We were met at the travel shop where we bought our tickets to PP by a very full mini-bus. As our bags are so big the driver knew they wouldn't fit and so asked us to wait while he dropped a few people off. (this was fine by us as it meant that our bags could go in the boot instead of on the roof - it was tipping it down, and that we got to sit in the front seats - where there is much more leg room!) After about 1½ hours we arrived at the dock and boarded the boat. We were a bit disappointed about the weather as it would have been much nicer to be outside on the journey, but it really was hammering it down! Consequently the sea was pretty rough and even the strongest stomach would have felt a little queasy! We kept ourselves busy with conversation though (mainly football waffle from Ki) with some really sound Irish guys, so it wasn't too bad! They told us that travel sickness is much more common among Asians than westerners which reminded me of the little girl on the bus from Penang!
When we arrived the rain had stopped but there were big puddles everywhere! There is no motorised transport on PP so their answer to a taxi is a man with a big trailer for your bags that they pull by hand! As PP is predominantly mountains, the hostel that we had booked into (Dave's Bungalows) was, like most of the hostels there, very high up! Meaning that the 'taxi' could only take us so far! He stopped before a mountain of steps and carried my bag up while Ki carried his. When we got to the top of the steps we saw a big dirty lake which we had to walk right around - some bits were pretty slippery and there was a flimsy little bridge we had to cross too! When we got to the bungalows our taxi man left us and we checked in (carrying our bags up yet another 45 steps up-to a bungalow wedged into the mountain side with the front held by two stilts!☺). The room was fine though, a little tilted and damp smelling but sound enough.
The next day was our anniversary so although the place we were waking up in wasn't that great we had allocated some money to stay somewhere nicer the following night. We found a lovely hotel with a pool (for almost 4x the price!) on the other side of the island and chilled there for the rest of the day. In the evening we went for a meal at a nice little restaurant on the beach that had lots of fresh seafood on display, the centre piece being a 4ft fish, with a smaller one in its mouth! While we were eating our dinner there were lots of cats and kittens (without tails!) mooching around and when we had finished one of them jumped up onto the table and finished our ice-cream! After our meal we went onto a really cool bar on the beach with big sofas and a fire show - which looked mint in the dark with the chilled music and a bucket of rum in hand! :) When the bar closed we went on to another one with a nice couple that we'd met from Sheffield. We had a few more drinks and played connect 4, which was pretty random and we got absolutely hustled! (We reckon they were like connect 4 champions or something - or just total geeks! lol)
The following day we were feeling pretty rough and so we just chilled at the pool and only left to eat and to watch 'Die Hard' in the evening!! Yippie kai yay! On that morning we had heard a little cat meowing on our balcony so we opened the door and let her in. She jumped straight up onto our bed and we played with her until we went out. Every time we went back to our room from then on she was sat at our door waiting. We named her Trixy and we were sad when we had to leave her, especially Kieran :). We liked the hotel a lot and couldn't be bothered to move for just one night so we ended up staying at Andaman Resort for three nights instead of two! Tut tut. :)
On Koh Phi Phi there is one type of business that beats any other in quantity, tattoo shops (Yes, there are more of these than restaurants!). As there are so many shops, and the fact that at least 99% of people on PP have a tattoo (its quite weird when you look around) you cant help but be tempted! So, I decided to get one! I've been thinking about a tattoo for years but never really knew what I wanted, until the hangover day of all hangovers when I thought of getting something written down my spine. That way I can hide it whenever I want (I made sure that it is low enough to be hidden by a t-shirt) and when I'm too old for a tattoo I don't have to look at it! I had a little look online at quotes about travelling and found one by American writer Mark Twain that goes:
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.
I felt it was pretty inspirational, related easily to travelling and ultimately it made me decide I definitely did want a tattoo. Obviously the whole quote is far too long so I just got the last three words written in Thai. The majority of tattoo shops give you a choice of a machine or a bamboo tattoo and as bamboo is supposed to be less painful and there was almost no after-care (all I had to do was be careful with soap) plus the fact that its much more chic to get a bamboo one, it was a no brainer really! The guy who did it, 'Boom', was really cool, he was a Thai guy with really cool tattoos and an afro. He paid good attention to the detail and made sure I was very happy before he began working. It took about 1½ hours and didn't hurt half as much as I thought it was going to (I was SO nervous beforehand!), although some bits where it hit my spine were quite painful and i'm sure Ki will tell you I was a wimp as my face told a different story! :) When it was done I was very happy - and I still am after almost a month and Ki hates it too. :)
The day after I got my tattoo we went home, the journey back was much better than the one there as the weather was nicer. We sat up on the top deck of the boat and watched PP get further and further away. When we were almost back to Phuket (about hour later) we saw big dark clouds ahead and the sea looked rough below them. After about 15minutes we were right in front of the rain but not getting wet! It was so surreal. However, it only lasted a few seconds and then we got absolutely soaked, and had to run below deck to get out of the rain! When we got down there we noticed that there were about six people getting sick! - which pretty much proved that the Irish guys were right!