Day 165: Farewell Phi Phi

Oh the joys of staying in a dorm room. I can’t tell you what time I got to sleep exactly, but I can tell you that I was woken up several times from 7:30am onwards by various sounds. The first time I got disturbed was by a guy playing loud techno music on his laptop. Although he could be forgiven as he’d probably just come in from a night out, which would explain his sociopathic ways. As time went on that morning I remember slipping in and out of sleep, each time I awoke I’d notice new people in the room talking. I believe the sole reason for the fluctuation of guests had something to do with people leaving Koh Phangan. They would have started making their way to Phi Phi after the huge full moon party that occurs there. Check out time was 11am, and unfortunately we still had some packing to do before then. So when I saw my phone read 10am I thought it best to get up. Feeling just a little bit rough, I climbed down the metal ladder at the foot of the bed and crept to the bathroom. When I was done I found Sarah where I left her, and she too was awake. Shortly followed by Steve. As we began to pack our bags the door to the room opened. It was the hostel owner with a flock of American tourists. When our eyes adjusted to the blinding light that shone behind them we noticed it was our new friends. Steve went outside to chat with them, as did Sarah, whereas I chose to stay behind and finish up with the packing. When I was done I left the air conditioned room and sat outside with everyone else.

It was here we learned of the “event” that occurred on the beach last night. Again, I can’t write it here because I don’t think they’d appreciate it. All I’ll say is stolen clothes, angry locals, and a boat were a few things involved in the story. Shortly after Steve retold the story for my benefit, my attention turned to Sarah. SHE WASN’T HUNGOVER!!! It wasn’t fair, if I went to bed after that much alcohol and no water, getting out of bed would have been nothing short of a miracle. But there she was sat outside in the heat chatting away. She claimed she felt ill, but Sarah didn’t look like someone with a hangover. Although she was quick to snatch the can of coke I purchased next door. Later that day Sarah explained the reason she had no hangover was because she ate some pizza on the way home, and drank a few sips of water. Something she says she never does on a night out. Either way I was annoyed that karma hadn’t paid her a visit!!! I promise I’m a nice person, but this chick had it coming. The group of us then went in search of breakfast. Sarah and I told the receptionist we’d be back for our bags afterwards. On the way Sarah and I booked a ticket for the ferry to Krabi town. It was scheduled to leave at 3:30pm, giving us enough time to eat and spend some of the afternoon with our buddies. With two tickets bought we located a restaurant selling English breakfasts.

By the end of the meal Sarah had consumed a can of coke, a cup of coffee and a breakfast. All of a sudden what little hangover she had disappeared! She was perky again, though I did shame her when I played the video footage of her the night before. That was a moment I also wish I caught on camera. The group then decided to visit a different beach, but we’d all need to return to our hostels to apply suntan lotion first. That took about 15 minutes to complete, and the second we stepped outside it began to make us sweat. I don’t know what it is about the lotion, but it seems to block pours and cause sweating. I don’t even think I get that wet when I shower. The girls introduced us to a friend they’d made at some point of their trip. The girls name was Yvonne, and she worked the bars at night handing out flyers. With a new member to the group we began walking through the busy streets. Eventually we reached a narrow but long sandy beach. Unfortunately it was submerged because the tide was in, which meant we had to keep walking until we found a dry spot. It didn’t take long, but the beach wasn’t the best. There were boats anchored all the way along, and as blue as the water was, it had a strange film over the top. I chose to sit under the shelter of a tree while the rest of them got in. I worked hard on my blog, while occasionally being joined by a tiny white crab that scuttled from its hole whenever a leaf landed on top of it. At one point I am pretty sure a Chinese tourist took my picture while I was writing, which irked me initially until it passed to flattery. I felt pretty, as usually it’s only the girls that get snapped. When the guys came back to get their things I was guarding, our short visit to the beach transformed into a photo shoot. At one point I had 4 cameras hanging from me. We then left to return to our hostel.

Not long after leaving the beach there were three men carrying exotic animals. One was a baby monkey, and the other was a large bright orange iguana (a colour I’d never seen one before). It was so big that its tail almost touched the floor as it rested in the man’s arms. I heard Sarah saying at one point “don’t let Ben see you do that. If you’re going to, at least wait until we’ve gone!” When I turned around I saw Paxton running over to have her photo taken with the monkey. I hoped she didn’t pay, I didn’t bother asking questions. Instead I turned back around and kept walking, then Sarah, Monica and I had a discussion about the cruelty to animals in these countries. It’s strange how you can disassociate levels of compassion for animals. For example you don’t tend to feel bad if you kill an ant, yet if you killed a cow you’d probably feel mortified. The same thing happened when I saw the iguana. I don’t know if its because you can buy them as pets back home, or because they don’t look like an animal you’d usually anthropomorphize, but I didn’t feel as sorry for the reptile as I did the monkey. I think it’s probably because you can read more emotion on the monkey’s face than the poker face of Mr Orange.

