Another rainy morning in Ao Nang as I made my way to the ferry which would take me to Ko Phi Phi, famous as the backdrop for 'The Beach'. I was quite excited but I couldn't hide my annoyance with the weather as I practically fell on my face boarding the ferry, walking along the deck and then again trying to find a seat. Rain was never my favourite; I have now learnt to LOATHE it.
As if the rain wasn't dampening my spirits enough, my bag also decides to give up the ghost and then my suitcase decides to put on a little weight over night which made it a pain in the ass to lug around. Nevertheless, once again the Thais come to the rescue. Two lovely ladies grab a couple of rings from a key chain and use them to fix my bag and a couple of burly lads took my bag wherever it had to go. Both of them refusing any money for their efforts. I love these people.
Once at the harbour at Ko Phi Phi I was instantly much much happier. It is a stunning little island. Not a single car on it (but lots of annoying pink bicycles), and although it is just as touristy as Ao Nang it felt so much more welcoming. Plus, the fact that the majority of the tourists were my age probably made a big difference. Not that I have a problem with the more mature traveller, they just don't tend to be as friendly in my experience.
As soon as I arrived I was escorted by wheelbarrow to my resort 'Snow Whit' and no, that is not a spelling mistake. That really was the name of the place. Epic Fail.
I met two girls on the boat, who also happened to be staying in the same place (Kristin and Izzy) and after checking into our very quaint hill side bungalow we headed out to lunch.
First impressions of Ko Phi Phi were excellent. The shops were full of awesome 'stuff' at incredible prices, the streets were heaving with happy travellers and the food stalls everywhere smelt heavenly and were piled high with delicious grub. Very happy indeed.
After a little wander, we stumbled upon 'Pirate Bar'. My idea of bar heaven. Not only was the theme spot on, they also served mind-blowing cocktails at staggering prices. We obviously stayed there for a good long time playing cards, chatting to the locals and playing with all the pirate themed furniture. Although it rained for the majority of the afternoon I was happy as punch.
A quick shower and a change before a couple more cocktails and dinner in another boat themed eatery; half of a ship which was plunged into the side of one the cliffs and overlooked the whole island. Brilliant! We all need a flying boat every so often.
Although the rain wasn't bothering me here half as much as it did in Ao Nang, an early night with an odd film was in order, so there I was on my terrace with some cookies, listening to the rain and watching Zooey Deschanel in a Wizard of Oz remake. Good Night Phi Phi.
The 'Phi Phi Bakery' is probably the best bakery in the world. God knows what I am going to do without it. They serve fresh EVERYTHING, the best smoothies, super healthy cereals and amazing coffee. I would pay for a flight to Thailand just for that breakfast.
My second day there was mainly spent getting a tan with lots of tourists looking on as they disembarked from their boat day tours. Yes I shouldn't have picked the harbour as my tanning spot and yes THE SUN WAS OUT!
A spot of lunch at Madam Resto and a bit of cards when the rain started to fall but apart from that a VERY relaxing day accompanied by some Buena Vista Social Club, which seemed to be the soundtrack to Ko Phi Phi.
My third day on the island and the rain was really starting to worry me now. The town was severely flooded and we were starting to hear rumours of people being evacuated out of the island in order to get back to Bangkok.
Although I was getting a little tense I decided to carry on with business as usual and have a little breakfast at the bottom of the road to collect myself and think of my next few steps. Whilst I sat there and watched the puddles become rivers a familiar face wades past... Michelle! My wonderful travel companion from the Whitsundays and Sydney was here. Im Thailand! With me!
I was obviously ecstatic and we ended up spending the rest of the day together. She had decided to go to Thailand after Australia to meet up with her boyfriend and have a bit of a romantic getaway. What a small world eh?
After a lot of fast talking and hugging we made our way to her (very swanky) hotel where I met Brandon (her better half) and where we decided to make the most of the break in the rain to take a little walk around the island.
We walked to the Mosque (which was a little disappointing) and then we had a smoothie at Phi Phi Bakery (which was most definitely not disappointing!) Once it started raining we did the obvious thing and walked over to her swimming pool and spent three hours having a swim in a thunder storm. If we were going to get wet, we might as well go the whole hog. I was obviously not allowed in her pretty pool but no one was about to brave the weather to come and check on the two insane western girls swimming in the rain so I happily avoided the $500 fine. Nice!
After a quick shower (obviously couldn't get enough water), we all made our way to Matt's Grill for the biggest burger I have ever had and some more card playing. Although the food was great, the most poignant thing about this place were the prices for the all you can eat BBQ...
children - 190 baht (standard)
women - 295 baht (ok)
men - 385 baht (I suppose they do eat a little more...)
lady boys - 335 baht (ermmmm... yeah? Somewhere in the middle. Sounds fair)
Anyway... I decided to warm up a little by sitting next to the grill, which was a bad idea as I ended up getting VERY sleepy and having to cut my last night in Phi Phi short to go and pack and watch the Hangover, one last time.
It wasn't raining! I got a tan! It was incredible! I managed to leave the island without having to be evacuated! I had breakfast at Phi Phi Bakery! As the copious exclamation marks denote it was a GREAT end to my stay in Phi Phi.
So I was on my way back to Bangkok. A boat to Krabi. A bus to Bangkok. Done!
Yes the bus leaked, it was cold and uncomfortable, we stopped a lot, we changed twice and the rain was torrential and scary (at one point I could swear we started floating down the motorway) it took forever but before I knew it I was back in Bangkok; which strangely felt like home.