My Li'l Travel Book | Phi Phi Islands - Sushmita Malakar Blog //]]>

Monday, August 21, 2017

My Li'l Travel Book | Phi Phi Islands

Previously written - Phuket.

The ferry journey from Phuket to Phi Phi Island was wonderful and the moment we started to approach Phi Phi Island, I knew that I am in for some different kind of adventure altogether.



Phi Phi is a group of island, part of Krabi district. In the Tsunami of 2004, almost all of Phi Phi Islands and its infrastructure was destroyed. They certainly have done a great job in restoring everything!


I fell in love with the long tail boats the moment I set my eyes on them. 

We were in Phi Phi Don, the part of the island which is inhabited by the locals and the tourists. The best part about this place is that you have to pay a cleanliness fee before entering (TBH 20) and you know it is not going in waste because the way this island has been maintained is marvelous.

The Tonsai Passenger Pier.

Once you enter the island, you would feel as if you are in some sort of modern village with shops all around and so many cute cafes. When I say cute, I mean cute by both the look and feel of it!



Since it was a long ferry ride, we decided to have our lunch before moving to the cottages, which again offered some amazing stay!

I decided to have some good sea food, not very local, but yes, I had to try the Thailand varieties. The squids and blue mussels were on my mind for a long time now, so I decided to try them.

Rich and flavorful squids in oyster sauce. 

Li'l tangy and crispy Blue mussels, fried in cheese. 

After a hearty lunch with a liberal serving of watermelon juice(that is my love that I have brought back from Thailand!), we explored the market a bit more. And yes, Thailand can never stop to amaze me. 

There were these li'l kiosks, selling cocktails in buckets with all the component in it. Pleasing to the eyes, yes! And I am very sure that these buckets leave their consumers completely drunk and high!



Narrow, hilly roads is what characterizes this part of Phi Phi Don. I loved the roads because of two reasons. One, they were so narrow that you can not take any vehicle that can pollute the air. The limited use of motor-vehicles thus makes it a place to live in. Second, the roads are formed in spiral and the terrain is a li'l rough. So, it seems like a hike!

Now that is some road sign to look for!

Let me give you the idea of the altitude. One can actually see the horizon and listen to the sea from anywhere you stand.


After a good amount of hike, we could spot the cottages where we were supposed to lodge ourselves. Savage much? Yes. 



These cottages offered a great stay! A clean pool, very calm cottages, all located at different levels and so much peace. Just one thing - the wooden cottages among the wilds also come with the insects and reptiles about which you can't complain. You signed for it! 

This day was about exploring the night life of the place. And trust me, the whole place is very different during the day and the night. According to me, it is a perfect place - eat the best during the day and then party at the most happening place during the night. 

Phi Phi Don has completely different areas - all within the same vicinity. You can go to the main market place where you have all the cafes and shops and pubs. Then there is the Tonsai passenger pier which has got beautiful and peaceful dinner places which close by 10 at night. And finally, there is the beach side where the most talked about "neon parties" take place. 

The night of this day was about shopping and exploring and of course, eating. 

Tonsai Pier - as dreamy as it can get!

I definitely did not click much because hey, I was making memories and not clicking pictures! But I wouldn't have missed any make shift temple, if I spotted one!




The next day was dedicated to island hoping and exploring the night life even more.

It was on this day that I realized that these groups of islands resemble elephants - some sitting, some standing and some doing their own silly things! And then, I couldn't stop clicking them. The most mesmerizing pictures came out during this island hoping tour.



This time, the island hoping was a more personalized tour on long tail boats which could accommodate 7 people on board. And opting for this tour rather than the usual speed boat tours was the best decision ever!

The tour costed us 1000 TBH (INR 2000 approx.) per person and the "sailor" would take us to places that we could cover in six hours. We made sure that we made the best out of those six hours!

I don't know why but I absolutely love this picture!

Oh, there is our ride. But first, let me take a picture!
We left the harbour - Sailing far, far away from the main island.


The sea is furious and trust me, it seems scarier in a long tail boat!



The first thing that I could see was the Viking Caves. This is the view from the front side. The beauty of these caves are best enjoyed from the other side (thanks to the internet for letting me know that!) and I made a mental check list to cover this island for sure!



Our first stop was the Bamboo Island, which is a preserved and restricted entry island. The entry fee is TBH 400. We made our stop somewhere around it, in the middle of the sea, where the divers among us decided to go for snorkeling and diving to enjoy the deep sea life!

After that we sailed towards the Laem Tong beach, which is again the characteristically fine white sand and clear blue water beach.



This was the place where I dived into the sea, with a life jacket on, of course. I hate to say but I am scared of water. I so wish I was not!

The one with the bestie!

After relaxing in the sea(literally) and in the sun, we headed towards the shark point.

When you traverse from one island to another, you will come across certain private beaches as well - completely secluded and beautiful - place where you would want to live for sometime!



The shark point is an amazing place for snorkeling. Though this place is named after the leopard shark but you might not be able to locate any. However, this is a place for some pretty soft corals and different species of reef fishes.

And these are super hungry and friendly reef fishes. You dip your finger in the sea, with no fish in site, and hundreds of  fishes swiftly swim towards you mistaking your finger to be food.

I am not sure about the species though, but they are found in abundance in the Andaman Sea. 

This was one of my cutest experience ever. Given the fact how much I fear water, this was certainly too big for me - standing stagnant, somewhere in the middle of the sea, on a rickety boat,  not knowing what creature might pop up from anywhere.

