A packed payload of ten backpackers, bags included, in the back of a pickup truck, and one ferry ride later, and we had docked in Koh Phi Phi. Sheer limestone cliffs capped in a carpet of trees, surrounded by three different colors of blue water makes for an entrance so dramatic that it makes a red carpet seem like, well, a red piece of carpet. Welcome to Phi Phi. Immediately accosted by locals hawking hostels and hotels, Vicki, Erika, and I made our way into town inquiring and viewing rooms along the way.
The moment we ditched our stuff we walked a little dirt road towards Long Beach and then boom, we’re hit with an even more spectacular bay, surrounded by green mountains, and a beach speckled with beautiful people whose bodies represent badges of sun exposure: white, pink, red, tan, brown.
The people scene, local Thai, washed up foreigners who’ve decided to stay for years, and travelers like us passing time until the Full Moon party in Koh Pahn Gan, would give the appearance it’s the Thai who were visiting if they weren’t the one’s running the shops. Walking by the many tatoo shops with the word, “Massaaaaash,” coming from all directions is fun people watching during the day, but it’s nothing compared to what happens when the sun goes down.
Tattoo parlors become places for drunk tourists to make hilarious permanent mistakes. We asked one guy what kind of tatoo he was getting and he pointed to his belly and exclaimed, “Live the dream!” To which Erika replied, “That’s not what it says…” He looks down, concern building…”Lie to Dream”, is what was spelled in pen. He motions the tattoo artist over and they talk, “The V,” he says, “There should be a V, more pointy.” The tatooer somehow, inexplicably, calming the tatooee by telling him he would fix it along the way. A thumbs up to us from the drunk guy thanking us for catching the error that would no doubt be perfectly fixed along the way.
We went to Maya Beach, where, “The Beach,” was partly filmed, snorkeled, swam and watched sunset from a boat, and partied at night. Late nights, buckets of Thai Whiskey, Coke, and Red Bull, dub step and grime sounding like the soundtrack to an alien abduction, and watching Thai boxing between drunk tourists in a bar, have indeed made for a satisfying stay. However, the Full Moon party is in 2 days, so basically, it’s all been practice 🙂
**Traveler’s Tip: Eat at Papaya and portions are so big they can be split by 2-3 people. Our guest house, Sacha, was tidy and the bathroom was funky (but it has more to do with island plumbing) but it was 800Baht with ice cold air-conditioning, which was way better than we heard most people were getting. They don’t pitch at the boat launch so you’ll have to walk towards Long Beach to find it (right across from The Backpacker Rock).