It was a very early to catch a cab to the airport. Our flight wasn’t till 8:40 but we left at 6 cause of traffic…we made it there in a half hour. But what are you going to do. We chilled had some coffee. Brenna and I were stuck in the very last row of the plane and it was already a very bumpy ride. We got through it and as we started to make our decent and saw outside it was already worth the money and time. I mean just frown the air it was gorgeous. We flew into Phuket which is the biggest of the islands. It is where the film The Impossible with Ewan McGregor was filmed. Phuket and Phi Phi were hit by a massive tsunami a few years ago that destroyed the island. The Impossible is based on a true story so they filmed at the actual hotel and everything. We got to see the some of the rebuild of the island because the airport is on the opposite side of the island from the ferry port. It was still incredibly beautiful and it was hard to believe anything so disastrous had ever happened. We were really early for the ferry to Phi Phi so our driver took us to this local outdoor restaurant on the water. Crazy beautiful and something you never see in western culture. Locals lived and worked at this place. It was the first place you actually saw the rebuild taking place. They were laying brick by hand and painting while we were there. The food kind of sucked but the boys, Kobi, Kier, and Nick got giant pina-coladas in coconuts. But the girls drank water…hmmm. After a long lunch we headed to the fairy where a man proceeded to take my bag for me and set it on the luggage deck, then proceeded to turn and ask for a tip…with his hand out. I was not impressed but didn’t want to get into a tiff over it and paid him 20 batt equaling 75 cents. We went to the top deck that was open. We could hang our feet over the edge and soak up the rays! Its was a good 2 hour ferry ride. We had a blast and met these two Australians, Nickolas and Gaurav. We were on the open sea for a good hour and a half and then we pulled into view of Phi Phi. It was just awe inspiring. It looked as if God said boulder here in the middle of the ocean. Its not like a normal island where it’s a glorified sandbar it was sheer cliffs of granite straight into the ocean. The water was an actually deep blue color. Not sea green or aqua blue it was a deep navy. I’ve never seen anything like it. As we got closer to the island we saw flying fish! It was so cool. When we docked we made plans with our new friends to meet up at Slinky’s. We then went and met our Cart, since there are no cars on the island they have only hand pushed carts, pedal bikes and motor bikes (which were more like motorcross bikes). They put our luggage in and head off towards the hotel. We walked, obviously. The streets were simple and basically it looked like a giant bizarre. There were bars thrown in every once and a while and it was all just on the ocean with a gorgeous white sand beach and those boats that you only sea in paintings when they talk about Thailand or the orient. They are considered taxi boats lol. Our hotel wasn’t spectacular but it was just what you would want it to be. It was a little beach hotel. We dropped everything off got into bathing suits and jumped into the ocean. Now the gorgeous white sand beach isn’t so gorgeous when you walk on it cause its not soft it’s a little rocky but once you’re in the water its just perfect. It was so warm and blue. Insane. We then went and got some food and met a very interesting islander. He was our waiter and walked with a huge smile on his face as if he knew exactly how to talk to Americans. Lets just say it was an interesting experience ordering our meals. We had a great time. We went exploring and ran into the Ausies again. They had heard about this epic Half Moon party happening on the other side of the island. We got directions and headed back to the hotel. On the way we stopped to have a night swim in the ocean where I cut my toe on a piece of coral cause the guys threw me into the ocean. It was like high school all over again. LOL.
We headed to the other side of the island which was an adventure all itself. I mean its not a big place it was like a 15 minute walk there but we stopped at an Irish pub on our way and thought lets get some fruity drinks, after all we’re on an island. We sat down looked at the menu and saw everything came in BUCKET form…IT was fun the girls split one and we danced for a good half hour then headed to the festival which was all on the beach. We finally get there and its like a giant fire show. There were probably five or six places up and down the beach all with fire stuff going on. We headed towards the one with a giant firs jump rope where the boys and me jumped a fire rope! SO exhilarating. We then headed off to the Slinky bar and found our Australian friends. Slinky’s had a giant “Ring of Fire” to jump through. So Nick and I went through then as I was talking to G and Casa a random girl come up and grabbed me and the next thing I knew I was going through the ring again. This proceeded to happen about three times before I had to say no thank you. LOL Nick, Keir, Rebecca and I left early.
The next day we were waken by people yelling and screaming at 6:30 in the morning. I panicked and thought there was some natural disaster happening went to the window and saw that nothing was happening just families thinking it was a good idea to let there children run around and be loud. We got ready went to breakfast, which was unimpressive, and went exploring. Found a boat tour that only cost $20 to go see the other beaches on the island including Maya Beach where they filmed “The Beach”. We had a couple hours to kill so we went and explored the local life. There are a lot of Europeans and Australians who have some how found themselves living on the island either teaching some sort of water activity or working on tour boats. Their stories were just unreal. They came to visit when they went traveling for 6 months and never left. Just a lifestyle I can’t comprehend but everyone we met were just the nicest, most interesting people I had met in a while.
