After a night in Phuket, we were all ready to get out of there and head off to the famed Ko Phi Phi. If you have seen Leo DiCaprio in "The Beach", this is where it was filmed. It's breathtakingly beautiful.
And thats just the view from the beach at our hotel. You look it up on Google images and I'm sure you'll find a million pictures just like the one above, the series of islands really are some of the most beautiful places I've ever been. I've wanted to go to Thailand for a long, long time and couldn't believe I was finally there. Took accepting a year long job in Korea to get there, but I made it. One of Chris' friends had been to Phi Phi in the past year or so and recommended this awesome place called Viking Resort. It would be a little pricier than anywhere else we would stay throughout the trip but totally worth it. The place was awesome. We all had our own private bungalows a bit off of a semi hiking path in the rainforest looking over the ocean. Here is me below standing on the balcony of mine.
Also, here's a picture of the outdoor shower as well as the inside of the room.
So we get off the boat in Phi Phi, apparently Chris set up a long tail boat to grab us from the ferry dock, so we see this guy.
And we are on our way to the resort. Our first day we spent really just relaxing on the beach. After touring the hell out of Malaysia and a night out in Phuket we were all more than ready to relax all day on our beautiful beach.
The following day we signed up for a tour of all 5 of the Phi Phi islands. The only one that is inhabited is Phi Phi Don (where our resort was) all the others are pretty small and uninhabited. So the 8 of us (as well as Sue and Dan, the two of them are truly living the dream) signed up for the hotels day long island (s) tour and set out to see what Phi Phi was all about. We snorkeled for a little bit, stop at some amazing beaches, got cut up by barnacles, and overall just saw some of the most beautiful scenery I have ever seen. Here are pictures below.
The island tour was definitely the highlight of Phi Phi as we would lose Mo and Eric to the Half Moon Party the following day and Julie and Quinn to Hanoi the day after that. Fortunately, that was Chris' birthday so we could all partake in the festivities. We bought some buckets, see below:
These are everywhere both on the island and in Thailand. They originated at the Full Moon Parties in Ko Pha Ngan and are now at just about every convenient store in the country. Basically all the ingredients for a massive cocktail, any type you like, to be shared amongst friends in a bucket. We had a few buckets on the balcony of one of our bungalows then headed out to a seafood restaurant in town. The food was phenomenal. We told this guy:
That it was Chris' birthday and he proceeded to give us some sort of shot consisting of champagne and I think cheap vodka although I really have no idea. It was real nice of him to do though. We then made our way to Carlito's, a bar with chairs an tables right on the beach. The tide would come in late at night just enough so that your feet would be in the water while you were sitting enjoying yourself. We watched the standard Thai fire show, witnessed Quinn fall asleep and headed back to our bungalows for some rest.
Our final day in Phi Phi, in our search for this restaurant called Papaya that we read about in Lonely Planet, we realized that didn't even touch on the party aspect of Ko Phi Phi. The area was full of all sorts of Europeans and a whole bunch of Australians who looked as though they had been in the area for awhile. We got an awesome dinner, maybe the best of the trip at Papaya.
Then headed out to do a bit of exploring of the night life Phi Phi had to offer. It seemed to be just a bunch of expat bars, but we found something that turned out to be really cool and wildly entertaining. We found a bar with stadium seating that surrounded a boxing ring. Inside the ring, we saw two Thai men fighting in some sort of ancient Thai fashion. The deal was that you had to order at least 1 bucket per two people (there were 4 of us) to sit, so we got two and decided to post up and watch the fighting. Little did we know that we would soon witness one of the more hilarious things I have ever seen in my life. Young, drunk, backpackers getting into a boxing ring fighting to win a free bucket of their choice from the bar. These guys were taking the wildest, craziest swings at each other and hardly landing a punch. We saw one guy get pretty cleanly knocked out, the rest of the fights were just funny to watch. Not saying I would do any better, not into that sort of thing, but it was definitely funny from an outsiders perspective to see something like this. Here's a picture of the ring and the bar below.
We polished off our buckets, decided to call it an early night and headed back for some good sleep. The following day we would be taking a ferry back to Phuket, and from Phuket we would then be flying to Bangkok. At this point our journey was about half way complete and I had already done and seen some really amazing things. But, the best was yet to come.
posted by Sam Schofield