When we were dreaming and planning about this trip Rino always said that we shouldn’t set any alarms, since this would be his holiday and he wanted to get out of the rhythm he had on Bali. But ever since we left we have been setting alarms every day and even really early once, like the day we left Penang for Koh Phi Phi. At 5am our 10-person minivan would pick us up at our hostel. We were again flabbergasted about the luxurious outlook of our van, this time it looked like a PIMP’d minivan with TV screen and huge amount of speakers. But it was still 5am so no movies yet, only trying to sleep some more. It felt like no time had passed when we arrived at the Malaysian/Thai boarder, for both of us it was the first time crossing a boarder like this and luckily everything went smoothly. Unfortunately though we had to switch minivans soon after the boarder and of course the next one wasn’t that fancy anymore and they don’t really consider tall people like Rino in these countries.
A one and a half hour boat ride took us to Koh Phi Phi and we arrived late afternoon. Just before sunset, and we could still enjoy the beauty of the island with the astonishing limestone cliffs, white beaches and green and turquoise clear water. Rino had been looking on TripAdvisor again for a nice accommodation and after 3 nights in dormitories we wanted a room for ourselves again. PP Insula was supposed to offer good value and it certainly was, for around €20 we had a ‘real’ hotel room with great view and away from all the party but still very central and most of all it had a normal blanket again! A blanket we had been looking forward to for 11 months now. In the evening we had some dinner with Ege, a Turkish guy we met on the way over. After dinner we headed up to the party area and soon were confronted with Koh Phi Phi drinking scene. Small buckets with 375ml bottles of local spirit mixed with cola and red bull for €3-6, sold just on the street, a bit crazy party scene. We continued to the beach were several party places were preparing their guests for the evening with stunning fire shows (see pics in slideshow).
We planned 4 nights with 3 full days on Koh Phi Phi and the first we used to finally sleep out, relax for a day and enjoy this paradise island. The second day we had planned 2 snorkelling trips. The first one being a shark watch early in the morning (again this insane early alarm, damn it), apparently we are wrongly educated about sharks. Most sharks are afraid of humans and therefore would not harm them, Iris needed a bit more convincing about this theory, but eventually she agreed to join. Seeing sharks was guaranteed, or else you get the money back. Unfortunately for us the visibility was very low and it was windy and wavy and our good and friendly guide decided to end the trip after snorkelling for 20 minutes, because this would not give us value for money. Luckily we still had a second snorkelling trip planed for later that day, on that trip we finally found Nemo and a lot of other cool underwater life :-). We went to several snorkelling spots around Koh Phi Phi Leh (famous from the movie ‘The Beach’ with Leonardo DiCaprio that was shot there). Although conditions were again not perfect and we couldn’t go to the famous beach we had a lot of fun with our fellow travellers in the group and our sweet and nice guide. In the evening we went out partying with Ezz (who we met again on Phi Phi), Ege and some other people we met this evening. We had a great time!!!
The next day was a hangover day, especially for Rino. They shouldn’t sell these buckets; you get too drunk in very short time, luckily it hardly costs any money and we had a great time ;-). We arranged the boat out of Phi Phi for the next morning to bring us to Phuket, from were we took a flight to Udon Thani a city close to the Laos boarder. The flight went very smoothly and also the boarder crossing was very easy. Around 8pm we arrived in Vientiane and after a small search we found a hostel, but more on fantastic Laos later.
For now if you are dying to speak to us we have bought ourselves a Lao number so you can reach us on +856 2058 892 883 (until the 24th of July).