Trip Start Sep 09, 2004
394Trip End Ongoing
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The last few days in Krabi were excellent. We got to to see some great natural wonders, push our physical limits (on the 1,237 steps of death) and explore almost every nook and cranny we could find en-route scooterbound, thanks to the decision to continue with the ever-popular 'independent two-wheeled tour' theme. Plus we got to meet some great randoms, who happen to be up there with some of the finest people I've ever met. I'd have happily stayed longer too, but young James our barman had been overdue a day off work and we'd promised to take a boat over to Phi Phi with him for a day and a night of smiles.
Ko Phi Phi was creamed in the Tsunami and now much of the island has been resurrected with new build, making it an easy contender for the next all-inclusive paradise (or prison, depending on your standpoint.) Once we'd broken through the mass of touts at the jetty we found our Oasis - one of the newly built guesthouses over towards the far beach, coincidentally called the Oasis. The first thing that hit us was the many narrow alleyways lined with bars, restaurants, gift shops and massage parlours - a very Europe-esque touch, a beautiful touch - to what's clearly another world-class island paradise. We liked Phi Phi instantly.
The first night was mental. We bumped in to the Jock and the two girls from Huddersfield we'd met previously in Malaysia so it was only natural to rattle a few down, catch up and take it all in. Saw an amazing fireshow (see vid), a bit of live Thai Boxing (by tourists, so it was shit) and ended up throwing our clothes down on the sand in the early hours to scream 3-2-1 as we flew into the sea for a mad one. This was at 3am and easily the best part of the night. We had all sorts of wrestling and jousting games going on - our very own Phi Phi 'Ocean Olympics' if you like - that went on till well after 5am, by which time we'd shook ourselves dry, grabbed ourselves a few Changs from the Seven Eleven and started the long arduous climb in the dark all the way up to the viewpoint to watch the day break and sun rise over the island. Hard work when you're three sheets to the wind, but well worth the reward.
There's no denying that the islands around here are beautiful. Liam and I took a longboat yesterday and did the full day snorkelling tour, which takes in some amazing unspoiled beaches, of the kind we saw in the Perhentians that unforgettable day. The trip concluded with a couple hours kicking about on Phi Phi Leh - the stunning island that was used in the filming of 'The Beach'. Absolutely magic. See the pics.
Still, in terms of 'the best so far' I've gotta go with the Perhentians. They're far less spoiled. While the whole Phi Phi experience has been mind-blowing, it's still very touristy, westernised and riddled with 'gap-years' (of the still-wet-behind-the-ears variety) - many of whom are arrogant pretentious dicks. And that reflects in the locals, cos' they weren't half as friendly or approachable as what we've experienced so far. And neither would I be if I was a middle aged Thai woman sitting outside with an old lady, petrified as some blind drunk piece of shit runs round with his shirt off, bottle in hand, screaming 'Man United' at the top of his voice in the faces of as many Thai locals as he can. What they must think of us.
We were rattling down a bit of lunch this one day in Ton Sai village and if you'd have seen the swagger of this dick with a toothpick hanging from his mouth as he walked on past you'd have shook your head for a week. Nick hit the nail on the head when he said 'Obviously, he's never been beaten-up properly before'. Obviously.
Anyway I'm drifting. The islands of Ko Phi Phi are truly spectacular, and in time there'll be plenty more resort type places that'll keep out the filth and provide an unforgettable visit - that I'm sure. From a budget travellers perspective though, the food, accommodation and overall experience is well worth it, you've just got to tolerate the nobs, which of course is no different to any other popular place.
Oh and a bite from a fire ant really hurts..
Where I stayed