Phi PhiPhi Phi is 100% my favourite place in Thailand! There’s just something about this place that is so much more ‘me’ than anywhere else we have been so far here. It must have something to do with how secluded it feels; there are no roads or cars or skyscrapers. Just the sky and the horizon, no other land in sight. Just a few boats, hills and a tiny, little town that’s feels like it’s been made out of Lego to create the perfect place for backpackers.
And it literally does feel that way. Other than a few houses tucked away in the hills, every other thing here is a hostel, bar, restaurant, a smoothie, bucket or ice cream stand, tour offices, ferry offices, and pretty much anything else you can relate to a tourist hotspot. It’s the only place I have ever been where you have to pay to enter! Like it’s a secret, special place far away from anywhere else where you can run away from everything and no one will ever know.
We have even more proof that everything happens for a reason! On the day that we were meant to be getting our ferry here from Koh Samui, our cab driver decided to drive aallllll the way round the island, which took over an hour as opposed to half an hour. We accepted we were most probably going to miss our ferry before we even got there, but we both weren’t really that fussed and felt quite positive about the whole situation (which is unlike me because things that like usually piss me off).
Even though we had to then book ourselves into another place and e-mail our other hostel to say we’d be a day late- we still didn’t really care and I think it’s because we picked up on something. Instead, we lounged around and applied for a few jobs in Australia and cried of happiness when our long awaited KFC delivery arrived (they have so many seafood items on the menu out here)!
Our ferry-bus-ferry journey to Koh Phi Phi went sooo smoothly (which was a relief because if you’ve read my last posts you’ll know that we haven’t had much luck with boats and ferries recently).After we arrived and paid our entry, a young Thai man offered to push our bags on this metal carriage with wheels and walk us to our hostel- that was the equivalent of a taxi on this island! It was so convenient and strange- it reminded me of something from medieval times before cars existed.
We eventually made it to PP Centerpoint, which is a cheap £5 a night hostel right in the centre of Phi Phi (accommodation is quite pricey here so we took what we could). You get what you pay for- bunk beds and a bathroom which smells like sewage and that’s pretty much it. No fancy perks, but you don’t need them in somewhere like Phi Phi.
Anyway, it was between five and six PM when we got there and our room still wasn’t ready for us; they said they hadn’t finished cleaning it and we assumed it was due to a late check out. After a long day of travelling and being all hot and sweaty, yeah it’s a bit of a pain in the ass but what can you do? We went opposite to a Mexican place called Banana Bar (best place EVER) for a couple of beers, some food and to enjoy the view of Phi Phi from their rooftop terrace.
There are two photos of my friend Markie (AKA Frankie) on their wall of fame for completing some sort of eating challenge hahaha. They have three floors all together. The second and third are spacious with games and loud, chilled out music playing.
Every night at about 7:30PM, they play a movie on the rooftop terrace and it’s so cool! ‘The Beach’ with Leonardo DiCaprio was playing that night (one of mine and Jenny’s favourite films), which is actually filmed on Phi Phi and Maya Bay! A better film could not have been picked for that night. It was perfect and got us so excited for our boat tour in a couple of days, to see where it was filmed with our own eyes.
So, back to the point about everything happening for a reason, we went back to our hostel at 9:15PM and the room was ready but the owner made a dig at us for going back at 9:15 when ‘they usually leave by nine’, EVEN THOUGH WE COULDN’T CHECK IN FOR SEVEN OR EIGHT HOURS AFTER WE WERE SUPPOSED TO BE ABLE TO! When we got into our room, we were instantly made aware by our roomies that the reason we couldn’t check in was because they were exterminating the BED BUGS in the beds!! One of the girls had sore, red bites all the way up her leg and everything!
Probably one of my worst nightmares sharing a bed with insects?!! And being their snack?! That night I wore leg and arm length pyjamas and kept convincing myself I could feel movement beneath me. And then in the morning I was relieved to not have bites, until someone made me aware they don’t appear until a few days later- GREAT! Then, I actually saw an actual bed bugs with my actual bare eyes on the mattress beneath mine and that was the final straw! The weirdo owner obviously knew none of us were happy so he said he’d refund us and ‘close the room’ for extermination (when really he was probably just scared that we’d keep spreading the word about the bed bugs so he thought he’d get us out to get a fresh batch of people in).
They tried not refunding us for the night we’d just stayed but we demanded it and got what we wanted! Not only did we have the late check in, stinking bathroom and bed bugs experience, but there weren’t enough lockers available either. Thank the lord for Jenny’s mum, we got checked into a private room at the Papaya guesthouse just around the corner and it’s sooo much better! We don’t have to live out of a bag and the beds are comfy and it’s just heaven! But yes, everything happens for a reason- if we hadn’t missed the ferry we would have spent another night at the hostel and could have been put into one of the really bed bug infested beds!
Once the faffing around in the morning was over and done with, we wove our way through the small alleyways and admired the shops selling rainbow coloured, patterned bags, trousers and playsuits, crochet tops and beach throws, intricate bracelets and stoned rings, dream catchers and Buddha ornaments. There were loads tattoo and piercing shops, reggae bars, promoters handing out leaflets for boat parties, stands selling buckets of booze, cats and kittens and of course, a boxing ring (they’re everywhere in Thailand).
We sat on the beach with some booze and took a breather- time to chill at last. I think I had about ten double-takes when looking around at the cove we were sitting on. Looking at photos of Phi Phi online before actually coming here, I presumed most of them were photoshopped and that it wouldn’t look as good. I was sooo wrong! No photo can ever justify how beautiful somewhere like this is. The sky was the bluest blue, the sand hot and soft, and the sea looked almost stripy where it’s made up of so many different colours of bright lime greens and turquoise and blue. The hills in the distance look hazy and detailed and like cardboard cut outs. I use this word a lot but it was literally paradise.
