Our visit to Koh Phi Phi Don, off the western coast of Thailand in the Andaman Sea, can be described in two parts:
Tuesday, July 3
Part 1: Bad
Tuesday morning we boarded a ferry boat from Rai Leh beach. We chatted with a Louisiana-born California girl for most of the ride, which was very nice. She was on her way to Bali, Indonesia for 6 weeks, in which she plans to spend at least one week in silent meditation. We talked about California, Portland, books, traveling and Tobasco sauce. She was the first girl I had spoken to in over a week, so this small bit of conversation was refreshing.
Now for the bad part…We did not have room reservations, so we ventured out through the city with all of our bags to search for a room. The first two were too expensive. The third was too depressing. The fourth and fifth didn’t have hot showers. The sixth was too expensive. The seventh was a bit more than we wanted to pay, but it had wireless internet. And the eighth was too loud. To add to this fun and excitement, it was about 90ËšF outside, raining and we hadn’t eaten all day…needless to say, we were in bad moods. We decided to splurge and go to the first room. They didn’t have the room available any more. We skipped the second, and settled on the third one that was depressing but cheap.
Our depressing guest house
Exhausted and hungry, we left our bags and set out for lunch. We found a nice little thai place in the midst of Panama City Beach-like tourist shops (Panama City Beach, Florida that is. If you’ve ever been there you know what I mean). Afterwards we went back to the depressing room for a nap on the bed that felt as if we were going to be stabbed with springs every time we moved.
For dinner we decided to have pizza. Dinner was miserable. The food was okay, but the restaurant was packed with sex-hungry Australian college kids on holiday wearing mini skirts and too much makeup. Everyone was checking everyone out, and it was not a pleasurable situation. Nik and I left as quickly as we could and headed out for a walk on the beach where we both let the frustrations of the day out. During our walk, we decided that we would leave this terrible place tomorrow. It wasn’t beautiful enough to stay and endure the bad lodging and over-sexed-gawking.
Even the beach was depressed.
Wednesday July 4 – Friday July 6
Part 2: Good
Determined to make Wednesday a good day, we woke up early and took a hike up to the Koh Phi Phi Viewpoint. We were rewarded with this:
Click for larger image
Then we purchased our ferry tickets back to Krabi, packed up and headed to the same Thai restaurant from yesterday for lunch. It was still only 12pm, so we found a bench by the pier to people watch until the ferry left at 2pm.
Tourists and commercial deliveries fight for space on the deteriorating pier.
As we sat near the pier, the weather was nicer, the water was bluer, and Nik and Jamie were happier. In fact, we were so much happier that we decided to give the island a second chance, but we were going to get the heck out of the tourist hell. We confirmed that our ferry tickets could be used the following day, and we took a short longboat ride to Hat Yao (Long Beach).
Our beachside bungalow.
Hat Yao was beautiful and just what we needed. Calm water, nice people, quaint bungalows, beachside hammocks, oceanside restaurants. Pure bliss.
Seaside view from our bungalow
Nik’s Blog: Koh Phi Phi Don