That puts us in Koh Phi Phi, among some of the most beautiful sights during our trip thus far. This island captured John’s heart the second we stepped off of the ferry. The crystal blue water, and white sandy beaches looked like something out of a magazine. Not to mention the 360 degree change the night brings to the island. This was the liveliest place we’ve been as well. I’m talking the craziest fire shows, stunts, and sights throughout Asia. With each beach bar offering its own ridiculously loud sound systems. Our photos and videos don’t do it justice, but at least it makes you feel like you’re there watching the madness! The island itself is very small, so at night it was lit up with every kind of stand imaginable. It seemed like a village that never sleeps…offering massive (and really freakin’ good) pizza, bamboo tattoos, clothes, buckets, and much more. Koh Phi Phi also had a Reggae Bar that housed a Muy Thai boxing ring, which was quite interesting. We didn’t have the chance to see a crazy fight, but it was still a neat experience to take part in. They even offered a free bucket if you volunteered yourself to step into the ring, fight a random opponent, and hope you don’t break your nose. PASS on that one. A favorite moment on the island was taking the time to see their beautiful viewpoint.
And then Michael Tucker arrived. Finally! After his exhausting couple of travel days, we let him know that we would be doing an afternoon booze cruise around the island. We got him settled into our room and headed for Bob’s Booze Cruise. Not much of a cruise, but instead a small sailboat. I knew it would be a crazy adventure as soon as we all tried to fit on the boat. Indeed it was! Bob was a sarcastic son of a gun from Vancouver who has been on the island for the last 17 years. Quite the life! Our first stop was “Monkey Beach” where Bob warned us to run for the water if the big monkeys start coming after you. What? I haven’t had many encounters with these little furry friends so I had NO idea how cruel they could actually be. The babies were adorable and bit the fruit right out of our hands…the grand-daddy monkeys would make eye contact with you the second they smelled the fruit. They would proceed to glare at you, and start to make their way (quickly) toward the food. Time to get back on the boat!! The boys then took the opportunity to cliff jump. After John watched a series of people take the plunge, he conquered his fear of heights and made the 12 meter leap. This girl happily filmed from below. Way to go guys! Our next stop was past a cave that housed a thing called a snot bird. I know, I promise I’m not making it up…a swift is a bird that is found in seaside caves throughout Asia- specifically Thailand and Indonesia. They actually regurgitate their mucus (rich in protein, yum!) and mold it into a nest. A nest weighing about 2 pounds can rack in thousands of dollars. Throughout the years, this has made for lots of crime and violence over people getting their hands on the nests. Now the Thai army remain responsible for the protection of the caves and they station themselves throughout them accordingly. Interesting, right? Next up: Maya Bay, or more popularly known for Leo DiCaprio’s “The Beach” that came out in 2000. Absolutely stunning! I think the pictures speak for themselves. The rest of the cruise left time to meet new friends, enjoy each other’s company, and take in the gorgeous sunset we were lucky enough to see on the water. This is a Must Do for anyone who is making their way to Koh Phi Phi…it’s a booze cruise, aka we promise you won’t be disappointed.
Monkey Beach 🙂
Maya Bay aka “The Beach”
Tuck and his mates dragging along behind the boat
John and Bob
Tuck catching some air
Our Booze Crew friends
This was the perfect way to end our time on this beautiful island, and start our trek to the next destination on our list: Koh Phangan. After another hellish 12-hour travel day, we made it. The 3 of us stayed in a beautiful cottage (Phangan Cottages) for the next couple of days, overlooking the ocean and a quiet private beach. We had a fabulous pool, with the nuttiest ring leader to assist us during our stay. Thanks Kang. It didn’t take us long to feel at home at a restaurant next door, offering delicious 60 cent fresh fruit shakes and pretty tasty food. That became the place for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I became pretty ill again during the first few days here, so John and Tuck ventured out to the beach and then hit the Waterfall Party at night…cue 3 grown men on a moped. That was the highlight of their night. We met Simon and Sebastian, a set of friends from Sweden (clearly in the lead Swedes) who we spent the next couple of days getting to know and spent our time with. Tuck’s favorite food was not Pad Thai, but continued to be chips, like always. His personal record was 6 bags in one day, with crab being the most original flavor he went with. Then came the night of the Full Moon Party (the main reason why tourists flock to the island)…this is a night where any and everyone from all over the world take to a 1/2 mile stretch of beach to partake in buckets, friends, body paint, and more buckets. It’s an all evening affair, I’m talking 10pm-10am. We were pleased to make it to sunrise and then we immediately fell into an all-day sleep coma. Please enjoy the pictures, they are quite entertaining!
