After Pai, I went down south to Phuket. However, I was really only there for an intermediate stay before heading to Koh Phi Phi, so didn’t gain too much insight into the area. Did manage to see how seedy some parts of the city were. After bumming around in Phuket for a day or two, I took the boat headed over to Phi Phi, my main target.
I wasn’t sure what to expect from Phi Phi, but it really was one of my favorite stops on my travels. I’m not sure if I could spend a very long time on the island, but I’m glad I went, and equally glad I met the people I did. Phi Phi was tiny, much smaller than I thought it would be. Instead of roads, there was only a golden walkway winding its way through the small buildings. Apparently, the walkway is a new addition to the area.
I was there during the off tourist season so by all means the whole island was dead. If you just walked around for a couple minutes, you could see how many bars per inch there were and how geared up the town was to have a party every night during peak season. It felt a little odd walking through an area that was just itching to have a ton of college aged tourists to come and drink themselves senseless.
Either way, the weather was decent enough. It rained pretty much everyday, but only for about an hour and then it was sunny all day. So, it really just meant some extra hanging out at the hostel.
The hostel that I stayed at was really nice. The amenities and everything else were pretty standard, nothing really special about them. The blankets were super thin and the bathrooms were what you would expect. However, the owner and the people that I met there really set it apart. Out of all the hostels I have stayed in, it became one of my highest rated places. I can’t say enough about the owner and how great he was. He really brought the people staying there together. I will never forget when I was feeling sick how he kept checking in on me to make sure that I was fine and wanted to give me anything to really make it better.
So while it was warm, it was overcast pretty much the whole time and it was rainy, so the water was a bit muddled. Either way, the beaches were still looking fine.
I stayed a few days in Phi Phi and did some sightseeing. I went on a typical boat tour that takes you around to the islands and several other activities. This included Monkey Beach, which has monkeys, go figure. The tour also included snorkeling, random beaches, and swimming with plankton. We had to pay to get off the boat to get to Maya beach, which was not worth it. It was poorly explained and nobody knew what was next or what was going on.
I spent most of the remaining time I had there snorkeling and trying to see sharks. Unfortunately, I only saw fish, and cut up my feet pretty bad. Still it was worth it, and I was just so glad I could go swimming. I thought it was cool just how close the fish would get to you.
I had a really good time on Koh Phi Phi. Eventually I needed to move on and so I left towards Koh Tao.
I was headed towards death island with no way out.
I stopped for a night in Krabi then took the boat over to the small little island of Kho Tao. I spent a decent amount of time on the boat to get there. What really gave me the chills was what I read on the way over there. I didn’t really know much about where I was going ahead of time. So I googled “Koh Tao” and the first thing I read is about all the murders that happened there. So at this point I’m freaking out because I was headed towards death island with no way out.
Of course, everything was exaggerated and blown out of proportion, but it did make me approach the place with some caution. Luckily, my hostel was right next to the pier, and I only had a few minutes walk.
I spent the better part of the first day snorkeling around and trying unsuccessfully, yet again, to find sharks. The next day I did some much needed shopping that I had meant to do the entire trip.
The main pull of the island is the diving. There are an insane amount of dive centers located around the tiny island. It’s mildly ridiculous just how many there are. So with not much else to do, I decided to give it a go.
I talked to my hostel and some random people, and they all said that Master Divers was a competent diving school. So that that is what I went with. I signed up for a dive the next day. The one thing that really changed with this decision was I had to wake up at a decent hour which I have been so used to not doing. I guess I have to make some sacrifices right?
Either way, the first day was pretty cool. It wasn’t as difficult or generally complex as I thought it would be. My instructor was an entertaining guy, and with him I felt pretty confident I wouldn’t be found floating in the water later that day.
I decided to get certified at the end of the first day. I mean, why not? I had the time and who knows when I would be here again. The decision was even easier when I learned I’d have the same instructor and also be 1 on 1. Couldn’t pass that up! I went back to school and spent my free time watching videos in my room.
For three days I was the only one in my hostel. So it did make studying and just being able to decompress very easy. Since there was nobody drinking, the bartender at the hostel just started driving me around to different places.
The whole course went on for three days which was quicker than I expected. Everyday I came back super tired but it was always worth it.
I got to see some creatures I never thought I would ever see. I was super pumped about seeing eels and some bluespotted rays, as well as barracuda and much more. I also got to go swimming everyday in water that was just awesome. I’m very glad I got the opportunity to learn some new things in such a sweet environment.
That was pretty much my entire time in Koh Tao. I had an extra day to do some more snorkeling but for the most part I was packing my bags and getting ready to go back to Bangkok.
Bangkok was meh.