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Archive for the ‘Koh Phi Phi Don’ Category

The Beach

Posted by Heliocentrism on April 15, 2010

April 9 – 11, 2010

All Pictures

hanging with fish

Where Leo Walked

Our next 3 days on Phi Phi Island were mostly spent in and under water. On the 9th we signed up for a day trip around Phi Phi for the 10th. We wanted to see Maya Beach, the beach where the movie The Beach was filmed.

There is a 400THB entry fee for all non-Thais who don’t come to the island with a tour group. The tour was 450THB. To go on our own, a taxi boat would have cost about 200THB. We would have had to also bring our own lunch since there isn’t anywhere to get food on the island. There is a “snack bar” but it wasn’t open when we were there. The tour provided us with lunch. So we took the day tour.

The Tour Catalogue

No Sharks or Mosquitoes

The day trip was great. We started out by snorkeling at Shark Point. There were no sharks and not much fish to see. Several of the people on the trip said that they saw jellyfish and got back into the boat. I did too even though I did not see a jellyfish. I wasn’t willing to take any chances.

Our next stop was Bamboo Island.  There is a campsite on this island and a 400THB island entrance fee. Like all the other islands, the entry fee is waived when you come with a tour. We ate lunch on this island and had time for a little swimming.

Then we went to Mosquito Island. We never set foot on the island, but we swam near it. There were so many fish. This is where I learned that fish love pineapples. I went in the water with a piece of pineapple in my hand. It attracted tons of fish!

Fish love pineapples

My favorite spot on the day trip was Pileh Bay or Viking Bay. There was no beach but the water was beautiful! You can see it in the picture below, but the photo just does not show all the wonderfulness of this bay. I think it was more beautiful than Maya Beach. Which was a bit disappointing and crowded.

the lagoon

Here is a video that Mark made:

All Pictures


 

Thailand
(ราชอาณาจักรไทย)
(Ratcha Anachak Thai)

How to get there:

  • 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.

Phone:

Website:

Downloads:

Videos:

Notes:

  • 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

How to get there:

  • 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.

Address:

IVORY Phi Phi Island
81000
194/1 Phi Phi Island, Moo 7 , Ao-Nang, Maung, Krabi THAILAND, Maung, Krabi 81000, Thailand

Phone: 075-601149

Website

Download

Cost:

  • 1,000 – 2,000THB depending on the room and season.

Hours:

  • Check in after 12:01
  • Check out before 11:01

Notes:

This place comes with free wi-fi, but the signal is strongest on the ground floor.

Map:

Posted in Koh Phi Phi Don, Koh Phi Phi Leh, Thailand | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

They Just Don’t Understand Why We Come

Posted by Heliocentrism on April 12, 2010

April 8, 2010

All Pictures

Following the “blond” guy to the taxi boat

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.

sitting at our overly rustic bungalow

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.

Please stay up…

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.

“Where shall we hang our washing?oh… anywhere? Everywhere!”

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.

Might as well hang out my clothes too.

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.

It’s a nice beach at least.

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!

sunset

All Pictures


 

Thailand
(ราชอาณาจักรไทย)
(Ratcha Anachak Thai)

How to get there:

  • 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.

Phone:

Website:

Downloads:

Videos:

Notes:

  • 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

How to get there:

  • 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.

Address:

IVORY Phi Phi Island
81000
194/1 Phi Phi Island, Moo 7 , Ao-Nang, Maung, Krabi THAILAND, Maung, Krabi 81000, Thailand

Phone:

  • 075-601149

Website

Download

Cost:

  • 1,0002,000THB depending on the room and season.

Hours:

  • Check in after 12:01
  • Check out before 11:01

Notes:

This place comes with free wi-fi, but the signal is strongest on the ground floor.

Map:

Posted in Koh Phi Phi Don, Thailand | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

No Number

Posted by Heliocentrism on April 11, 2010

Night of April 7, 2010

All Pictures

Take up as much space as you like, I’ll just try to sleep with my head hanging out the boat.

Just Roll Him Over

I had in my coin purse 2 receipts; one said, “Koh Tao to Suratthani,” the other, ” Krabi to Koh Phi Phi”. All we had to do was stand out on the road near our hotel and wait for the travel agency’s taxi to come and pick us up. We were told that the taxi would come at 19:00, and the boat would leave at 21:00. But after waiting there for 10 minutes the bugs started biting.

There is a phenomenon known as “Thai time” which makes it nearly impossible for anything in Thailand to start, end, arrive, or depart as scheduled. Knowing that the taxi was to pick us up at 19:00, I calculated that the taxi could actually arrive anytime between 19:30 and 21:30. So when  our hotel’s free taxi to the dock showed up, we took it instead.

We got to the dock around 19:30 and put our backpacks on the deck. I have a bright yellow bag that I use when my backpack and I must separate. I take important items from my backpack and put them in my yellow bag. These include, my passport, any money or credit cards, all uninsured electronics, a pair of socks, and long-sleeved T-shirt, and my inflatable pillow… plus what ever Mark tosses in there.

a really bad shot of Mark’s diving video

We left for about 1.5 hours to a bar that was showing a movie starring Mark and his diving classmates. When we came back to board the boat and settle in, we were told that we had “no number”.

Me – “What does that mean?”

The ticket checking guy said, “no number” again and point to the beds on the lower part of the boat.

Me – “Is that where we sit?”

Ticket guy – “No Number!”

Me – “So where do we sit?”

Ticket guy – “No Number!”

Me – “What does that mean?”

Ticket guy – “No Number!”

