Thursday, 9 February 2012

West Coast; Krabbi and Phi Phi

The journey from Ko Panyang to Krabbi sucked. Hard. The boat was slow and stank and the van journeys where really cramp and bumpy. So we arrived a little on the grouchy side and checked into a pretty decent hotel. At least I thought it was pretty decent by 'traveler' standards, Dave and Laura on the other hand thought it was disgusting! The three of us headed out to a local restaurant and for once when I asked for a 'spicy' Thai green curry, it was actually spicy! The three of us all enjoyed our meals and the guy who owned the place was a really cool guy. He gave us some really cool info on how Thailand had progressed with tourism over the years and warned us how much of a touristy place phi phi had become. He was right!

The next morning we got up and headed to a cafe where Leonardo De Caprio had eaten at while he was filming 'the beach'. There was a photo of him with the lady who was serving us food so it was defo legit. Then I took my bag to get sowed up as it had got a bit torn by the zip from being packed to the brim. The lady sowed it up properly strong and it cost me all of 2 pounds! We got on the ferry over to Phi Phi and tried to catch some rays on route. the journey over was pretty damn spectacular with all the beautiful islands scattered over the sea. Then on arrival into the tropical paradise that is Phi Phi island I looked into the sea and saw a nappy floating on the surface of the water! Perhaps this was an omen of what to expect. Don't get me wrong, Phi Phi is a beautifull place and if I was there on a holiday with a larger budget I would have enjoyed it a lot more, however the cost put me on edge the whole time as I was fretting about how far my money was going to last. In hindsight I probably should have just set aside a bigger budget and tried to hold back a bit at some of the cheaper places I'd been, but my philosophy for travelling has been to hold back on accommodation and food and spend my money on experiences and adventures. Whilst looking for a place to stay I had a minor falling out with Dave and Laura over the rooms. This was none of our faults particularly, but as it was so busy on the island all the dorms had been sold out so we where left trying to find 'cheap' rooms to split with 3 people. As it happened we managed to satisfy all parties by Dave and Laura getting a very nice AC room with a double bed and sneaking me in so that we had 3 up for the night. The bed was plenty big enough for the 3 of us and as we split the cost 3 ways it worked out a bargain :-). The three of us headed out into town and I don't think I've ever seen as many beautiful people in one place before. Everywhere I turned there was gorgeous women walking in groups and to be honest I found it a little intimidating. They were actually too hot for me to talk to! We headed to a beach bar called Slinky's which was busting out some great tunes (I've become a little too attached to Rhianna hopeless place when I'm at a club!) but for some stupid reason they had a 20 foot pole in the middle of the dance floor for the local performances. This is all very well and good, but if you put a big climb-able pole in the middle of a bunch of drunk people they're going to climb it and apparently (although fortunately I didn't see this happening) people fall off it all the time. There was also a bar further down the beach which I think was called reggae bar that had a more chilled out vibe and sold spliffs (if that sort of thing takes your fancy - doesn't really do it for me) which Dave and Laura went to for a bit while I had a bit of a rave and pulled some German girl, who then promptly stumbled over when I walked her to the bar to buy her some water and then started pulling some other guy while I was waiting at the bar for the drinks! Fuck it, she wasn't that hot anyway. On the walk home I stopped in at a place called "the rolling Stoner" which was a Thai band that played a bunch of old school rock music, and they played a pretty epic version of Freebird which I was loving. I then realised that I didn't have a key to the room so went to find Dave and Laura back on the beach. Me and Dave got chatting to some Swedish girls who where genuine 10 to 2 wonders and tried snooze (at least I think that's what it's called) which is a tobacco based sweet thing that you place on your gum and leave there to soak into your gums. This sounds disgusting..... and it was disgusting. Crazy Europeans! The walk home then took approximately 4 days (at least that's what it felt like) as every street looks the same and leads to no-where and I was getting more and more tired and grouchy by the minute. Eventually found my way home and we worked out that all 3 of us had somehow got separated and each spent well over an hour to walk what should have taken 5 minutes!

Next morning I checked into a pretty nice dorm room called "Mr Local" and headed to the dive shop to do my first fun dive. My instructor was an absolute hero, he was a Greek guy called Con (short for Constantatsheaehkbgfjyaegfsefjhswf or something) and hadn't wore shoes in 3 years. he even had "bare foot" tattooed on his foot! He was super cool and showed me a few tricks when I was getting my gear on to make it easier. Then when we got into the water I messed around with my BCD (Buoyancy control device) for about 10 minutes trying to get neutral Buoyancy (where you neither sink or surface) and eventually got the hang of it. He told me at the end of the dive that I just needed to release all my air then add a little bit then not worry about it, I guess that just comes with practise as I was much better on the second dive. The visibility was really good and amongst all the cool fish, marine life and coral I saw a couple of sharks too :-). They where only about 4-5 foot big but when you're in the water with something that you know is a born killer it still sets your heart racing :-) The whole time Con made me feel really comfortable and relaxed and after the first dive the boat headed to Maya Bay (where "The Beach" was filmed) and was frankly more than a little disappointed. There was speed boats and speedos everywhere and it wasn't even that beautiful to look at. Apparently you can do a special trip where you take a boat with 20 odd people and sleep under the stars and the view out to the sea is spectacular at night, but then you get woken up at 7am by hordes of speedo wearing Europeans and it costs a shit tonne to do so I gave it a miss. Unfortunately the visibility on dive two wasn't anywhere near as good but we still managed to see a couple more sharks in the distance and one of the other instructors saw a tiger shark, but we missed it :-(. After the dives I headed back to the dorm and exchanged numbers with Con, unfortunately we didn't manage to meet up that evening though. I hung out with the guys at the dorm for a while just outside by the street and we sunk some beers and vodka whilst playing acoustic guitar and royally pissing off locals at the massage shop next door. Then about 15 of us headed to banana bar (not that kind of banana bar newton!) which sold buckets and spliffs a plenty. After that we headed to the sports bar where by westerners can get in the Thai boxing ring and fight each other and receive a free bucket each for entertaining the crowd. I decided that I was far too hard to partake in such activity and didn't want someones death on my conscience (i was scared!) so headed back to Slinky's to throw some shapes and hit on some more girls :-).

And that was about it for Phi Phi. Like I said, if I'd had a shit tonne of money it would have been brilliant, but I didn't so it just seemed like a holiday spot for Europeans wanting to see where the Beach was filmed! Ironic really that "The Beach", a film about getting away from annoying tourist trap places like Samui, actually has become more of a tourist trap due to that film.


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