PHI PHI AND BACK TO LANTA
When we got to the beautiful island of Koh Phi Phi, a new face was introduced to the mix. Zak was one of our roommates from St. Louis, and was just coming off a month med school rotation in Chengdu, China. He wanted to travel for two weeks, and we said pick a place! Turns out Koh Phi Phi was that place, so we picked a hostel and said, BE THERE.
Koh Phi Phi (ko-pee-pee) is actually made up of 6 islands with the only inhabited one being Koh Phi Phi Don. These islands are some of the most beautiful and picturesque in the world… and relatively well known, so there are a lot of travellers, tourists, and resorts on the island. It’s also known as one of the bigger party islands in Thailand, but not the biggest.
We were coming from different places, but we literally arrived at the hostel front desk within 1 minute of each other. Meant to be. We hugged it out, settled our stuff into the room, and went out in search of food and sand. We caught up with Zak and chilled by the beach throwing the disc in the crystal clear waters for most of the rest of the day.
We were all tired of traveling for the day, Zak most of all as he didn’t get much sleep on his flights, so we called it an early night. Before heading to bed in our cramped dorm room, we did manage to walk around and figure out what we wanted to do for our next two days. I won’t spoil it now, just keep reading.
The next day we headed out on an all day snorkeling and beach hopping tour by longtail boat for 500 baht (15 USD) including lunch. Seemed like a good deal to us, and it was a great way to see the amazing Phi Phi islands. Got some throwing of the disc in, lots of snorkeling, and got to see “The Beach.” Definitely one of the highlights, the boat stopped at the beach in Maya Bay on Koh Phi Phi Leh where the movie “The Beach” was filmed. It is said to be one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, and it didn’t disappoint. Phra Nang beach in Railay and Maya Bay are my top two… it’s been a good week for beaches.
That night we headed to the beachfront to see the crazy bar scene on the beach. With water, sand, fire, loud music, and cheap drinks, it was pretty much an international spring break party every night. There are about 6 big bars, all trying to blast music louder, burn more shit than the other, and have the craziest fire dancers. There was everything you could think of, and all on fire. Fire limbo, fire jump rope, jumping through a ring of fire, the name of the bar stuck in the sand and lit on fire, and a guy in the ocean swinging a fire. It was like they just discovered the stuff and were acting like a teenager who discovered alcohol for the first time.
We partook, but made sure we got some sleep, because we were waking up early the next day to go climbing. Not just rock climbing, but deep water soloing. For those that haven’t heard of it, it’s basically climbing on cliffs that rise up out of the deep water below. There are no ropes, you just start climbing out of the ocean and climb until either you get tired, can’t climb higher, or get scared. Then you jump. I had tried to do deep water soloing at Railay, but never got a chance (my own fault really)… so I was not going to miss this opportunity. The routes weren’t too hard, which was exactly what I wanted. Being a diver in high school, I loved cliff jumping, and wanted to climb up as high as I could. I ended up making it to about 16-17 meters (about where the guide jumped from in the video below), highest jump of my life, and a highlight of the trip so far.
It was great to have Zak there with us, and the good times kept on rolling. We met up with Mitch from England and Rachel from Italy and went back to the beach for our last night on Phi Phi, and that’s about all I’ll say on the internet.
Our travels took us back to Koh Lanta (from my previous post) the next day where we rented motorbikes again and chilled out on the great secluded beaches. It was a stark difference from the last time we were there, because after May 1st, things close. The tourist low season begins and businesses close up shop. We didn’t mind though, we still visited the National Park at the end of the island, and got our first Thai massages. Man, do they know how to rub some muscle.