Posts Tagged With: Phi phi

Railay Beach – Round One

We took a short ferry to our next stop, Railay Beach, which is not an island but is cut off from the mainland  by a mountain range, and only accessible by boat. We arrived at low tide so the longtails had to tow us  in to the pier, and honestly the beach didn’t look that great – I will later go on to retract this statement, because I hadn’t seen the two amaaazing beaches on the other side!

I was immediately charmed by the main little walking street, though. There were no cars or even bikes on the path (street) up to our hotel. There was a big sign welcoming the beach travellers “home”, and it really would feel that way by the end of our five nights here!

We explored Railay after we got settled, and it was so charming, since it was low season it was also not very touristy, there were just enough people around to make the place lively.  There were beautiful walking paths (with monkeys crashing through your path sometimes), climbing walls, two beautiful beaches, little roti stands, a main “walking street” that was kind of like the centre of town, and lots of hidden places that our guides would show us.

There was literally only one bar that got busy and played pretty good tunes and featured an amazing fire show every night at eleven!   At this point I had seen fire spinning a few times on Bottle Beach and in Kanchanaburi, and played around with the stick on the beach a few times, but I had no idea that  first night when  I watched the show that by the time I left I  would light up and spin fire myself for the first time…and be changed by the experience forever!!

On Railay beach there is an awesome group of locals who spin fire, teach  rock climbing, dj at the clubs and meet people from all over the world who want to experience their home. It was such a great experience to have friendships with the people who make it such a fun and welcoming place.

Our first night everyone was super tired from partying in Phi Phi, so it was only me and Camille left to watch the fire show that night and experience The Last Bar, which literally feels like the last bar on earth. It sits at the end of the east beach, and is literally the last thing on the little strip. We would have both a Halloween in July party and a handcuff party (where you are handcuffed together for a whole evening, lol) in the bar, it was definitely the local watering hole.

We also had a cooking class one afternoon, a fire spinning lesson, a whole AWESOME day of rock climbing courtesy of Hot Rocks Climbing school, and many many beachy days in the sun.

I loved Railay so much the first time around, I decided I wanted to make it back a second time on my trip, which I did!

Railay round two was just as much fun as the first time around, but there was still Bangkok. Chiang Mai, Koh Lipe, to  go before I would make my way back there. Our group still had three final days in Bangkok together before we would all say goodbye and my solo journey would begin!

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Dives and Hunts in Phi Leh Bay

Our dive the next day was thankfully at 1pm, so we didn’t have to stress out too much about lost sleep or hangovers.

It was a good thing too, cause the dive was not to be missed! After a lesson on diving at the shop, we headed out on the boat to Phi Leh bay, the island which is the smaller (and more beautiful) sister of Phi Phi, untouched by development as it is a national park. It is also the site where The Beach was filmed, we got to see the real beauty of this little island the next day, but today was for exploring under the waves!

I was nervous and a bit claustrophobic in the dive suit on land, but as soon as we got in the water our dive instructors totally put us at ease!
It was amazing to swim through the depths, watching the neon fish swim in schools, the nemo fish dart in and out of the sea anemones, and we even saw a sea turtle feeding on the wall!! Our two dives were over too soon, and lunch on the boat was super good as well.

The next day we went on a boat trip, where we had an ocean swim party in a secluded bay, and climbed the (treacherous) rocks into Maya Bay to gaze in wonder at the pristine beach. It was truly breathtaking, even though the weather wasnt perfect we could all appreciate how beautiful this place was, and how lucky we all were to be there together experiencing it.

The third stop on our boat trip narrowly got rained out, but not after a yummy lunch and several successful beach pyramids!  The ride back on the front of the speedboat in the pelting rain listening to loud hard rock was a fun, albeit very wet, memory from that day!

The night brought us back  to land and off on a scavenger hunt that would lead me to the piercing parlor, down the street on a piggyback ride, into a muy thai boxing ring, and off the club, to dance with my friends and fend off all the guys we had met on our various misadventures on the island during the night!!

Overall I’d say Phi Phi was crowded, touristy, and not my favorite place we’d visited even though the natural beauty of the island was incredible. Id hate to think of what that island would be like during the high season, if I found it too busy right now during low season!

I was happy to leave the next day for Railay, which rivals Bottle Beach as my absolute favorite place I’ve visited in Thailand so far!!!

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Everybody Come to Phi Phi Island Must Pay 20 Baht

Actually, we weren’t in Phi Phi yet, we did have one more night in Bottle Beach before we left, and I actually managed to stay up most of the second night as well, on account of some energy drink aftermath and my night owl tendencies! It was almost more fun than full moon in a way, there were very few of us out and we sat at the bar laughing and making friends with the locals, listening to awesome music and watching fire spinning.

The sun came up too soon and took us away from paradise onto our next adventure, the island of Koh Phi Phi!

A very hung over speedboat, ferry, bus and ferry ride later, we arrived in Phi Phi to cloudy skies and a bustling little port.  There are no cars on Phi Phi, but TONS of bikes and carts that WILL run you over if you’re not being careful!!

Our guesthouses were far enough away from the centre of town to be a bit more tranquil in the evening, but made for a longish walk to the beach and centre of town. Not that we really went to the beach, it was pretty cloudy and rainy during our stay 😦 oh well. once again – rainy season = stupid tourist!

We went out for dinner on the first evening after we had settled, but I was sooo tired after staying awake for the better part of the last three days, and passed out soon after that.

The next day our exploration of Phi Phi started, there was TONS of cheap shopping to be had, and we signed up for a scuba course the next day. The night passed in the usual way – group dinner, buckets with friends, dancing (on the speakers) at the club on the beach, and a semi-early night to prep for the dive the next day.

Semi….because we actually couldn’t sleep as we were total night owls by this point, aaand also because my friend Nikki bashed up her foot real good on the way home and had to be doctored by our (hero) guide Jon and cheered up by us and a bottle of vodka!!

Trust me….if you had seen her foot you would have passed her the bottle too…just sayin!!

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