Koh Phi Phi is one of the most beautiful places that I have ever been in my life. Given that I haven’t been many places, and that’s not the biggest up-sell; I assure you it will remain high on my list for a very, very long time. We left off last post on my birthday. We had just moved in to our bungalow/Hut like room. Bonus points: PRIVATE bathroom. That’s right. For the first time since we started the trip, we had our own bathroom to wreck, without having anyone else stink it up.
After a 3 hour nap/blog session, Josh and I had worked up quite an appetite, and quite a thirst for some birthday drinks. We changed in to clean clothes and made our way in to the town to hunt down a solid place to eat. I wanted somewhere beach front, since the beach was white, and we were surrounded by huge rock formations. The whole place reminded me of a tropical White Rock strip. We sat down at a place, and got settled in. Menus were brought and we started to browse. Josh has warned me already that since it was a popular resort Island, that prices would be a little more expensive than anywhere else. As I browsed through; nothing jumped out as appealing. I hummed and hawed and josh looked the restaurant up on tripadvisor to see if there was any reviews recommending a dish. Instead, we saw review after review of negativity. At Josh’s instruction we simply stood up and walked right out. With Josh the only one with cellular data, he took the initiative of finding something worthy of a birthday feast. We found ourselves in a whole in the wall that I can only describe as a cafeteria. The wall was used to write names/doodles and other various forms of graffiti. What stuck out most was the giant “THIS WALL IS BETTER THAN TRIPADVISOR.” The place hands down had amazing food. We went back the next day even, just because we knew how great it was. After the meal, we needed to find drinks. We needed to make my birthday more than just a day of commuting. We located a bar, appropriately called “Carlito’s” offering happy hour drinks until 9 and promise of a fire show at 10:00.
Carlito’s proved worthy of a birthday celebration. We took our front row seats on the beach and ordered none else than my favorite: Gin and Tonic. No Leo or Chang beer tonight. The first drink went down all to fast and we were both quickly rubbernecking for our server, who seemed to think that two men couldn’t possibly finish a single hi-ball in less than 15 minutes in 35 degree weather. We weren’t annoyed. Carlito’s had obviously prepared for people like us, and included a set of Connect Four on the the table. Offering up a best 2 out of 3, I accepted Josh’s challenge. Josh is a great team mate, but as an opponent, he intimidates me. He’s fiercely competitive, and he’s good at pretty much anything he does. A born natural. That being said I took him to school on Connect 4. at around 7-3 the waitress came back and we attempted to order six drinks at once. The language barrier of explaining that “No we do not want 2 glasses with three drinks in them, and no we do not want 6 shots in one drink and no we do not want 3 doubles,” we ended up settling for getting 1 can of tonic, 6 shots of gin in shooters, and two glasses of ice. I wish I had more time to talk about this interaction but just thinking about it infuriates me to no end.
Long story short the happy hour ended and the fire show kicked off, If you’re reading this, you’ve likely already seen videos on snapchat or other social media outlets. We had, in short time, finished our shooters and chase, and needed something to tide us over for the show. Naturally, I ordered us two Traditional Thai beverages: A bucket filled with alcohol, fruit juice, and red bull, aptly called a “Clitoris.” Josh liked his drink. Josh liked it so much that he went on stage. I filmed Josh nearly catch on fire for the sake of an awesome picture. I love this kid.
Soon after, the night came to and end, and we needed to go home. Somewhere along the way, Josh and his cell became separated. Bad news, since My phone only connects to wifi, and while abundant, is not entirely convenient. After scouring the beach and bar, we returned with one less cell on our person, and retired to the bed to prepare for a day of regret and heat.
I woke up a year older, and felt great. No hang over for me! Josh wasn’t feeling 100% so I suggested he take his time getting up and I head to the hospital and get my wounds checked out and cleaned up, as per instruction of the last hospital. I walked in and told them I felt fine, but that I was concerned about the skin turning this strange whitish colour on my toe. As a self-diagnosed hypochondriac, I was prepared for the worse. After a quick inspection from the nurse checking people in, she gave me a funny look, got a damp cloth and wipe it of. “It just sand, it OK!” I just stared at the floor in shame. The good news is that all my scrapes seem to be healing extremely fast. I asked if I could go in the water and she said it should be fine, so long as I clean them when I get out. I walked down to the pharmacy and picked up a nice big bottle of antiseptic and carried on with the afternoon.
