Tropical Thailand – 2nd stop, Ko Phi Phi

Micah and I left hot and humid (and no sun) Bangkok for the tropical beaches of the South!  We took a quick flight from Bangkok to Krabi (the jumping off point for many islands down south).

After landing, we took a stuffy shuttle to the Krabi Pier and boarded a 1.5 hour ferry to Ko Phi Phi (remember, it’s pronounced Ko Pee Pee).  The ferry ride was wonderful.  We sat on the top and soaked in some sun and beautiful views.

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Here we are approaching Ko Phi Phi. 

Side note: Ko Phi Phi was hit very hard by the 2004 tsunami.  The downtown area had to be moved to the other side of the island, which is where we stayed.  The island looks to have recovered really well.

First task: Find a place to stay.  Easy enough.  As soon as you get off, you are bombarded with people asking you where you are staying.  Since we didn’t know, we just went along with one of the guys who showed us a bunch of pictures of places we could stay along with prices.

We chose an air-conditioned room in the main “downtown” area of the island.  I do wish we picked something on “Long Beach,” which is a much more chill, relaxed side of the island.  But it was easy enough to walk there when we wanted. 

Since it’s still the peak season for travel, we paid 1500 baht a night (or $45 US). 

Second task: Explore the island.  The weather was still hot and sunny even though it was nearing 6pm.  We wandered the streets and were quite surprised at just how TOURISTY this place is.  We saw young and old and heard many many different languages being spoken.  Some of the beach areas were actually pretty dirty (cigarette butts around you), but venturing to the less crowded beaches on the island resulted in much cleaner sand and water. 

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Third task: Experience the nightlife.  Ko Phi Phi has a vibrant nightlife.  There are a lot of bars to choose from.  And the little food stands at day, turn into alcohol stands at night.  Cocktail buckets are quite popular here.

Fourth task: R&R (i.e. beach time!)  We got PLENTY of sunny beach time.  The sun is intense, so we were really good about slathering on the sunscreen, which is marked up quite high on the islands.  The beaches are soft and sandy, and the water is warm and shallow. blog8

Fifth task: Go on an unexpected 1.5 hour massively hilly hike to see the pretty views from the top.  On our way down, we apparently discouraged many a-hiker from going to the top after we told them how much time it would take.

Speaking of unexpected…our room got a few channels of cable.  So one morning as we were lazily getting up, I turned on the TV and what did my eyes see?  The WSU vs UCLA basketball game!  How crazy is that?  We haven’t watched any real-time U.S. sports since we left for Korea…and to see my college team playing?  Awesome.  Not only that, but another channel was airing the New Orleans Saints vs Minnesota Vikings NFC Championship game!  That was a nice little bonus for us. 🙂

Final thoughts on Ko Phi Phi:

It’s a very beautiful island, but also very touristy.  There are tons of things to do – tours, scuba diving, rock climbing, etc.  We opted for the more low key vacation. 

Also, we didn’t see any panhandling on the island.  And while the main core is quite dirty at times, the island as a whole is clean and enjoyable to walk around.  There is easy access to lodging, internet cafe’s, restaurants, fruit stands, book stores, laundry service and travel agencies.

Next stop: Railay

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