How is this paradise? It is, but how?

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Asia » Thailand » South-West Thailand » Ko Phi Phi Don
October 8th 2010
Published: October 11th 2010
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Would you stay in a place like this?

Accommodation - cramped dorms with outside toilets and showers, only cold water and no soap or toilet paper. They were permanently dark and filled with comically offensive graffiti, also without locks on the doors. Ants, mosquitoes and other wildlife in permanent residence.

Weather - rain at the most inconvenient times of the day, which often led to the streets being filled with unspecified sewage and an unpleasant smell.

Location - narrow streets filled with cats (better than dogs, I suppose) with a permanent danger of being run down by erratic cyclists (at least you can hear a motorbike coming).

Nightlife - a few bars playing the same 20 songs on endless repeat. Watching bar brawls under the guise of 'Thai Boxing' in a Reggae Bar that didn't ever play reggae music.

When you describe Ko Phi Phi and the place where I stayed, it doesn't exactly sound like a beautiful beach resort. Yet I loved it! And I've never been anywhere so addictive for wanting to stay for just one more night. I wasn't the only one either - lots of other backpackers stayed much longer than originally planned.

Why? 2 clues:
1) The rooms were only 150 baht (3 quid) a night.

2) The other people staying on the island were so friendly and great fun to be with - which made it feel like walking around your home town when growing up. Even if you went out on your own, you were 100%!c(MISSING)ertain of meeting up with someone within 5 minutes.

Now I'm in Malaysia, I'm planning to head to the Perrhentian islands, which sound like they've got a similarly relaxed beach vibe.

PPS - You'll notice that I didn't even mention 'The Beach'. It was nothing special (especially not having seen the film). The cliff jumping and snorkelling were a lot more fun.


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