November 11th, 2007 – by: cronky1001
Ko Pha Ngan
After leaving Vietnam I headed back down to Ko Pha Ngan to meet with my Danish friends in Hat Rin the party centre of the island. Still feeling dreadful with ears ringing, bad cough and nose still constantly running I finally arrived in Ko Pha Yang and met with my friends. This was probably the most boring part of my trip as I was just trying to recover enough to continue with my travels. After 5 days my Danish friends decided to move on as the weather was terrible to the other side of Thailand to Ko Phi Phi. I stayed as my friends from England just happened to be in Ko Pha Ngan at the same time. The majority of my 2 weeks was just spent watching DVD’s and playing playstation. The weather on the island was so wet that going to the beach was pointless. While I was there for 2 weeks I did go to the full moon party, which was good fun but not as enjoyable as I think it could have been due to me feeling pretty low.
My English friends I had met up with where going to Samui travel guide">Ko Samui so I decided to tag along as I still didn’t feel like being on my own feeling rough. So I joined the boys in Ko Samui just an hour’s boat road from Ko Pha Ngan on the west side of the coast. As we arrived there where reports of the worst rain in 6 years on the island. Travelling to Chaweng where we were going to stay you could see the evidence of the rain. Many roads completely flooded and some roads even impassable. So we arrived ay Chaweng the tourist hot spot on the island and found a fairly cheap place to stay. Spent another 4 days in Ko Samui the main highlights being the go carting and the nightlife around Chaweng and Lamai. Would not really recommend this island to anyone looking for a place that is relaxed with beautiful scenery as most of the time the scenery is Starbucks, Burger King, Tesco and all the other huge brand names that have managed to find there way onto the island. Samui is one of those places that 10 years ago was probably idyllic but as more and more people have discovered it the tourist trade has moved in an made it like a an English package holiday destination. So quite gladly we moved on to our next destination. Although there was one good thing about my time in Samui. While there on my fifth lot of anti - biotics I actually started feeling a lot better and my ears finally unblocked after about 3 weeks of feeling like I was living underwater, still had a cough but I was definitely on the mend.
I had been in touch with my Danish friends who where on Ko Phi Phi island the other side of the country. They had informed me that the weather was boiling that side of the island. On hearing this news myself and 1 of the four guys that I knew from England headed over to Phi Phi with the other 3 guys heading over a few days later. To get to Phi Phi it was a boat from Samui back to the mainland then a bus across to the other side of the island, then another 2 hour boat journey to take you to Phi Phi Island. We arrived and checked in to a seedy little hostel not far from the beach. As well as my Danish friends being on the island, the couple I had met way back in Ko Tao when I was diving where also hear. It was lovely to get away from the wet weather that I had for over 2 weeks and finally have a bit of sun. I spent 5 days on Phi Phi spending most of time with my friend from back home and the couple I had met diving. The first day myself and the guy I new from Diving decided to hire a small 2 man boat and sail out to Monkey Island just a short way from the beach. After 10 minutes hard rowing we rolled up to the beach and parked our canoe up. I had the bright idea of bringing banana’s with us so that we could feed the monkeys. Instantly we spotted a big grey monkey sitting on the rock with people gathered around. This being my first real encounter with the wild monkeys I thought that if I held a banana out then it would just come and eat it out of my hand. So over I go bag of Banana’s in one hand and a single banana to feed the monkey in the other. As I stand there with this banana trying to tempt the monkey he jumps at me ignores the one I am trying to offer him and steals the whole bag out of my hands. I was so shocked when he jumped at me had visions of being mauled. Now I realized these monkeys where not as stupid as they look, being quite aware of what they liked and knowing how easy it was to get it. So we spent a while on the island then started to head back. We where told when we hired the boat that there where two places we could get to, that was monkey island and also a small beach just around the rocks but it was quite a long way. So as we started to head back but we changed our plan and started rowing across open water to the rocks not even being able to see the beach that lied behind it. Getting half way across the open sea it was becoming clear that this wasn’t going to be as easy as we thought. We finally arrived after a long row onto this secluded beach behind the rocks. Was fantastic absolutely no one there, we had the whole small bay to ourselves. It was time for a bit of camera posing (as always) and some snorkeling then time to head back. As we headed back we could see this was going to be even tougher than before with the current going against us. It was lovely though being out at sea on the canoe just as the sun was coming down. Finally we made it back feeling completely exhausted needing a beer to replenish our energy. The next day was spent just relaxing around the beach trying to get some of my beautiful tan back that I had lost so many weeks before. The following day we had arranged to go on a trip to a few different islands around Phi Phi. The first island we where taken to was Mya bay where they filmed ‘The Beach’. This was another one of those places that 10 years ago was unspoilt but now even though it is still a fantastic beach has lost some of its charm due to the huge amount of tourists visiting every day. From there we where taken to Bamboo island, those dedicated bloggers might remember me talking about this island way back in my second or third blog. It was the island where myself and my original traveling partners camped out on our tour of the islands. As we arrived in Bamboo it was just as amazing as I remembered it. The fine white stretch of beach with the water like bath warm water and this in the boiling mid day sun with not a cloud in the sky was like a paradise beach. After leaving Bamboo next stop was Monkey Island again. This time didn’t have any banana’s but my friend was drinking a can of coke when out of no where a monkey came out stole the can, drank all the coke then threw the can. The last stop was to go swimming with baby reef sharks, but unfortunately at the time we were there they were no where to be seen. The last day I met up with Danish guys as well as the English couple and decided to take a steep walk to the top of the island to view point. After a long walk up countless stairs we arrived to the view that was well worth the effort. It had pictures from this point when the Tsunami had struck and the huge amount of damage it had done, now looking down you could see where the island had rebuilt itself. As well as some lovely beaches and views, Phi Phi has an excellent nightlife with the highlight being the 5 story club on the beach. Usually after you have done a few buckets and few bottles of Chang then the stairs become a mean task. Phi Phi is a lovely small island that has a nice feel when walking around, very friendly with always loads going on. Although a bit touristy it still hasn’t turned into the package holiday commercialized places like Samui and Phuket. As myself, the couple I met whilst diving and the Danish guys were all off to Malaysia we decided to go together. Read on to the next blog for our time in Malaysia!