Our next journey was away from the Gulf of Thailand and to the Andaman coast and onto Phi Phi which is pretty much on the south east side of Thailand and about 40km offshore from Krabi. They are basically two main islands; Phi Phi Ley and Phi Phi Don. Don is the larger of the two island and attracts most tourist attractions and also has all of the resorts, nightlife and dive schools. South of Don is Ley which is completely underdeveloped due to its towering cliffs around the island. As most of the world knows Phi Phi was hugely affected by the traumatic events on Boxing day in 2004 when the Tsunami hit the island devastating it, the infrastructure and the people who lived and worked there. It is something that hits you first as you get to the island as there are now signs everywhere for evacuation centers and routes to higher ground. Since the events on Dec 2004 the island has largely recovered although the commercial development hasn`t reach the heights pre 2004, which I think is a good thing. pre 2004 the island struggled with water supply due to too many properties but now there is a better balance on the island. The memory of the Tusami is all around you on the island and although it doesn`t lower the mood of the island it certainly makes you think what it was like. You Tube show good clips of the effects of the tsunami which although are sad to watch certainly makes you appreciate the power of mother nature.
The six of us thought it would be a good opportunity to visit the island to get a bit of R&R as it has magical beaches, a very relaxed atmosphere and an island with no mopeds or cars so you can escape the madness of the mainland. It was a good opportunity to chill out for a few days until my cards arrived back at the mainland. we were going to stay on Phi Phi Don, which also boasts scenic hill and stunning limestone cliffs along with remarkable beaches. The island is actually two rocky islands (KO Nok and Ko Nai) joined together by a broad sandy isthmus (which is where the tsunami stormed through as all the resorts are on this part of the island) which is the hub of the island with all the nightlife, bars, restaurant and shops selling anything and everything.
After a relatively expensive trip (in Thai terms – ie 1000B – £20) away from KP through minibuses and a boat ride, we touched down on the pier and headed up towards Ao Lo Dalam on the northern beach so we could experience both the serenity of the island whilst be in touching distance of the fun and nightlife. We found some amazing beach bamboo huts which were 2 mins walk away from the beach. We were also blessed with our own bar, restaurant, cinema screen (which proved very useful for watching Liverpool hammer Man U 4 – 1) and also gave us access to beach activities each day – snorkeling, kayaking and paragliding for the more adventurous! The only issue to the huts (which we found after booking) was that the bar turned into a nightclub and went on till 4am every morning. Therefore if you wanted a quiet night in then sleeping tablets and / or ear plugs were needed as the bass was so loud it actually rattled and moved the huts!!
We stayed on the island for about 5 days and relaxed on the beach and took it easy at night. Dan, Marc and Andy left after 3 days as they had to fly back to the UK as their holiday was over and they had to return to something called work!! Mark, Adam and I stayed on an extra couple of days enjoying Paddy`s day (yes they even celebrate it here and there was an Irish pub on the island) more Mauy Thai boxing (still looked fake) and some intense card games. On one of the days we hired out a kayak and took it round the cove onto Monkey Beach (although there were no monkeys) and went snorkeling for a couple of hours. The marine life was immense with loads of Sergeant Major fish that weren`t afraid to peck at your hand for the of chance of some scraps! After some more lazing on the beach and perfecting a good tan, it was time to head back to the main land, to pick up my cards and head up to Bangkok where there would be no quiet at all, just madness!!