There are so many great things I want to share about Thailand, but in lieu of a full play-by-play for each day, I am going to sum it up into a nice list–the top 10 best things about Koh Phi Phi Island. These are roughly in order of how much I liked them, starting from ten…
10.) Food art
Many of the hotels displayed elaborate food carvings and displays as a way to entice you to come into their restaurants. We didn’t actually eat at a single one of these restaurants, but they did make for some nice photo ops!
9.) International atmosphere
With so many tourists from all over the world gracing the “streets” of Koh Phi Phi (there are no cars on the island), it didn’t really feel like we were in Thailand, but it didn’t feel like home or anywhere else I’ve ever been either. Everywhere we went we heard snippets of different languages, mainly Swedish which was interesting, and we talked to/overheard people talking about coming from all over the world. Because of the diversity of the tourists, there is also a big variety of food available in Koh Phi Phi, you can find cuisine from all corners of the world!
8.) Epic thunderstorms
Being near the bay and up on a hilltop in our bungalow, the few thunderstorms we experienced were the loudest and most intense storms I have ever heard. The thunder was so loud I woke up by practically bolting out of bed one night, and the lightening was so bright it lit up the night as if it were daytime. While it was really intense and a little scary at times, it was definitely exciting.
7.) Amazing signs
Everywhere we went on Koh Phi Phi we were entertained and amused by the signs. No matter what the subject matter, they never took themselves too seriously. It wasn’t the usual bad English that had us chuckling, but the clever and witty wording and silly pictures.
6.) Happening night life and fire shows
Every night is a party on Koh Phi Phi Island. If you are staying in town, this might not be a good thing, but luckily, we were far enough away that (most) of the noise didn’t bother us. There are bars and clubs everywhere, with themed nights, live music, free drinks, entertainers and fire shows EVERY NIGHT. It sort of made us feel old, because we were usually too tired at the end of the day to go out, but we did catch a few awesome fire shows.
5.) Community cats
I’m going to go out on a limb here and say a lot of people will probably find this one more disgusting than amusing, but since I am a crazy cat lady, we all know how I feel about a plethora of community cats. Call them homeless if you want, but I prefer “community” or “gypsy.” Everywhere we went, tame cats followed. They live at every hotel, restaurant and beach. Some look like they might be someone’s pets, but others just live off the generosity of the hotel guests and staff. Surprisingly, most look healthy and clean, and all were friendly and eager for attention. Insert lecture here from all my friends who are freaked out that we touched so many gypsy cats…I stand by my statement, it was awesome!
4.) Exotic wildlife
For those of us who grew up in the Pacific Northwest…things like lizards and monkeys are exotic. I would squeal with excitement like a five-year old each time I saw one. In or around our hotel and the surrounding beach areas we saw: lizards, geese, monkeys, and even a rabbit, just chilling on the beach one night. While all were exciting, the monkeys really take the cake!
3.) Long tail boats
These boats are so awesome. They are everywhere in Thailand, and they just look so much cooler than your average motor boat. They have a similar engine to a car, and they are steered with a giant lever. I’ve decided when I grow up I want to be a long tail boat driver in Thailand…who’s with me?
This is a big fat DUH. Thai food was already one of my favorites, so eating it from the source was an amazing experience. Some of my favorites included anything with oyster sauce, fried basil leaves, a shrimp omelet, mango juice and Thai pancakes with nutella. In a word: YUM.
No big surprises here, since you all know how I feel about seas and oceans. The beaches are perfect, each and every one. White sand, blue water, and amazing fish and coral to see under the surface. You can also shop, eat or get a massage without ever leaving the beach, which I fully appreciate. Our daily routine was mainly swim, read on the beach, repeat. Amazing.