Ko Phi Phi, Thailand

I arrived in Ko Phi Phi Don Island, Thailand ready for adventure.  I decided to travel non-stop for the next month or so and made Ko Phi Phi my first destination from my base in Singapore. This is the first time where I had not booked any accommodation and looked for it myself when I arrived on the island.  I found a nice cheap room on the beach and negotiated the price down.  I then set off to explore the island in the evening.

I was so excited to come here as I heard so many wonderful things about this beautiful island.

I went to bed early, as I wanted to hike up Viewpoint, which is 186 meters above sea level and offers a great view of the island, in the morning.  In the middle of the night, I was awakened by tiny black bugs crawling all over the bed and the wall.  AH! I was completely freaked out and wasn’t sure whether it was a nightmare or not.  I quickly packed my bags in plastics bags and went outside to find the night staff.

… no one was there and not a soul awake on the pitch black island  I had no choice but to seat in the room and watch the bugs crawl out from the wall.  I could not even seat on the bed, as they would start surrounding me.  I had maybe 2 hours of sleep, and I paced back and forth in the room until 5:00am. I darted out of the room right before sunset.  I proceeded to make my way up the highest point as far away as possible from my room.

I was so upset and sad.  I started questioning my ability to even travel the rest of the month on my own (and at times meeting friends here and there along the way) in Southeast Asia.  I again started questioning my other decision to leave my job and the comforts of the States.

As I arrived to the top and saw the INCREDIBLE view of Ko Phi Phi, I started to calm down a little.  I sat on top for an hour by myself and decided to just walk back down, find another hotel and start my trip over.

On my way down from the viewpoint, I noticed that there was trash everywhere (not from the tsunami), people walking around in bandages and a queue at the nearby hospital.  Sadly it seemed that after the tsunami, the island has aggressively tried to attracted tourism on the island and has had no consideration for the beautiful land that everyone is destroying.  There is trash and construction everywhere.  Most tourists just seem to come here to get drunk… (later fall and visit the hospital).  I was disgusted.

I went to the nearby internet café and bought a new air ticket (as I could not change mine) out of the area in order to arrive in Bangkok 1 day earlier than I had planned. I wanted off this island ASAP!

I went to a very nice high-end resort and paid a lot of money for something I considered a mid range. I did get a discount after I explained to them what happened to me the night before. I later found out that the island charges 3 sometimes 4 times more for everything than anywhere else in Thailand.

To its defense, the next day, I took a snorkeling trip (I was not in the mood to dive) to other islands and went to visit “The Beach” (aka Ko Phi Phi Leh), a beach made popular by Lenardo DiCaprio’s movie of the same name.

The water was a gorgeous turquoise color and the scenery of the gigantic islands was so mysterious.  You never knew what you would see  when you turned a corner …whether it was another island, a beach, a cove, or just the ocean.

“The Beach”, was absolutely magnificent, minus the 2,000 tourists, 100 boats, and ugly concrete construction harmful to the environment. Sadly, none of this was there a couple of years ago.

Ko Phi Phi Leh is also known for the Chinese cultivation of birds nest used in making an expensive delicacy known as bird’s nest soup…. this soup can cost up to $100!

I am glad I went to Ko Phi Phi.  I would have gone sooner or later.  I have heard that it is much nicer at the north and south end of the island where the very pricey resorts are located away from the drunkards and thumping music. But as I was vacationing by myself, I did not see the need to rent out a romantic bungalow or room all to myself during the first leg of my trip.

I did take some nice picture though!

The next day, I dashed from the Island on a ferry to Phuket where I enjoyed a nice sunset dinner on the beach before my flight to Bangkok.

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One Response to “Ko Phi Phi, Thailand”

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