Let’s start this post with Phuket, because not only it was my destination after Bangkok but also because it was the easy part of this two destination leg of my trip.
Phuket is gorgeous. Getting there was easy. You can either take a bus from Bangkok, which I don’t recommend, or fly there. I bought a one way ticket for $30 dollars and the flight was only one hour long. There was no way this tired bitch was going to sit on a bus for 12 hours just to save $15 dollars. I am too old for that shit.
Anyway, I arrived in Phuket early morning and right at the airport you can get a shuttle to any destination you want. They have different shuttles for different parts of the city. They all cost 200 baht and they drop you off right at your hotel lobby. A taxi costs around 1000 baht. No thank you.
I spent just four nights in Phuket and even though it was enough to do everything on my list I could have easily stayed longer. It’s just one of those places that you just don’t want to leave.
Day one was spent pretty much doing nothing and just relaxing by my very awesome resort pool. The one I ended up having to pay all by myself because my friend bailed last minute.
I literally spent the whole day drinking, relaxing, sun tanning and facetiming with my Alaskan friend Carrie, aka Pocket Pal (a story for another story). I was exhausted from Bangkok and still jet legged from the 24 hours it took to get to Thailand. Doing nothing was necessary for survival.
Day 2 was much more productive. I visited the Tiger Kingdom and did one of the scariest things of my life which was getting into a cage with a wild beast 6 times my size. I am not quite sure what I was thinking. It must have been the three shots of their local rum that gave me the courage.
NO they are NOT drugged. They are very alert. In fact there are two trainers with you at all times. One holds a meat in front of them and the other takes your pictures. They all look healthy and all I saw was love from the trainers to the cats. People that know me, know I hate zoos and captivity. But this place rescues tigers from circuses and zoos and rehabilitates them. That’s why they are tamed. Not because they are drugged for my pleasure. With that said… we bonded over our patterns.
I stayed in Karon Beach which is a smaller beach just south of the famous Patong Beach. Patong is known for its party scene while Karon is more laid back. And since I was going to spend 5 days in Phi Phi Islands (the spring break capital of Southeast Asia), I was avoiding crowds and mostly alcohol while in Phuket. My liver needed to prepare itself for the beating it was coming it’s way.
As usual, I always save the best for last so my last day in Phuket was spent at their elephant sanctuary riding one around their trails up the mountain. If I wasn’t atheist, I would have called the experience spiritual. Let’s just call it enchanting.
If you are ever in Phuket this is a must do activity. Find the time, find the money, find a way. I can’t really put it into words what it’s like to be so close to these majestical creatures, let alone ride one around the highest point in town. Elephants are highly smart, sensitive and they will be extinct soon. Don’t listen to the negative things people say about elephant tracking. Yes, some places are horrible, worse than zoos and circuses combined so be sure to do a lot of research of the place you are going. I personally picked a sanctuary. The elephants are rescues from zoos and circuses and they stay there for habilitation. And the way these sanctuaries are able to survive are by allowing a limited amount of tourists to do tracking with the habilitated elephants. Reservations and required and you have to book in advance.
Ahhh Phi Phi Islands.
The most beautiful place I have ever seen in this lifetime. And I have been to many beautiful places. Phi Phi Island is Thailand’s island-superstar. It’s been in the movies. It’s the topic of conversation for travelers all over Thailand and even with all the hype it doesn’t disappoint.
But it’s also the most dangerous for a borderline alcoholic like myself. I swear if I had stayed one extra day I would have died of alcohol overdose. Or something similar.
Koh Phi Phi is like the Hunger Games Arena. Everything is either trying to eat you (in a good way 😏), kill you or completely blow your life into tiny pieces.
I got there by taking one of their ferry boats from Rassada Pier on the other side of Phuket; an hour from my resort. The boat ride alone is about 2 hours and it’s a trip in itself.
Once you arrive in Koh Phi Phi, the main island, you are automatically pulled into the party atmosphere. There is a bar every 30 feet. The tiny streets are nothing but hostels, bars, clubs, local stores and restaurants. The music is blasting, the people are having a good time and it’s a non stop party. It can be very confusing for those used to a more organized city life but also an once in a lifetime experience.
Like every other city before me, I stayed in a hotel rather than a hostel and it was located up in the hills a bit which helped me sleep at night. The main complaint I heard from the people I met who were staying right on the beach was that they couldn’t sleep with their walls vibrating from the music 24/7.
The day after my arrival I rented a taxi boat and went straight to Maya Bay. It was that one place on my list that I had been waiting for my entire Thailand trip. It’s the island in which the movie The Beach was filmed and it was everything I expected it to be.
It’s very important to get there early, around 6-7am before the cruises and boats loaded with people arrive. Anytime after 8am and you won’t be able to take a single picture without a hundred tourists and boats behind you.
Once you leave Maya Bay, ask the boat guide to take you to Pileh Bay. It’s on the other side of the island and the PERFECT spot to snorkel and free dive.
The next day I went to Monkey Beach which was also pretty amazing. Monkeys everywhere! But be careful because those fuckers know how to open purses and bags and they STEAL! You don’t want one of them taking your go pro and disappearing into the jungle with it. So keep your belongings next to you at all times.
I then hiked what I call the “hike from hell” to the top of the island. There is absolutely no way this hike is from the lord. This was designed by Lúcifer himself. It kicked my ass. Mostly because I did it at noon, in a 97 degree weather and in sandals. Yes, I have this tendency of forgetting to pack tennis shoes for my trips. But even though the hike was cursed the view was worth every tear and “fucks” I said on the way up. It was by far the best view of the island.
The rest of my time in Phi Phi was spent relaxing, getting drunk, passing out, getting drunk again, passing out again and repeating. With some rated R fun in between because only Jesus knows I am human.
On my third day I met the most amazing group of Brazilians in the island and the rest was history. I swear we are taking over the world, one booty at a time.
Listen when I say that if you are ever in Phi Phi, you must, I repeat, YOU MUST go to the Ibiza Hotel Pool Party. This should not be an option for you. Repeat with me: “I will go to Ibiza’s pool party. I will go to Ibiza’s pool party”. It was crazy, wild, and everything that can possibly go wrong (in a good way) it will in that party.
Obviously besides trying not to overdose on booze, you should try to do the usual beach stuff, like kayaking, paddle boarding, etc. you can find everything you want in Phi Phi. And I mean, EVERYTHING.
On my final day there I decided to get a bamboo tattoo. You simply can’t go to Thailand and not get a tattoo. It shouldn’t even be legal to leave without one. So without any hesitation I tattooed a poem I had written for my son the day the Orange one, who should not be named, won the election back home.
“May your enemies run far away from you. May you know the power of your own strength. Always fly, but wherever you go, may you always be protected. If you see injustice, speak up. And every day may you find the courage to fight for what’s right. The world is beautiful and so is your kind wild heart.”
And that friends, is how I ended my Thailand Trip.
So next time you are looking for a place to go in this beautiful world of ours, consider Thailand, more specifically consider Phi Phi Islands. I promise you it will be the best decision you will make.
Check back in a week for my Bali Blog!