(YThough we have to wakeup bright and early to catch the 8:30AM boat to Phi Phi, we were oh so glad that we’re finally leaving Patong. After grabbing a quick breakfast and popping a few motion sickness pills, we were good to go.
I slept most of the way, I usually do. Put me in any moving vehicle/boat and am totally gone. I think it’s a defensive act from getting sick.
The streets of Patong were of little tourist shops. There used to be more but after the tsunami hit, most of them just closed shop. Here, you can buy anything like swimwear, use the Internet, make an overseas call or book a travel package deal. There are many options to choose from: scuba diving, cliff jumping, taking a boat to the many islands surrounding Phi Phi, snorkeling among others.
When the hotel manager told us that somebody would pick us up at the pier, we were surprised to see this young Thai boy with a steel cart, who was willing to carry our luggage, but wanted us to walk behind him to the hotel.
We stayed at the Phi Phi Villa Resort, and though we found it difficult to communicate with the front desk given their lack of English proficiency skills, we still managed to finally check-into our room.
Thank God it’s decent. The mosquito nets just show the dangers of getting bites while you’re getting your Zzzzzzzs. The wall is uncarpeted, mainly because beach is just in front of the hotel, and one can easily get sand in the floor.
The beach in itself is beautiful. Here’s a panoramic picture that my friend Mike took when he went to Phi Phi during Chinese New Year:
Mark did some of his flyfishing, while Erika, Julia and I merely stayed at the beach and took a nap. Dan on the other hand swam a bit and took a short hike around the surrounding mountains. Later, all of us girls walked further away from the beach and checked out sea urchins and corals, as well as look as some transparent fishies swimming in the area.
It’s surprising — the water’s deep when we arrived around noon, but come 4PM or so, due to the low tide, the water merely reaches up to your knees. Hence, even if you walk for miles, it’s shallow water all the way!
Hahaha, so imagine our surprise when we woke up from our nap! OMG, the beach was gone!
After being lazy for a couple of hours, I wanted to check out the sunset. However, because we got lost and some people of our party were late, we missed it which temporarily pissed me off. But of course, you can’t always win so we decided to walk around town to do some shopping.
Pirated DVDs and CDs galore! Only for 80 baht each! 🙂
After dinner, we checked out the cool fire dancing show at Carlito’s Way.
It was spectacular. Most of the fire dancers were really young boys who are not even 10 years old. It was really fun watching them dance to the tunes of Linkin Park, who’s my favorite band. Afterwards, we all went for a oil Thai massage. Since it was late, we had to be happy with merely just an hour of pinching and pulling before we headed back to our hotel.
The stars were just awesome at night. Hence, before going to bed, we decided to go walk on the beach and appreciate the twinkling lights.
It was great.
We saw the big dipper, Orion’s belt and among many others.
There’s something very humbling about star gazing — it makes you realize just how small you are, and that you’re merely a speck in this big galaxy. You’re also in awe on how one can make stars that beautiful.
After Patong, Phi Phi Island is simply paradise.
Erika mentioned something funny while we were in Phuket. She said, “We’re waking up every day at around 7AM or so! My gosh, this feels like work! I don’t really feel like I’m having a vacation… vacation is sleeping in till noon!”
I laughed because it was so true. Every morning, we were waking up early to go canoeing or transferring islands, and the third day was no exception. This time, after a nice American breakfast, we hired a longboat to take us around the Island and the infamous Maya Bay where the movie, The Beach, was filmed.
It was merely 250 baht for each of us for the 3-hour ride, which I felt was cheap since it included snorkeling gear.
We bought some bananas to feed the monkeys but were unfortunately to find them to have all disappeared. Therefore, we just enjoyed ourselves by snorkeling in Phi Phi bay. The water was tourquoise green and the water was clear. Too bad we didn’t really see too many fishes, but hey, you can’t win them all!
We also rode to Maya Bay and were surprised to find hundreds of tourists in the area. It seems that ever since the movie, Maya Bay has become a famous tourist attraction in Phi Phi, so much that the government is charging us 200 baht each for just stepping on the island.
