We left KL in a rush. Bags dragging along side after scoffing down a delicious Mi Goreng that equaled about 90c Australian. Pulling out the chilli’s as I ate as quick as possible so we wouldnt miss our train to Hat Yai.
We cut it so absolutely close that the train driver was yelling. Our wonderful hosts, Alin and Syah, drove us to the train station. The next mere 15 hours was over air conditioned, 2nd class comfort. At the border we had to all get out to get out stamps for Thailand only allowing us 15 days as we crossed overland but once we go to Cambodia and then cross back in we get another 15 days. Everything in Asia is over air conditioned. You go from boiling to freezing in minutes, I carry a jumper around just in case.
At Hat Yai we got ripped off double pay on a mini bus to Krabi town.
“650 ฿.” said the pushy Thai man.
I asked the English girl beside me how much she payed and she said the same so I thought it was normal as we didnt know the AUD to BAHT conversion rate yet. Well we all got ripped off besides the Swiss guys who paid 300 ฿ for the overly cramped, highly air conditioned, very mini van to Krabi.
At Krabi we got a cheap room for 150 ฿ – cheap as we would get in thailand we learnt later. We explored the fairy lit streets to the food market by the river. In the early hours of the morning we decided it would be a fabulous idea to dye my hair red. I then resembled a crab perhaps that fits in well in Krabi.
From Krabi we caught a ferry to Phi Phi – the island of no smoke, no motorbikes, no cars, just my two big feet! We realised it was quite touristic but still so beautiful. We scored a room for about 333 ฿ a night which was apparently good for Phi Phi. We have all been sharing a bed for the last week. We know each others habits and moods and are beginning to feel like sisters.
Our room smelt like old socks and mould. Indicating from the mould on the walls we realised it wasnt our old, dirty socks that made our noses cringe. That night we watched a movie, The Adventures of Tin Tin, on the roof top of Banana Bar with free popcorn and a delicious cocktail in hand. Then to the 7 11 for beer and the like and onwards to the crazy beach party nightlife. About 7 clubs lined up all spilling out onto the sand with Westeners on hand to speak English, Thai fire twirlers we later found out didnt like French boys and so much body paint. We eventually ended up in the water dancing and swimming. A sunken Long tail boat was a couple of metres away so we ventured out and danced on top of that. The moon shone so bright and since the full moon party was on in Koh Phangnan many people had left the island so the clubs were quiet. The group we were with was a mix of foreigners. The French boy had a go at Thai boxing with the fire twirlers and Lana ended up with a black lip. She looks like she has a moustace. It keeps us entertained on long bus rides. I met some amazing people on Phi Phi. Strangers become friends. People if you let them will open your eyes to so many things which is hidden in our minds.
In the morning we ventured to the outside beaches of Phi Phi main island. Lana had gone missing so we had to go without her – but found her later before sunset.
Myself and Kat went to Monkey beach where the monkeys seem unbelievably calm as they munch on the bananas at their feet. But if you get to close, which I did, they turn into a rage and throw their long, dangly arms in the air and run at you! Three monkeys were my enemies there.
After we went snorkelling between two huge cliffs where you could see for miles in the beautiful, clear waters that are Koh Phi Phi. The water tastes different here, less salty perhaps. I found another enemy, the Sea Urchin. Whilst in the Solomon Islands back in 2007 I stood on one while far out from the main land and the pain was unbelievable. We were staying on a local island with nuns and the local fisherman said that when they step on an urchin they get a rock and smash the spikes deep into the flesh of the foot and wait for the body to reject them, slowly. So to put it simply I stayed far, far away from the sea urchin’s of Phi Phi.
We hopped back on the beautiful, Thai longtail boat that boasted beautiful flowers around its tail and of course the Thai flag and set off to “THE BEACH”. My favourite movie staring my favourite actor Leo d’caprico. Myself and Kat walked his footsteps looking for the spots in the movie which different things happened. There is NO waterfall by the way. The beach is super small, yet astoundingly beautiful. We ventured to the other side where more boats of tourists were arriving and the island felt quite cramped. Also there are no marijuana plants either. We devoured pineapple pieces on the long trip back to the main Island.
Leaving Phi Phi was a sad moment but onwards to Phuket we had decieded. The ferry set out from Phi Phi with really rough seas. We had chosen a seat right at the front of the ferry. I went outside to lie on the deck, sun tan and read my book. Titled “Self” by Yann Martel – great book. While I lay a stranger from Holland sat and asked to eat his lunch with me and we spoke about his life on Phi Phi as a DJ. Then out of no where the sea roared and we were covered in water nearly falling into the sea. We went back in to Lana and Kat and watched in horror as people around us were vommiting up their breakfasts. It’s a terrible site to see so many in disraught. We decided outside would be better so we sat in the cold for an hour till we eventually got to Phuket pier.
Our couchsurfer, Topsi, a Thai girl who is a dive instructer in a village far from Phuket is our host for our days here in Phuket province. The taxi to her place which is about 100km’s from Phuket’s tourist bonaza cost us 800฿ – no amount of my stern bargaining could lower the price. The nerve of the driver to ask for another 200 ฿ on arrival.
At Topsi’s we met her hilarious friends. Tip, or as I call her Tippy Tip Tip, is a mother of 2 who lives in the forest. She hired us her motorbikes for our time here for a mere 100 ฿ each (around $3) which we are using to venture about this small, remote village. It’s so nice to see no big McDonalds and all the shops close at 8 or 9pm. She is so kind to open her room to us. We are sleeping on the floor which is suprisingly comfy. The place where we will volunteer, Soi Dogs, is quite close perhaps 10km’s and we will volunteer here a few days. Its an animal shelter where Kat sponsers a dog called Tim Tam. When they found Tim Tam she had maggots growing in her ear. Now she is super healthy!!
Today we will ride our motorbikes along the beach path all the way to Phuket city, to Patong beach perhaps. Check out what the tourists are all so fussed about then return to our beautiful traditional Thai village. There is an imaginary lane for us on the far left. The traffic here is tame, un organised but there seems to be no accidents or anger on the roads. Same in Malaysia where the cars and motorbikes would so easily and nicely just merge in cutting each other off but no anger was displayed, it was just normal.
As we ride down the highway we get the occasional slow down and stare, the young boys yelling and whistling and of course the trucks beeping to get out of the way!
It has only been one night in Phuket so far and it has been a delightful change from the touristic trail.