Day 164: Maya My, This Place Is Terrible

I had the pleasure of waking up this morning to a sound bite on Steve’s phone. It was a clip from the Hangover movie of the character Stu. At first I thought I was hearing things, but after the 5th time of hearing him shout “**** the police!” I was awake. He gave Sarah the same treatment, then the three of us quickly got ready for the day ahead. It was about 11am by the time we stepped foot out the door, and our first plan of attack was to book up a day trip. We had been in Phi Phi for a few days and so far all we’d achieved was getting drunk and seeing a view point. Seeing as the island had plenty of snorkelling trips on offer, we took advantage of one. For 400 baht (£9) we booked a trip to Maya Bay. It was scheduled to start at 2pm, giving us enough time to grab breakfast. We visited the Reggae Bar for a full English, even though I was tempted to try the 800 gram burger challenge. Afterwards we returned to the hostel to apply suntan lotion, and Sarah challenged Steve to a game of slam. Once again Sarah was undefeated, nobody can beat the girl at that game. Lucky for us Sarah checked the ticket for our trip, we had only 10 minutes before we were supposed to be back at the booking office, and not the 40 we initially thought.

There was a group mostly comprised of Americans when we arrived, and we were divided into separate colours. Red stickers meant you’d be cliff diving on the way, yellow meant you weren’t. At 2pm we all had to follow a local Thai guy to the longboat. By then we had met the majority of the group. It was all women bar the one guy from Washington State named David. The girls were from California and Holland, their names were Alga, Paxton, Monica, and Eva. Even though the trip itself ended up being a disappointment we were happy to have made a great new group of friends. Our first stop of the day was to monkey island. You could feed the monkeys if you wanted to, and those who did were given pieces of pineapple skins to hand them. The small bearded creatures got a bit aggressive with each other at times and began fighting, every time that happened the alpha ran over to intervene. But it made everyone close by run away screaming. We stayed for only 10 minutes before getting back on the boat. Next up was the cliff diving.

Pretty much everyone on the boat got involved in the jumping, leaving only Steve, Sarah, myself and an Asian couple behind. We could have done it for an extra £3 but decided against it, plus they told us it would be from a height of 18m. It was nowhere near that height, in fact I’d say it was closer to 10m at tops. All the same, they jumped one by one, with those left on the boat recording their act of bravery. Then when everyone jumped, it was up to our tour guide to leap. He obviously did it everyday, as unlike the others (who jumped in feet first) he did a superman swan dive. It took him a good 4 seconds before he hit the water, and when he resurfaced he complained about all the water that rushed up his nose. Everyone cheered his brave act, and then we moved on to the next activity: snorkelling.

The snorkelling was as it always is, full of fish. There’s no point in me explaining every detail as nothing substantially different happened. The only thing worthy of note was the starfish we saw. It was no bigger than 5 centimetres from point to point, and it was a bright yellow colour with red dots. The snorkelling lasted for 45 minutes, then it was back to the boat to be taken to Maya Bay. This was the famous location of the movie starring Leonardo DiCaprio, and it was a complete let down. In the movie it is close to paradise, white sands, crystal clear waters, you know the deal, but because the tide was out it looked horrendous. Sarah had the pleasure of visiting the bay during her visit 3 years previous, and during that time the tide was actually in. She said that when it came to reaching the beach there were strong waves pushing her and her friends into the sharp rocks. This time around we were able to walk along the rocks, and we had to squeeze through a tiny cave to locate the wooden steps to the entrance. On the other side we found ourselves in a glorious forest. Beautiful tall green coconut trees, and plenty of rich green bushes. But as we continued, and passed through a tropical archway to the beach (much like they do in the film) we were sad with what we saw. In front of us was a beach that looked like the one next to our hostel. Thanks to the tide being out it meant there were rocks everywhere, and instead of there being a small desolate white sand beach, we had a crowded large beach instead. We didn’t have the pleasure of admiring the turquoise waters because in their place was shallow sandy water. Never the less we took plenty of photos. These included ones of everyone jumping, lying down, standing up, any conceivable position you can think of, chances are the girls wanted it done. After an hour my job as a photographer was up. We returned to the boat to be taken back to the start. Along the way we got to watch the sunset, although that too was terrible because of how cloudy it was. The sun was a dark red colour but it didn’t change the colour of the sky. We all laughed at how bad it was then proceeded to watch our tour guide drink beer through a snorkel. He downed two small cans of Chang and was very wobbly afterwards, it didn’t help that he had been drinking all day anyway.

