Paradise on Earth

Trip Start Oct 05, 2010
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Trip End Jun 01, 2011


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Flag of Thailand  ,
Friday, November 5, 2010



"One glimpse of the islands otherworldly crests and cliffs will turn bruts into poets and sceptics into believers" (Lonely Planet guide). Phi Phi is a small island near Phuket that actually consists of 2 islands. One is Ko Phi Phi Don, which is habitated, and the other is Ko Phi Phi Leh, where no one lives, but which became famous with the movie "The Beach". We stayed on Ko Phi Phi Don, and it actually is what people say about it- paradise on earth. There are no motorcycles or cars on the islands, only bikes and boats. The bikers do not ring the bell when they want to pass you in the street, the simply say "phiphi" :)

For the first time we stayed in a real bungalow, with a hammock outside. The bungalow itself was a very simple building, with a bed, a mosquito net, a bathroom and... wifi(!) The walls were not very thick and we heard pretty many noises during the night. Especially from one animal , who made some terribly loud sounds. Aparantly one other guy thought so too, and started yelling to the animal in the middle of the night; "Shut the f*** up!" But it didn't help very much.. :) Besides that, the place had a very cool atmosphere and a pool right outside our door.

The first day on the island, we climbed up to a view point, which had a fantastic view of the entire island. It took about 45 min to climb up there, and we got pretty sweaty and tired. But when we reached the top, the view was worth it! The view point is also a safety point where people can take cover in case of a new tsunami. Pinned to a sturdy tredd is a small photograph, taken from the view point only hours after the tsunami 26th of December 2004.

The second day we went on a snorkeling tour, which also included the possibility of a cliff jump up to 20 meter. First the boat took us near some high and seemingly sharp cliffs , and we understood that this was the place for the famous cliff jumps:o what we did not understand was how the h*** we were going to get up there. Turned out that we had to climb up, which maybe was the most difficult part. We started at 8 meters height, and that was no problem. Then we jumped 10 meters. After the 10 meter jump, one french guy hit a rock under water and hurt his arm:o Because of that, Renate chickened out and didn't want to jump anymore. Kaupo didn't let a rock stop him, and went for the 13 meter jump, which he did without hesitation (Kaupo's words...). On that day the only one who did the 20 meters jump was our jumping guide.

The next stop was for snorkeling. We stopped at a place were it is supposed to be many sharks. We put on our masks and fins and jumped overboard. It took some time and a lot of inhaled seawater for us to figure out how to use the snorkel correctly. There were some small fishes and eventually Kaupo was lucky enough to see one shark, but Renate didn't (maybe that was for the best). After about 30 minutes we went to Ao Maya, for a break on the beach. This beach starred as "the perfect beach" in the movie "The Beach". The beach had the whitest and cleanest sand we had seen. The whole island had a very special and untouched nature.

After the break we did our second snorkeling, which went a lot better than the first. This time we were armed with pineapple and a camera. The pineapple attracted loads of small and colorful fish and the camera took many pictures of them.

Our last stop on the island was the Viking Cave. It is a cave and it is a major collection point for swiftlett (some type of bird) nests. Apparently 1 kg of nest costs 20 000 baht. (4000 nkr.) People actually live in the cave and use bamboo scaffolding to climb up as high as 20 meters to collect nests from the roof of the cave. This cave gets its misleading name from the 400 year old graffiti made by crews of passing Chinese fishermen. On our way back to the harbour we witnessed one of the most beautiful sunsets we had seen.

On Phi Phi we also had the pleasure tp try "fish spa". We had to put our feet in big aquariums, which contained lots of small (and hungry!) fish! The fish ate dead skin from our feet. It felt very tickeling, but at the same time pretty good.

There was one day when against all odds we had sun?! We rushed to the beach, and spent the afternoon there. The beach was full of people like us, who have been chasing the sun. There on the beach we decided to be here for one more day. The sun was completly out for maybe half an hour and for the rest of the time it shined through some thin clouds. We were careful enough to cover us with sunblock, but when we got to our bungalow later that day, we discovered that we both had some places on our bodies where had gotten sunburned.

On the next morning it was as cloudy as always and after discovering that it was also raining little, we decided to pack our bags and say farewell to the tropical paradise. We took the 10.30 ferry to Krabi with hope to reach Ko Samui- our next stop, the same evening.
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