The great part about Koh Phi Phi is that it’s a very chill town. No one really cares what anyone else is doing, and there’s enough places to eat, drink, relax, boat… or do what ever with out really getting in anyone’s way. After a bite at the diner place, I picked up some post cards and we meandered through the village. Neither of us felt like doing much else, as my wallet was lightened 48 hours prior from the motorbike, and now josh faced purchasing a new phone. We picked up some snacks and chilled on the beach and watched the sun go down, chatting and sifting the sand for shells. We retired early as I really wanted to go to the Lookout on the island, a 4 kilometer walk away from where we were staying. We jumped in to bed before ten and took the time to chat with friends back home who were just getting their morning started.
My alarm went of bright and early at 7:30 and I excitedly jumped up and through on clothes to hike in. Josh was not feeling it. I asked if he wanted to sleep in and I bring back breakfast: an offer he couldn’t refuse. I headed out solo on my journey, and made my way to the Koh Phi Phi look out solo.
This was probably the best morning of the trip so far, for so many reasons. I remembered to bring headphones with me this time and I threw my iPod on shuffle. Ever have one of those days where you never once have to skip a song, and it just puts you in the best of moods? That was my walk up. I made it to the top in a little under an hour: not bad for it already being 32 degrees with no wind or clouds. While i looked like I had just stepped out of the shower, I didn’t care, and I soaked in the amazing view. Worth every step.
I hustled back down since I knew we were on a schedule and as josh explained: Shuttles will wait for you, boats will not, so time to kick it. I made it back in to town and decided to treat us to breakfast. There’s a place right off the pier called Mango Garden that is the highest rated place to eat on the island. I picked up 2 breakfasts and ran back to the room to get ready to go. After showering and packing, and a quick bite I wasn’t feeling so hot. Actually that’s not true. I was feeling really really hot. And I was grumpy/anxious. I was worried that I might have gotten heat stroke, and this was terrible timing for that. We took all our stuff down to the pier on loaded on to a school bus like boat with bench seating and waited for the boat to take us to our next destination: The island of Koh Lanta. I was looking forward to this place as it’s a little bit more laid back, and relaxed, with less tourists.
The boat right was smooth sailing, uneventful and short; only one hour long. I spent it scrolling through photos and thinking about people I missed back home. While I am having the time of my life, there really is no place like home and I really cannot wait to be back. But just not quite yet: I have more adventures to do! We offloaded and were collected by the resort/hostels pick up service. This is where, according to me, I almost died a third time. Josh insisted that “This is just how Thais drive, we’re totally fine, just don’t look at the road.” My knuckles were so white that you could practically see the shadow od my skeleton glowing through, as the driver straddled the middle line, passing tuktuks, people stacked 4 deep on mopeds, and trucks loaded with children in the truck beds, at 100 KM/h. Shockingly we made it there with no reported casualties.
The place we reserved was interesting. Wait let’s back that up. The place that the booking guy at the hostel we stayed at in Bangkok booked us in to was interesting. We has specifically requested two beds, and air conditioning in each of our stops. So far, so good. This place had none of that. I offered to pay the difference as, me being rather large AND in charge, was sweltering. The woman pulled out a calculator and turned it around displaying 500. Not bad. 500 baht each, and since it’s my request, I don’t mind covering Josh’s portion too, due to my princess syndrome. We agreed and were excited to finally get some cool air on our skin. She then proclaimed “OK 3,000 Baht total for two!” OK that’s a little different. She wanted 1,000 total per night, just so we could have AC in our room. That’s over 150 dollars CAD and considering how cheap we’re travelling: that’s just not in our cards. We re-negged and took the original “fan room” that she offered us. We walked in and our jaws dropped. The room itself was fine, per se. It had two huge beds with nice sheets, a massive bathroom, and a vanity and a TV. What it didn’t have was wall plugs. Anywhere. Not one. It also didn’t have WiFi, which was advertised, and requested when we booked. Get this: there wasn’t even an outlet for the TV. It was just this massive CRT screen sitting in front of use like an Urn… or some other sort of hideous piece of useless art. Josh and I were having none of that. We couldn’t and wouldn’t stay here. We went back and asked for a refund, and that we needed to go somewhere with the amenities we paid for. She refused and said we needed to go through the booking company. Josh stormed off and I waddled after him, with my massive bag and sweaty head. We walked a total of maybe… 50 meters to the first hostel we could find. We asked what was available, and we were showing a garden room that was twice as big as my last apartment. It had wifi, CABLE TV, a fridge, massive beds, and a huge bathroom. I was scared to find out how much…. 2,400 Baht for three nights. 600 cheaper and it came with everything we wanted and more. Conveniently right next door as we still needed to connect to our next shuttle in three days at 7:00 AM. Josh went on a food run and we pigged out while relaxing in the cool air. Needless to say, some times things just work out fine.
Can’t wait to check out the island, and maybe get in the water for the first time this trip!
Oh and one more day to the list since I got a hike in ;
Missing you all at home.