Pre Full Moon
I was very thankful to have a short ferry ride to our final destination in Thailand, the island of Koh Samui. The 1-hour ferry ride was one of the choppiest boat rides I’ve ever had the pleasure of enjoying…being frightened of drowning in the endless ocean didn’t help the situation! We were so relieved when the boat finally leveled out and the water became much calmer as we approached shore. After the 5 of us (Simon and Sebastian too) spent a sweaty 2 hours searching for a place to stay, we finally came across the Z Hotel in Chaweng Beach and called it a day. It is definitely much more challenging to find arrangements with more than 2 opinions, let alone 5. After doing some adventuring, we quickly found out that Koh Samui was the most developed island, and heavily populated with resorts. However, we didn’t mind this as the days went by since we were spending the most time here before leaving for our next country. After a tiring day of walking, we all built up quite the appetite and were craving pizza, naturally. Then The Pizza Company appeared with a “buy 1 pizza, get 1 free” deal. Hello slice of heaven. More like 8 slices. Between the 5 of us we ordered 6 large pizzas. The table next to us which was filled with locals, howled in laughter and continued to take pictures throughout our meal. After the whirlwind of pizza, we headed across the street to enjoy ourselves a couple pints of guinness since it was St. Patricks Day. Hello Tropical Murphys!
The best pint of the trip
The all day tour we decided to do during our time in Koh Samui was Angthong National Park. We boarded our boat to the national park at 8am and made our way to this gorgeous Thailand gem. Our first stop was the Emerald Lagoon lookout. John, Tuck, and I hopped off the boat and began the climb to the top of the rock formation, where we were able to view the ocean and Emerald Green Lagoon. From there, we jumped in some kayaks and paddled around and into the caves of the rock formations. It was loads of fun! We took a short break for a large lunch buffet back on the boat, then prepared ourselves for the beauty ahead. Once we got to the island, we followed signs for the viewpoint. This climb was unbelievable, they at least had a rope there to assist up the slippery rocks. The craziest part of the hike was towards the very top…the rope disappeared and you just had to hop from one rock to another until you reached the dirt. 500m later, we made it! I was so happy, and a little bit panicked to be there. We felt like we were on the top of the world as we looked down to see the crystal blue water and gorgeous sights. Again people, this is a MUST if you ever find yourself close by. It was simply stunning, which you can see from the photos! The fellas did some boat jumping when we got back and began to make our way to shore. Overall, we had a fabulous day, got some great pics, and had an awesome adventure together.
500 meters later it was all worth it!!
Throughout the 9 days we spent in Koh Samui, we dined at an Aussie place to enjoy some burgers and steak. We have to treat ourselves once in awhile! But the majority of the nights we found ourselves at the night market…a fantastic blend of street stands filled with souvenirs, delicious food and smoothies, scarves, jewelry, and much more. Some of our favorites were the kebabs (SO good!), french fries, pad thai, chicken skewers, and oversized crepes. A constant occurrence every day were the insanely loud musical trucks that drove down the streets. Our favorite quickly became the Muy Thai boxing ad that continued to echo in our heads hours later…awful. Shoutout to the Omni Cable peeps who would be shocked (just like John was) over the tangled, hectic mess of wire that hung above the sidewalks and lined each street. Frightening! We even got to experience two transformers blowing right outside of our hotel window…that’ll wake ya up in the middle of the night.
This was the best picture we got but believe me, they got a lot worse
Last thing: I would appreciate if someone could help me understand something…an everyday occurrence on the beaches of Thailand is young girls who seem to forget their bikini tops at home. They seem to range from ages 5-12 years. I find it so bizarre and wanted to see if any of you consider it normal in your home country. Finally, I’ve come to even more of a conclusion that men should NEVER be allowed to get away with wearing a speedo. Ever. Especially over the age of 30. Thank you, that is all.