Check out tons of tourists snorkeling around the Bay. The whole area was just full of them!
A big mistake.
The cliff was over 7 meters high, which scared me to death.
But since yours truly has a lot of pride and wouldn’t admit defeat, I finally mustered enough courage to make that leap…
… and POW!
Landed sweetly on my butt!!!!!!
It F*CKING HURTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Feels like I’ve just had an enema!
You should see my butt and thighs — I have two big back-and-blue bruises on both of my upper thigh. 🙁
Oooooh, the main you have to go through to do something absolutely stupid.
Or it’s just me for landing straight in my butt. 🙁
Bruised, I decided I’ve had enough and went back to the Island for our next activity… outdoor rock climbing! Sweet!
Let me introduce to you Mr. Tonsai Cliff, the place where we went outdoor wallclimbing:
Full of limestone and dozens of great hand- and foot-holds, it was such a pleasure to climb!
Here’s a view from on top:
But check out the view from the TOP!
From above the cliff, you can see the entire Tonsai Beach! As you can see, it’s almost low tide, hence, the boats had to relegate themselves to deeper waters. But it’s still an awesome sight nevertheless.
So proud of my friends Erika and Julia! Though it’s their first time outdoor climbing, they made it successfully to some of the walls. They’re no quitters, these girls!
Feeling very accomplished, we finally headed back to town around 5-ish and decided to skip the sunset altogether. Hey, no harm crying over spilled milk, right? So after a mouth-watering dinner, we went to the Apache Bar to watch yet another fire dancing event. Though last night’s performance was more entertaining, we enjoyed this one as well:
Later, we had our last Thai massage on the island because we were heading back to Taipei the very next day. My masseuse was so shocked to see my legs… they were all black and blue from the wallclimbing I’ve done that day and in the past. My bruises on the upper thigh were also starting to show.
I joked that I was beaten up by my ex-husband. 🙂
The last day was nothing to mention about.
Basically, we just had breakfast, packed, did some last minute shopping and boarded the ferry back to Phuket, and to the airport back to Taipei. Check out how empty the Phuket airport is:
Overall, it was a thoroughly enjoyable trip! It was full of highs and lows, tons of drama and memorable experiences. It taught me a lot about traveling, especially in the importance of choosing a good traveling buddy.
For example, during this trip, I was traveling with a person who is tight with his $$$, and someone who is okay in spending more money when on a holiday. Hence, there were some conflict along the way in who pays for who, and if one really wants to split the bill equally.
Regardless, it was a good trip, and I can’t wait to go again soon!
Erika and I were talking about doing Egypt later this year… heck, who knows? Time to save up!
Last night, I had a Malaysian/Singaporean dinner with a friend at the Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall area. We talked about his life, the fact that his brother managed Hooters North America, life in Taiwan and how bored he was here, and about a lot of things. Afterwards, we grabbed a cup of java at the nearby Starbucks and walked home all the way from SYS Memorial Hall to Shida, Heping area.
I’ve never really spent that much of a time with this man, but things just happen I guess. If I’ve never bumped into him again last week, we wouldn’t have settled in having dinner last night.
Ah, it was a very nice evening indeed…
There’s nothing better than having a great one-on-one conversation with a person you like while drinking a drink that you love (hot Starbucks vanilla latte or caramel machiatto just does it for me!), and walking around the city on your way home. People always think that I love being in big crowds but they’re wrong.
There’s nothing else I’d rather do than spend an intimate evening with someone, having good food, great conversation and a wonderful ending.
He introduced me to the Watershed Bar at Anhe Road while I was wowed by the slick paths at Daan Park. As it just rained and the lights reflected on the puddles, I felt like I was in a movie.
I got home well after midnight, but it was time well-spent.
Ah, this IS life… doing things you like doing and spending it with people you like.
And tonight, wallclimbing night!
Life is good!
Till tomorrow, ciao!