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Running away from Home

Getting There is Half the Fun-the Road to Ko Phi Phi part II

THAILAND | Friday, 22 January 2010 | Views [247]

At 6:30am all of the passengers on the bus were jostled awake and told to disembark. I hadn’t gotten much sleep. They bus company had played action movies for our entertainment until late into the night. There had been a bus stop at 3:15 in the morning, and some guy decided to use my headrest as his footrest. Imagine waking up in the middle of the night and stretching only to find an obstruction behind your head. I reached around to grab the obstruction and I squeezed a big toe. He had graciously wrapped a blanket around his feet, but how rude!

We waited for two hours for the next leg of the journey. At this point we were somewhere around Suratthani. I had given up asking questions at this point and I decided that I was just going to sit until someone told me what to do. Eventually they brought another minivan around and we all piled into it. The minivan was followed by another minivan to discount travel agency hub where we waited for another hour. Then we climbed into a sawng thaew and were driven to the Krabi pier, where we spent another hour waiting for a ferry to arrive. After an hour and a half on the ferry, sitting next to a young couple who had had a spat, but were now blissfully reconciled, I made it to Ko Phi Phi. The bright shining star in the constellation of my journey around Thailand. The island that has such beautiful beaches that one starred in a major motion picture.

I had already reserved and paid for a hotel room that was not located near the pier. (Mistake #1-going solo--stay closer to town) It was my understanding that the hotel would pay for your taxi boat to their establishment, so I called them. (Mistake #2-not checking the validity of this claim before making the reservation) The woman who answered could not speak English well and I was having a hard time hearing her over the commotion at the pier. I went back to get my own taxi boat, only none of them would take me because I was a party of one and they wanted at least two. There are no cars on Ko Phi Phi, Boat is the only motorized way to get around. I figured it was not big island, and that I could walk. I asked a few locals how far it was to my hotel and the only response I got was “far” and “that’s one Hell of a walk”. I did find a fellow with a taxi boat who would begrudgingly do it, but only if I paid for the price of two people. I grew indignant and decided to walk it. If I had known what I was in for, I would have paid double.

Past a certain point there is no walking path on Ko Phi Phi, so you have to walk on the beach. That’s okay. I can handle the stares of the sunbathers and the swimmers, but it isn’t just sand. The beaches are broken up by a rocky shoreline. Some days I really like being a solo traveler, but today, I cursed my rotten luck as I crawled over giant boulders being gently lapped by the Andaman Sea. This all was going on at 4:00 in the afternoon, and in 90-degree heat, so suffice to say, I was beet red and drenched with sweat when I got to the reception desk of my hotel. I smiled and said, “hello, I have a reservation.” The staff were all locals and when they saw me coming, I’ll bet they thought I was the devil. I caught a look a myself in a mirrored window, not only was I beet red, but the vein on my forehead was popped out and throbbing. When it was time to lead me to my room, the staff scattered. They finally dragged some poor guy back to drive me and my pack to my “hut” on a scooter. As soon as we got there, He chucked my backpack in the direction of the room, muttered something in Thai and ran like hell.

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