Today we left the mainland once again and headed to the infamous island of Ko Phi Phi (aka Ko Phi Phi Don), along with all the other beach going tourists in Thailand. We had arranged to be picked up and brought to the ferry terminal in the morning. Little did we know it would be a cattle car taking us there. It was one of the open air pick up trucks completely packed with backpackers and their bags. Neither of us had a seat and Trevor was practically hanging off the back. Luckily it was a short ride and the ferry ride over was uneventful.
Ko Phi Phi was one of the places hit really hard by the Tsunami in 2004, but except for a few signs, you'd never know it now as it's completely built up again with resorts and tourist shops catering to a large sun-loving crowd. There are no motorized vehicles on the island, but it doesn't seem to make it any less busy!
We got off the boat and after almost melting in the heat, eventually found a place for less than 900 baht per night. Actually, we got a deal because some people had pre-paid
for their room for the night and then decided to stay elsewhere so they sold it to us for a fraction of the price since they couldn't get their money back. We soon realized we were definitely in the busy, 24-7-college party part of the island and decided to venture out to check out the quieter parts (I think we're getting old!).
We took a trail over to an area called Long Beach and found a much nicer scene, more laid back, not so crowded, and with places right on the beach for half the (regular) price of where we were. We enjoyed a wonderfully, romantic valentines dinner right on the beach with waves crashing in the background and delicious food. Then we made our way back to our side of the island in the dark (with our trusty mini flashlight).
We had arranged to take an all day boat tour today that would take us around to some of the surrounding islands for snorkelling and kayaking. We checked out of our room and left our bags with the tour people, hoping that we could find a room later over at Long beach.
The boat tour
Watch out for the Piranas! (hee hee just kidding)
was a lot of fun. We spent the first part of it touring around and stopping at Ko Phi Phi Ley, where they filmed the movie, "The Beach" (which neither of us has actually seen), and it was beautiful, if you ignore the hundreds of tourists flocking there continuously. No development is allowed on the island so it's purely a day trip destination which means lots of boat traffic. We kayaked in from the boat and walked around the island a bit, then took off. The boat took us around the rest of the island, but we were a little disappointed we didn't get to stop as some of the areas looked amazing for snorkelling. From there we continued on to a few more islands where we snorkelled right outside of a big tourist place, which was okay but we had to watch out for boats almost running us over! The last snorkel spot we stopped was by far the best...we saw lots of beautiful, colorful fish and coral. The water was super clear and of course a great temperature! This spot just happened to be 5 minutes out from where we wanted to stay on the island, go figure,
we could have swam there for free!
After the tour, we grabbed our bags and headed over to Long Beach where we were able to get a room with no problem. It was great, we were just back from the beach. We ended up paying only 500 Baht (after a 200B food voucher each day) for more of what we wanted, and less of what we were trying to avoid.
Being such a relaxing place, we spent the day playing in the ocean and relaxing. The highlight of the day was getting a Traditional Thai Massage, right on the beach! It was wonderful! We got them at the same time next to each other in these covered areas set up for massage. After all the hiking, walking, swimming, etc that we'd been doing, we definitely needed it! The best part was that it was only 300 baht, which is roughly $10, for an hour! We were just wondering what took us so long to try this out.
Woke up, swam in the ocean, had an all you can eat brunch (for $4), lounged on the beach...need I say more?
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