A Travellerspoint blog

To Phi Phi Island we go

34 °C

After our stay in Phuket we agreed we could have stayed there the entire time and were sad to be leaving, but that morning we booked some accommodation and headed to the Ferry dock. Upon arrival Kat quickly took in the situation we were getting ourselves into and calculated the fact that we were going to be on an over crowded boat with around a hundred other party goers for the next couple of hours; most of you will know that Kat does not handle anyone being unwell at all and this was the point where the panic attack kicked in, so quickly she arranged herself under her scarf in a corner with george's headphones on blaring some tunes and trying very hard to concentrate on her book and nothing happening around her. Half way through the boat trip a cute little 2 year German Girl took a big interest in the 2 of us and hung out with us for the remainder of the trip; being a great distraction to Kat thankfully. We finally pulled up and loaded off the boat with everyone else onto the amazing Island, immediately we were happy with the decision of coming to Phi Phi. We found a representative for our Hotel who lead us to a man with a buggy and told us to chuck our bags in and follow him. Along with the group we walked down the pathway with one side lined with the markets, the tour shops, shisha bars, treehouse, the small police station and the restaurants with fresh seafood laying out on ice ready for the choosing and the other side the blue beach.
After checking in all we wanted to do was go and explore and as George had been their before tour guide mode quickly stepped in and we were off checking everything out and eventually reaching the other side of the Island where the main beach was located. We passed by the clubs already pumping and Hotels that looked like they were out of video clips with music blasting and everyone dancing, drinking and bombing into the pool, we knew it was going to be hard to leave this place in 3 days.

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While there we relaxed, drunk and ate a lot (just for a bit of a change) and we went on a day boat tour taking us around to all the beaches near by. They would pull up to the beach and we would all jump off the boat and hop into the Kayaks and cruise around or pop the snorkels on and check out the sights in the sea. It was truly stunning and we were addicted and loved the moment we spotted a shy turtle hiding in the rocks and swimming around. As the other tour boats headed back to the mainland our guide took us to the most famous beach, Maya bay, where the film 'The Beach' was filmed, we were told we had a while to wander around and check out the sights and when we heard the guides whistle to Kayak back to the boat for some food and to watch the sun set. We definitely could not have asked for a better day!

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On our final day we agreed we would relax by the beach and pool till the afternoon where we would do all of our souvenir shopping and dine out at the restaurant with the fresh seafood we had been eyeing up. So after a swim at the beach we went back to the pool (3 mts away) to relax in the shallow waters and read our books. Minutes later we heard sirens in the distant and suddenly noticed a commotion of people running either way and past us, suddenly the drama escalated and people began screaming and we finally realised that there was a Tsunami alert and everyone was heading to higher ground. We quickly jumped up in our swimmers and with only our books in hand we began running. At this point our minds were definitely jumping to the worst circumstance both of us thinking we were not going to be able to out run this wave, just as we had seen with the tourists from the 2004 Tsunami. Everyone was screaming for their loved ones and pushing one another out of the way, Kat still says all she remembers thinking was "Why the hell am I still carrying my book". Finally we reached a flat point on the hill and while all the local families kept running all the tourist began to slow down and settle in this area trying to figure out how high we must be as the hill was just getting steeper and steeper.

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We started chatting with a couple of groups of people and someone generously handed over one of their sarongs to Kat and a beer to George these came as a nice relief and the beer was quickly downed. After a bit of a discussion it was decided we weren't high enough and a group of us went further to explore. This was quickly copied and we found ourselves standing further back with more and more people arriving but the power line hanging above us quickly turned us back around to the beginning spot. With a moment to think we both realised that our bag with all of our money passports, phones and IDs was sitting back on our pool chair metres from the beach. Kat tried to convince George that there was nothing we could do and we would just have to deal with that situation as it came however Kat realised this obviously did little good as George began running back down to the beach, Kat stood in the same place staring out to the water and swearing under her breath for the sea to stay as it was, minutes later but was seemed like far to many George arrived back with our bag. Hours went by with no updates and once we heard couples and families discuss their emergency plans if the wave did reach us it quickly hit George and I just how insane the situation we were in was. As the sun set different Thai families came by to drop off water, rice and boiled eggs for everyone which was a big relief at this point. Finally a local came up and announced it was safe to go back to lower land, we all assessed the man and decided since he was holding a walkie talkie surely he must have some sort of an idea. So off we went and the first thing we did was head straight to the restaurant we had been eyeing up and order a massive plate of all different types of seafood and plenty of big drinks. Following that we went to the Shisha bar to really calm us down and with a couple of buckets full of red bull and vodka we watched the fire show on the beach. It was a truly great night and we sure did appreciate every bite, taste and sight! We eventually made it back to the Hotel for a bit of sleep and then woke up early and so sad to be leaving. The last day of our holiday had arrived and we were definitely not ready for the time to end.