We met with the tour group and got on the boat. Immediately we made friends with a couple from Holland (Sandy and Martin) and these two French Canadians (Eduard and Lawrence) . Accents abound. Sandy was telling us about a monkey that had bitten her the day before as we are on our way to monkey beach to play with monkeys. Timing is everything. There aren’t really docks beside the main port that we came into on the ferry, so once we were at monkey beach we had two options either swim or take a kayak. Now the beach didn’t look that far away from where we had anchored and everyone else was swimming and I am a decent swimmer. So I said what the heck lets just jump in. About half way I started to run out of breath and Nick, who is an excellent swimmer, had to come back for me. It was hilarious I looked like a drowned rat. Needless to say I made it with out too much help. The minute we were on the beach we had monkeys galore. There were babies and adults. We were given leche and cucumbers to feed them. It was crazy they just came took it right out of your hands! One guy had a bottle of rum on him and the monkey, who was on a tree, put out its hands as if to say let me see. The guy held it up and the monkey grabbed it and started tugging. The minute the guy tried to pull back he put his mouth on it as if to open it. It was too funny. Brenna was in Heaven she has been talking about seeing monkeys since we left the states and luckily for her the monkeys decided she was a step stool. They jumped from the tree to her head to the ground. It was great. Soon enough the “Godfather”, if you will, came out and it wasn’t out of protection like you would think…no it was to show off and shove the others out of the way. He was aggressive though. He would push peoples legs and take food from others. He was big in comparison. He was also a very picky eater. He only wanted the leche not the cucumber. There was one that jugged a coke. Literally chugged. I took the kayak back to the boat and then we were off to Viking cave. It is a cave where a species of bird that would use the cave to next and lay eggs twice a year. Once they abandoned them the islanders would collect the nest to make bird nest soup. Tourist use to be able to go in to the cave and walk around but now it is run by Pirates. They had a whole thing set up and were standing on it so we waved to the pirates. They seemed very friendly. The cave it self was really cool cause it had giant stalactites hanging down and looked like a giant monsters mouth on the side of the cliff.
Next stop was the other Phi Phi island where Maya Beach is located. It is significantly smaller than the main island and no one seems to live there except to the one Robinson Caruso shack that was hanging off the side of the cliff as we pulled into the main cove. It was an incredible site. There was the small jut of granite to the left and then the island to the right and you could see through to the open ocean. Just humbling. Once we anchored you could either swim or kayak to the cliff that you then climbed up a “ladder”. It was a mixture of a rope ladder and a well crafted wooden one. It was only about 20 feet climb to go up and over the rock wall. I took the kayak obviously. I shared it with a very drunk Irish woman who was a hoot. Once at the base of the “ladder” I had to get off the kayak into the water then climb. As soon as I got one foot off the kayak a huge came up and crashed into the kayak, me and the rock wall, it pushed the kayak into my back and into the rope. It was crazy and I got a war wound. I mean who else can say they got a war wound from a pirate “ladder”. I can! We then walked a short trail through a canyon area and then it opened up on to a spectacular scene. There were cliffs filled with greenery on either side that sloped into this gorgeous white sand beach. It was like the cove on the other side that just had this view of cliffs and open ocean. It so inspiring to see God’s work like this, American has some incredible things and I have been to some beautiful places in my life but this was just unreal. We immediately ran into the ocean. The white sand here was like normal sand and the water was so warm. We played took lots of pictures. Eduard took this awesome “Titanic” picture with Rebecca. It was great but as we were taking pictures there was a huge gust of wind that kicked up this huge wall of sand that pelted us. It hurt so bad we thought we were going to have a bunch little pin pricks don’t worry we were fine! We headed back and got back on the boat. Last stop was on the other side past Maya bay. It was a smaller cove that was calm and shallow. Here we could kayak around or snorkel. Nick and I decided to kayak. I know I keep saying this but every stop just got bigger and better. Again it was just steep cliffs to the water. We kayaked all the way in and found this beautiful pristine cove. The entry was narrow, created by cliffs on either side, the minute we passed through it just opened up onto this beautiful little volcanic rock beach. There was a crane drink water in the middle of the clearing and these little white flowers on tall green stems were popping out of the rocks. You looked up to see this vibrant green jungle shrubbery hanging off the walls. It was so peaceful I could have sat there for hours praying, reading and just taking in God’s handy work. We eventually left and kayaked around the rest of the big cove and headed back to the boat. They fed us and we got to see the most beautiful sunset over the islands as we pulled into port. Since it had been over cast most of the day there were huge cumulonimbus clouds that all the colors were bouncing off of, pink, blue, purple and yellow. Again could have sat there for hours watching it. Later that night we met up with our new friends from the boat and jumped through some more fire before calling it a night.
The ferry ride home was ridiculous. Some of use went to the top deck again to catch some final sun and about a half hour into the trip we were all huddled under and awning because it had started storming and it seemed a little too trepidatious to climb the ladder down the stairs. There was a young British kid there who looked like he couldn’t be older than 16 (obviously he must have been since he was there with a buddy) but he was still drunk from the night before with his face painted. He woke up about half way through and realized there were people surrounding him and that he was going to be sick so he swaggered his was to the side of the boat. Luckily he never got sick but man he looked like he was going over at some points. He kept trying to walk around, or crawl or just slip and slide his was around the top deck. He kept reassuring us he isn’t usually this weird he’s just still drunk. LOL then on of the boat workers decided to come entertain us to feel better by singing “San Francisco” by Scott McKenzie except changed the lyrics to “Phi Phi Islands” too funny! We eventually got to the airport waited around for a couple hours and made it back to Bangkok in time to pack, sleep and get on a plane to Hong Kong.
This small weekend trip taught me a couple of things: Money is money and I can always make more of it but I can’t just make amazing experiences like the one I had. I would love to try and back pack through some part of the world for 3 months and just make new friends wherever I go. And Finally I want to go back Phi Phi!
See you all in Shenzhen!