21st – 27th October 2014
After a boat to the mainland, a long minibus ride and then another boat ride, I finally arrived on the island Koh Phi Phi. I hadn’t booked any accommodation and so picked a dorm from the accommodation touts that hound you as soon as you get off the boat. It was ok, and each bunk had a curtain around, which was great for privacy, but not so for socialising as you never knew if there was anyone in their little covered bunk! But I needn’t have worried for I was woken from my afternoon nap (this travelling lark can be tiring you know!) to the shouts of ‘Claire, Claire’, and it was Laura! She’d been on Koh Chang while I had headed onto the islands, so now she’d caught up with me and we prepared to wander the Koh Phi Phi lanes and have some fun. That we did!
Koh Phi Phi is purely a tourist destination, here you will not find an authentic Thai experience and the only locals you meet are those selling you something ! Hey we even had one selling us ‘entrance’ to the local hill for sunset!! Nevertheless we had fun for the few nights we were there. This time it was Laura’s turn to get completely drunk and take the limelight off me for a change! (Although to be fair I probably wasn’t far behind her!)
Laura in full rainbow form!
Paying a quid or so to get painted up by a small lad!
Beach partying fun
Here we also drank buckets, but they were a little more ‘refined’ than the ones on Koh Phangan, we had a bucket full of frozen strawberry daiquiri which was lush! The banana daiquiri one was also divine 🙂
View from the hill we paid to go up for the sunset, although the weather wasn’t perfect for it, it was still lovely.
A Koh Phi Phi street
A lovely toilet! (The bowl of water and jug at the side is what you use to flush!)
And another one!
One afternoon I saw a dive shop advertising a shark snorkel -guaranteed sighting or your money back! This excited me, so I went in and enquired, and within 10 minutes had booked myself for a 5am snorkel to see reef sharks (they are strictly vegetarians I was assured!) On the morning we all got kitted out in wetsuits and were briefed on what we had to do while we were in the sea. The guide told us we would need to remain as still as possible, and all 8 of us had to link arms while in the water with minimal splashing about, or the sharks would be scared off. (Hey, that doesn’t actually sound like a bad idea!!)
We hopped off the boat into the water at the first spot, and the guide said he would take some dive weights with him and free dive down to the bottom of the sea bed and sit there for a minute or so, this apparently makes the sharks curious, so they come over to have a nose! He did this at the first location, but no sharks showed an interest, so we moved to another spot. The same happened again, and the feeling we weren’t going to get to see them seeped in. The guide was amazed because they had seen them in the first location only the day before. At the third location, quite a way away, we got into the water again, linked arms and stayed as still as we could. Bearing in mind it was only 5:30am and the light was only just coming up, the atmosphere was intense, as we awaited a sighting of the sharks….
And then suddenly, he’d seen some, so he told us ‘shhhh’, and did his usual sinking to the bottom of the sea. As we waited in anticipation, bobbing about in the ocean, suddenly we saw them! One, two, three, four, several more of them, heading towards him and swimming around him, and then behind us. It was a magnificent feeling being in the ocean with these creatures, and an awesome experience. Afterwards he told us there were 13 of them, all black tipped reef sharks. They were juvenile ones, so about a metre in length.
The guide at the bottom of the sea, trying to attract the sharks
View from the boat
So, after a few days of fun, frolics and adventure, we then packed up and got set for the boat to Koh Lanta!
Koh Lanta was a far less touristy island, it was a mix between tourists and locals, which is always nice, because you don’t travel half way around the world to only see other tourists, it’s nice to meet those who live there and get a feel for their lives and different cultures.
Laura and I went out in the evening to a pub called The Cheeky Monkey, it was here that we got talking to a group of local girls, purely because Laura was sat close to the pool table and she kept getting politely asked to move! This was by Bow, a lovely Thai girl whose English was impeccable. We got chatting to her and her friends, and as the beers flowed and the dancing started, I was swinging one of the Thai girls around the dancefloor! After this we all headed down to the local Irish bar where we continued to party with the girls.
The following day Laura and I got scooters around the island, which had been the norm for all of the Thai islands!
Then in the evening the girls had invited us to a party on the beach, of course we obliged!
Another great weekend with a great bunch of people 🙂
The bungalow owners where we were staying had a kayak that they had kindly said we could use, so one day we decided to take them up on the offer. They showed us where the kayak was, so Laura and I went to pick it up. Jesus it was heavy! Even between two of us we couldn’t manage it, so we asked the guy who ran the place and he dragged it down to the sea for us. Now, I’ve been kayaking a few times but this one was obviously made for the pros! Talk about unbalanced, it wasn’t a foolproof one like the ones I had been used to, this one required some kind of skill! Anyhow Laura got in, I got in, the bloody thing was wobbling all over the place, it was taking in water, we tried to get it past the waves and were frantically paddling with the oars, we were squealing and laughing and panicking all at the same time, the thing started to fill with water and I said ‘there’s no way we’re going to get to the other side of the bay in this’. It was ridiculous, the boat started sinking, we were both sitting in water, and we literally had to abandon ship! We managed to get it onto the sand so it wasn’t dragged away, but had to leave it there due to the weight of it, head back up to the bungalows and tell the poor guy that his kayak he had dragged down there for us only ten minutes before, had been abandoned there! He didn’t seem to mind though but it made a funny few minutes for us anyway!
Laura and the doomed kayak!
Koh Lanta made for some beautiful sunset shots, and as we stayed right on this beach we were treated to many
A creepy side story is how I went to have a shower in our bathroom, and as I was stood there washing my hair like you do, I was looking down at the plug hole when I saw a black mass, waving around in the water. I thought it must be a big clump of hair, and the movement of the water was making it move about. Or was it….?
I didn’t take my eyes off it, as I really wasn’t convinced it was an innocent clump of hair, so much so that I crouched down to get a closer look…..
Eeeeeeeek! ‘Oh my God it’s moving, oh my God Laura you have to come and see this. It’s moving, it’s moving! Oh my God it’s coming out of the plughole and it’s crawling up the wall’. I wrapped my towel around me and opened the door into our room, there lay Laura with her sheet pulled tightly up around her neck in fear at whatever it was that was ‘moving and crawling up the wall’.
‘What the hell is it?’ she screamed.
I think it’s a leech, I grabbed my phone, and took a video and a photo.
The biggest, fattest, most disgusting leech I have ever seen (in fact I think this was my first ever!) had crawled out of the drain hole while I was showering, and was now slithering it’s horrible self up the wall of our shower. I felt sick!
A pretty fat disgusting leech!
On seeing this hideous thing, we caused a bit of a commotion, and some members of staff had come over to see what was going on. Luckily, I had already ‘dealt with it’ and flung it into a bush outside! I wonder how long it took to get back into the drain and scare the next lot of guests?!!!