Back on Phi Phi island we had to adjust our positions on the boat because it got caught on some rocks. In the end they told us to get out and walk because the water was too low to float on. Our large group then went for an evening meal (where I ate pizza and fajitas) before returning to our hostels to shower and get ready for the evening. We agreed to meet at the Reggae Bar at 10pm, because the girls hadn’t seen the fighting before. Surely enough the clock rolled around to the agreed hour and we located the gang inside. Then began the drinking and the fighting. Like always we were subjected to the tourist fights first (which were always awful) then eventually the two Thai guys got in the ring. I got my phone out ready to record the spectacular event, but there was something different about this particular fight. The other night we caught the tail end of the two guys that were in the ring, and we thought what we were witnessing was amazing. Now, after watching them for a second time we realised it was all staged. I don’t think it was coincidence that the same guy flew out of the ring during a fight. He appeared to be throwing himself violently towards the ropes every time he was kicked, and the pair of them allowed the other to land a punch or kick every so often. After those guys were done we all left for the beach.

Again, my memory gets a little fuzzy after we set foot on the sands. I know we alternated between Slinky’s and Woody’s bar, and bought several buckets as the night went on. For the most part we all danced – as we were with a bunch of girls. At one point during a bucket break I ended up chatting in depth about my tattoo to David after he asked me about it. On the way back to the beach, Sarah in her drunken state, started chatting to a French guy who had a tattoo stencil on his arm. He explained that he was just seeing what it looked like and would be going back the next day to get it done. Sarah then walked off to the beach with the rest of the group (with our freshly filled bucket in tow) and I remained chatting with the Frenchman. Had I realised I’d have been there for 45 minutes I probably would have left with them. But it was his first tattoo and he had a lot of questions. I did my best to answer them all and put his mind at ease, but he was thinking about getting it done the traditional bamboo way. I didn’t know much about it, other than it would take a lot longer to complete. I told him how mine was done with machine and how much it cost, so I was extremely surprised when I learned how much his would cost. I have a full left arm tattoo sleeve, roughly it cost me around the £1500 mark. The piece he was getting was roughly the size of his forearm and he told me he’d have to pay £700 for it. It sounded like a lot of money, but I presume you have to pay more for bamboo. I had to cut the conversation short after a while and explain it was my last night on Phi Phi. I had to get back to my friends. We shook hands and he thanked me for my time, we then parted ways.

When I got to the beach I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. Sarah Duxbury had drank a good 3/4 of the bucket and was very drunk. She was running around, dancing, and shouting, there’s video evidence of the whole thing. She even assaulted a police officer several times. Luckily that police officer was Steve, so she didn’t get in trouble, but for the rest of the night SHE was the liability and I wasn’t. It took me three nights to get back into the swing of drinking, and I was happy to know I wasn’t going to wake up with a hangover. As the night went on more and more people from the group started calling it a night, leaving only the elite among us to party. Somewhere around 4am Sarah and I returned to our hostel, and only Steve and Paxton remained in the beach. The next day we found out they got into trouble on a locals boat, but that’s their story and I doubt they’d appreciate me writing it down here. But if you ask me about it in person, then I’ll give you all the juicy deets.

The walk back was fun, I got to watch Sarah munch drunkenly on a pizza and try her best to recite the alphabet backwards. When we got in I was completely sober by comparison to the other nights, and I drank 2 bottles of water to prevent any onset hangover. During this time Sarah was sat outside the hostel harassing her friend Georgia on Skype. She wanted to talk with her, but grew extremely frustrated when she was told to wait because they were eating dinner at the time of Sarah’s drunken ambush. After her phone call (some 30 minutes later) she climbed on my bed to annoy me. I was falling asleep as I tried to watch an episode of family guy. Sarah used that as an excuse to take photos of me. In the end I got up and slept on her bed after she became uncooperative and sleepy. The only thing I could take solace from was the undoubtable hangover Sarah would receive. Not only from the amount of alcohol she’d consumed, but because of the karma that comes from slapping a police officer multiple times, annoying her friend, and forcing me from my bed!

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