Asia / My Travels / Thailand

Koh Phi Phi: A Paradise Worth The Risk

“Trust me, it’s paradise. This is where the hungry come to feed.
For mine is a generation that circles the globe and searches for something we haven’t tried before.
So never refuse an invitation, never resist the unfamiliar, never fail to be polite and never outstay the welcome.
Just keep your mind open and suck in the experience. And if it hurts, you know what? It’s probably worth it.

– Richard (The Beach)

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Maya Beach at Koh Phi Phi Leh | 2010

After full-moon partying at Koh Pangan, we thought of going to Vangvieng Laos to join some of our other friends, but we didn’t realised that it will be a butt-painful journey coming from Koh Pangan. We don’t want to waste our limited time, so our friend (Matthew) told us just to go and see Koh Phi Phi instead. We thought, Laos can wait for a next longer holiday covering more places than just Vangvieng alone.

Koh Phi Phi is in the province of Krabi (close to Phuket), which is on the the other side of Thailand where we were, Koh Pangan, so we were expecting a long journey by sleeper boat + sleeper bus + tram + ferry before we reach there! My friend RH and I are always game with new adventure, so with no research and pre-plans, we decided to just go and get lost haha!

The sleeper boat is already an adventure itself. It was both our first time and I was scared to try it at first but after seeing other fellow travellers doing it made me feel more comfortable. It was so cool that we were even sleeping beside a monk! Monks in Thailand are very much respected, they even have a special seat on every train/boat, and if there’s none, they can just take any seat/space they want. And that happened to us, he occupied the end bed which belongs to someone else, so when the real owner came, he has no place anymore and he almost ask the monk to leave, but of course we told him he cannot do that, so I just offered him my bed, and told him that my friend and I can just squeeze on her bed.

Upon reaching Surat Thani ferry terminal, we have to take a sleeper bus to Krabi. This is where we have been warned to be extra vigilant. A lot of sleeper bus scams are going on in Thailand. My friend and I just kept all our valuables with us inside the bus because there are scams where they open your backpacks at the compartment. Then we hid our money inside our clothes, because there are scams that they make everyone sleep deeply by putting something in the aircon. Then when you wake up, your money will be all gone! We were fortunate that we weren’t victimized, but sad to say, the friends we were with in Koh Pangan lost all their money in a bus going to Bangkok!

Anyway, after a long bus ride, we just need to take a short tram ride going to Krabi Ferry Terminal that will take us to Koh Phi Phi Don. I’ve been to Koh Phi Phi Leh before but on a day trip only from Phuket. It’s part of the Island-Hopping Tour where they will take you the Maya Beach which is the most popular island in Koh Phi Phi because it was used as a film location for “The Beach” starring Leonardo Di Caprio (one of favorite travel movie!).

Koh Phi Phi was severely damaged during the 2004 tsunami, but they have redeveloped it with the help of foreign investors, so you’ll be seeing more Caucasians working there than the local Thais.

We stayed at the Kho Phi Phi Don and since we didn’t have any accommodation bookings made, it was difficult to choose one, so we just asked our tuktuk driver to bring us to where he think is a good location. Our guesthouse is just few steps to the beach, so while we were walking by the beach, we unexpectedly saw our friends from Singapore! Yay! At least my friend and I were not “honeymooners” anymore :P

Then the rest of our stay was LEGEN-wait for it-DARY! (Haha! Barney?)

We started with dinner by the beach, then swim at our friends’ hotel’s pool, then few drinks at a Reggae Bar that shows Muay Thai boxing between volunteers from the crowd, then more drinks at Apache Bar which is a beach party with ring of fire and etc, then we all ended the night in Stone Bar with people djembe jamming while high with over-the-counter-you-know-what!

It was a fun-filled night that the Island Hopping Tour the next day was very painful for us haha! Our friends even missed our boat, so they had to take the next boat that leaves a little bit later than ours, we just saw them at Maya Beach, of course still hungover :D

That same day, we went back to Bangkok already for our flight the next day. It didn’t seem like a short stay for us because of so many things that happened in just few days! So were all the risk still worth it? Of course it was!

We travel to relax, but oftentimes we travel because we are searching for something we haven’t tried before, either new places or new adventures. It’s better to go to holidays that were all planned, but sometimes fun comes to those unplanned trips. Just like this one, we went here with no planning set ahead and the place is very unfamiliar to us, we welcomed the risk and suck ourselves in the experience. And it turned out to be one of the most fun trips I have had :)

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The paradise worth all the risk ;)

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