On Thursday 23rd Feb we left Ton Sai beach (the home of rock climbing) and got the boat over to Phi Phi which took 1.5 hours.We were sad to leave Ton Sai as it was so stunning and had mixed feeling about going to Phi Phi; we sort of felt it was somewhere we should go but we thought it would be a bit too touristy for us - but boy are we glad we went!!
As always on the islands we had to wade into the water at Ton Sai beach and then climb onto a longtail boat with our rucksacks! Always fun! My flip flops are becoming very worn and keep falling apart in the water, so that caused diffs too! The longtail boat took out us out to meet the big boat - so alas, we climbed from the small boat up onto the big boat - fun! We arrived at Phi Phi a little worried, we had heard stories it was super expensive and also stories of hotels only accepting bookings through touts - at higher prices etc. We were met off the boat on the pier by masses of hotel touts (as on all the islands in thailand) so we decided to just do what we have done so far here - ignore the touts and keep walking! That we did and within maybe 15 mins of walking around and pricing up we found a decent hotel (with a Nazi like Thai woman running it Mrs Lee - she didnt take any nonsense!!) and were releived to not have had to pay over the odds. It was quite a smart room really, en suite and fan, so that was grand. On Thursday afternoon we headed straight out and grabbed lunch in what turned out to be our regular hang out on Phi Phi, Tom Yam restauarent - mostly because it has the cheapest wine in Thailand and free wifi - keeping me very happy! We booked onto a 'sunset' boat tour for that afternoon then, taking us snorkelling and to 'The Beach' at Maya Bay. We werent really that fussed on seeing 'The Beach' as we thought it would be over rated and too touristy, but as it was part of the tour we decided we had nothing to lose. Oh my goodness...what a place! Absolutely stunning, we fell in love with the place and were so glad we went! The tide was going out and so the boat couldnt park up at Maya Bay where 'The Beach' is, so it parked up at the next bay around - so we had to swim from there over some rocks, walk over a wee bridge, through a forest type area and then...there it was! The opening onto the beach, just like Leonardo coming across it in the film! Ha ha honest, Amazing! Perhaps because it was the afternoon it wasnt as touristy as we thought it would be, there were lots of people there but it wasnt too crowded. We got some lovely photos and And went and bought us two cans of Thai Chang beer - which we happily sat and drank in the water, taking in the scenery, just perfect! Classy i know! We did some snorkelling too and saw lots of amazing fish and a giant angry looking conga eel which sat on the bottom poised like a cobra snake with its teeth on show - politely asking us to move on i think! So we did! We didnt see any sharks or turtles which is a shame and becoming the story of our travels! Any chance we get we are in the water snorkelling and asking locals where the sharks will be, but so far we have had no luck - i dont quite know why we are so determined to snorkel with a shark, it could potentially not be a friendly shark as people keep telling us! But so far we have no luck :(
Thursday night we had a great night down at Phi Phi beach, there are some great lively bars here at night, with fantastic music, so we sat and enjoyed the tunes and shared a beer!
On Friday we had a bit of a lie in, after a late night last night, and we spent friday dandering about trying to avoid the heat mostly! The sun was so so warm on Friday, I was really struggling so we walked from bar to bar, shop to shop sort of thing, trying to stay out of the sun as much as possible. Strange to think il be home in 1 month and freezing cold! On Friday early evening, when it cooled a bit we did the climb up to 'Phi Phi viewpoint', was probably only about a 20 min climb up steps, but again with the heat it was hard work and an army of mosqutioes who greeted me at the top was not the reward i wanted after the climb!! Saying that the view over Phi Phi was stunning and Andrew bought us bith an ice cream as soon as we reached the top (I think he could sense my dismay at the heat, sweat and mossies situation!!). We ate in a lush cheap wee pizza place tonight, we both had a craving for pizza and ordered 2 yummy ones to share - a chicken masaman curry calzone wrapped pizza and a blue cheese pizza - real stinky fattening pizzas that we devoured and just loved haha!! Tomorrow we are getting the ferry onto Kho Lanta, the last of the islands we will be visiting in Thailand.
Ko Phi Phi is a really beautiful island, yes it is busy but we didnt feel it any busier than was comfortable really.It is one of southern thailands most famous destinations and rightly so we think. It became famous after the film 'The Beach' in 1999 and then again hit the news in 2004 when it was completely wrecked in the tsnumai. It has all been rebuilt now and is fully functioning however walking around and imagining the day that the tsunami hit was really frightening. There are tsunami warning and evacuation signs around the town (as we saw on other islands here too) and there is also a tsnami building here, an evacuation buillding, built post 2004, for if another hits. Its just a simple but very sturdy tall building to offer some safety. Scary to see though. Sat by the beach, watching the beautiful shore line is so relaxing here and then you remember what happenned and it really is awful. We will be sad to leave Phi Phi tomorrow, it exceeded our expectations.