The heat from the sun was so full on but levelled down by a soft breeze. The waves were so gentle they were almost non-existent and made a rippled effect on the sand beneath them. Despite being such a hot spot for tourists, the beach really was not busy at all. In fact, I was shocked at how quiet it was! I love picturing places like that before it was found by humans, when it was just sand and water and hills and trees and nothing else. That always makes me realise just how beautiful a place actually is and makes me wonder how something like that exists?!
After our cheap pre drinks we headed to the Ibiza pool party, recommended to us by Mia and Harry. It was so good! They were actually playing decent music and the pool was huge and full of people from all over. There was an amazing view of the beach and people kept grabbing the crowd’s attention to do a dance at the side of the pool then belly flop in afterwards.
People sang and danced along to familiar songs with cans of beer, a cocktail or a damp cigarette in hand. The party actually goes on all day and into the night but we only stayed for a couple of hours.
The pool party happens every Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday, so if you’re going to be in Phi Phi anytime soon I really recommend going. Drinks are so expensive there though, so it’s best to pre drink. We got a Chang for 80BAHT (which is a lot for a big one), and when they put the cans on the bar they were only tiny cans! Such a rip off!
Everyone knows that one of my favourite foods is a really cheesy pizza (fresh, frozen, hot, cold or leftover from the night before, either one makes me happy). Well another reason Phi Phi is my favourite place in Thailand is because they have loads of stalls selling different types of pizza by the slice, but they slices are HUGE! Like bigger than my head. After a bit of booze, there is nothing that goes down better than a bit of pizza or two, so I got a veggie piece and a plain Margarita piece and it was some of the best pizza I’ve ever had I could cry just thinking about it. So cheesy and tomato-y I even ended up eating some of Jenny’s leftovers, which was a bad idea because I was way too full afterwards haha.
Whilst waiting for our food to go down I decided to use liquid eye liner to draw a similar tattoo to that of the guy from ‘The Hangover 2’ (which is also based in Thailand). It was meant to be a joke towards my parents and stepparents but I ended up getting way more of a reaction from the rest of Facebook than I expected (different reactions as well). To anyone else it would be so obvious that it wasn’t real, but the shock my mum and dad would feel would probably make them think it was haha.
Getting another bucket, we went to go and chill on the beach before heading to a boxing match and ended up stumbling across a fire show. A handful of topless Thai guys spun fire round on sticks, throwing them up in the air and catching them and doing all kinds of impressive tricks to some loud EDM in the background. They must have burnt themselves so many times whilst learning to do it all.
One guy went to go and light a cigarette and just popped up in front of one of the guys and held the fag in front of the fire haha. After failing a few times, the guy doing the tricks took the cigarette off of him and lit it whilst spinning his fire round into circles.
On all of the islands we have been on so far, they have these boxing rings which seem like a big thing. They even have cars driving round advertising fights, with loud, heavy music playing out of them and a voice saying things like “Toooonight, at the one and only boxing club”, “Lets get ready to rumble” and “Be there, be there”. I don’t know why but we’ve found them so funny, especially when you see the rings (you have to be there to get it), but we couldn’t leave without actually going to one.
This night was a traveller VS traveller fight night, where two travellers could volunteer to go up and throw a few punches at eachother. It was funny to watch especially because some of the fights it was so obvious how much better one person was compared to the other. This young girl got up for a photo and next thing you know they were putting the gloves and masks on her. She looked sooo confused the whole time haha. One of the Thai guys working there let her punch him a few times and pretended to pass out. SOO CUTE!
I ended up going on a scavenger hunt with a group of random American girls that we ran into outside a shop. They were quite boozy and full of life and scattered out across the street shouting about random things. I grabbed a beer and became their new recruit. The first thing we had to do was all swap outfits with a boy and get a photo, so I swapped with this random guy below…
We moved on to the next task and then the next and then drunken Becca once again made herself proud when everyone in the group was trying to convince me to get a new piercing (and even pay for half of it) and I said no. I almost agreed because I would love a new piercing, but I don’t trust me when drunk to get a proper one or one in a normal place.
It felt like we stumbled our way around the whole of Phi Phi, stopping to talk to random people on the way and dancing to 90s/ early 2000s music at one bar then the next and then the next. It was so fun and so random and in the end we ended up at the banana bar, dancing on the rooftop terrace. I think I left shortly after as I started getting tired and didn’t want a hangover.
Today has been a proper beach day, where we have spent little money and topped up our tans nicely. We grabbed a filling fruit shake on our way down (mango and banana for me and mango and pineapple for Jenny). They are sooo good out here- the fruit is just so sweet and fresh! I haven’t been hungover all day, which shocked me at first but then I realised I didn’t actually drink much yesterday.
The sun was at its hottest once again. I don’t know how to describe the intensity of its heat other than saying that it felt like we were being baked or microwaved. We were both pouring with sweat and had to take regular dips in the sea to cool off, even though the sea water itself is even warm so it doesn’t do much!
What I love about these kind of beaches is how far you can walk out and still have your feet touching the floor. Today I kept pushing my legs through the water going further and further out, past authentic Thai boats and little fish and rocks and no matter how far I went the highest the water came up to was the top of my thigh (so probably knee length for the rest of you normal- heighted people).
We felt the sky start to spit so we headed back to our hotel to take a shower. We both haven’t washed our hair in a few days and I don’t think either of us have barely worn deodorant either, so it was nice to finally feel clean and cosy.