Chilling out at Koh Phi Phi

Koh Phi Phi was perfect. Crystal blue water, long tail boats, relaxing Long Beach, restaurants with amazing Thai food, challenging kayak trips, stunning Maya Beach, snorkelling with beautiful fish whitin a reach of your hand. Fantastic 5 days or rather 4 – not counting the hangover after drinking from buckets!

20/03
Traveling by the night train was great! First night that we’ve actually had some rest even though we had to get up around 4 am to leave the train at Surat Thani, our stop. Of course as we got out of the train we were surrounded by trip agents who wanted to sell us tickets to wherever-we-want-to-go. Ignoring them and heading straight for the train station’s official information we’ve learnt where more or less we need to go next. Just outside the station we were grabbed by another couple of poeple asking us to show them our tickets because we are definately traveling with them. Right… well after BKK we’ve became really, really suspicious so we’ve hesitated, they got almost tired of us but in the end it turned out that we were indeed supposed to travel on their bus 🙂
The bus leaves at 5 am, 10 past 5 am… when the bus leaves? Oh 6 am… 15 past 6 am… when the bus leaves?? In the end we’ve managed to get moving around 7.30 am. We’ve also had to change the bus twice and ended up traveling by a claustrophobic minivan 🙂

I should also have mentioned that when we were in BKK, there where these stalls with big bugs, larwas, spiders and other insects. I have no idea why I haven’t connected these simple facts together and it only hit me when we were waiting for the bus: there are massive cocroaches running the streets here! There are drinking blood mosquitos flying everywhere! There are strange dogs with fleas running around and cats with no tails who scare the shit out of dogs!

When we’ve arrived in Krabi, we’ve tried to avoid the boat rides sellers and headed for the port to buy our tickets from Lonely Planet suggested agency. Ended up buying it from a place where the travel agent was a nice lady, she wasn’t pushy, had good prices and gave us all the info we needed. Still very suspicious… but as it turns out you have to trust someone otherwise you won’t get anywhere.
The boat ride was good and only about 1.5 hrs. Slept some of it and used the rest to read up on Koh Phi Phi and surrounding islands.

It was about 4 pm when we arrived on Koh Phi Phi. Very busy and beautiful with plenty of fish swimming right in the port. I thought our backpacks were fairly light but in this heat they weighted a ton! Especially if your hotel is up a steep hill. Exhausting but what a view when you get there. At Phuphaya Seaview Resort we were nicely welcomed with a glass of cool water. Oh we like it here! This time we had one of the rooms in a bigger bungalow, with no air-con! Just the fan! OMG I’m gonna die! We’ve been told that it should be easier to get used to the heat if we don’t do air-con and just stay in a room with a fan. Well ok, let’s see if that works.

After settling in our room we headed for the Koh Phi Phi Don, the main and only town. It was one of the most destroyed places during the 2004 tsunami. After over 10 years the whole place is still in construction, new hotels being build, new pavements being laid. It’s also due to the fact that Phi Phi is massively popular among all sorts of travellers but mainly young backpackers. There is plenty of beach party bars, food and souvenirs stalls, restaurants and travel agents.
We had dinner in Garlic Restaurant. Awesome Pad Thai and deep fried shrimps. That was definately our favourite place to eat on the island for the whole stay. Cheap and delicious!
After a big meal we went for a short walk that turned out to be a very long one; around the whole Phi Phi Don area. Lovely place and the east side of the island is much more quiet, more family focused and a bit more expensive too.

21/03
The night with the fan wasn’t too bad! Somehow I’ve managed to promise to get Jakub a b’fast in the  bed so I had to deliver 🙂 Pancakes and fruit shake it is. What a stunning view of the bay on the way down. Phenomenal!
Ok, I’m off for a swim! Our beach was a bit rocky and I’ve managed to slip and slide down the stones scaring all the crabs around but it was so good to have a swim in the sea for the first time since our arrival in Thailand. Perfect!
We’ve chilled on the beach and later headed down to the town. Walked around a bit more, sat down on a different ??? beach and watched the water drift slowly away from the bay extending the beach for miles. We’ve had a cold beer, a strange argument and enjoyed a lovely sunset.

Funny thing with our arguments. We’ve been so stressed for last few weeks with all the packing, so stressed for last few days with Bangkok and all its scams and all new things. So we’ve been having all these small arguments on daily basis. It’s so difficult to separate your fears and not project them on the other person. And as we are winding down slowly, it all comes up. Luckily these don’t last long as we both – I dare to say – are good at commiting to our wrong doing 🙂

Another lovely dinner, this time at Breakfast & Friends. Jakub is officinally addicted to Pad Thai, I’ve tried something different this time, Pennang Curry, rice with oninos, pepers and chicken, with some amazing spices! On on our way home we had some papaya (i think) and banana pancakes for desert. I am so not gonna loose weight here! Fantastic food all over the place!

22/03
Same same but different. This is a very popular phrase around here. It’s something that all sellers say to you. Yes, it’s the same, the same you wanted but slightly different… my friend 🙂 Meaning it can be anything really 🙂 So was our day same same: relaxing & chilling but different: as in different hotel and the beach 🙂
That morning we moved to the other side of the island to the Phi Phi Don Chukit Resort, orginally we were supposed to stay there for 2 nights but it turned out to be 4 in the end 🙂
Before we managed to settle down at the new place it was already past midday and I was very eager to get to the beach and swim a little before the sea will drift away again. We’ve stayed at the northest end of the beach on the other side of the island. Lovely crystal blue water and white sand on the. So hot though!
In the evening we got our shopping hat on; Jakub got himself flip flops and a straw hat. I got myslef kind of light and ethereal poncho.

