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Ruth's Travel Blog

Koh Phi Phi and The Beach

THAILAND | Tuesday, 27 August 2013 | Views [1097]

Well since I last wrote, my closest friend out here (Julia) has left, which has been pretty tough. She travelled to Bangkok with Kat and I, when I went to meet Sophie, and we had a night out in Bangkok. The next morning (after only about a forty minute sleep!!) we said our emotional goodbyes, and Kat headed to the airport to fly back to the UK, and Sophie and I got a bus to Phuket, which took near on 13 hours. Sophie wasn't well, and I was hungover. So it probably wasn't a great combo for a long journey! I can sleep easily on buses, and I reckon of those 13 hours I slept 10 of them. We got to our hostel, went for food and had an early night. 

The next morning we got the boat out to Koh Phi Phi. It took about two hours. 
The island is amazing, lots of huge limestone cliffs and lagoons filled with turquoise clear waters. Sadly, everything on the island is pretty much new. Almost everything was destroyed in the Boxing Day Tsunami in 2004. It is overrun by tourists, and even many of the shops are run by westerners. Nothing there is cheap, there aren't even street food stands so we ate restaurants when we felt up for it. Whatever sickness Sophie had at the start I caught soon after. 
 
The first day there, after we has found our hostel which was directly on the beach, we headed back into town to find a place to book a boat trip. A lady in a travel agent told us today were the last boats until after the Muslim holiday (which turned out to be absolute nonsense) so we had twenty minutes to get back to the hostel, get swimwear, and cameras, and meet back at the travel agents.  We travelled in a long tail boat... The kind you see on postcards and travel guides to Thailand. It was ram packed full and got thrown about a lot in the choppy waters. The first stop was monkey beach. Need I say more. It was a beach with monkeys on it! We went past Viking caves which is where there is a booming "bird's nest" industry, for Bird's Nest Soup. I don't think I'll be trying that one!!
The colour of the water was incredible and I took hundreds of pictures. It was like some super edited postcard or something from a magazine. We went into a lagoon on the boat, then we were told that we had to walk to Maya Bay (the beach from The Beach) over the top of the cliffs as the tide was too low in the bay for boats to get it. First, we had to jump out of the boat. Second, we had to scramble across some horrible jagged rocks to the cliff edge, while being knocked over by waves every thirty seconds. Not easy!!  Finally, when you get to the cliffs edge in the water, you hold a rope and have to walk along, and then up a wooden ladder/steep staircase. Once you are over that its easy, you just need to walk through the palm trees to the other side, and out you come onto the beach. I actually couldn't stop taking pictures (the boat driver carried cameras across in a sea proof bag that divers use). It was unbelievably beautiful. The sand was SO white, and almost like a clay type of texture. It cracked on your feet as it dried. The water was so clear that it had no colour at all until quite far out, and out there it was the brightest kind of turquoise!!
It was very hot. So many tourists were there, just sitting in the sea, taking cheesy pictures of them jumping or whatever. 
We did a bit of all of that, Sophie and I. The water was so warm, like a bath. I could have say in there all day!
We had about an hour there, before heading back through the trees to the awful rocks!! I got stuck on the rocks, didn't know which way to go to get back not the water. I sliced my hand open which put me off the next stop which was snorkelling. I didn't want to get any more corally or oceany bits of anything in it. I've seen an infected wound from Thailand coral before, and the girl nearly lost her leg... And I'd rather keep my hand, thank you!
The boat back was pretty choppy, and by that point we were cooling off, so I was glad we were heading back!
Other days on Phi Phi we just relaxed, went for a walk around markets, and wondered out on the sand in front of our hostel when the tide was all the way out.  We had three nights there in total, and two full days and two half days. A good amount of time to rest, (other than the fact we had both spent a fair amount of time in the bathroom!!)
We went straight to  Phuket bus station when we got back to the mainland. We caught an overnight bus back to Bangkok. Neither of us were well for that journey, but at least we saved money on a hostel for that night, poor Sophie didn't manage any sleep at all though... And as usual I got a big sleep.
We managed to get to our Bangkok hostel on Kao San Road, and Sophie just wanted to sleep, understandable really,  but as I've not seen much of Bangkok either of the times before I was desperate to see some more!  I just kept close to Kao San and ate a little but still wasn't feeling up for much.
The next morning we got an early bus back to Surin, as early as possible as it was Mother's Day, which, in Thailand, is a really big deal as its also the Queen's Birthday, and there were due to be parades all round Bangkok... Ad I didn't know what other cities would be like for travelling through. Yet again, I slept most of the way back to Surin, while Sophie made friends with some wee boys on the bus and let them listen to David Bowie on her iPod. 
It was strange being back in Surin. Glad the travelling was over but not too pleased to be back there!! And sad that I was back without Julia.
 
Sophie stayed here a week, then headed up to Chiang Mai to volunteer with elephants. She changed her flights home to be earlier, and cut her trip ten days short. This was after while in Surin, she ate some chocolate with peanut in (unaware of the peanuts of course). Being allergic to peanuts, it didn't go well... And within two minutes her lips swole right up. We left immediately for the hospital, and as soon as we were there it got a lot worse. She went into anaphylactic shock which was extremely scary for her, of course, and for me to watch. I'm glad we left for the hospital when we did though. She spent a night in hospital, and I left school at lunch the next day to take her home for rest.
 
It was great having her here though, and it was sad saying goodbye to her as she got the tuktuk out to the bus station.
She has loved the volunteering with elephants up in Chiang Mai... She got some amazing pics of a newly born ele too!
 
School is a huge amount better. We got a slight pay rise, the three of us in EP. Whether it was that the made the difference or that I just have a more positive frame of mind for school I don't know, but I'm determined to enjoy the last few weeks... 6 and counting!! Sports day was a strange affair, primary aged kids dressed as hookers and pimps doing dance off depending on their team. Still every day there is something about Thailand that shocks me! And it was the hottest day I have ever felt in my life... 
 
Plans for travelling are still up in the air for after teaching... No decision as yet!
 
 

Tags: beaches, buses, islands, tefl, the beach

 

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