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Thursday, November 19, 2009

Phi Phi Island

We left Phuket on Monday a little later than we planned to. We had orignally planned on taking the 9am ferry to Ko Phi Phi, but I woke up around 6am with a horrible sore throat, and we spent the morning at the Patong Hospital. The first time we went, around 7am, we were told to come back at 8:30 because the doctor’s weren’t in yet, not even one nurse in the entire hospital! So getting sick before 8:30am just can’t happen apparently! So at 8:30 we went back and two hours later I was diagnosed with tonsillitis! Fortunately the doctor spoke English and gave me some antibiotics and I am feeling much better already! 

We took the 2:30 ferry to Phi Phi, and thank god I slept for almost the whole two hour ride because we were on the smallest, rockiest ferry ride I’ve ever been on! At one point I thought we were going to tip over, the right side of the boat was almost completely straight up in the air and the windows on the left side were inches from the water!

With that said, Phi Phi is great! It is the most naturally beautiful island I’ve ever been on! The beaches are gorgeous, long white and sandy, and  surrounded by beautiful mountains, cliffs and caves! We are on Phi Phi Don, which is the largest and the only island that people live on. The tsunami destroyed 70% of the buildings on the island in 2004. Although the island is almost completely rebuilt, there are still a few areas of empty land with a few scattered palm trees and empty holes where trees once were. Most of the roads have been repaved, but not with tar. There are no cars on the island, just a few mopeds and bicycles. Phi Phi Don village is pretty small, and our hotel is located right in the center. Even though the “outskirts” are less than a 10 minute walk (if you walk slow). There are a few beaches on the island and we are less than a 5 minute walk to two of them.



The food here is great, some of the best fruit shakes I’ve ever had too! We found a little thai restaurant set back a little from the main streets that we love and have eaten at twice already! It is owned by a man names Samee (also called Mr.Soda). He is a tsunami survivor who lost everything and had been rescued from being buried 3 meters under rubble. He has signs up all around the restaurant thanking everyone who helped him during the tsunami and afterwards to open the restaurant. He is the nicest man and is s grateful for everything he has now. The food is excellent and very inexpensive and since we like it so much we figured we rather eat there than at other restaurants that could be equally as good but owned by foreigners or others who aren’t so grateful of their lives and thank all the customers for eating there! I had tom kha , a soup made with coconut milk, lemongrass, chicken and vegetables, with a side of rice for 100 baht ($3.33). It was both the biggest and most delicious bowl of soup I’ve ever had! It could have easily fed a family of 4, and I ate almost all of it, the broth felt especially good on my sore throat!

While Katie went scuba diving, I explored the island and read on the beach. Then we went on a long boat sunset tour of Phi Phi Don and Phi Phi Ley. The long boats are wooden boats named for their propeller attached on a ten foot rudder-like thing in a car engine on the back of the boat. We shared the boat with 8 other people. We went to Monkey Island, Maya Beach (where the movie The Beach was filmed),  and to Viking caves, which looked like people had set up a ‘tree fort‘ and lived there. While we were at Maya Beach it started to downpour and we all got soaked. We waited out the storm for a while then headed back. The waves were huge and the sea was pretty rough. It was quite a scary ride back in such a small boat! Unfortunately we didn’t get to see the sunset because of the storm. We went to dinner at a restaurant called Papaya, which came highly recommend by many people. It was delicious, I had a green curry chicken soup. Although it was delicious, I had the world’s worst stomach ache afterwards! So no more green curry for me!

Monkey Island

Phi Phi Ley

Maya Beach

Maya Bay

Viking Caves

Phi Phi is very different from Phuket. It is much much smaller, although its mostly all foreign tourists, it is not over crowded at all. There is no prostitution, just lots of scuba divers, families on vacation and other young backpackers.  The nightlife is also a lot different, and much more enjoyable. There are bars all along the beach and the beach becomes one big party later on at night. We went out with two German guys, Oliver and Marios, who we met at the beach earlier in the day and went to the beach for the fire dancing. They had guys dancing with fire sticks, fire limbo and jumping rope that was on fire. I wasn’t brave enough for that but I did jump through a ring of fire!

Fire Dancing

The Ring of Fire I jumped through

We spent our last afternoon on Phi Phi getting manicures and pedicures before heading back to Phuket Town. I’m sad to be leaving Phi Phi, it was so beautiful and relaxing. I also tried a mangosteen fruit, it was very sweet and tasted a little citrusy and like a peach.


A tip for anyone traveling to Phi Phi: You can book a hostel on hostel world before you arrive for pretty cheap, but I would recommend waiting until you get here. There are so many places to stay, and it’s easy to find a good clean room with A/C and hot water for as little as 600 baht/night for 2 people ($10 per person/night). If you don’t necessarily need A/C and/or hot water you can find a room for 200 baht/night for 2 people ($6.75).

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