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We once again boarded the crowded boat and this time chose a spot on the boat deck to read and relax in the sun while we could, after arriving back on the mainland we took a tuk tuk to a beach near the airport and relaxed before heading off for our flight covered in sand. With a few dramas at the airport and a man in immigration trying to con Kat into handing over money and threatening that otherwise she wouldn't be released from the country we finally boarded our plane very sad to be leaving. Thankfully we were exhausted and managed to sleep the entire trip, only to arrive just back in Brisbane just in time for Kat to head to work.

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Posted by Georgeandkat 01:57 Archived in Thailand Tagged planes snorkelling diving thailand tsunami holiday phuket phi_phi_island fire_show Comments (0)

Kat's Birthday

sunny 32 °C

Today was the day Kat had been so excited for, George has played the day down completely even pretending he had no present so the expectations were not to high but once she woke Kat was extremely excited to see a little bag sitting next to her bed. Opening it up to find a gorgeous ring hidden in a cute little box, George was quick to point out it wasn't a pop box and was purely just a 21st present. Letting out a sigh of relief Kat decided it was time to head down for her birthday breakfast of chocolate sauce and fruit. While at breakfast George let Kat know that as a present from her Mum we were off for an elephant trek later in the afternoon, as she had always dreamed of having an Elephant ride for her 21st Birthday!

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The day was amazing and went very quickly but the time had come for the long awaited afternoon trek, Kat was overly excited and was unusually quiet due to the excitement of her Elephant dream coming true. The trek was so well organised with the Elephants being able to wander around as they went along on the paths and every corner we turned there was another beautiful view to see (not that Kat managed to take her eyes off her Elephant for long), it was definitely a big bonus when the couple in front of us dropped some coins and the Elephants picked them up for them. After the trek we jumped off to have photos and Kat quickly spotted someone with a fruit basket feeding their Elephant and was so excited she grabbed some out and ran back over to feed her hungry Elephant. George noticed the mixup and went and brought a their own basket and passed the fruit back to the family who had actually purchased the fruit themselves.

Once we arrived back at the Hotel we quickly had the surprise of a phone call from Zoe who had arrived at Phuket to celebrate for Kat's Birthday and was waiting in the Hotel reception, as you can imagine the night carried on with drinking and celebrating...

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Posted by Georgeandkat 01:12 Archived in Thailand Tagged beaches thailand elephants birthday phuket scooter patong Comments (0)

Relax, explore and see where the place takes us..

sunny 30 °C

For the next few days we stuck to our plan well; relax, explore and see where the place takes us. Every morning we would eat too much, float around in the pool, discuss different points and tips that our guide books recommended, quickly forget about them and instead pick a direction to head for the day, it was clear we were in holiday mode! We are not saying this plan was bullet proof, we did end us up on a 6 lane main road both of us holding on tightly in our swimmers looking for the best option to get the hell out of there, as well as leading us through a rainforest on a dirt road and nearly getting pushed off the side of the road by a large truck that came swinging around the corner. But it did lead us to a number of amazing beaches on the Northern and Southern sides of Patong, one in particular was Paradise beach, the name couldn't have fitted the destination better.

