We end our journey through beautiful Thailand by visiting the Phi Phi Islands and Phuket. We’ve spent over six weeks exploring as much of Thailand as we could but I doubt we’ve even seen half of what this county has to offer the world. Ive loved some parts of Thailand and I’ve really disliked others, but lets talk about our last two places.
As I mentioned, koh Lanta was a ghost town so as we headed for Phi Phi we prayed it wouldn’t be the same! We weren’t disappointed, as soon as you saw the port you could see the pathways were filled with people, a lot of bars, restaurants and shops, this time being all open. We weren’t aware before arriving but no cars are allowed on Phi Phi so you either had to cycle everywhere or walk. We walk through all of the winding pathways that link back to other pathways and eventually find our hostel. We are only a 5 minute walk from the pier but with your backpack on it seems a lot longer so we are just relieved to drop them off! We waste no time and immediately head to the beach, Loh Dalum Bay. The beach is empty at 10 am and you can see the remains on the previous nights partying on the beach.We decide to head for some breakfast, have a walk around then return to the beach. By the time we return to the beach the island has woken up and the beach is full of people. We head to the end of the beach where there are fewer people and sand you can actually lie on, the rest of the beach is full of beach chairs at ridiculous prices! We set up camp and spend the day topping up our tans and swimming in heavenly warm water.
At night is when the island really comes alive, with five or six beach bars all next door to each other, open with spectacular fire shows from about 9pm onwards. The best fire dancers in our opinion are at Ibiza Beach Bar but the main bar for people to spend the night drinking and dancing is Slinkys. This bar is open longer than any of the others and has twice or three times as many people as any of the other bars. If you stray away from the beach and head back along the pathways you can find drinks at much better prices. From a street stall selling buckets at 200 baht instead of 450 in Slinkys to some bars offering buckets at 100 baht. All the bars seem to love beer pong and pool so you can spend the night drinking and playing games. We go into a few bars and pubs on our time at Phi Phi but other than Ibiza Beach Bar (Best fire dancers), Banana rooftop bar (Great views) or Stockholm Syndrome (Cheapest drinks and free pool) they are pretty much all the same. A lot of the pubs also show all live sports so I was fortunate enough to catch the English premier league opening day games on the big screen!
We decide to take a half day snorkelling trip around the island, including a trip to Maya bay where the film “The Beach” was filmed. Now every morning we woke up there was heavy rain but by mid afternoon the sun was out and the temperature reached the low 30’s. Due to the rain we never wanted to book the snorkelling trip as we didn’t trust the rain to stop, so when we woke up one morning and the sun was shining we rushed out and booked it! We started to walk towards our boat in the afternoon and the sun started playing hide and seek with us. When we reached the boat the sun was out and we thought it was going to be a great day out, with only a few mins left before we took off the sun disappeared and torrential downward ensued, Great!! The one day we book it, it rains in the afternoon! We head off nonetheless with cold rain hitting us hard and reach monkey bay. With the rain pouring down everyone is hesitant to get off the boat but we jump into the sea. It was a weird feeling, the cold rain battering you on your head but being in a warm sea make it’s a memorable experience and people were actually enjoying it! As more and more people head into the water and on to the beach monkeys start appearing from the trees! We find fruit that hasIt’s been lying around and start feeding the monkeys on the beach. The more people that turn up with food, the more monkeys turn up, until one guy turns up with a bunch of bananas and actually gets jumped by 3 monkeys who snatch as many bananas as they can and climb back up the trees!
We head off from there and sail around the island, stopping at a few spots for a bit of snorkelling with exotic fish. After a few hours snorkelling in several locations we head to Maya bay (The beach). The boat stops short by about 30 metres and the driver points you towards a net that you have to climb up or a hole you can swim through to get to the beach. We eventually make it up the net and walk to the beach, its incredible. The sun has come out at the right time, the water is all different shades of blue and green, the sand is soft and the cliffs surrounding the beach covered in trees provides an amazing background. Its like a scene from a movie… Those of you that got that, you’re welcome. We spend about 45 minutes admiring the view before heading back to the boat but we take the hole in cliff route back. This route is much easier but the waves are constantly breaking off the rocks pushing you about a bit. We head out in to the middle of the sea and watch the sun set from the boat. It’s a hard life!!
The other point of Phi Phi I want to mention is the view point. I would fully recommend heading up there on a clear day or even for the sunset but make sure you take the correct route, let me explain. On one of our trips exploring the island we saw the signs for the view point so when we decided to go there we followed the signs we saw, BIG MISTAKE!! This route takes you on a long uphill climb on a road, you then see some more signs directing you so you convince yourself it’s the right way. You the walk into the jungle, this is still uphill but now theres a lot of mud and no solid ground so you slip and slide most of the way. After about 15 minutes of slipping and sliding we decide to do it bare footed and leave our trainers on the side (we will get them on the way back down). We eventually get on to flat muddy ground and walk past a few villages until we are directed by a Thai lady to the viewpoint.
We get to the view point and notice no one else has abandoned shoes or mud all the way up their legs?!?!
We enjoy the view point and see theres another view point down a small concrete path with a lot of people coming from there. The penny then drops whilst we are getting to the other viewpoint, there are stairs from the centre of town to the top!! NO abandoned shoes and NO muddy body parts! We decide to sacrifice our shoes and take this route back down which happens to end up about three doors down from our hostel!!
With mine and Cassie’s 5 year anniversary rapidly approaching we decide we should do something special to celebrate as well as commemorating our round the world journey. We decide we are going to get matching tattoos. Now being in Thailand they only do bamboo tattoos so we decide what we are going to get and go to one of the 100 tattoo parlours in Phi Phi. We show him our design and he gets to work. I have a machine tattoo and I can categorically say that bamboo tattoos are less painful! Simply put, its five needles tied to the end of a piece of bamboo and he stabs a design in to you! We are in there for 5 hours with a bit of it spent with the tattoo artist offering me weed and another bit of it spent with him getting high half way through my tattoo!
Our time on Phi Phi is done and we head to Phuket to catch a last minute decision flight to Singapore. We stay in the old town against the advice of other travellers as they say Patong is more touristy and there is more to do. The old town consists of a few lit up streets and a few temples so our exploring here is kept to a minimum. No too bad as we only have two full days in Phuket Old Town.
Now I have to say good bye to Thailand and I am going to miss the island life that I’ve come to love but we still have so much of the world to explore, I’m sure ill find somewhere else I fall in love with!!
Next up… SINGAPORE!!