After a few days in Bangkok and meeting up with a couple of friends, we headed south to explore one of Thailand’s most popular tourist spots . What is the reality of Ko Phi Phi?
Known to many as the location for Leonardo DiCaprio’s ‘The Beach’, Ko Phi Phi is a small island off the South West coast. I convinced my boyfriend and our friends to take the local transport instead of flying – I still don’t think they have forgiven me!
We found a coach advertised from Bangkok to Phuket which roughly worked out to £10 each. I was told the journey would take 11 hours, but I had forgotten to factor in that we were on Thai time, it ended up taking 20 hours instead!
The bus itself was actually pretty comfortable, apart from the fact that the bathroom had a see through door and I was seated right opposite it…
It stopped several times along the way at the Thai’s version of a service station, complete with squat toilets and noodle soup stalls. We decided to take a break from the coach and stayed in Phuket for a couple of days. From Phuket, we took a 2 hour ferry to Ko Phi Phi.
I had heard so much about this magical island and its beauty that the reality did not match up to my expectations. When you get off the dock you are instantly enclosed by stalls full of every type of merchandise you can imagine. There are bars and restaurants everywhere and as there are no cars on the island the only way to get around was to walk. Although I love to meet fellow backpackers when I am travelling, Ko Phi Phi felt to me like it had lost its culture and catered completely towards tourists instead of locals.
That is not to say I didn’t have a fantastic time on the island! The beaches were beautiful with the fishing boats providing the finishing touch to the stunning scenery. At night time, the beaches turned into a giant dance floor with fire dancers weaving their way throughout the crowds.
On our second day there, we ventured to a local cafe for some noodle soup. When I am in Asia, I do not usually eat meat in order to avoid food poisoning. Unfortunately, that did not go to plan this time. All four of us ended up with food poisoning and confined to our beds for three days.
Ultimately, this is how we spent most of our time on what is supposed to be one of the most beautiful islands in the world!
Author: Siân De Lara – Navigation the Globe
About: 26 year old welsh girl who loves nothing more than another passport stamp. Recently returned from a year traveling the world, I am now hibernating in Scotland saving for my next adventure!