|So, we arrived on beautiful Ko Phi Phi (pronouned Pee Pee. Hahahaha, we know...) on the after a slightly stressful journey from Chiang Mai. Here's what happened:
So, to begin with the airplane was delayed by 2 hours, which made us both laugh since it was only about an hour flight. But, oh well, what can you do? When we finally got to Bangkok we decided to go get something to eat, since Chelsea was starving, and to take a bus instead of a Taxi, which saved something like 400 baht. The problem was that, after over an hour, we got off at a location that looked pretty central to everything, but which actually turned out to be a trap to lure famished and confused backpackers into a vortex of misleading bus schedules, mean Taxi drivers and not an English language menu to be found. After walking around for well over an hour and not getting anywhere, we finally had to back-track to where the bus initially let us off, where we managed to find an overpriced pizza place. By that time, we were both so hungry and tired that we gratefully ordered matching cheese pizzas and pepsis (how very American!) and gobbled them down so we could hit the road. Again. Turns out the universe wasn't quite done with the joke, so in the next Taxi we spent an incredible amount of time sitting in traffic before being let out at the wrong bus station. This would have been okay except that by this time it was getting very late and we had a bus to catch. If the nice American man with the glasses is out there: thank you so much for helping us flag a taxi and telling the driver where we needed to be. You're our white night. So, yes. We finally did get to the bus station, where we got on an overnight bus to the city of Krabi.
From Krabi, we got on a ferry and boated about 1 1/2 hours to the island of Phi Phi. The island wecolmed us with beautiful blue water, a white sand beach, and lots of booking agents trying to get us to go to their hotel. We were both worried about prices on the island, but being the industrious pair that we are, we found a room for 300 baht/night. Yay!! The first day was spent just wandering around with some new friends we met on the ferry, Fred from Switzerland and Andrea from Australia. What we quickly realized that Phi Phi is an island very popular with a certain breed of party-loving, sun-soaking tourist, and decided that we needed to get away from the central hub of restaurants, bars and shops. We did this by traveling to a beach about 45min away. Well, Erin travelled to the beach while Chelsea went shopping for a sarong and couldn't find the group afterwards. Long Beach turned out to be not very long, but very pretty and not as crowded as the beaches closer to the dock.
Day 2 on Phi Phi was so much fun. We booked a tour that took us around the island for snorkeling and kayaking, something both of us were so excited about. It turned out to be an off-and-on rainy day, which was somewhat unfortunate but not too much of a problem. The biggest drawback to the weather was 1.) we had to skip seeing Maya Bay, where "The Beach" was filmed and which Erin really wanted to see and 2.) we couldn't work on our tans. But, still, the fish underwater don't mind when it's raining so we were still able to get some good snorkeling in. Actually, it was very pleasant to be in the water since it was warmer than the rain, so it felt very good to be swimming around. The coral that we saw was suffering somewhat, either from the effects of irresponsible tourism or the boating industry, but we still saw some incredible effervescent fish and anemones. And big fat sea slugs, pufferfish and angel fish. And big blue clams that closed when you swam over them. And Nemos! We were both excited to see those iconic little fishies hiding in their anemone homes. Very, very cute. The boat stopped at four different locations, and at each one we were given an hour to look around. We both went in the water at Shark Point to see if we could spot the harmless sharks that swam there, but, sadly, no sharks for us:-( And then there was Monkey Island. A charming little beach where resident long tailed macaques look really cute and sweet so visitors will give them something tasty to eat. Turns out that they are feisty little suckers, and one of them swam up onto Chelsea and bit her on the shoulder. It was probably mad because she didn't have any watermelon, like some others in her group. So much for cute and innocent. Alas: after the bite it was determined that the next day would be a good day to leave, since Chelsea decided it was important that she not turn into a raving mad, frothing crazy woman because of rabies. The hospital on Phuket is better than the one on Krabi, so we decided to change our original plans of going back to Krabi to go to Phuket instead. So we packed our bags and boarded the ferry once again to head to another beautiful island: Phuket. We'll write how that's been tomorrow.