They Just Don’t Understand Why We Come
Posted by Heliocentrism on April 12, 2010
April 8, 2010
Blonds are just… cooler.
Before Mark and I even set foot on Phi Phi island (หมู่เกาะพีพี) we knew the type of resort we wanted. We wanted some place that was quiet, away from the crowds, and affordable. Once you get off the boat and pay your 20THB entry fee, you are bombarded by herds of Thai men and women trying to get you to ride in their taxi boat, stay in their hotel, eat their food… It can be overwhelming, even for an experienced traveler.
Mark and I walked toward Loh Dalum Bay and found a “Blond” guy at a tourist information booth. He seemed calm and very non-aggressive. In fact he talk slowly with a thick Thai-British accent and gave off an aura of coolness that no heat could melt. He probably wakes up every morning to a clock radio that plays smooth jazz music at just the right volume.
He started out by asking us what we wanted. Then he asked for our price range. He never tried to get us into a hotel higher than the number we told him. He was too cool to haggle. We looked through his book of hotels. All the prices were written down along with some amenities.
A Quiet little Bungalow
We picked one place that was a bit out-of-the-way with basic bungalows. It wasn’t fancy, but it would be quiet, right?
The “resort” was very basic… rustic… Okay, it was a dump! If they were charging half their asking price, it would not have been too bad. But for what we were paying, I expected a bit more.
Wait, let me correct that. It would still have been a dump at half their asking price. But then I could say, you get what you pay for.
The room was a badly built shack that felt like any sort of breeze would knock it down; luckily there wasn’t any. It was hot!
The restaurant had crappy food. There was garbage everywhere. They turned on the electricity only from 18:00 in the evening to 6:00 in the morning. Random open buckets of water lay about the place which attracted every mosquito within a 10 mile radius. And the worst part… was when I asked where the bathroom was.
Ms. Mud Mask – “Okay, Sir. I show you.” This woman with what appears to be a homemade mud mask on her face pops out of no where and waves me over to follow her.
Ms. Mud Mask – “Sir, this is the lady’s bathroom, you can go here. That is the men’s bathroom. It is for only men. Okay, Sir?”
Me – “And where is the shower?”
Ms. Mud Mask – “Okay– Sir, for women, it is right in here.”
I looked into the women’s “shower”. It was an unlit room with a giant open bucket of water. I couldn’t really see it, but I imagined it contain a countless number of bug larvae just waiting to someday hatch and bite me.
I stomped off to get Mark and showed him the women’s shower. He laughed. Then he wondered where the men’s shower was. He looked into the men’s bathroom. There wasn’t even a bucket.
That’s when we decided that we would take the first boat that passed by this hell-hole the next morning and go back to the main area. Our little quiet hideaway was not what we were expecting. We would have to make the best of it in the mean time.
I have to say that the snorkeling was decent. There were a lot of fish in the sea near the “resort”. We spent about 3 or so hours swimming around the little beach. I was exhausted when I got back.
I just wanted a quiet dinner and to head off to bed early. But the mud-faced lady put on some really loud Thai music and started to sing and dance. I went to bed and tried to sleep, but the staff started a little horse-play. They were having fun and yelling across the resort. That’s when I realized that they just don’t get why people come here, or maybe, they just don’t care.
There is a main part of the island filled with nice hotels, fancy hotels, cheap hotels, all sorts of hotels. But they cannot offer peace and quiet because they are in the heart of the touristy part. People who leave that area and pay way more than they should for a little shack in the middle of a garbage heap that’s about to slide off a hill, do this for only one reason. They want quietness.
But the people running this place, didn’t understand that. They thought their job was to entertain the guests and so they played loud horrible music. They sang and danced and wonder why everyone got up, went back to their bungalows, then took the first boat out the next morning.
Another thing most people in Thailand who cater to tourists don’t understand is how having prices written down relaxes them. When I ask, “how much is this?” and the seller rattles off some price after doing a little eye-flip to the sky like they’re thinking, I know I’m getting screwed.
I feel better when the price is written down. I can stand back and think about whether or not I want to pay this without bothering the salesperson. When there is no written price I feel, “this guy’s just charging me as much as he thinks he can get out of me.”
The next day we found a hotel that was very nice. It wasn’t lonely, on a peaceful beach, or in a super quiet part of town, but it was clean and had a/c, wireless internet, and no open buckets of water. And it was worth it!
(Ratcha Anachak Thai)
- You can enter by plane, boat, bus, or train.
- Most citizens from many countries do not need to get a visa before going to Thailand. But, you will need a visa to stay longer than 1 month or if you been to Thailand for at least 3 months already in the past 12 months.
- People of most nationalities will get a 30-day visa at the port of entry.
- To be completely sure, check with the Thai embassy in your country.
- Useful Phone Numbers when in Thailand
- Tourism Authority 662-250-5500
- Emergency Number – 999
- Do not say anything negative about the king or anyone in the Royal family. And definitely do not write anything bad about the king or royal family. This offence could land you in jail. You don’t want to go to Thai jail.
- Don’t use the city ferries in Bangkok during the peak hours. They fill those things past capacity and sometimes they sink. Use them during non-peak hours when they are not crowded.
- Never eat female horseshoe crabs in Thailand. The roe of the horseshoe crab has tetrodotoxin (TTX) which is toxic to humans. It makes people very sick and some people have even died as a result.
Ivory Phi Phi Island
- 7°44’23.4″N 98°46’13.7″E
Once you leave the dock at Koh Phi Phi Don, you head almost straight then take a right turn before you get to the beach.
IVORY Phi Phi Island
194/1 Phi Phi Island, Moo 7 , Ao-Nang, Maung, Krabi THAILAND, Maung, Krabi 81000, Thailand
- Check in after 12:01
- Check out before 11:01
This place comes with free wi-fi, but the signal is strongest on the ground floor.