Published: June 22nd 2007June 22nd 2007
I should clarify myself before I start this rant about the Phi Phi Islands. First, it was my decision to come here during the low season. When it rains it is like someone hitting you with a stream from a fire hose. Second, both Phi Phi Don and Phi Phi Leh are exceptionally beautiful places. Third, I will come back here during the high season to enjoy many of its wonders. Fourth, I am tired of all those travel writers that have nothing but good things to say about everything in the world. Be honest once in awhile. Tell us if something sucks.
We took the ferry out to Phi Phi Don in bright sunny weather. After getting settled, we headed out to Charlie Beach and spent the rest of the day getting some sun, playing in the water, and telling the people trying to sell us pot to bugger off. I thought to myself ‘ Hell, we are going to have a great day for a cruise to Phi Phi Leh tommorrow’. I spent the evening organizing the trip. Of course I am the oldest of our group and therefore the de facto ‘leader’ according to the
lady organizing our day trip.
The next day at the docks looked promising. The sky was overcast but not foreboding. We headed out to Phi Phi Leh laughing and excited about the trip. People were sitting at the top of the boat taking in the views without a care in the world. That is of course until we hit the channel between the two islands. We should have known better when one of the Thais working on the boat suggested we get down because the weather was going to get nasty. People laughed him off. Seconds later, it was like we dropped into a frigging whirlpool. The rain pissed down and the seas got really nasty in just seconds. People could not walk. Our packs and gear were sliding all over the deck. Ever seen those reality videos that show some boat getting the stuffing knocked out of it in the Bering Sea? That was us. We looked liked a Discovery Channel disaster episode in the making. Josh and I helped people get off the top deck and down below. It should be mentioned that there were ten of us from the camp with another ten people from Brazil,
Australia, and a group of Israelies. All of us from the Muay Thai camp were laughing our asses off. Everyone else must of thought we were crazy. Then people started getting sea sick. Let me clarify that - I got sea sick. So rather than fight it, I went with it. I puked my guts out. After feeding the fish, I turned around and smiled at everyone else on board. I was having a blast. Goddamnit I was in Thailand and I was going to have fun.
Since the weather sucked, the captain brought us around the other side of the island where the sea was much calmer. We missed some of the sites but the storm passed and we had a great time the rest of the day. It was hands down some of the best fun I have ever had. But I kid you not, it looked mighty ugly that day. And there is no such thing as a refund in Thailand let alone a Coast Guard so might as well have fun no matter what is going on around you.
My advice, come during the high season. You can still have fun puking your guts
out on a rickety boat during a rain storm but once in a while you want a nice sunny day out. And these Islands are definitely worth seeing. But I would never stay more than one night on Phi Phi Don. It can be fun if you have some good friends but it is mostly a place for loser Europeans with drug problems and active warrants to hide out and act obnoxious. In fact, I found most of the westerners working there in dive shops, restaurants, and bars to be more annoying than the usual Thai scammers. One fellow told me you make a living here by being a slimeball and cheating whenever you can. Maybe I am not in touch with my inner love child but I can’t help but feel that this place is somewhat contaminated by the scammers working there. I am being completely judgmental here and I don’t care. It is a vibe I just picked up that haunted me somewhat and stayed floating around my consciousness. I trust my instincts. Maybe I will stand corrected when I head back later this year. I hope it so. Next time I going to bring a T-shirt that
says ‘@#$% your dive shop’.
So this will be the last post from Thailand. Next stop Budapest. It went too fast. I can honestly say I did not accomplish everything I wanted to do. I decided that I will come back here for three months for some more training and try to enjoy some of the high season here. It really is a stunning place that pictures can’t capture. Take care everyone and thanks for reading my blog.
There are more photos below