We only allowed the guys to walk halfway with us, as they wanted to go to long beach and it would be out of their way to walk back to our hostel. We said our goodbyes, with the promise to stay in touch on social networking sites, then carried on our way. It was sad to be saying goodbye to another set of friends, especially seeing as Steve was my first guy friend in a while, but that’s what comes with the territory of travel. You make strong bonds very quickly, then have to let them go just as fast. Back at the hostel we were asked if we wanted to pay 50 baht to have a man push our bags in one of the annoying metal trollies. The same ones that plagued our visit to the island. Of course we agreed to it, it was so hot out that my body had become 99% water – and that was without any additional weight on my back. Not wanting to perspire into a puddle on the floor we threw our bags in the carriage and followed on behind. There was also a large Swedish man with dreadlocks doing the same thing, only he was catching a boat to Ao Nang. When we reached the jetty we paid the man (who somehow was less sweaty than us) and located our boat.

We played musical chairs about 3 times, before finding a lovely sheltered row of seats below deck. Although, there were several baby cockroaches running about the place from what I could see. For the hour and a half the journey lasted I worked some more on my blog, while Sarah got the privilege of watching tv shows on the tablet. I almost fell asleep after a while, but I persevered and got through a good 3 days of old work. When we reached the dock in Krabi Town I had the pleasure of scaling a vertical slope in flip flops while carrying two large holdalls. Why they used a ramp instead of steps I don’t know, but while my feet were slipping as I tried to get grip I grabbed the handrails and pulled myself to the top. To which Sarah said she was very impressed, as she barely Managed the ascent with only our day bags. On the other side of the dock the stressful game of getting a taxi began. There’s always one, sorry two or three that will try it on with you. The first person was a woman who said it would cost 250 baht for the 10km ride to town. We walked away and stepped outside. Instantly we were stopped again, this time it was 200 baht for the 3km ride to town. We accepted his offer only when he reduced the price to 150 baht. I put our bags in the boot, then we climbed inside, but our driver ended up walking away. When he came back he was followed by an Asian couple and their children, we were then asked to leave the car and share his friends taxi with another couple. Instantly I told him to forget it after they tried charging 200 baht per person instead of per car. As I walked away in a fowl mood another guy tried to stop me. This is usually where I cut my nose off despite my face, if it wasn’t for Sarah stopping and negotiating I’d have kept walking until I got lost. He took us in his 4X4 for 150 baht, but before climbing in we were worried when the doors wouldn’t unlock. Because the windows were all tinted we feared there may have been someone waiting to drive off the second our bags were loaded. There wasn’t. And we arrived in town safely. Along the way we passed a large outdoor exercise area, the driver told us locals went there in the mornings when the temperature was lower to work out. There were people running around the park, pull up bars, monkey bars and hoops to swing from. We told our driver to drop us at the place we stayed before “Mr Clean Guesthouse”.

It was still just as cheap 250 baht a night, but there was no a/c only fan. Last time we stayed it didn’t matter as much because the temperature outside was lower. I’m not writing this just to moan, I mean it must have been hot because even the local who worked there was complaining. After we put our bags in the room and checked in, we went for food. We headed directly for the hostel/ restaurant we enjoyed so much before. I had a delicious Massaman curry, and Sarah enjoyed a Caesar Salad. Shortly after, we visited the weekend market. I don’t enjoy them at the best of times, and I especially didn’t enjoy it on this particular evening. The temperature was already hot, and it was only made worse as we passed the many stalls cooking food. Add to the situation hundreds of tourists and locals walking around, and you have yourself a certified sweatshop. We only stayed for 10 minutes, with Sarah saying “it’s ok we’ll come back tomorrow instead” (joy). We bought a couple things, Sarah got a kiwi fruit shake, and I ended up buying corn on the cob. We then slowly walked back to our hostel for the evening. We mostly watched tv shows and films, and I ended up having to pop out for some water when we almost died of dehydration. It was impossible to cool down, even having a shower on the coldest setting did nothing. The second you stepped out from the cold water the humidity caused you to heat up and sweat all over again. There was nothing we could do. In the end we just had to accept it, get in bed (which was just a mattress on the floor), throw the sheet to one side, and do our best to lie in front of the 3 speed fan. After typing up this post I am already a sweaty mess. Ah well, I’ve always wanted to sleep on a waterbed, I guess tonight that dream would come true.

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