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Published: February 3rd 2012
When myself and Vinny were leaving Chiang Mai to head to the airport, our guesthouse called us a tuc tuc. What arrived can only be described as a Celine Dion fanclub on wheels! The tuc tuc was decked out with a massive flat screen TV that came down in front of us, with a Celine Dion concert on and the music blaring from speakers on either side! It was hilarious, being driven through the city streets with Celine Dion classics blaring from the tuctuc causing many people to stop and just stare!! Vinny took a really funny video of it! We got to the airport and had to wait hours as our flight was delayed. Upon arrival in Phuket airport in the middle of the night, we were surrounded by taxi drivers who were quite aggressive. It was incredibly stressful trying to find a driver who would bring us to Phuket Town and not the beach, where most people were going. For anyone planning on going to Phuket, it might be a good idea to have transport organised to avoid the stress.
We finally got sorted with a taxi driver, who would bring a few of us to the town
for an agreed price, when he pulled up at a small shop along the way (at this stage it was about 2am) and made us all get out and buy tickets. The woman in the shop of course doubled the price and we had to argue with her that the driver had agreed the price with us already. After another stressful experience, we were in the van and on route to Phuket town.
Most people who come to Phuket, go to the beach. We were planning on heading to the beaches of Phi Phi after a couple of days so we decided to check out the town instead. I had read that it was a lovely spot but it wasn’t great in fairness. There was very little to the town, even the historic streets that are part of the walking tour were not up to much. The second day on Phuket, we rented a scooter and decided to head to the beaches! The scenery along the way was really beautiful, as the area is quiet hilly so when you get to the top of a hill, you can see for miles all around you, to the islands dotted around
the coastline. It was fab. The beach we went to was Kata Beach and a major tourist hub. The beach was nice, but was so packed so we weren’t too bothered that we didn’t stay there. We had a nice lunch on the beach and headed off to check out more of the sights.
After two days on Phuket, we were ready to leave. We booked our boat to Phi Phi Island and on Christmas Eve, we headed across which took about 2-3 hours. For those who don’t know, Phi Phi is made up of two islands, Phi Phi Don (where all the accommodation is) and Phi Phi Ley, an uninhabited island made famous by the movie The Beach.
Upon arrival on PP, we checked into our hotel and then decided to check out the island. We were there about 2 hours and we had already signed up to do our Open Water Divers course! Vinny will be doing a blog on that experience as it was so amazing, it needs its own entry!
Phi Phi Island is just how I imagined it. It is absolutely amazing, with beautiful beaches and stunning scenery all around. Everywhere you
look is a photo op! It is hard to imagine that this is the place that was devastated by the tsunami in 2004. A relative of my dad died on that day so it was a little strange being there on the 7th anniversary of the tragedy. When the locals talk about it, they describe how the waves came from both sides of the island (which is really narrow in the middle) but no one knew so people on one side were running to the other and vice versa. It was those who ran to the hills that had any chance of survival.
Our first night, christmas eve, we went to a bar that was showing Elf on the big screen on the roof! One of my favourite christmas movies, it was nice to try and get into a christmassy mood! The next morning, we headed to the beach for the weirdest christmas day ever! The sun was shining and the water was turquoise so we rented kayaks and kayaked to a place called Monkey Beach where we went snorkelling in the clear water for hours! It was strange being away for Christmas, and a first for both of
us. We definitely missed the normal christmas traditions, christmas dinner and spending time at home. That night, after some slightly emotional skyping (!) we went for the next best thing to a turkey dinner, roast chicken and pototoes, followed by a fireworks display on the beach!
The following day, we did the same thing, instead kayaking to a secluded beach, where at one point we were the only two on the beach! After wiling away the afternoon snorkelling and sunbathing, we weren’t feeling quite as homesick! The next few days on the island were taken up with the scuba diving course, which filled our days from 8am until late afternoon so apart from chilling out by the pool or on the beach in the evenings, we did little else as we couldn’t go drinking before diving! We really enjoyed our time on Phi Phi Island, it was beautiful with really clear water and amazing scenery. It is a major party island, with music blaring till the early hours of the morning so choosing accommodation not to close to it is really important. There are also a couple of places on the island best avoided, which can get a bit
messy at night! Overall, we had a great time there and were a little sad to leave it. Next stop, Ao Nang and the beaches of Railay.
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