We only spent one night in Phuket before taking off on a ferry. It was a tad stressful as we almost missed the boat. However, our taxi arrived just in time and we hustled through Phuket only to arrive late, but with a boat nowhere near ready to depart.
Two points to be mentioned here about Thailand. #1 When I say taxi, don’t say taxi in the yellow car sense. Think pick up truck with a cover over the back (usually). These were our cabs across Thailand.
#2 – and this is an important rule to keep in mind when travelling all of Southeast Asia – Nothing is ever on time. This means both estimated departure and arrival times. If you start late, don’t expect the boat to take an hour like you were told. It will probably take 1.5 or two hours. Plan for this and you will not be disappointed. Just pull out a book and wait and drink that giant water bottle you brought for such an occassion. In Cambodia we had a bus break down for 45 minutes. In Thailand, it was two hours. Je digress.
Our ferry turned around some strikingly beautiful cliffs to reveal even more next to a pleasent, albeit highly touristy town.
Koh Phi Phi is a small island southeast of Phuket in the Andaman Sea. It is too tiny for cars, but don’t worry, there’s plenty of room down the small pedestrian walkways for motorbikes.
We decide after a couple months hovering around the $10-12 range per night to splurge and we rent a nice bungalow beside the beach with AC and hot water.
We would only have AC for a total of two nights over the next three and a half weeks and we wouldn’t enjoy a hot shower again until we left Thailand. I’m hoping to enjoy both comforts together at last when we reach Oz.
Koh Phi Phi is beautiful, but her beauty has been taken advantage of. The island has restaurants and numerous luxury resorts geared to Western tourists. It’s paradise yes, but some authenticity is lost.
With that aside, the people of Koh Phi Phi deserve tremendous respect for essentially rebuilding this island after it was pummelled by the 2004 tsunami. The only reminder of this are photos displayed and a “tsunami evacuation route” sign posted near my hotel.
We had a great time here getting introduced to the lazy beach lifestyle spending our time swimming in clear turquiose water, enjoying fresh fruit juice, and fresher seafood.
Probably the highlight of our visit to Phi Phi was a morning snorkling trip where we saw an assortment of colourful fish and coral along with a few sea turtles. Sara saw a moray eel, but I saw a reef shark quickly swim past me.