What a dream, completely what I had hoped for and more. Obviously a tourist hub, but this couldn’t detract from the natural beauty of this place. Markets and food stalls line the streets as you step off the passenger boat. It’s Hot Hot Hot and we took quite a walk to our Bay View Hotel – with our very own beachfront no less. The longtail boats in line floating on the crystal clear turquoise water. Our room was essentially a chalet on a hill with many steep steps to get up there, cue dodgy drunk walks home. I shared with Sandy again and she was a great room mate, super friendly, really pretty, a great laugh (I forgave her for becoming known as the puker). Travelling is pretty tiring so we headed out for some food and I grabbed an early night I had signed up for the Maya Bay excursion the following morning – complete with the locations that were used in the famous Beach film (which is a great read too).
Approximately 25 of us took a speedboat with leader Nikki out on to the water, wow it’s called a speedboat for a reason, what a rush. Our first stop off was Monkey Island and they are very tame, obviously used to tourists and food. I half expected them to great me with ‘alright darlin’got any grub’. Next we headed to the Blue Lagoon (much nicer than the alcoholic beverage of the same name). This was a perfect spot to stop the boat and take it in turns to jump off for a swim. It was absolutely stunning and the highlight of my day. The boat then continued to take us to our next spot for some snorkelling. I have snorkelled once before in Iceland so was interested in the comparison – much warmer and more sea life! I had snorkelled in Iceland between 2 tectonic plates in ice cold glacial water.
We continued on to Bamboo Beach which was pretty big with a very small amount of people, it was strange as the water was so clear and the sand so white. Here, I worked on my special British lobster tan, alongside my beautifully tanned beach babe Australian friends.
It was time to head back after a quick snorkel in Shark Bay. The sharks were vegetarian thank God. After copious napping (there’s a lot of that isn’t there) and numerous showers I was pretty psyched for a night out on Phi Phi, it had a better feel to me than Patong. It was lined with themed live music bars as well as the best sea food you’ve ever seen and clubs and beach parties starting to erupt.
We started off our evening with our very own fire performance by some guys on the beach. Wow! What skills, I’m a sucker for someone with exceptional talent (male with long hair bonus points) so this was a joy to watch. Ahem..
The tour recommendations for bars and restaurants were pretty average really (I did my own thing most of the time) we started at a place called Dojo and had beer pong booked for a few hours. It was good to be around everyone drinking the famous ‘buckets’ with shots on tap. The alcohol varies and it can be cheap, I think you wind up drinking more as you are pretty much always thirsty too (that’s not an excuse, honest). Everyone was dancing on the beach, it was so humid, there were fire performers walking on tightropes, fire skipping and strong man competitions to lure in the proud tourist. Most of it was free if you were naked too…nah you’re alright. I was really feeling the music and it was really hard not to buzz off the atmosphere of it all. I returned home eventually relatively in tact, unlike a few of the group. Tons of hangovers, lost phones and wallets, injuries and one girl Hannah wound up getting a boat home in just a towel..
It’s fair to say Phi Phi was a party island and it had pretty much gotten the best of us- it was time to move on to Krabi (Ao Nang) for a relaxed end to the tour. Krabi was the perfect setting, lush greenery, palm trees and fascinating rock karsts.
The hotel Cliff Ao Nang Resort had an ‘infinity’ pool which gave a panorama of the cliff face and sea. It was an optical illusion as you cannot see the edges-the water just runs off, it was absolutely dreamy and I apologise to the green faces that see the photos! Krabi held interest in it’s close by music bars ‘Boogie Bar’ and the most terrific buffet I’ve ever eaten – fresh fish, meat, prawns, sushi, curry, I certainly made the most of that, in case you were worried. We took an iconic long tail boat across to Railay Beach which had the most incredible rock formations and was yet another perfect quiet beach.
So I returned to Bangkok after wishing everyone I’d met and Thailand farewell. It’s been amazing, but it’s time to move on to New Zealand, where the adventure continues…