Phuket and Koh Phi Phi, Thailand
Bear with me for one last Thailand post!
Luckily, it's a good one.
Exploring the islands of Thailand in Phang Nga Bay and the Andaman sea were some of my favorite memories from my SE Asia tour. Koh Phi Phi, our last stop, was straight out of a movie (The Beach with Leonardo DiCaprio is the most famous movie filmed there) or postcard. I've never seen such clear, tranquil, and nearly deserted beaches before. It helped that is took around 2.5 hours to get there from the mainland (Phuket) and our resort was only accessible by boat...
Songkran on Bangla Road, famous backpackers' road in Phuket
After recovering from my illness and basically skipping out on Bangkok, I recovered just in time to fly to our last destination, Phuket, at the southern tip of Thailand for some beachside R&R. Phuket was famous for being the resort town devastated in the 2004 tsunami, but it seems like it has made a full recovery. We were there during the lively time of Songkran, Thai New Year, a holiday that has turned into Thais happily soaking each other (and bewildered tourists) with water guns for a whole week. The tradition stems from washing away evil spirits to usher in the New Year, however everyone in Thailand has taken it to a whole new level by stopping all activity, buying super soakers and buckets, riding around on the back of pick up trucks, and spraying each other with ice cold water. It is also the deadliest week in Thailand, with an average of 300 deaths from the amount of drinking and traffic accidents the festivities cause. Locals had no sympathy for anyone who didn't want to get wet, hosing you down mercilessly or pelting you with baby powder, which represents the sins of the past year meant to be washed away with water. I mean, I couldn't even walk next door to the 7-11 without being soaked! At the end of the night, we put on our raincoats to go out and didn't even think about bringing our cameras. While it was fun to experience the madness and chaos of Songkran, I was greatly relieved that Phuket only celebrated it for one day, and that the next day, business resumed as normal.
In Phuket, we stayed in the impressive Burasari Resort, across the street from the beach and facing in towards this sparkling wraparound pool. While our room had some issues, Burasari definitely had the nicest pool and breakfast buffet, with both western and Thai dishes.
We mainly used Phuket as a base to explore Thailand's well known islands and didn't spend much time in the city itself, which seemed like any other beach town honestly. And full of spring breaker types, mainly Europeans. We signed up for a one day speedboat tour of Phang Nga Bay, where we saw caves, critters, went kayaking, and ultimately I dunked my camera into the ocean. I couldn't let that ruin the trip though, so I carried on with my iPhone. But thank goodness it was at the end of the trip!
Boarding our speedboat
Kayaking around the James Bond II island
Fresh oysters!! Emi ate them off the rocks and she didn't die of vibrio.
James Bond Island--my last shot before I dunked my camera in the ocean and it died =(
Relaxing on our own hammock
So happy and hungry
As soon as we arrived in our resort, we felt like we found paradise on earth and wished we had skipped Phuket and just stayed in Koh Phi Phi longer. We had less than 24 hours on Koh Phi Phi, so we made it a priority to just relax and lay on the beach, finally doing nothing after our nonstop tour of the rest of Asia.
Viking Resort's private beach
Sunset at Viking Nature Resort
That night, we trekked over half an hour in the dark to Koh Phi Phi's downtown area and cash dwindling, had ice cream for our last dinner in Thailand. We walked around for a while and then walked another half hour back to the resort on torch lit paths while getting bit by mosquitoes the whole way back.
The next morning, we woke up at 6 am, crawled out from under our mosquito net, and hiked over to the beach down the hill to catch the sunrise and sleep on the beach.poster!
Famished from an early rise and swim, we were excited for our resort's generous breakfast (only $5 extra per night!)
As soon as we finished, we rushed back to the beach again so we could soak up as much as we could before we had to check out just a few hours later. We were literally and calculating how much time we would have on the beach and running over there so we could frolic in the beach one last time.
We <3 KPP