The next stop was the Moneky Island. Of course, as the name suggests, one would expects monkeys there.

I was expecting an usual beach - white sand, blue waters - with the usual jungles but with wild monkeys roaming around. This island is no where near this description.

It doesn't have a proper beach. You anchor your boat near the island and then you can hear some noise which is pleasantly unpleasantly. And it is rhythmically aligned with the sound of the waves.

I personally had no clue what is happening. And then I realized, oh, I am at the Monkey Island.

And that is me, more shocked than surprised after I spotted the monkeys.



So, this place is scary and I don't know how scary it might get at the night. Dense jungles surrounded by water all around and inhabited by the closest cousin of the human species - that is scary, if you ask me!



But everything aside, this place is indeed beautiful. Beautiful is rather an understatement.

Finally, we proceeded towards the Viking Caves. Our stoppage here was of very short duration, because the boat wala bhaiya was very tired by now. You can not go inside the caves, but the internet will tell you that the cave walls have paintings of the Viking ships and thus they get this name.



The Swiftlet's nests are harvested here for human consumption. And it tuns out that this is one of the most expensive animal product consumed around the world! Edible nests - strange, right?

And finally, we stopped at the nearby Pileh Bay. To say the least, this place is picturesque. I have never seen anything so amazing and peaceful.



Even now when I sit to write this, I am surprised at the miracle of nature. Pileh Bay is a completely calm bay, somewhere in the turbulent and wild Andaman Sea, surrounded by huge chunks of limestone from all the sides. 





This place will send you to a state of complete ignorance and trance as you enjoy the green limestone walls and the emerald bay of the Andaman Sea!

And that is how this island hopping tour on the long tail boat ended. 



By the time we returned back, it was already lunch time. And it was time to try something new. Okay, so whenever in Thailand, you have to try the local cuisine without any fuss.

We ordered the famous Papaya Salad, Massaman Curry and Pad Thai Noodles. Not to forget, the dessert - sticky rice and Mango.


Traditionally, the Papaya Salad is pretty spicy but you can always get it customized. 

It is important to try some of the more common Asian dishes to know what it authentically tastes like! Vegetable spring rolls and chili sauce on my platter. 

Pad Thai Noodles, served with roasted and coarsely ground peanuts. 
Massaman Curry with plain rice. See the presentation? 

After this and some more shopping, I started to hike towards the cottage. I was literally burned in the sun and was in pain. But it was all worth! This place is probably my favourite place in Thailand. Please take me back!

We retired to our cottages to catch up some sleep. In the evening we decided to explore the beach party scenes. Though none of us was in a mood to have a wild party or anything but then again, when in Roman, do as the Romans do!



It was wilder than I expected and I certainly had some very weird experiences of my life there! I really don't like the idea of doing completely dangerous stuff, like playing with fire, when under the effect of any kind of drug.  But I did enjoy my stay at these parties - not to mention, super short stays!



I soon found my kind of drug while coming back. 

There were two things that one can spot throughout the Phi Phi Don - one, the bucket cocktail stalls and second, Monster Ice Cream vendors. I was already so high on my travel that I decided to skip the alcohol. However, I never say no to desserts. 


And ladies and gentlemen, that is how I got my ultimate high! 


It has everything chocolaty - sauces, spreads, sprinkles. 

That is how the night ended. Sweet ending indeed!

The next morning was about watching the sunrise. I was not expecting something amazing because yes, I have seen too many beach sunrises.

Just when I thought that I was done with the beauty of Phi Phi, this group of island proved me wrong.

I, along with another girl, Aditi, started to hike towards the view point at around five in the morning. The hike was an easy one and takes around 30 to 40 minutes to reach the view point.


Wait till the trail starts to get uneven and rough.



So, we reached the top. What now? I first looked back towards the trail that we just covered. 


And then, there was this breathtaking view! 

The H- shaped Phi Phi Don!


And there were my lovely elephants! 



I was left speechless. I was too mesmerized to say anything! Or may be too hungry because yes, the hike leaves you famished.

And after having a breakfast with a view, back in our cottage, we started off for the last leg of the trip - Krabi Town.



With so many beautiful memories of this place, I started off for Krabi with no expectations - all beahces are the same, right? But again, I was proved wrong!

Next Up - Ao Nang, Krabi!

8 comments:

The Untourists said...

Wow! Looks like so much fun!

Crimson April said...

Such a lovely place. Beautiful captures Sushmita! And thankfully you took so many. The post describes the place by every bit. And 2K for that tour is so reasonable. How were the mussels by the way? I never had them. Will try it in some restaurant in Pune. This is a hearty post. Enjoyed reading it!!

http://www.crimsonapril.com

Sushmita Malakar said...

@Untourists
It was indeed! Thank you for dropping by :)

Harsh said...

Amazing penmanship for outlining your tour...Cheers!
And btw i wanna eat one of those monsters!! 😬

Sushmita Malakar said...

@Crimson April
Mussels are not the best sea creature I have eaten so far. However, you can always try some!

I am so glad that you liked the post! The tour was worth every penny that I spent!

Thanks and I hope you keep on visiting! :)

Sushmita Malakar said...

@Harsh
Thank you so much!

I so wish those monsters were available here! *Sigh*

2travelling sisters said...

Phi Phi is such a paradise, loved the cottage and its surrounding!

Sushmita Malakar said...

@2travelling Sisters
It is indeed! Thank you for visiting my li'l space! :)