|Whilst somewhat tired of th 'beach life', we were heading for another, the island of Koh Phi Phi. The journey consisted of a 3 hour boat trip to the main land, then a further 5 hour coach trip to Krabbi, an overnight stay here before the final boat to the island the following morning. Krabbi was a quiet town, where we spent the evening watching football in the irish bar.
Koh Phi Phi is famed for its reef trips, diving and maya beach, the setting for the film THE BEACH. Previously devisated by the tsunami 4 years ago, the island still shows signs of renovation. Considering however that the inhabited part of the island was completely covered, the signs of the disaster are minimal. A spit of land between two peaks is the only inhabited area. You can walk from one beach to the other in about 5 minutes, and in between, the hub of commerce consists of intertwining small streets of tourism. In my opinion lacking the charm of islands such as koh toa, there are no vehicles here, less space and far too many brits. The reggae bar, doesnt play reggae, instead hosts a thai boxing extravaganza every evening where tourists are invited to box one another for a free bucket of alcohol. The Irish bar is hardly irish, giving away free thai kebabs every night to its customers, playing cheesy pop tunes so loud conversing is a chore and not even selling draft beer or guiness.
Besides the hub of tourism however, the beaches are beautiful. Coves of clear water, bath temperature near the beach getting cooler as it deepens and truely one of the lovliest beaches so far. An island hopping, snorkelling trip highlighted what this tropical paradise once would have looked like before the western backpackers decended. White sandy beaches and amazing coral reef and fish, more colourful than I have seen so far in asia. Maya beach itself was littered, dirty and full of day tripping tourist boats. We decided not to pay the 200 bath required simply to step onto the beach. Monkey island was far more beatiful, with the added bonus of being able to stand alone and admire the wild monkeys. Whilst they only frequent the trees on the beach to reap the benefits of food left by the taxi boat drivers, they are still very wild and will soon leave when they get bored of your company.
Koh Phi Phi is full of holiday makers, a common theme in thailand, but more so than anywhere else I have been. As a result it is more expensive here and harder to get a good cheap meal. Surviving mostly on cheap baguettes, fruit shakes (particularly lemon...very nice) and sneaking beer and alcohol brought in the 7 eleven shop into bars, we got by. But decided to bring our flights forward to the 10th of september, in need of some monetary re-cooperation. As has been the case throughout our trip, we bumped into a host of people here that we had previously met. We had brought Jordan the manc with us if you remember from the previous episode. Emma was already here and frequented the beach in the same spot most days, so that we could get together for the days events. The lads from chang mai came later and proved hilarious one night when a couple of the guys fought one another in the reggae bar, followed by avid dancing on the tables to a few old classics.
The three of us stayed in the up hill guesthouse for 4 nights. Tom and Jordan spent a lot of their time in a wooden hut next to our room where some thai guys including Tu and Ken hung out smoking a bamboo bong. They were amazingly friendly and their hut was adorned with reggae memorabilia and handmade necklaces that they sold, made out of turqoise and black coral. Ken also had a taxi boat to take tourists out to the surrounding islands. Apart from this insight into thai living and culture, koh phi phi is a destination for sunbathing, drinking and frequentling tatoo parlours. A tropcal 18-30's hang out, I was ready for a bit more culture and sight seeing. Unfortunatley it would seem that at the tender age of 25 I have gotten rather bored of drinking every night and lying on the beach, so we moved on to malaysia. Booked a bus and boat to penang and said goodbye to jordan my substitute little brother :(