Hello to all my fans eagerly refreshing their screens waiting for me to post a blog post. Yes, that means my mum. Hi mum - you’re allowed to read this one, it’s not very rude.
So I’m in Thailand! This trip has been a long time in the making. I wasn’t sure if it could ever happen - a three-month sabbatical from two jobs seemed like a lot to sort out. But it happened, I’m here! So far I’ve mainly posted idyllic pictures on Facebook and Instagram to annoy everyone back in England, but in an effort to be a little more real and honest, this is where you’ll get the whingy bits and possibly some descriptions of my poo if you’re lucky.
It’s fair to say that my journey here was crap. Delayed flight, then cancelled flight, then waiting and more waiting, and all whilst I had a horrible cold/flu thing with aches and pains. We (‘we’ refers to me and the long-suffering boyfriend, John) arrived on the same day we were meant to at least, but it was too late to get a ferry to Koh Phi Phi. So we stayed a night in Phuket, which was… meh. Didn’t have time to explore, we just ate in a strange restaurant with some kind of weird funnel decor, then headed over to Koh Phi Phi the next morning. I’ve been to Phi Phi before but it was nine years ago so I didn’t recognise anything. No, that’s not because I was drunk the whole time I was there last time, although that does seem to be what everybody on the island does now.
Koh Phi Phi is much nicer in the mornings when all the 20-year-old backpackers are either still asleep or have their heads in toilets puking up their “super strong bucket” contents from the previous night. One morning I went for a walk on the beach at 8am and saw the locals working away, clearing the beach of cups and bottles, neon clothes and rogue flip flops. Litter is so bad on Koh Phi Phi, they have to charge 20 baht to everyone on entry. They may as well call it the “tourists are shit” tax. It makes me ashamed to be a tourist sometimes. Is it that hard just not to trash the beautiful beach you’re partying on?
There are A LOT of tattoo shops on Koh Phi Phi. I’ve never seen so many in one place. They’re all open really late, interspersed with bucket venders which is probably no coincidence. I’m beginning to realise the “shit Mel did in Thailand nine years ago” really wasn’t that bad – at least I didn’t get a bad tattoo after too much vodka and Red Bull.
One of the main reasons for going to Koh Phi Phi is to do the obligatory boat trip to “The Beach”. That’s the one from the film with Leonardo DiCaprio, which is a mediocre film at best but the book is much better. I did a similar trip nine years ago. Most trips involve going:
1. To piss off some monkeys
2. To piss off some fish
3. To piss off other tourists at said famous beach
Monkey Beach is a tiny beach inhabited only by monkeys who probably just want to be left alone but stupid tourists keep taking selfies with them. (Note to self – short story idea: Zombie Monkeys on a Beach).
Next, we went to a gorgeous green lagoon where some middle-aged Russians who thought they were 15 repeatedly did backflips off our boat. Then there was the snorkelling, which was nice but I guess I’ve been spoilt being as my first ever snorkelling experience was the Great Barrier Reef. Then we approached a cliff face and our driver announced “Maya Bay” (which is The Beach). I looked up at what can only be described as a PE teacher’s wet dream… and my worst nightmare: lots of jagged half-submerged rocks and climbing ropes. I really dislike longtail boats, and getting on and off hadn’t been easy, but I hadn’t been expecting an obstacle course too. From what I remembered, the last time I went the boat had gone straight into the bay.
At least it wasn’t just me. A lot of people were struggling - clambering over rocks, wading through water, desperately trying not to fall with their bags. I’m not sure if this is an effort to keep too many boats out of the bay, or if it’s meant to give more of an authentic Leonardo DiCaprio experience, but at least Maya Bay was as amazing as I remembered…when I finally got there. I’ve still got the bruises to show for it.
Sharing the bay with lots of other tourists is unavoidable. There is no accommodation and no camping, though I think there used to be… but guess why there’s not now? Because tourists are shit. The slogan for the Maya Bay experience should just be ‘this is why we’re not allowed to have nice things’. So that was the beach trip over and done with. It’s still a gorgeous beach, and I still hate longtail boats.
Now I’m on Koh Lanta, which is way more chilled out. We’re staying at a place called Sanctuary which has everything I wanted – beach, yoga, good food and a basic beach hut. As I write I’m hiding under a mosquito net trying not to need a wee because it’s raining and the toilet is outside. The outside bathroom was a novelty at first until I had to fight off ants and mosquitos last night. Still, you can’t beat having a poo wearing sunglasses, looking up at the clouds.
Thanks for reading, part two coming in a bit.
Ps My poo is okay, don’t worry.