The internet tubes are painfully slow here in Ko Phi Phi, so the rest of the pics will be (hopefully) be uploaded when I get to Ko Lanta tomorrow.
Ko Phi Phi has been great, and definitely a worthwhile stop if you are in Thailand. However, it is super hot, so make sure to book a place with great AC at least, and a pool if available. My hotel is fine, but the AC is super weak so it is hard to escape the heat. Yes- First World Problems in Third World Countries. When it feels like I am living inside the sun, having AC pumping cool air onto me would be lovely.
While still VERY touristy, it has a very different feel than Phuket. it is much more mellow and populated by young backpackers instead of Euro-Tourist families and couples. This has been a welcome change for yours truly.
The island has really unique geography. It is in the shape of a big "H" with the majority of all the hotels/ restaurants/ shopping in the middle of the H. It was also dominated by the tsunami in 2004 and had to be almost completely rebuilt. There is almost no motorized transport (except for a few scooters) which I almost completely forgot about after a day. The streets are super narrow, and the few paved roads that do exist feel like a giant maze. I have gotten lost MANY times, which is incredible given that there are only a handful of streets.
It turns out the best time to get lost is not during a tropical rainfall. This is not normal rain- it is more like a waterfall from the sky. My thought was to just get back to the hotel and wait it out. That would be a good idea if I was able to find my hotel within 20 minutes. I ended up wandering around, totally lost, and COMPLETELY soaked. Next time I will find the nearest bar and wait out the rain with a cold beer in hand instead of being a lost idiot tourist among 4 streets.
- There are a ton of bars right on the beach with lounge chair/ beanbag things. There are few things as pleasant as having a cold beer on a white sand beach a few short steps to the water.
- One bar (Reggae Bar) lets the bar patrons Muay Thai fight each other. The prize? A free bucket of booze! Not surprisingly there are a good amount of fights during the night. Some people seemed to know what they were doing, while others were drunkenly pawing at each other. Entertainment of the highest order none the less. The drinks are insanely overpriced ($6 for a tall beer) so not somewhere to cheaply hang out all night.
- In general, the prices really aren't that bad considering it is a tiny island in the middle of the ocean with no motorized transport. All of the cargo gets hauled around via human power and big metal carts. Noticeably cheaper than Phuket. Meals are easily found for $3-5.
Next stop: Ko Lanta.