I was sad to leave Railay but the view from the boat as I left was breathtaking and, thankfully, my next destination was another island (or two islands should I say) of stunning beauty. Again, with a limited number of days to play with, I had only a short stay planned at Koh Phi Phi – although, to be honest, I don’t my budget could stretch to many days here anyway. Koh Phi Phi was quite clearly the most expensive destination I had visited yet.
So with time at the essence, I quickly found a room that was just within my budget (it was a bit of dive though) and immediately booked myself in for a half day sunset tour of the islands. The tour included two snorkelling stops (the snorkelling was excellent), a stop at Monkey Beach (which is quite literally awash with Long-Tailed Macaque monkeys) and a tour round Koh Phi Phi Leh (the uninhabited island of the two). Thankfully, as a protected island that is devoid of any kind of development, Koh Phi Phi Leh has remained a bit of an unspoilt gem and included within the various stops around the island was Maya Bay, where the movie ‘The Beach’ was filmed. The entire tour cost just 450Baht which, quite frankly, I would declare as a bit of a bargain.
With my “lonely traveller” beacon shining oh so brightly on our sunset tour, I was invited out for some drinks in the evening. So at 11am, I headed out to Loh Dalam Bay where a number of parties take place along the various bars that line the beach. The bar we ended up at involved fire. And plenty of it. They also actively encouraged audience participation so, on Koh Phi Phi, a burnt tourist was as common a sight as finding tourist scarred from a scooter accident on Koh Phangan. Unfortunately, having booked in two scuba dives for the following morning, I couldn’t go too overboard so I had self-imposed a limit of just two cans of Chang before turning in for the night.
I woke up in the morning feeling a little worse for wear. I knew it was the Chang. I only had two cans but that stuff has insisted on doing funny things to me since the day I got here. Like the way I’d always end up waking up in places like Brighton or Twyford (in both instances my destination was Iver) whenever my night had involved a certain Belgium beer. Still I felt my body recovering and, eager not to miss out, I went for the two dives as scheduled.
And I’m glad I did because I saw my first shark (a leopard shark), a turtle, a seahorse and a plethora of fish including a lionfish. By the time we arrived back in Koh Phi Phi however, I felt like I had been hit by a truck. I had planned a couple of hours of “tan time” but the only place I was headed was bed.
I rested for a few hours but by the time I woke up I could barely move. I had planned to go to Viewpoint to check out the stunning views of the island that I was told it provide. I was determined to make it. At that moment I could not think of putting my body through anything worse than making that challenging walk up the hill. I had already been made well aware that it was not the easiest of walks, even for the fittest of people. But walk it I did. And when I made it there I rested. Then I took in the view. Then I rested again. Then I watched the sunset. And then I dragged my body back down.
I ate dinner (pizza because that was the only thing my body seemed to want to take) and then thought it best I retire. It’s a bit of a shame really because Koh Phi Phi has a really good party scene with loads of great bars both in the town and on the beach. But I was no state to party. And my body needed to recover because tomorrow I was making the trip out of Thailand and into Malaysia.