Chilling in Phi Phi

Trip Start Nov 08, 2003
Trip End Nov 08, 2004

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Monday, December 1, 2003

Today (1st Dec) was another day of travelling and accomodation finding. We were picked up from the hotel at 9ish by a guy in a Fall Guy style pick-up truck. We managed to get all our rucksacks and ourselves in the back as there was not enough room in the front obviously. However, he then managed to pick up 6 other people with all their rucksacks along the way to the ferry. It was a cool ride even though overpacked.

The ferry ride was even cooler as we were allowed to chill on the side of the ferry with out feet hanging off the side. I went off by myself and found a nice spot on the side to check some vibes. Managed to catch a dolphin or porpoise in the distance leaping into the air a few times. The islands of Phi Phi Lay and Don are very picturesque although very touristy and backpacky and full of irritating touts. You want taxi boat? no. You want room? no. You want Thai massage, oil massaaaage? NOOOOOOO! Funnily enough, when I want something, i'll look for it or ask for it.

Anyway, we got off the ferry and left Chris in a cafe with our packs, whilst Liz and I searched for a room. The island of Phi Phi Don is basically a strip of land in between two large-ish ranges of hills. The land from one bay to the next is no wider than 200 metres, so we didn't have that far to trek to get to the other side but each bay is probably about a mile or so long lined with hotels. It took us about 2 hours to finally find one that was within our price range although it was half way up a mountain side. We checked in and then headed out for some now late lunch.

Not much else happened that afternoon except for moseying about and going back for showers before heading out for the evening. As Chris had not had a good night previous, he opted for an hour long Thai oil massage, which he said he thoroughly.... hated. He expected them to soothe all his aches and pains but they beat the shit out of him and ripped his three inch motorcycle scab off his leg. Thanks for that. I headed off by myself to check out the night life whilst Liz stayed in to read a book. The town that is almost hidden by the shores of hotels is quite busy and there are many restaurants and local eating houses around to find a good meal. We didn't eat that night as we had had a late lunch, so I headed back after a while and sat on a beach bar supping ale looking out into the bay. It were reet grand.

The next day (2nd Dec), we decided that the trek up to our chalet was too bad and as we had spoken to a guy who was leaving a chalet on the beach front yesterday, we decided to go and secure a room there. It was also a lot cheaper. The room was wooden and quite nice but one immediate reaction was one of horror when you were hit by the smell of stale wizz that came from one of the cupboards. Obviously, the room had been used by someone who had mistaken the cupboard for a toilet. My clothes stayed in my bag. The front of the hotel was superb though. Outside our door was a seating area which was looking straight out onto the beach and glorious bay. An awesome view.

Today was spent wandering down toward the superb cliffs that surround the main harbour and watching as a group of hostile monkeys chased some bloke down the beach when he wanted to get his beer from where he had been sitting. One of the youngers was very cocky as he had two bigger monkeys behind him. And then the guy turned round, pointed his finger at them and shouted 'no'. They, of course went into one and chased him some more. It was quality viewing. The rest of the day was spent chilling and playing Chess.

The 3rd was spent chilling in front of our room as it was chucking it down again. Lots of scrabble, cards and more chess. I'm getting some practice in before I kick my bro's ass. We've been playing a lot of e-mail chess but you lose your train of thought so hopefully I should be able to put up a good fight.

In the evening, the rain died off so Liz headed off to catch a new Meg Ryan film, Chris and I weren't interested so we caught up with her as her film was ending in a reggae bar opposite and hit the Chang beer. Chang beer is freakily heavy shit. We, of course didn't realise until we were licking the windows. It's the cheapest beer but 6.4%, yeah! We only had a couple in the Reggae bar but then headed off to play some pool for an hour. I lost abismally but as my old man used to say, 'a bad workman blames his tools'... we were playing on a poxy eight year olds hand-me-down snooker table. Anyway, I can't play when i've had a beer.

We then headed off to the other side of the island where we found a One-Man-Thai-Band singing very badly at a restaurant. Chris decided that he couldn't take it anymore and walked into the restaurant and asked if he could sing... Yeah. Spookily enough, the next song was Heart Of Gold - Neil Young to which he knows most of the words I think, well, when he's sober anyway. It was a very hysterical 3 minutes as I tried to put him off from behind the scenes and make him laugh but he got through it, very badly, with the guitar/harmonica playing one man band prompting him to finish early. The fully packed restaurant of 3 people didn't even raise their heads. Gutted.

We then headed off to the Apache bar which is where we had a few more drinks, a dance and then a pole dance. That was Chris. He then chipped off home as he'd had enough. I went on to another bar by myself but didn't have any more drinks, just did a lot of boogieing on a stage until about 1ish.