23/03
As we didn’t manage to buy the ‘one day boat trip’ tickets the evening before, we’ve tried to see if we can do it in the morning but it was all rushed and too late so we’ve decided to spend another lazy day on the island and do the trip tomorrow.
We had our morning breaky at Friends & B’fast 2, took a taxi boat to the Long Beach and spent the afternoon there, exploring nearby area and having amazing food at the cafe by the beach – totally spoiled ourself and made all our Facebook friends jealous to bits by posting all the beach photos. We’ve been called ‘the most annoying people on Facebook’ and due to number of complains had to try to limit our daily picture posting activities to one a day – but we’ve failed at it massively.

World is such a small place these days. As it turned out our London friend Giulia has just arrived on Phi Phi with her friends. That’s sorted then! We are parting tonight! Let me just say that drinking Sex On The Beach from buckets – which is very popular on Phi Phi – is such a bad idea! We had so much fun though! Thanks guys!

24/03
So last evening we managed to finally get our ‘one day boat trip’ tickets but there was no way I could spent a day on a boat after last night. Luckily we were able to reschedule the trip for 25th which worked out really nicely as a great birthday treat for Jakub. We’ve celebrated it also with a cake and candles late at night this evening as we had to wake up early the next day.

Massively hungover and generally feeling like shit I’ve opted for a day at the hotel, while Jakub was exploring the island. He almost managed to get to one of the view points but was scared off by a monkey who would not move away from the path. As our boat trip guide said the next day: ‘monkey nasty, monkey bites’.

In general we are finally feeling a bit more at ease here and having managed to tame the unknown a bit we are able to relax and try not to overthink everything. I’m pretty sure this feelling will vapour once we move to a new place but for now we are good.

Funny that all these things that create the experience of travelling come from expanding your comfort zone, conquering your various fears and taming the unfamiliar. So things like learning your ways around new places, all the new food and animals, all the new ‘rules of engagment’ and diffrent traditions. All these things are tied in – at least in our case – with having the courage to overcome your small and big fears and facing the unknown. It is as much scary as it is exciting. Does the excitement always has to come together with fear? Well maybe with time you get used to constantly leaving your comfort zone so it becomes easier? Or maybe not 🙂

25/03
What a day‽ The boat trip was definitely a brilliant idea! It was a perfect day, full of adrenaline, snorkelling, kayaking, swimming, sun bathing, relaxing and watching the sunset.
We had a very early start: 9AM 🙂 heading for the port where our big boat was awaiting. 9.30 and we are on our way. Coffee, sun, water all around and lovely views – perfect start!

Our first stop was close to the Long Beach, a bit of a wavey sea, a bit too wavy for my liking so we’ve only had a first test of the safety jackets and managed to get a quick dip in the water. Jakub jumped straight in, no problems, I was terrified…
What can I say water is not my natural habitat. I mainly swim in swimming pools, I rarely go to the sea side and if I do I don’t really trust the water. All the rip tides & various currents that I’m not familiar with makes me always a bit cautious. No wonder that just simply dropping into the middle of the sea was a bit too much for me. I really need to take this slowly, get used to the water. It is really horrible for me because on one hand I feel the urge to try all of these different things but on the other hand they scare me soooo much!!! Maybe I just need time.
Oh btw have I mentioned that this was a stop where we could see some sharks… small ones obviously, not violent 🙂 Apparently all the warm water sharks around Thailand are suposed to be harmless. Right, I better read up on the fauna around this place!!!

Next stop was the famous Maya Beach from the film called – surprise surprise – The Beach. It’s so turisty I almost wanted to skip it but OMG would that be a shame! The beach was trully stunning. Crystal blue water, warm white sandy beach surrounded by massive hills around it. Spectacular. The way to get to the beach was however very adventurous!
From our big boat we needed to get onto a kayak… restless, wavy sea… so climbing onto that and not falling of it was a challange in itself. Then we were suposed to stop by the rocks, big waves pushing us onto them (and when I say big – I dont really mean big as in general big, but more like big from my point, maybe about 30cm big that is). Ok off we climb from the kayak through a cave or rather a hole in a rock leading to the beach – so much fun my legs are shaking. How the hell are we gonna get back‽‽
Well on a way back we had to climb down the rope-net kind of thing down to kayak and to the boat. Scary as it was I think I’m slowly getting grasp of this whole thing. As a treat after all this climbing we get rice w/vegetables and chilli sauce – simple and awesome! We do feed some to the fish to tempt them to come closer to the boat.

The next stop was much easier or maybe I’m getting use to the adrenaline 😉 We are stopping at the Monkey Island where there are loads of monkeys. “Please do not leave your personal belongings unattended” because monkeys will snatch it and run with it to the forest where it will be gone for the eternity! Keeping slight distance we are watching the macaque monkeys and they are funny and clever! Two small ones playing with each other, a monkey familly sitting closely together, louse eachother or another one that runs to one of the kayak’s left on the beach, snaps a watter bottle, runs back to a tree, twists off the cap !!!! and pours the water on its tongue… Say what‽ How‽ Wow!
We’ve done also some snorkeling close to the island, got a bit of courage and swam from the beach to the boat while watching some lovely fishes.

Back at the boat we are strolling north now, passing by a Mosquito Island on our way to the Bamboo Island where we stop for a final break. We do kayaking and snorkeling again. On our way back we stop to watch the sunset. What a day! We finish it off with a lovely green and red chicken curry at Garlic Restaurant. Is this a paradise or what?

26/03
Today is the day that we say adiós to the fantastic Koh Phi Phi, hope we will be back here one day, who knows. We are heading for Koh Lanta now.

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