Once I’d met up with Ethan in Bangkok Airport we flew to Phuket late at night and checked into the On On Hotel which played the part of the rundown Khao San Road guesthouse in ‘The Beach‘ (2000) starring Leonardo DiCaprio.
It was an absolutely huge room at a ridiculously low price (less than £3) which provided us with enough reference points to keep any ‘anorak’ happy.
We moved on to Ko Phi Phi later that afternoon and, after a few evening drinks and a curry, we went for a Thai massage but before you raise your eyebrows I can assure you that this was a very legitimate one.
The next day we went on a boat tour with the most famous location being Maya Bay which was used as the secret beach in the aforementioned movie. Whereas Leonardo and co had it all to themselves, we had to share it with thousands of other day-trippers and a fleet of boats docked in the bay. As beautiful as it was, time there was too short for us to really savour the moment.
Snorkelling at Shark Point was next on the agenda which was quite an experience in terms of swimming through a swarm of fish who constantly knocked into my mask. No viewing of the blacktip reef shark for me though.
We also did some kayaking and jumped off the side of the boat from a great height which is the kind of adrenalin rush I crave at times. Our final port of call was Monkey Beach which we had to get to by kayak from the boat and after a short wait the monkeys suddenly appeared from nowhere and the tourist hoards gathered round to watch them eating everything and anything given to them and some stuff that wasn’t!
Back on Phi Phi we went straight up to the lookout point to view sunset from Phuket’s most popular island. A fire show on the beach, some amateur kick boxing and a ladyboy dance show rounded off the days proceedings.
Our final day on Phi Phi was spent lounging around on the beach trying not to get sunburned but fearing there wasn’t an activity of any ‘real’ substance on the days itinerary we decided to have another go at wakeboarding having first done it in Tokyo last Summer. Like that time, I failed to get on my feet the first two attempts but then I finally got it and started to cut through the rough waves. In a way I wish I hadn’t bothered doing it as it really tires you out physically and in retrospect it made the activities that were to follow more taxing.
After a quick walk around the bay we got down to the serious business of drinking which we did in an all-you-can-eat pasta bar where the beer flowed for many hours before calling it a night but not before we paid another visit to the same massage place as the first night as it was cheap and had been a good laugh the first time.
Click here to read ‘Thailand 2008 Pt II – Phuket: Patong’