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It was hidden throughout the rainforest in a little cove and the view looked out to to the fishing boats heading in and out from the main Patong beach. It was quiet, stunning & relaxing, well at least until we arrived bouldering in the water together and pushing one another back and forth on the rope swing hanging from a tree near by. We quickly noticed a slight theme to the visitors of Paradise beach, as all the men seemed a number of years older and the women, some Thai were all stunning and years younger than their partners on the beach, this lead to fantastic people watching for Kat while relaxing in the sun. Of course we were in Thailand so every beach we came across was generally gorgeous and the water pretty much called out to you enticing you to come in but our favourites were always the ones with rocks to climb and jump off, logs to try and run on or of course old swings hanging from the trees. The days passed quickly but were spent with many cocktails and hours on the beach and unlike our early plan we barely explored the remainder of Phuket as we didn't see how things could get any better. The one BIG problem we experienced while there was the purchase of alcohol! After drinking throughout the day on our 1st day it was clear we needed to purchase our drinks in some sort of bulk form for our times on the beach and in the Resort. However we quickly found out the no beverages were on sale that day due to the current election taking place. Without noticing we were both sadly standing outside a bottle store looking in and must have been giving out some sort of desperation vibe, as we were quickly approached by what can only be described as a hippy advising us of a little shop who were still selling alcohol down this alley way, around this corner, and down through the next street. We quickly summed up the pros and cons together and agreed that yes we did need a drink that badly! So through the alley ways we went and as the streets got smaller and darker Kat started to regret the decision thankfully we eventually came across a small shop with a fridge full of booze. The next evening we drank our pre purchased drinks and headed out for a night of partying, we were dropped off by the tuk tuk in the main street to find it absolutely rammed full of tourists wandering round wondering why nothing was open, little did we know it was the 100 day anniversary of the princess of Thailand's death, which did indeed mean no alcohol or music was allowed to be played after 8pm over the next 3 days. GREAT!

Posted by Georgeandkat 23:50 Archived in Thailand Tagged beach thailand holiday swim phuket alcohol patong Comments (0)

Sa-wat-dee kah/kraup

The arrival

sunny 26 °C

An early start heading to the airport with the Bear we are both so excited for the trip but sad we were going to have to say our goodbyes to George's dad. Once we had boarded on Singapore Airlines we were both overwhelmed with the excitement of a TV in the seat in front of us and meals and drinks (yes, alcohol) included. After a few rather uncomfortable naps we landed in Singapore Airport and within 2 minutes of getting out of the gate we were inside a Butterfly sanctuary and it quickly hit us that we were in the BEST airport for transit! We were fed, massaged, entertained and amazed and agreed our stopover was too quick for such a good airport. Another quick flight and more free food and alcohol we landed in Phuket Airport which was a bit of contrast compared to Singapore with walls falling down, A4 printed sheets directing us and baggage from all 4 flights in 1 pile ready for the choosing, we had arrived. George quickly shot into traveller mode grabbing our bags and me and dragging us through the screaming Thai's who 'had the best deal for us in Thailand' we jumped in a taxi and were headed for the Hotel. The drive was interesting enough, with the taxi driver going 100km and hr speeding from lane to lane and only just dodging the families of 4 on their scooters, by this time Kat was convinced our Hotel was not going to be there and instead just a hole in the ground, but thankfully we pulled up to the beautiful Diamond Cliff Resort.

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We woke early and excited and headed straight for the pool, which we had all to ourselves and then headed to our beautiful breakfast buffet. After a good feed and a few fine choices of food we couldn't wait to head out and explore and after a few warnings of hiring a motorbike we of course walked straight out and hired one for 300 Baht a day. We didn't really at this point have any sense of direction and headed north on the coastal road, quickly deciding that this was a bad idea as we found ourselves on a road going to what seemed to be nowhere. We headed back into Patong in search of markets for someone (mentioning no names) to go shopping and ended up driving through what can only be explained as rush and chaos but eventually came across shops and stalls that mired the resemblance of a town square. Across the road was a run down building holding the local food market, with things from strange fruit and veg neither of us had ever seen before to live sea food awaiting the chopping board. Next on the to do list was cocktails on the beach which was easily achieved and came as much as a relief to George, the relief however was short lived as Kat quickly spotted the street behind us lined with market stalls. Later on in the evening while searching for somewhere to eat we had a 15 minute fish massage which mainly involved the 2 of us sitting there giggling and squealing like 2 8 year olds, both realising that the group of 4-12 year olds we were facing were dealing with the tickling sensation far better than either of us and tried very hard to control the squeals for the reminder of the time. After a number of cocktails, tasty meals and a lot of sun we were both exhausted and headed back to the Hotel only to order more cocktails via room service.

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Posted by Georgeandkat 22:33 Archived in Thailand Tagged me beaches planes thailand holiday phuket patong Comments (0)

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