A slice of paradise, plus a few bugs!
Trip Start Jan 23, 2012
49Trip End Jun 09, 2012
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What can we say about the hotel? Well, paradise may seem a little over the top, but it's certainly close! The hotel was enclosed in it's own private bay, with crystal clear blue sea and a white sandy beach. They had a bar/restaurant in the centre, with private villas on stilts stretching out in each direction. Our cabin was one of the closest to the bar, mounted about 5 metres from the ground, and built from wood/bamboo - and also included a massive balcony with hammock (as you'll see from the photos!)
- 1 dead snake
- 3 cockroaches of various sizes
- 1 centipede
- several spiders
- one animal chewing on the floorboards which we never saw
Over the next three days, we managed to squeeze in a ton of stuff, and I'll try to squeeze in as many of the highlights as possible!
The long tail boats
We ended up taking a few of these. As there's no public transport or cars on the island, you can move around the various beaches via longtail boat. Put simply, these are regular boats constructed from wood (often about 5 metres in length), with car engines mounted on the back. Sounds crazy, but check out some of the photos...they're a great way of moving around (and a great way of getting soaked).
Phi Phi viewpoint
On the second evening, we managed to climb the 186m ascent to the Phi Phi Don viewpoint, which offers a stunning view over the island - and also starkly illustrates how the island was so badly affected by the Tsunami in 2004. As you'll see from the photos, the island is a butterfly shape, with most bars, restaurants, hotels (etc) positioned in the centre at Tonsai village. However, most are situated at just above sea level, meaning the majority of the resorts were swept away.
Trip to "The Beach" on Phi Phi Ley
We also managed to squeeze in an afternoon trip on a longtail boat to the monkey beach (not so much a beach when we visited, as the tide was in), the viking caves (home to approx 10-20 permanent residents), several bays (Sophie and Karen swam in both, while I was too scared!). And finally, "the beach", as made famous by Leonardo DiCaprio in the film, The Beach. Words don't do the beauty justice, but as you'll see, the beach is about 3/4 enclosed in a bay, with all sides covered by lush vegetation and trees
Journey back from "The Beach" on Phi Phi Ley
Just as we boarded the boat to head back to Phi Phi Don, the heavens opened, and to top things off, a massive thunderstorm moved in!
It's fair to say we (well, me!) were all petrified! It didn't help when several people in the boat started putting life jackets on, and seeing as we'd managed to squeeze 22 people into a single longtail boat, it didn't seem particularly stable at the best of times. So as you can imagine, rough seas and a thunderstorm overhead didn't help matters.
I'm glad to report we made it back to the island alive (well, I'm writing this so I'd imagine you'd guessed that already!). I guess that's the price you pay for coming on the verge of monsoon season!
And that's about it! We also managed to squeeze in a few trips to a few of the beaches in the south of the island, and several bars in Tonsai village.
The overall vibe on the island was very relaxing and chilled, even while watching fire shows, so we all quite sad when it was time to leave the island.