Krabi, Phi Phi & the whistlestop tour out of Asia

Trip Start Apr 09, 2010
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Trip End Sep 07, 2010


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Where I stayed
Paradise Pearl Bungalows

Flag of Thailand  , Krabi,
Monday, June 14, 2010

Firstly an apology for the enormous delay in this blog entry as we are currently half-way through our Australian stint in our trip! But better late than never - we blame hugely expensive Internet in Oz and being so busy trying to cram the entire East Coast of Australia into 5 weeks!

But where we left off was from Koh Phangan in wonderfully sunny and even more wonderfully cheap Thailand! We hightailed it through the mainland further south to a town called Krabi which was a friendly, albeit quiet, port from which the famous Reilly beach is accessible from for backpackers who cannot afford the 5 star resort on the beach! We caught a boat taxi for the 45min trip to the beach and were not disappointed, it is in national parkland (apart from the resort) and was nothing short of stunning and the weather, despite the approach of the rainy season, was phenomenal. We caught a ferry boat with some extremely smelly and dirty English boys over to Koh Phi Phi after an exciting breakfast with a ginger tabby kitten playfully attacking our feet as we ate - James denies now that he was scared, but I'm pretty sure the kitten could smell his fear.

Pulling into Koh Phi Phi which is famous for its national park and smaller island Koh Phi Phi Ley used in the film 'The Beach' we had high expectations, though the town you disembarked onto was overwhelmingly touristy and unattractive, therefore we promptly caught a taxi boat over to the other bay further up the island where we were greeted with a long white sandy beach with beach front bungalows and palm trees galore - more what we had envisaged. We spent most of our time here on the beach when it was sunny but were forced to retreat to our bungalow when the rainy season truly took hold and gave us a storm that soaked you in 2 seconds and fork lightening worthy of a feature on the discovery channel - 'Koh Phi Phi's revenge on the tourist'. However once it was brighter we joined a funny Japanese family and a few other backpackers on a boat out to Koh Phi Phi Ley to see the famous Maya Bay of 'The Beach' and guide book fame. the trip round also gave us some excellent snorkeling (we watched with some amusement the Japanese family attempting to snorkel in life jackets very efficiently keeping them upright and buoyant) and a trip to see some monkeys (less to my liking since hearing our Canadian friend had been bitten by one of them when he was here when they had alarmingly learned to swim underwater to grab his food!) Maya bay itself was stunning with pure white sand and bright light turquoise sea and surrounded by rain forest. The travel agent we befriended was so impressed with our pictures she asked to have copies to put up in her shop - so we are are now advertising her boat tours - if you ever go, keep your eye out!

We ventured into the main town for a bit more of a lively evening one night via a slightly adventurous route by foot around the headland and some rocks - it got more adventurous / traumatic (for Jenny at least) when we spotted a green and suuuuuper scary snake on the rock right by us prompting a pretty girly and irrational response in me which 5 mins later I was quite embarrassed about - what can I say a phobia is a phobia isn't it mum!? We had an excellent barbecue of swordfish and a few drinks before catching a much more tame lift home with some Germans on a taxi boat who were expressing their distaste at the 18year old British Backpacker Representatives in Thailand - we assumed they were not lumping us in this category and so quietly agreed they were not perhaps giving the best impression of Brits.

We left Koh Phi Phi for Phuket so that we could catch an Air Asia Flight through to Malaysia to save some time and money. There is very little to say about Phuket other than it is extremely touristy and not particularly nice, though our hostel and the staff were actually really nice. As usual our Air Asia flight was really lovely - Ryanair and EasyJet should take note, the Asians do it best! We arrived in Kuala Lumpar and caught their metro system into the city (such good public transport let alone a metro system at this point was a real novelty and we enjoyed it whilst getting in the way with our enormous backpacks and bags as all the tourists in London drive us mad doing!)

We parked up and left our stuff at Reggae House Hostel which was really fun with a cool bar and communal area, we were relieved after hearing a few people with some horror stories about KL hostels. We thoroughly enjoyed our flying visit in Kuala Lumar taking in some shopping at a totally eclectic market where James bought some "Ray Bans" and I bought a German Police Torch (which surprisingly about a month later is working splendidly!) We took a fairly unsuccessful visit to the sky bridge (apparently the best place to view KL - though we wouldn't know as by the time we arrived at 9am the tickets for the day were all gone!) it was still fairly spectacular and we enjoyed the rest of our time in a brilliant aquarium and a slightly unnerving bird park where all the birds were pretty much roaming free! Jen had a strange experience where the keepers placed an owl on one shoulder and a huge hornbilled something else on her arm simultaneously and walked away telling her to hug it! James also was given a tub of feed and was promptly swarmed by about 50 parrots - all very funny/mildly unnerving.

Unfortunately that was our time in Malaysia up only 48hours in and so we caught a night train to Singapore thinking it would be great after our pleasure with the other public transport in Malaysia...

We woke at 7am believing we would be arriving at 9am to find our train stopped and the previously fully carriage totally deserted! We jumped up wondering where everybody had gone and where we were and why - the answers to these questions were - the train stopped at 3am after the train in front derailed and everybody was told about this in Malaysian and they got off and on to buses since 6am... we got onto the last bus available, then arrived in Singapore 6 hours later than planned after a bit of a nightmare journey to add to the list.


We spent the majority of our time window shopping in Singapore's million pristine malls and streets amongst the expensive price tags and beautiful people! We visited Singapore Zoo and had a brilliant time in the Rain forest zoo where the animals are contained by moats and landscaping rather than bars in most cases. I think it was probably the best zoo we have ever seen and we are quite the connoisseurs! We departed Singapore a mere 24hours later and went to the famed airport with promises of amazing shopping and swimming pools and bars to find that terminal 1 - presumably the oldest one, was a bit rubbish and was being refurbished - not the most exciting end to Asia but we were nevertheless extremely sad to be leaving after an amazing 10 weeks!
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