Koh Phi Phi
Writing about Koh Phi Phi brings me so much joy! This was hands down one of the most intoxicating places I have ever been...it's in the culture, the way of life and the energy!
Getting a Ferry ticket to Phi Phi is extremely easy...the ride over, not so much. It definitely wasn't the worst though (we will get to the worst). I wrote in my journal throughout our entire honeymoon with the exception of our time in Phi Phi and in Chiang Mai...because it was during those stages of our travels that I was so immersed in our experience that I simply forgot!
As mentioned, the energy of this island is intoxicating. There are no cars, mopeds or bikes. Walking is the only mode of transportation..and generally shoes are a rare appearance on the locals and expats. Also, no one is in a hurry to get anywhere...time slows down on Phi Phi I swear it.
On our first day in Koh Phi Phi we decided to explore the beach, and to find a place to eat. We ate at a place called "Beach Bar Restaurant" which (shocker) had amazing Pad Thai. The restaurant (like all of the restaurants along the beach) has no walls/floor...your table is on the sand, your ceiling is the sky, and your walls are mountains and trees. The tables are rustic natural cuts of wood, and the service is kind and relaxed. You are surrounded by absolute beauty..and the ocean is your music.
In the middle of our lunch I was so drawn by the ocean that I stripped down into my bikini and walked out into the water. Floating in the water for a couple of minutes was magical...an incredible break from the heat!
The water is teal and the tall mountains are so lush with trees that it's a sensory overload. After enjoying the ocean and sights thoroughly I walked back over to our lunch on the beach and dried off and cheersed Andrew to our first day in the Islands.
View from our table at "Beach Bar Restaurant"
After filling up on delicious food and cocktails, we felt adventurous and wanted to discover more of Phi Phi. At lunch we noticed a small look out spot that we wanted to check out. So we through on our backpacks and decided to check it out.
What a beautiful view it was! How can you not fall in love with this stunning island?
Although the Full Moon party takes place in Koh Phangan, we celebrated the occasion Koh Phi Phi style that night! The Full Moon is celebrated all over the islands (just not as "aggressively" as Phangan). So we decided to head to the beach for a fire show and a massive Full Moon experience. The crowd was under a spell of mutual love and appreciation for this beautiful island. Under a trance from the fire show, Andrew and I laid on little recliners that sit on the sand with candles in between.
We were in absolute awe watching the fire show. I couldn't believe some of the kids and their amazing talent (and bravery). We could both feel the heat of the fire, and I think we both wished we could leave everything behind and just be fire throwers on the beach of Phi Phi.
While watching the fire show we were pulled in by the sounds of people dancing around fire, and doing the Limbo.
Needless to say, this was an incredible night. No one was a stranger, and everyone was in a state of nirvana. After dancing to our hearts content, we moved to a more relaxed area of the beach party where we noticed a man dancing by himself in the ocean. His solo dance across the moonlit ocean pulled me in. We didn't say a word to one another, as we danced in sync with one another ...we noticed two more join us, and then two became ten. Our two man number soon became a large dance party in the water that just grew and grew. None of us spoke and we only stopped because the music stopped, and then everyone started humming a beat to each other until we started laughing and the dance dwindled until we all walked away waving at one another. As Andrew and I walked back to our room we both stopped for a second and laughed. What a night it was!!
For the rest of our time in Koh Phi Phi we relaxed by the pool in a new bungalow we found while walking along the board walk closer to the Ferry Docks. We found that it was a cheaper stay, and they gave us a discount when we purchased a night in cash (a lot of places will do this for you).
On our final day the sky was black and the rain thumped down heavily. We decided to contact two of our friends we had met on the beach who were just about to grab breakfast. Breakers is an English style restaurant that we also fell in love with. It's nice to enjoy good old eggs, hash browns and baked beans after eating Pad Thai endlessly for days!
Within half an hour of sitting together, we had been roped into the possibility of getting bamboo tattoos. They were both getting elephants and Thai blessings. The elephant is a sacred creature in Thailand, with a spiritual connection to humans. They believe that we start as elephants and when the elephant's soul is ready, it becomes a human in its next life. Growing up my mom surrounded our house with elephants. Stuffed animals, statues and wooden sculptures. Her love of this magical creature spread to me, and my home is also filled with a similar collection. As I stood contemplating an elephant tattoo I was struck with the thought...if not now, when? So I decided to pursue the tattoo of an elephant! A little piece of Koh Phi Phi now lives on my wrist.
