11.30 am @ Cello Hotel, Phuket
Everything didn’t went according to the plan… landed at the Phuket airport at midnight and took a shared taxi to Patong.. I had noted the name of a few promising looking hotels in the area, and I decided to go to the Cello Hotel, which in hindsight seems like a decision well made!
Cello Hotel is located at this quiet little street with a quite a few local food stalls and convenience stores. Checked in the hotel at 1.30 am… the room was quite incredible for the price that I was paying them… I had a private balcony and everything… if only it was a little closer to the beach.. after check in went to the nearby store for some midnight snacks.. was surprised to see a local noodle trolley shop still open.. bought a chicken noodle thing, which was pretty nice, or maybe I was just way too hungry…
Researched a bit about the way to Rai Leh and it seems quite expensive.. however, I am determined to find a cheaper way there. The ride to Ao Nang seems to cost around 1500 bahts atleast, which I will never ever pay.. So, I have decided to go to the Phi Phi and figure out a way from there. Few other islands on my list, are Ko Lanta, and Phang Nga.
Woke up at 6.30 am to this super awesome view.. quickly got ready to go look for a moto taxi to the pier… However, the moto taxi drivers couldn’t understand my accent or they were just plain out dumb! I went back to my hotel and asked the Swedish looking receptionist to write me the name of the pier in Thai.. That didn’t help either.. the first moto taxi guy read this and asked 300 bahts.. Over my Dead Body!
Went to this tour desk at one of the travel shops and arranged a one way trip to Phi Phi for just 300 Bahts… Hotel pickup and everything… I was sure I had a pretty neat deal and I headed for the Patong Beach to kill time till pick up time. Beach was pretty good, a little dirtier since last year, but still nice enough… However, the weather doesn’t look ominous.. Got drenched on my way back to the hotel by rain..hopefully my ride upto Phi Phi will be pleasant.
6PM @ Uphill Cottage, Phi Phi Islands
A year ago, I was mesmerised by the serenity and the calmness of the island due to which I promised myself that I would come back whenever I am in Southern Thailand. Present Day, the Phi Phi has really gone downhill.. it has gotten dirtier, murkier and cornier… The sea still looks beautiful, it is the beach that seems to be the problem. With Beer bottles, polythene bags and various other disgusting crap on the sand, the beach is starting to look more like Juhu beach.. A thousand new hotels have opened up which has taken away the small village feel of the place.. and why won’t hotels open up? Every half hour, boats full of tourists are coming in and they need a place to stay…
Clearly, I need to get out of here and a find a new island which is still pristine, or atleast polluted and commercialised.. Off to Rai Leh tomorrow and hopefully it won’t disappoint. Have bought a ticket to Krabi at 10.30 am with a free bus transfer to Ao Nang.. Rai Leh is a 10 mins ferry ride from there.. hopefully, weather gods won’t interfere with the plans.. Otherwise, I may have to camp at Ao Nang tomorrow. Whatever the case, it seems like I have found a cheaper way of reaching Rai Leh after all… Whoop-di-fucking-do!
The Up Hill hotel is located 8 minutes walk from the beach which isn’t quite what I was looking for.. also the climb up to my room is quite gruelling.. 500 Bahts for a night, with no wifi in the room seems like a shitty deal.. However, the cottage looks pretty cute.. but still, I miss my 500 Baht note!
Looking forward to the Half Moon Party (whatever the fuck that is) at the beach tonight.. some hot shot DJs are apparently coming… clearly, Phi Phi island is always up for a party… and I am determined to have a good time because frankly, I think this is my last trip to Phi Phi… Paradise Lost! Now I understand why the crazy lady from “The Beach” wanted so desperately to keep the beach a secret…