25-29: Koh Phi Phi, Koh Lanta to Ao Nang

See trip index here and Southern Thailand index here. Additional pictures here

Leaving Patong we headed to Koh Phi Phi (pronounced pee pee) for a night.  Our expectations of Phi Phi were quite low as we heard it was over spoilt by tourists.  The ferry over from Patong was a death trap and the luggage was stacked just ready to block the door in an emergency.  Think Mels rucksack got damaged here…

Anyway, we got to Phi Phi alive and checked in to an expensive but pretty poor guesthouse – just about suitable for a night and explored Phi Phi.  The main “town” is packed with scuba shops and bars, and lots of shops selling “buckets” of drink – e.g. a small bucket with a can of coke and a half bottle of spirit and a couple of straws.  So in the evening Phi Phi was rather like a club 18-30s venue, lots of drunk people getting dubious tattoos and partying along the beach with entertaining fire dancers. 

The beach and views on Phi Phi were okay but not as impressive as we’d expected, though of course we didn’t have time to explore the more distant beaches which are certainly more special, and of course we only looked at the main Phi Phi Don island.  If you go to Phi Phi and don’t want the constant party then you should seriously consider an out-of-town resort.

In the morning we left to another island, Koh Lanta to a section called Klong Khong – apparently the last backpacker beach area here.  This area is much more suitable for couples or people wanting a quieter time – the beach is nice, the sea warm, and loads of quiet beach bars with enough going on to keep us entertained – just.  Our accommodation was basic but sweet, a sort of concrete/bamboo hybrid.

A couple of the beach bars had fire dancers and live music which were good enough, but there didn’t appear to be enough people for a big party which suited us.

The beach was pretty at high tide, but at low it exposed more rocks and coral, mainly dead, but it meant you could explore rock pools and see some weird things.  Not quite a wild life haven but interesting nevertheless.  We also found some wildlife, a frog, that was trying to live in Mels rucksack.  An amazing creature as it could stick to walls an could jump almost across the room in one go. 

We left by taxi/ferry to Ao Nang via the usual ferry chaos – including 2 mid-sea transfers for some, but the views were interesting and some others did a transfer at Rai Lay where the views were spectacular and the beaches looked quiet and idyllic.  Had we heard of the place beforehand….

As it was, we got to our accommodation “Groovy Bungalows” just outside Ao Nang which is the most expensive we’ve had to date, 1800 per night, or 7,200 for 5 nights, so £29 a night including breakfast and free motorbike.   The room is stunning by Thai standards and great by UK, the hosts more than helpful, and we’ve even got a swimming pool!  Bargain…

See next installment here

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