Yesterday we got up to begin the next part of our journey which entailed flying from Bangkok to Phuket, getting an hour taxi ride from the airport to the pier and then a two hour ferry ride over to Island Phi Phi. After days of being inland sweating through t-shirt after t-shirt, I especially was starting to daydream about the sea!
Our flight was short and sweet with Smile airlines, no inflight entertainment but that came from Mike’s nervous outbursts at any bit of turbulence (I think he prefers Emirates).
On the ferry we came across a lovely Irish couple, Ashley & Ashley (seriously), who were on their delayed honeymoon following their wedding in Ireland last year. They told us of their short retreat stay in Phuket and we conversed about our next steps around the world, getting some great tips on Sydney from Ashley (girl) as they’d been living there for four years prior to the wedding. They made the time pass quickly as the sun hammered down on our barely sun-creamed skin and the island started to come into view. Island Phi Phi is a truly breathtaking view from the water, see pictures below although I fear they don’t capture it completely.
We docked up on the pier with the beach at either side layered with boats (see pics below) to take travellers to their hotel or huts. We were initially told that there were no vehicles on the island however Mike would not except this comment from a fellow passenger and low and behold we found one little van in the middle of the woods. This is the only vehicle we’ve seen but safe to say he was more than happy that it proved him right. During our boat trip it soon become apparent that we were heading towards a private part of the beach, sectioned off by barriers of rocks in the sea and we could just make out some huts/tree houses that were peaking out of the woodlands of “VIKING”- our home for the next 4 days. I think this was the point that we turned to each other and took a grateful and relieved breath after the day of travel. Our hut is basically what you see in the brochures, it is perfect and obviously it’s complete with it’s own hammock (see pictures below).
Once checked in and I’d had a quick splash in the sea, we took the 25 minute walk from our hut to the centre of the Island to get some food and check out what the nightlife had to offer. We walked to the end of the coast where the sand turns into rock and had a dinner of Pad Thai (favourite Thai dish) and rice noodle spring rolls accompanied by some cocktails and Chang beer, right on the beachfront. Once satisfied, we walked back down the beach and commented on how quiet it seemed to be. We were up for a few drinks at this point so we went searching for some atmosphere. What we found 10 minutes later after some twists and turns was Magaluf, it took one turn for the tranquil streets to become chaotic and wild with British tourists staggering the streets with fishbowls in hand. Don’t get me wrong, we were looking for an atmosphere but girls passed out on the side of the street, boys throwing up their buckets of drink and promotors trying to drag you in with their promise of 10 drinks for B200 was not quite what we expected from such a beautiful little island. However we settled for a relatively “quiet” bar and got those drinks in.
Once tipsy and satisfied we decided to call it a night and began the walk back to our hut for a fresh start to our first beach day break… however it was not meant to be. One minute into the walk we happened upon a boxing bar, what this entails is (drunken) members of the audience getting up to participate in a Thai boxing match against anyone who fancied their chances. This is something I was not going to miss out on and we opted for another “quick drink” in order to catch the next fight.
The fighting was amateur but brutal and once again highlighted the wonderful atmosphere created by a bunch of drunken Brits in the middle of somewhere so lovely. Thank goodness we were saved! At the very moment I’d realised I was watching more of Mike’s shocked face than the fight itself, Jack and Rose came to join our table. They are a couple from Bristol and we ended up chatting, laughing and drinking with them until the bars began to close. The last part of the night was particularly entertaining as we sat on the beach around a campfire. A couple of the Brits who we probably saw staggering around earlier in the night came over to our fire and introduced themselves as German at first with his South African friend joining us later on. Rose and I had been fooled from the start as we listened and conversed with them, taking interest in their travels and what it’s like for them back home. Mike was in more and more hysterics throughout our conversation after hearing the German gent with an Essex accent at the bar a little earlier- I suppose you had to be there to appreciate the humour with this one.
So what we thought would turn out to be a night on the strip of Magaluf was saved by the type of people this Island can attract. We ended the day by promising a boat trip with Jack and Rose which takes us to different beaches off the island including Monkey Beach… so stay tuned to see Mike at one with his own.