Traveling without set plans is a new experience for me and it definitely has its ups and downs. Yesterday started as a down, but ended as an up, thank goodness.
We consulted our guide book and asked about a half dozen people what time the ferries would leave for Ko Lanta, but unfortunately everyone was wrong. When we arrived about an hour early at Rassada Pier to purchase our ferry tickets, they told us that the second leg of our trip did not run during the low season. Instead of heading straight to Ko Lanta, we would have to spend the night in Ko Phi Phi, a big time party island. (Fun Fact: PH in Thai is pronounced like P.)
Once in Phi Phi, we found a hotel and ate our first real meal of the day, then we wandered to a nearby beach. The tide was low so we could wander way out along the beach and watch local boys fishing with spears and small nets. When we looked closely, the shallow water was alive with crabs and critters waiting patiently for a meal to swim by. As the sun set, we sat on the beach and chatted and took in the beauty of the limestone cliffs surrounding the peaceful bay.
The tide slowly crept up and up until it was lapping at the edges of the many neon-lit outdoor beach clubs. There is not much to do in Phi Phi at night but drink and get tattoos so we decided to partake in one of those activities. We started at Sunflower Beach Bar, which is one of the only low key bars on the island. The tables, which tipped precariously over the ocean, were all made of reclaimed driftwood and long tail boat wreckage from the tsunami. The owner named the four boats after the four loved ones he lost in the flooding.
As night fell, we could see the excitement picking up down on the more raucous part of the beach so we decided to check out that scene. Every beach bar along the shore had fire spinning shows and ear throbbingly loud music and (literal) buckets of alcohol to drink. I was having a lot of fun taking pictures of the fire shows so we decided to join the rest of the partiers. We plopped down on some beanbags and watched the show and even leapt (well, Jessica hobbled) through a literal burning ring of fire. Even though it was the low season on an island we didn’t intend to see, we managed to have a really fun night.