The 4th, we decided to head out for a bit of a trek to another beach, but the beach is the other side of the hilly range. I had seen some steps whilst checking the town out previously but didn't actually realise where they went. Liz and Chris headed off by themselves as I was gagging for some brekkie. Lucky I did really as I needed the energy. I got myself ready with some water and headed off too, still slightly hung over. The first obstacle, a shed load of steps followed by very steep winding paths. A total killer in the blinding heat and very mingingly sweaty. But worth it. Once at the top of the hill, you are presented with an awesome view of the two bays and surrounding hills. A breath-taking experience. Then to get to the beach where the surf is supposed to happen is a trek through the jungle. Liz referred to it as a walk through the forest. It isn't at all. The beach is called Hat-Lanti beach and is on the East side. A bloke with his wife and two kids told me they saw a metre long snake hanging from the tree like a vine and that he nearly walked into it. I didn't see it. Bummer.

The beach was ok but the sea was full of sea urchins and pronging everyone that went in. I didn't venture. We stayed for a couple of hours and then I trekked back up the 'forest' as Liz and Chris decided to catch a taxi boat back across to the main bay. Chris was only wearing his sandals and couldn't trek back. The sea was pretty rough and as I was still overhung, thought it best not. Going back was a lot better and quicker than coming as it was uphill climbing through the jungle and downhill on the steps. I got back about 3 minutes after them but a lot smellier. We ate Italian that night, needed some roughage, mingy portions though.

The 5th was spent chilling on deck chairs on the beach. We splashed out at 50 Baht each for the day. No sand in my bits, a luxury. Did a bit of a Mary Poppins though as our umbrella, which wasn't light, was wrenched out of the sand and took off in the wind. I managed to get a hand to it as it was on it's way past and saved some ladies from a bashing. What a zero, I mean hero.

Jimmy and Vic, who we'd first met in Pangkor then turned up, so we caught up and decided to meet them later for drinks. Unfortunately, we hadn't realised that it was the King of Thailand's birthday that day and every bar was shut. Gutted. We waited as they finished sorting their 4 day diving course and saw John and Tracy walking past. They'd arrived that day and were up for some grub so we hit a Garlic restaurant and got drinks there instead. Aswell as a meal I mean. I'm not in the AA yet.

The 6th Dec, we decided to check out some snorkelling so hired all the gear and headed out into the bay by ourselves. The bay which isn't occupied by a shed load of boats is very shallow and you can probably walk about half a mile out into the bay with sea only up to your waist. This proved some problems as before you get to that stage, there are loads of rocks and more shady sea urchins to get past and this is when the water is only knee deep. Yeah that's proper snorkelling. Whatever.

Once past the rocks though, you can check out the coral formations and sea life, of which to be quite honest, there wasn't that much of. There were a few different kinds of fish but nothing that special. I'm waiting for Oz and the Great Barrier Reef for a proper snorkelling experience unless I look into Scuba diving which, to be quite honest, frightens the crap outta me. But you know, face your fears and all that. We'll see. Anyway, a bit of a disappointing experience overall, wanted to see a lot more marine activity.

Met everyone in the evening for drinks at the Cool Down bar and then chipped off for some pizza on the beach front. When i say the beach front, the waves were splashing down about a foot from my feet. The restaurant making the most of the beach.

We then headed back to the Reggae bar where Chris, Jimmy and I stayed and had a few more beers. They talked about West Ham, I went upstairs to watch the live Thai Boxing they had on. It was pretty good, they were kicking the crap outta each other. The upstairs then turned into a nightclubby place so i stayed and had another boogey.

The 7th turned into the laziest day on the island. We had good intentions to go snorkelling on Monkey beach which was a boat taxi away. By the way, everywhere is a boat ride away as the island doesn't have a single road. Just maniacs on push bikes and nutters with luggage trolleys all trying to ankle you. As they don't have bells, the simply shout beep beep... you bell.

Anyway, instead of snorkelling, we lazed the entire day away, eating and lying down somewhere. In the evening, as it was Vics birthday in the next few days, we all met up for a drink in the new Rolling Stoned bar. They were offering free drinks, a repugnant vodka-redbull cough-mixture like shot. It was hideous but I necked it. The reason we chose this bar was because Chris had noticed that a live band was playing that evening. The live band came on at about 10ish and were a group of Thai rockers. They were probably close to the best pub band I have ever heard. They played the likes of Radiohead, Pink Floyd, Nirvana, they were awesome. They rocked, we rocked. And then went home to pack.

Back to Krabi next where Liz and Chris then shoot off to Koh Samui for their 10 day treatment of fasting and colonic irrigation... right, and I chose the slightly easier option of Ao Nang, a 5 mile journey west, down the coast to do some Kayaking and to check out some awesome limestone cliffs and caves in the sea. Sweet as a nut.
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