It was a long and arduous bus ride from Bangkok to Krabi… or should I say an arduous 3 bus rides. There had been multiple stops on our drive down from Bangkok, a few of which sounded like inspections in my haze of sleep. As I would discover later, at some point during the night my bag had been tossed and a pair of jeans and my beloved travel towel were missing. I’m still really upset about the loss of my travel towel since it was one of those fancy ultra absorbing ones, but since there’s nothing I can do about it I’ll continue on with the account of my journey. From Krabi I had to catch a ferry to my final destination of Koh Phi Phi island. It was literally the longest 2 hours of my life. In hindsight, those 2 hours were nothing after the 13 hours I had spent traveling via bus the night before, but by this point I was both tired from a restless nights sleep, and anxious to relax and unpack.
Once we made it to the dock, I set out in search of a place to stay. Since the island is incredibly small, the first street you come to is lined with people selling bookings for everything the island has to offer. I stopped into one and tried to find an affordable place to stay for the next few nights. After a little negotiating, and me skillfully walking away for a few minutes, the prices magically dropped into my range. It was then up to me to choose between an inexpensive dorm room or a slightly more expensive, but still fairly cheap, private bungalow. Since I had decided to make the most of my time on Koh Phi Phi, I went with the Bungalow on a quiet part of the island and was led through the maze of a town by a man pushing a metal cart with my bag in it.
One of my favorite things about Koh Phi Phi is that there are no cars, and maybe only a handful of motorbikes if any at all. You have to walk everywhere, and the locals often ride bicycles to get where they’re going a little faster, but you’re never more than 15 minutes away from where you want to be. My first night was rather tame. I settled into my bungalow then went off to explore the town and a little bit of the island before getting dinner. Once I was full, I headed back through town and spent the evening relaxing on my porch with a book, before catching my very first sunset on Koh Phi Phi.
The next morning I woke up earlier than almost everyone else in the bungalow resort. I would quickly learn that the entire island doesn’t really get going until close to 11 am, so I wandered through mostly empty streets in search of something to eat. My next destination was the beach, where I spent a little time relaxing until noticing that the island seemed to be moving around me, so I went off in search of a place to book my very first scuba dive. There are a number of places who offer diving on the island, so I chose Princess Divers, as it seemed like a good fit for me and easily set up a dive time for later that afternoon. By this point in my trip, I’ve developed the horrible habit of never having a watch on me, so I found a place with a clock and ate lunch there before heading back to the dive store with a little time to spare.
Since it was my first time diving, I had to go through a short training course to learn a few vital skills for scuba survival. I was partnered up with a Brazilian kid, who had also never been diving before, and we had our own dive instructor for the duration of the afternoon. Let me just start by saying that I am by no means a natural diver. My first attempts at both skills you have to pass weren’t pretty, and ended with me scurrying to the surface for air. Eventually I got it down and thankfully had no issues during either dive, but I was acutely aware of what could go wrong the entire time. Once I got past the newness of diving, I was able to enjoy the sights around me. There were fish of every color and size swimming in schools and alone through the reef, and we were even lucky enough to see a shark lounging on the seabed during our first dive. Unfortunate I have no photos to share from my dives with you, as they wouldn’t allow us to have control over one of the underwater cameras you can rent on our first trip out, so you’ll just have to google coral reefs and fill your souls with envy. I did however take plenty of photos of the above water scenery we passed, including the infamous beach on Koh Phi Phi Leh that was featured in the movie “The Beach”.
Once we were back on shore, I took a quick shower before heading out to a bar a few minutes walk away from my bungalow. While I was there I made friends with a German-Austrian couple named Patricia & Flo, and we played a few rousing games of jumble tower, or the Australian version of Jenga, while chatting over drinks. It was a perfect way to end my day, and after we said our goodbye’s, I headed back to my bungalow for a good nights sleep.
Since it was my last day on the island, and I was really slacking in the photography department, I set out early for the dock to get the much important long-boat picture. Because it was so early in the morning, there were dozens tied up in line on the beach front, so it ended up being the perfect time of day for undertaking this task. Once I was done I went into the restaurant that just happened to be behind me and ate a hardy American breakfast consisting of more food than I’ve almost ever been capable of eating. From there I headed to the other beach on the island, and spent a few hours laying in the sun and enjoying the cool sea water.
After taking a break from the beach to get another bottle of water, and to lather myself in copious amounts of sunscreen, I ended up renting a sea kayak for a few hours instead of laying out on the beach again. I’m actually really happy I did this as it was a great way to get some exercise, and I ended up on a different section of the island that I might not have ventured to otherwise. It was Monkey beach, which is fairly well-known for the monkeys who come out of the jungle behind the beach and wander around through the crowds. They aren’t at all afraid of humans, and a female monkey carrying her young on her stomach even walked within a few inches of my feet and stood there taking in the scene before moving on. People often buy fruit to feed them, so it’s no wonder they choose to hang out among the large crowds of people who form around them. Since I decided not to bring my camera in the kayak, for fear of it being ruined or lost at sea, I don’t have a photo of the beach, or the monkeys to share with you. I beat myself up about this for the duration of the kayak trip until I took it back to the rental place and discovered that everything in my bag was soaked through, and realized that I had probably saved my camera from ruin.
Since it was going to be my last night on Koh Phi Phi, I made my way from town to the beach to catch a fire show at Slinky bar. I had gotten there a little early so I ordered a drink and grabbed a great seat for the show. It was amazing to watch, and as it seemed like it would go on all night, I removed myself from my seat, got another drink, and walked on down the rest of the beach. Apparently most of the other bars on the beachfront have fire shows too, but none were nearly as impressive as the one at Slinky Bar. So after the fire shows became less impressive, and my drink had run out I headed back to my bungalow to prepare for my early morning departure. – If you want to watch a few videos of the fire show check out my newly created YouTube page
Day 1 total: 2,595 baht or $88.62 for 3 nights in a bungalow + deposit, food and drinks
Day 2 total: 3,748 baht or $128 for scuba diving, food and drinks
Day 3 total: 1,307 baht or $44.63 for sarong, sea kayaking, food and drinks