Friday, 3 July 2015

Thailand: Koh Phi Phi

Next on our Thailand Island hopping tour was the ever popular Ko Phi Phi. This involved a 14 hour overnight journey from Koh Tao consisting of a 9 hour night ferry, 2 hour bus journey then another 2 hour ferry, with a little waiting in between. With Bethan very prone to sea sickness, she quickly fell asleep after taking medication. The others however passed away the time playing a game where you make up a story with each person only adding five words at a time - lets just say things got hilarious when Barney the Dinosaur got a mention!

Ko Phi Phi is a very small island so we didn't think it necessary to book our accommodation in advance, as we have found that sometimes the best deals can be found by just walking into a few places. This way you still have the chance to bargain down the price a little. After visiting a handful of places, we decided on Centrepoint Hostel, which offered a reasonable priced dorm room in the center of everything. After dropping off our bags it was time to explore the island and take a look at some of the activities on offer. Sarah and Sophie decided on a boat tour of the surrounding area and Bethan, Sam and Rebecca thought a couple more scuba dives would be good.

Sarah and Sophie went off on their long tail boat trip for the day where they would explore the surrounding area of Ko Phi Phi. First stop was Monkey Beach where they hopped off the side of the boat into the crystal blue seas  to watch the tourists feed the many monkeys! They had mixed feelings about this as people who had paid more money for their tour turned up in bigger boats and were throwing lots of bread and bananas from the boat which eventually found its way into the sea. Needless to say, it quickly ruined the look of the beautiful sea so they swiftly stopped floating in the water and climbed aboard the boat. Next stop was Maya y which they were very impressed with! If you know anything about this place, you know it's most famous for it's peaceful white sand beach and amazing scenery of the surround cliffs. However, we were in Thailand during peak season which meant the beach was filled with people and boats again! No matter where they tried to swim in the sea, they'd eventually get moved by a boat looking for a space to park and bring even more people to the bay. They still thoroughly enjoyed the views of the bay and the clear waters, I guess we can always go back another day when it's quieter :P We also stopped in the middle of the sea about 5 minutes away from the bay to let people hop off and do some snorkeling to see the fish who live on the reefs. The visibility of the water that day wasn't the best but it was still fun to see, it's got nothing on scuba diving though haha! We were also given our meal for the day which consisted of some fruit, a sandwich and plenty of drinks before heading to the best point to watch the sunset over the water.. so pretty! The trip back to the mainland was interesting as suddenly the sea became really rough with huge waves which were throwing the boat around. It wasn't long before the waves started being bigger than the boat resulting in everyone becoming soaked as we sped through them.. it sounds a lot more scary than it actually was, it was absolutely hilarious!! The rest of the girls had a shock when Sarah and Sophie eventually found their way back to the hostel as they were dripping from head to toe!

Sam, Bethan and Rebecca booked 2 fun dives with The Adventure Club as these had been recommended to them from our previous dive instructor. We were a little nervous at first because these were our first dives as qualified divers. So our guide would literally be just that, obviously there for any emergency situation but we were ultimately to take care of ourselves. The company were having some trouble with their boat, so after a good half an hour delay we were told that we were to swap onto another companies boat which would take us to the dive sites. Now that this boat had twice the number of expected people it really was feeling a little crowded. This didn't matter to us though, we got a good lunch included and unlimited tea and coffee. First we headed out to a location called Bida Nok. This dive lasted 50 minutes and we saw loads of cool things such as, Scorpion Fish, Puffer Fish, Banner Fish and Clown Fish. Next was a place called Maya Corner which is close to the very famous Maya Bay. Here we saw Hermit Crabs, Sea Snakes, Moray Eels, Angel Fish and a 'Marie Antoinette' Lobster (the lobster was missing its head). As we were waiting on the surface for the boat to come and pick us up it was clear that Bethan was having some problems with her BCD. The air was leaking out which meant that she was sinking beneath the surface again. She informed our dive master who gave her a buoyancy aid to help keep her afloat. As the boat was nearing she must have signaled for help because they threw out a ring to hold on to and the next thing she knew she was being towed back onto the boat. This was going to continue as a little joke between the girls - "Oh Bethan, remember that time you had to get rescued and towed back to the boat?" haha!  

The next day was Sarah's Birthday - THE BIG 22, so obviously celebrations were in order! We were all super excited to get dressed up for the occasion! Yes, Thailand is known as a huuuge party destination but we're not really ones for going out for loads of drinks all the time. So when such an occasion arrives we tend to go all out! After more minutes than we care to admit getting ready, it was finally time to head down to the beach to begin the celebrations. Before we even arrived at the beach we spotted a small stall selling drinks for a very reasonable price, we were no doubt going to get ripped off at the bars and with the beach being a very open location it was okay to bring your own alcohol to the parties. We all decided that a bucket (yes, a bucket) each of strawberry daiquiri would be the best choice then headed down to settle at the beach to watch one of the fire shows. The fire show was really impressive with about 10 men performing all manner of dangerous tricks for our enjoyment. There was also some audience participation in the form of a burning skipping rope where you were rewarded with a shot of alcohol if you could do it for long enough. With the drinks flowing and Sam and Rebecca on their second bucket of the night we decided to take a walk along the beach to see what was going on in some of the other bars. Luckily enough it wasn't really that busy so we took a table and had plenty of room for dancing. Soon enough Sam was feeling the effects of the alcohol so decided to call it a night and it wasn't too long before everyone else was feeling the same. Rebecca however wasn't too keen on going home so proceeded to try and drag Bethan into the sea with her. After much persuading we eventually all found our way home and Rebecca found her way into Bethan's bed. It was cute because she had also brought her own pillow and her dog Barney along for the cuddles ("We do love to spoon when we're drunk don't we Beth?" hahahaa)! The next morning a couple of us were feeling a little worse for ware so a few deliveries of chicken nuggets and chips were made to our bedsides. Once we were feeling better we all heading down to the beach for some much needed relaxing to sleep off those hangovers. 

Next stop another Thai Paradise island - Koh Lanta!

Overnight ferry from Koh Tao to Koh Phi Phi
We're hereeeeeee!
Boat Trip

Birthday Celebrations
Amazing fire dance show

The Happy Wanderers

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