I tried ever conceivable way to ask the annoying man where “no numbered” people are supposed to sit, but all he would say was, “no number.” Mark decided to just pick an empty spot so I joined him. We just sat back and watched what happened.

There was another couple who came aboard without numbers too. They couldn’t get much information out of the guy either. He told them to take the boat tomorrow. “Tomorrow you can have number.”

That’s when I realized that our boat had been oversold. I looked around the boat. I wondered why there were people laying in the path that should have been left clear as a walkway to the bathroom. They, I later learned, also had no number. I noticed that these middle people had mattresses and pillows and that there were numbered spots that had no mattresses and others had missing pillows.

Life on the lower deck

Then the people whose spot we were apparently in, showed up. We had to get up and stand awkwardly to the side. We waited until everyone who was to board had boarded and ask Mr. Unhelpful once more where we were supposed to sit. He never spoke a word to us, but just counted his tickets. He counted them about 5 or 6 times before he grabbed our tickets from out of Mark’s hands and ripped them up. Then he wrote us new tickets, with numbers, and handed them to Mark.

Should we sit here?

Mark looked at the tickets’ numbers and then to the corresponding beds. “These are taken.” Mr. Unhelpful did not respond. So Mark repeated, “These are taken. People are in them.” Mr. Unhelpful waved Mark off in disbelief. Mark pointed to the spots. Mr. Unhelpful followed Mark’s outstretched arm with his eyes. Then he grabbed the tickets from Mark’s hand again and started counting tickets once more.

At this point, 2 more people had come to Mr. Unhelpful’s table. They had numbers, but there were no mattresses. I looked down at the people in the middle. Most of them had mattresses.

But the couple could not get any information out of Mr. Unhelpful. He was busy recounting tickets for the 4th time and would need a 5th and 6th time before he was ready to communicate with anyone in this realm. Mark and I started to ask about bed 114 and 115. They were empty and had been empty this whole time. But Mr. Helpful was still on recounting round number 5.

Are you using this?

Those beds, 115 and 116, that were left empty had owners. Owners that didn’t show up until 21:50; ten minutes before the boat left. Yes. This 21:00 boat actually left at 22:00.

When he was done he gave us new tickets. These were technically empty. The man in 74 was fast asleep and sprawled out on both space 74 and 75. The man in 75 had moved his into 76. 76 was Mark’s newly assigned number. I was 77. This bed was where the girl in 78 had put all her crap.

In the real world the space allotted to 74, 75, 76, 77, and 78 would have only had four beds assigned to it. But this is not the real world; this is Thailand. The land where no one has ever said, “This one’s full.”

People will pile 6 souls on a motorbike, 8 people in a sedan, hundreds on a subway… Max capacity is taken as a challenge and every time I see a pickup truck speeding down the highway with 20 people dumped in the back I can tell that the driver is beaming with pride.

We managed to get the sleeping man to move over a bit. I, passive-aggressively gave the girl in 78 a dirty look, but she didn’t move her bag until she realized that I would use it as a pillow if she didn’t put it somewhere else.

I then spent a good part of the night pushing her arm off of me. I would move her arm and within 10 minutes I would feel it on my back again. She was a determined cuddler.

At one point I got up to use the bathroom and the small gap that had been my spot was gone. Her right arm and leg had filled in the space. I carefully lay down on my side in Mark’s spot, trying not to wake her. Then feigning night terrors, I suddenly flipped over on my back, crashing down heavily on an arm and leg in my spot. She didn’t want to cuddle after that.

All Pictures


 

Thailand
(ราชอาณาจักรไทย)
(Ratcha Anachak Thai)

How to get there:

  • 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.

Phone:

Website:

Downloads:

Videos:

Notes:

  • 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.

Koh Phi Phi
(เกาะพีพีดอน)

How to get there:

  • 7°45’00.1″N 98°46’42.9″E

From Koh Tao –

There are hundreds of travel agencies that will sell you tickets from Koh Tao to Koh Phi Phi. There is a fast boat (1,050THB), that leaves at 9:30 and a slow one (950THB) that leaves at 21:00, to Surathani (สุราษฎร์ธานี).

From Bangkok –

1. Take a train to Surathani, then a bus to Krabi. Go to Krabi dock and take a ferry to Koh Phi Phi.

2. Take a bus to Krabi. Go to Krabi dock and take a ferry to Koh Phi Phi.

3. Fly into Krabi. Go to Krabi dock and take a ferry to Koh Phi Phi.

Cost: (from Koh Tao)

Hours: (from Koh Tao)

  • fast boat – leaves at 9:30
  • slow boat – leaves at 21:00

Notes:

  • The ticket from Koh Tao, will also include a bus ride from Surathani to Krabi and a boat from Krabi to Phi Phi Island.
  • I think that it is better to book your ticket through an agent, because the price includes transfers from docks to bus stations, and bus stations to docks. It is not fun dealing with pushy tuk-tuk drivers at 5:00 in the morning.
  • Make sure your agent has given you a bed number for the boat. Try to get a bed on the top. The picture above is of the bottom part of the boat. people with no bed numbers must fight for a space in the middle which is actually the walkway passengers use to get to the bathroom. No one is allowed to sleep in the middle on the top part of the boat, so the people there can easily get to the bathroom.
  • I also recommend bringing a pillow and a blanket. People tend to hoard the pillows and there are no blankets even though it does get cold on the boat. Mark and I had sleeping bags and inflatable pillows that we travel with. Make sure to take things to keep you warm, along with your valuables, out of your backpack before the crew stores all the luggage below.
  • There are no trains to Krabi.

Map:

Posted in Koh Phi Phi Don, Koh Tao, Suratthani, Thailand | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

 
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