The islands of Kho Samui, Kho Phangan and Kho Tao are renowned for their beautiful landscape but in reality they have nothing on Krabi and Kho Phi Phi. We have found what we dreamed Thailand would be like – paradise. We found a place to stay online which was 30 km from Krabi town and 30 km from the main resorts, just what we wanted after 3 mental weeks. It was essentially a group of bamboo huts on the foothills of the great limestone hills which rose in the distance. There was a common area with comfy chairs and hammocks, shelves of books to read and food available any time of day. Beyond the common area a wooden walkway led you to the water’s edge and the view of the bay was epic. Watching the sun go down lazing in a hammock at the water’s edge – well worth the €7 a night. And the man behind this little haven was Oly, a very nice German fella who set the place up 4 years ago. Oly is more like a friend than an owner/manager, he did anything to make our stay more enjoyable.
So we took a kayak out on the bay the following morning and what a feeling it was being up and feeling fresh, out in the peaceful bay admiring the scenery all around us. We stopped at several little isolated patches of sand and it felt like this was a world to ourselves, not a soul in sight. Diarmo got very philosophical out in this peaceful environment and decided he needed to let himself go and do something weird. It’s a week later and he has 3 tattoos and 2 piercings… Only joking don’t worry Mary he only got the piercings! So the following day we took a boat tour to nearby islands. Ourselves and two German couples set off and the weather was perfect for the day. So we were brought to some of the most amazing beaches we have ever seen, so untouched and so magnificent. We also saw much evidence of how the tsunami ravaged the islands in 2004. So our day was spent swimming in the beautiful turquoise water, laying on the sand and appreciating that this was actually paradise. So that night we all had dinner again and there were two very nice Norwegian girls there who we had a brilliant talk with. As Diarmo said afterwards, they were 2 of the nicest girls we had met in a long time, to quote him – ‘it was so great that they weren’t geebags’. We actually were sad to leave Krabi, our bodies and minds had been rejuvenated but our next stop was one of the most anticipated of the whole trip, Kho Phi Phi.
The film ‘The Beach’ made the Phi Phi islands famous a decade ago. In the film, Leonardo DiCaprio finds a beautiful island untouched by parasitical tourists. The Phi Phi we found has become a hot tourist spot. Fortunately despite the masses of tourists it is still a magnificent island and we discovered a nice mix of beautiful beaches and rocking bars. As we ventured through the Thailand, the prices of things were getting more and more expensive. Even though we could still get a lovely dinner for €5 and a beer for €1.50, we were reminiscing on the days in Vietnam where a dinner and 3 or 4 beers would cost €4! Anyway so Diarmo decided to do a diving course on Phi, he had planned on doing one in Kho Tao but alcohol was too much of a distraction for him. So for 3 days we swam with colourful fish while i drank coffee and wrote blogs and lay on the beach. Despite being in the company of a slightly mad Swedish fella, Diarmo had a great time and i was just happy lazing around in such a beautiful place. So on Sunday night Diarmo’s course had ended and it was time to hit the nightlife of Kho Phi Phi. And this was a special night – Liverpool vs. United. Once again, one of us would end up devastated. The man who Diarmo described as ‘talentless’ tore united to shreds. A distraught Diarmuid left for most of the 2nd half while i jumped around on my own in joy. And so i celebrated with several pints afterwards while Diarmo drowned his sorrows.
Our original plan was to head to Kho Lanta for a few days before returning to Bangkok but we really loved Phi Phi and decided to finish our island experience here. On Monday night a strange thing happened while wandering through town. There was a rep on the street who gave me a look as if to say ‘I know you’ and i returned this look to him. So we started talking and he said we had met on the beach in Kho Phangan and had played drinking games for like an hour. Then i remembered i hat met him in a bar in Vang Vieng and had talked about football for an hour. But i had no recollection of the Kho Phangan meeting and he had no memory of the Laos meeting… What was more worrying was Diarmo had no recollection of any of this! Nonetheless after 3 meetings and finally recalling one in our memory banks, Martin became our evening entertainment, such a sound guy and English would you believe. So out on the town again on the Tuesday and while getting our customary beach buckets we got talking to a nice Norweigan girl. She asked if she could join us for a drink, of course we said yes, we’re Irish, we love people. Unless of course she would try and score either of us… She looked a bit like lobster. So the 3 of us were having a great time on the dance floor when 2 English girls got talking to us, I headed to the bar with one and meanwhile Diarmo got involved in a bit of conflict between English girl and the lobster. One of them got the wrong idea about things (guess which one) and Diarmo was forced to make a dash for it away from this strange girl.. These girls seemed really nice and we said we would see them again, but many girls seem nice… When really they are geebags.
So the place we were staying was a hole. It was near the town centre and the beach but the toilet was broken, there were no windows, the paint was peeling off the walls and there was a smell of sewers coming from outside. We had 3 nights left and we wanted to go out with a bang so we moved out of the squalor and into lush hillside bungalows overlooking the bay. The place cost €20 a night but oh it was worth it. So the following night we ran into them on the beach and their friend Chris was there who we got on brilliantly with. The 5 of us had a pretty messy night, looking at the photos afterwards was not cool. Anyway I went home a bit early but Diarmo decided we would have a party in our beautiful bungalow. The gang came back and the place was a mess the next morning. The following night we had our customary street beer, a game of Pro Evo and a chat with Martin before heading to the beach. The 2 girls were there and so we walked over. ‘We’re having a girly night tonight’… They looked so angry with us. We got the hell out of there. And we laughed for at least an hour. We wondered what exactly the issue was… Oh we had a fairly good idea. Diarmo blames me. I blame him and me. The following night we were playing pool in our usual place and they sat about 20 yards from us. I had no intention of going near them but when Diarmo walked past to get a drink, they got up and left. Geebags. It was the bar we went to every night, they knew would be there. They sat dead centre of the bar just so they could make a scene like that. We thought it was just hilarious and Chris did too.
Diarmo had dreamed of having an infinity pool in his hotel for a long time and we had one in our palace. It was amazing, looking out at the beach and the bay while lazing in our pool, we spent hours doing this. Each night from our balcony you could see thunder crackling in the sky out in the sea. Never any lightening, nor rain near the island, just flashes of electricity zigzagging through the sky. Only in Thailand. So on our last night in Phi Phi I left to get an early night but Diarmo continued and lived out one last crazy island night by himself. He forgets most of it and could not tell the difference between what actually happened and things he thinks may have happened. Classic Thailand night. So that was it, we had to leave. Devastated to leave such a beautiful place and an amazing hillside bungalow and the infinity pool of course. And this night bus would be our last. One last stop to make and it was game over for us. No fitter place to finish in style than Bangkok.