flames shoot 40-50ft high. This particular bar sets 3 off at once. The heat from them is tremendous.
Friday 27th February - One week to go :(
We got out of our room early this morning so we could walk around the bay when it wasn't quite so hot. You do have to be a bit careful sometimes though as a few days ago we were exploring and hadn't realised we'd stumbled on a nudist beach! Oh my. I didn't know where to look. Yea right! I didn't even have my snorkel with me!!
We walked round Ton Sai Bay first but there was no shade there so we cut through and stopped at the west end of the beach on Loh Dalum Bay. No one on the beach. We thought it might get busy as there were quite a few longboats parked up but it didn't. We went in for a swim, well crouch down bobbing really as it's very shallow, and the water was really warm, almost like a bath. Hard to remember a few weeks ago it was rather chilly getting in. The funny thing was, when you were walking in the water, even waist deep, you could feel the hear of the sand under your feet! Don't think I've ever experienced that before. No nippy things in the water either.
Sam walked along the beach to the bar to bring himself a beer back. I fancied a coconut but they're always full, and with the top cut off by the time he'd walked over with it, it would've been almost empty . So he had a brainwave. Got the coconut without the top cut and when he brought it back, put a hole in with his penknife. It was delicious. I'm going to miss them when I get home.
Walking through town most people seem to be coping with the sun really well. With their skimpy clothing on looking all tanned and lovely. I feel like Bits abroad! Haven't got the knotted hanky on my head but long sleeve shirt and shining like a Christmas tree with sun cream, and somehow I still manage to look red n blotchy. Mind you, there is the other side of the coin. Some of the swimming trunks and thongs on the beach certainly shouldn't be seen in public!!
Had our meal in Unni's again tonight. We didn't intend to but we popped in for a cocktail, not frogspit this time, then looked at the menu and decided to have fajitas. Very nice they were too. We ordered a couple of extra wraps as there was too much chicken, then we ordered more chicken because there was too much wrap... No only joking about the last bit.
We didn't have a plan where we were going tonight so we wandered round a bit and yes, I was in my element again watching the fire performers. Honestly, I can't keep my eyes off them. And tonight they even had, like roman candles. A guy had one in each hand! No standing 35 feet away here! Then, outside Ibiza bar, a little boy, couldn't have been more than 6, if that, lit his baton then proceeded to spin it round, throw it high in the air and catch it. Then he got on his knees and went right back flat on the floor. Honestly, he was amazing. The youngsters must aspire to be like these performers because you see them walking up and down the beach swinging and twirling poi and batons.
It was very lively on the beach with loud, very loud, dance music and everyone getting in the zone.
Thank you Lisa for the little fleece you bought me for Christmas. I keep it handy as Sam puts the aircon on really cold so when we get in he says "ah that's lovely" and I say "brrr freezing" then put my little fleece on until I acclimatise.