Monday, 18 February 2008

Thailand The Fabled Country. krabi to Ko Phi Phi

We had booked our ferry tickets to Phi Phi at the hostel the night before, it cost Bht.390pp and we were told to be ready and at the reception at 8.00 hrs. next morning. We had to wait 45 minutes for the pickup bus, which turned out to be a truck, with two long benches placed vertically. Kind of transport used to ferry farm labrers. From our hostel we were the only two passengers, we piled in and the truck started its round and picking up more people from various hotels. Then a long ride to the ferry jetty. We were surprised to see the large number of people going to Phi Phi and other islands. Lots of activity on the harbour.

The day was bright and very warm and we were looking forward to going to Phi Phi of which we had heard so much. After all the passangers had arrived and were boarded, their luggage piled up, we started. Almost all the passangers were young backpackers, seasoned travellers of today. They were relaxed, used to isle hopping. Midway to Phi Phi, we saw to our further surprise that the ferry stopped near an island and there were four or five long boats full of people heading our way. In a few minutes they stopped alongside the ferry and started helping the people to board. . It seemed that there were hundreds and hundreds of people climbing up, backpacks piling higher and higher. I was thinking that with so many passangers, the over loaded ferry might keel over and sink. We have read so many times about such disasters in asian countries, where boats and ferries cross the sea with an overlaod of passangers and sink.

The night before, in Krabi, we had tried to book accomodatin at the island but every where we asked, we were told that all accomodation on Phi Phi was fully booked and we would not get any room below Bht.3000-4000 per night. So we decided to take a chance, and failing to find any place there, would come back at nightfall. However on arriving at Phi Phi jetty, we found that there was some sort of panick among the passangers, travel agents were shouting and running here and there, hustling people to their respective offices and given little chance of making a decision about the place or the price. In half an hour the place was clear.

After hanging around one office for fifteen minutes, we were told that a double room was available for Bht.700 per night, five minutes from the beach but ten minutes walk from the jetty. We accepted although we were willing to pay upto Bht.`1200 for a beachside cabin. In Phi Phi there are no taxis, passangers' luggage is put in a hand cart and taken to the accomodation rented by them. The owner/manager of our hostal loaded our luggage with some other people's suitcases and started toward his place. It seemed that we took more than ten minutes to reach the hostal and to our more surprise, saw that we had to climb a hill to reach UPHILL COTTAGES. In my photo gallery I have posted a photo showing the cottage we occupied.

Phi Phi is a typical island full of small winding streets with shops selling every thing a visitor might need. There were restaurants and bars, pizza places and shops selling sausages and French fries. Massage parlors and a tattoo shop too. Travel agents and diving schools. Super markets and fruit stalls. Very busy too. Men in swim suits, T-shirts and shorts. Girls in bikinis,pareos and in shorts & T-shirts thronged the narrow streets. However, we found that the island was quiet and peaceful, there was a sensation of being a part of every day life but somehow detached from it too. No doubt the island is so popular.

Phi Phi has two beaches, there was quite some activity of building new accommodation on the island. Rooms to share with other guests, hostels for backpackers, luxury accommodation, Phi phi has every thing. If you are looking for a suitable place to stay and do not want to book with the travel touts on arrival, you will always find some. We went in November which is the peak season, but even then , there was adequate accommodation available, vacancy signs sprouted every where.
Posted by Island Hopper at 06:35

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