Backpacking / Southeast Asia / travel

Koh Phi-Phi

After arriving on the island and having a mini tour guide by a local scuba instructor we had met on the boat, we attempted to find the hostel Arina; where my friends Lauren, Lucie from Vietnam and the boys from the full moon party were staying. A guy working the fliers outside one of the many bars called us over and recommended us a hostel, which turned out to be the exact one we were looking for. It is run by Naam, a Thai lady who likes her “Western boys”, she was the life and soul of the party, along with her ladyboy best friend of course.

As is our group tradition, we had a catch up over seafood fried rice, and hit the beach for some sun. The girls were an even darker shade of brown due to their committed sunbathing sessions, even Emma, who had been in Thailand for a mere few days had more colour than me. The beach itself was pretty nice, shallow, warm and clear waters overlooked by the limestone rocks, palm trees and a number of reggae playing wooden beach cafes.

Of course, Phi-Phi, despite its beauty is know for the nightlife, and sure enough every night we hit the abundance of beach bars, including Slinkys, where we danced on wooden makeshift podiums until the morning hours, and Jodos where after the World Cup matches had finished we danced like idiots, pretty much isolating ourselves from everyone in the bar (feed the ducks…and check for change). It was a routine that suited us perfectly for a number of days, hardcore beach days, filled with our favourite Thai meals, fresh fruit shakes and sleeping off the bucket fuelled hangovers, followed by predrinks in our (I think) 14 bedded dorm with Naam, the boys, and our new American friend Kaleen before hitting the town.

Of course, it was not always quite so smooth, with one night resulting in Tom being knocked out on the floor after slipping on water, a pretty large and angry Kiwi guy in our room and Lauren covered in water which had been thrown over her by said Kiwi guy. All because he wanted a silent dorm room at eleven thirty, good luck finding that one.

Other than nightlife Phi Phi has lots to offer, we spent an evening sitting in a bar hanging over the ocean cliffs, watching the sunset as we sipped our chang beer before heading off to the restaurant below Banana bar (which screens a film each night on the roof) for a beautiful penang curry. The others headed back to the room for a few hours as Emma and I hit the beach for the evening fire shows at Slinkys. We watched as the locals threw fire sticks at each other, squatted on one leg on a tightrope whilst juggling fire and walked on flaming ropes. They were very good at what they did, but then it was opened up to the public to try, which of course resulted in injury. Emma and I watched in horror as a young girl entered the skipping rope and when attempting to leave got her leg entangled in the flaming rope for what felt like a good few minutes. She ran off to the bathroom screaming, we could see her leg black and badly burnt instantly. The Thai guys obviously used to this performance continued and welcomed on the next volunteer, who gladly jumped in despite what he had just seen. The next day we saw the girl around town, recognisable only by the toe to upper thigh bandages. Maybe it was my dad being in the fire service, myself being a nurse, or a mixture of the two, but jumping a rope made of fire just did not appeal to me. We moved on to the next bar and watched the flaming limbo, before downing our cocktails and hitting the shops for new flip flops (phi phi beach stole mine at one of the many beach parties!), bracelets and tye dye T-shirts, before deciding to have just one chilled out night on the island.

The photographed viewpoint which looks out over Phi Phis two bays is one of the most well known shots in Thailand, if not South-East Asia. Emma and I obliged of course and headed for a morning climb up to lookouts 1 and 2, where we posed, jumped and looked out over the bay’s and the ocean. It was a gorgeous view and worth the short climb. Our afternoon was spent visiting one of my most anticipated spots and tours, the one that took us to The Beach…


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