Once we realized that the rain was there to stay in Koh Phi Phi for the week, we decided to head to the Mainland to cross over to the Eastern islands of Koh Samui, Koh Phangnan and Koh Tao!
You can organize transportation across the mainland by private car or bus. Typically every hotel concierge can book your travel for you, so we booked our ferry to the mainland, bus and ferry to Koh Samui before leaving Koh Phi Phi.
My first impressions of Koh Samui was that it was crowded...very crowded, and touristy...very touristy! We had been told by friends that this is a favourite island of many. We disagreed. We didn't enjoy the atmosphere of Koh Samui because it lacked authenticity and it felt as though the natural aspects of the island were overrun and over exploited. The beaches were very crowded, and lined with souvenir shops and commercial restaurants.
We definitely missed the raw nature of Koh Phi Phi immediately. We craved the ocean and the sand in our toes, so we asked our cab driver to bring us to Chaweng Beach (Koh Samui's most popular destination). The beach was lovely, and the ocean was clear and beautiful, however we felt overwhelmed with the level of activity and the amount of tourists. So we decided to grab a drink on a quite patio. The patio we chose happened to be Koh Samui's "The Library"
Although this hotel is wildy expensive, it was a treat to wander around the red pool with a cocktail. We sat at the bar discussing what we make of the island, and we decided that this was the type of island where you enjoy the hotel amenities and relax. So we checked out some hotels nearby and decided to treat ourselves to a bit of luxury.
Ang Thong National Marine Park is a must see. You can book your trip to the park from almost anywhere in Koh Samui, and it's a beautiful boat ride through speckled islands to get there. We laid on top of a Sun Deck while the boat sailed further out into the turquoise waters.
If you plan on doing the mountain climb that goes along with this tour, bring solid shoes with tread. We (unfortunately) were told that its a light climb and flip flops would do. So after anchoring near the beach, swimming and sunbathing we ventured off to start the "light climb" with wet bathing suits and flip flops. It was no light climb, and in fact I might go as far as saying that it's one of the toughest climbs I have done. Our Canadian Rocky Mountains are much higher, but the climb is gradual and the trails are tediously marked. Basically, this climb would not be recommended without a harness/proper gear. But this made for a fun experience (a life threatening/pee your pants kind of fun)... that led us to an exhilarating finish!
After an exciting adventure, Andrew and I were filled with adrenalin and looking for some fun! To finish off our time on the island of Koh Samui, we decided to check out the night life. We wandered around the late night markets looking for trinkets, gazed at the neon lights of the Ferris Wheels and rides along the river side, and then found a vibrant watering hole to share a toast to our climb. The next day we left for Koh Phangan!
Now, if you choose to head out on a longboat I am going to demand that you get the driver to bring you to a small island just off the coast of Koh Tao called Nangyuan Island, It is a Must see!
The strip of beach between the two attached islands is crystal clear and just so tranquil and undisturbed. After dipping into the ocean, we decided to walk the trail that brings you to the top of Nangyuan mountain. The trail was steep, but it was very straightforward and nicely marked, plus the view from the top is Well worth the climb!
We took our time at the look out and really took in the beauty of the island and surrounding ocean.
Porto Bello had a lovely table on their patio, next to their extensive hanging wine list, so that was our spot for the night! One thing you will notice (if you are a wine lover like us), is that Thailand is Definitely not known for their wines. Infact, over the entire duration of our travels, this was the only restaurant (that we came across) that served good quality, imported wine. Another thing you will notice (again if you are a wine drinker), is that wine is Very overpriced ...however, I instantly looked past the price as soon as I saw French Prosecco and Italian Pinot Grigio. What a treat it was! We paired our wine with some delicious apps and home made Pasta, and we swore that we would share our love of this restaurant with everyone we know! We had the pleasure of meeting the owner who is an Italian man raised cooking fresh Pasta noodles and sauces. If you make it to Koh Tao, head to Porto Bello for the best (authentic) Italian cuisine, and Deadlyy wine list!
Stay Tuned for our Final Stop in Thailand: Chiang Mai
Hi! My name is Amber, I am a wife and mother to Piper June. Welcome to my blog. You will find my path towards natural health and wellness as well as my honest discoveries as a new mother. In all aspects of life, I strive to cultivate Balance through a mindful existence. I share my experiences as a mother, helpful product reviews and companies that I am passionate about for our family. I am so grateful for your visit xo