Published: September 10th 2005September 3rd 2005
Hat Yuan to Hat Rin, Hat Rin to Thang Sala, Thang Sala to Surret Thani, Surret Thani to Krabi, Krabi to Koh Phi Phi, 2 ferries, 4 buses across a country in 14hours heading from one island backpacker paradise to another - or least that was the plan. After missing two ferries (late night and early morning) an unexpected night in Hat Rin and a late ferry across from Thang Sala to Surret Thani, another unexpected night in Surret Thani in a guest house where the second floor acts as an impromptu gambling den, complete with uniformed cops as part of the party.
Buses and then more ferries and finally arriving 72 hours after my intended departure. Phi Phi, hit heavily by the tsunami, but still beautiful, still paradise. The effects of the tsunami are apparent, most of the development of the island is on a sand strip between two rocky areas. At least half of this was washed away, the same story as Phuket, lives and livelihoods gone.
But life goes on for the living. Huts, and hotels, and bars, and restaurants rebuilt. Backpackers return first, the more adventurous of the tourist. Followed by the young holiday makers
taking a month to visit a country rather than sitting on a beach. Being a budget backpacker is different from being a holiday maker and that difference is apparent even with those on a month away, it's all in the daily budget, the nightly drinking quota and air-conditioning. Another few nights under the fan.
I toured the islands, Don Phi Phi is the main Island home to the majority of the life, accommodation and people are. Maya Phi Phi, uninhabited used as the setting for the movie version of “The Beach” - Alex Garland. Bamboo Island, a few beach huts. Coral surrounds the islands and the snorkelling was good. Time for the hideous accident story of the day - not mine for a change... actually just look at the photos.
After 4 nights in Phi Phi I moved on - I'd met people that stayed for 3 weeks after intending 3 nights.
There are more photos below