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Phi Phi island – Thailand

23 of July 2012

Phi Phi Natural Resort is located at Phi Phi Islands, one of the most popular destinations in the South of Thailand . It is just 48 kms to the southeast of Phuket and 45 kms to the southwest of Krabi.

At Phi Phi Natural Resort,you can enjoy the private long white sandy beaches, crystal clear water under the blue sky

Follow Thailand’s long leg of land stretching down to Malaysia and you’ll find Phi Phi Island to the west of the “knee” in the Andaman Sea. Technically, Phi Phi is two islands: Ko Phi Phi Don, where Long Beach, or Hat Yao in Thai, is located, and Ko Phi Phi Leh, which is smaller and only accessible by tour or chartered fishing boat. Ko Phi Phi Don is home to several dozen seafood restaurants, and even more reggae bar and coffee shops, but no motorcars. If you are looking for a beach where you can play Gilligan’s Island, this is it.

Getting There
Nearest major international airport: Phuket for Asian and European routes, and Penang, Malaysia, for direct flights from North America. It is common for travelers to fly into Bangkok and combine a stay on Ko Phi Phi with a visit to other destinations in Thailand.

Airport transportation
The only way to Ko Phi Phi is by boat.

From Phuket: Boats leave at 8:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Most boat trips take slightly longer than two hours, although the 8:30 a.m. “Jet Cruise” makes the trip in 50 minutes.

From the Penang airport: Take the #83 yellow bus to the ferry/bus station. From there, the most straightforward route to Ko Phi Phi is to take the frequent bus to Hat Yai, Thailand (5 hours, avoid the train on this route as it takes significantly longer to clear customs), then another bus to Krabi (also 5 hours). From Krabi, you will take a boat to Ko Phi Phi. The last boat departs Krabi at 4 p.m. (others leave at 8:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.) so it is difficult making this entire trip in a single day. Krabi has plenty of accommodations around the ferry, however, if you don’t make it.

Timing
Ko Phi Phi at its most pleasant, and at its most crowded, from November through mid-January, when the skies are clear, the water is calm, and the air is at its least humid. During the rainy season, between late May and late September, Ko Phi Phi still sees long patches of sunshine, but the water is slightly wavy (fine for swimming, poor for snorkeling) and the air humidity will make you sweat buckets.

If you plan on staying in an upper-class hotel in Phi Phi during the busy December season book well in advance. Beach huts are always available – we arrived an Christmas Eve without reservations and still managed to find a vacant hut with its own lonely stretch of sand.

Lodging
The most common type of lodging on Ko Phi Phi – and the only option on Long Beach – is a basic bamboo beach hut. Generally speaking, as you move farther from the boat docks, the huts become less expensive and better. Even if you are a well-heeled traveler, do not discount a stay in a hut. They can be more comfortable than their modest exteriors suggest, and you’ll never mistake it with being at home.

Ko Phi Phi also has several mid-range hotels of the brick and mortar variety. We suggest avoiding these hotels on weekends when they tend to be packed with partying Thais.

To the relief of many, Ko Phi Phi has no large all-inclusive resorts. The closest option is the Phi Phi Island Cabana Hotel.

Cuisine
For obvious reasons, the staple food is fish or “plaa” in Thai. We are partial to the shellfish curry, “geng hoi.” When ordering, establish whether they plan to prepare your food “phet.” Any dish can be spicy, but if it is “phet” it will demolish your taste buds.

Travel Tips
Especially if you are traveling with children, be aware that there is relatively little to do during the day at Ko Phi Phi, so bring some good books and plan to relax the days away.

While you are there
Krabi, which is a two-hour boat ride from Ko Phi Phi, and its environs have some nice beaches in their own right, but what is so striking about this region of Thailand is the jagged cliffs and limestone outcroppings.

The Similan Islands, about 80 miles away from Ko Phi Phi, offer some of the world’s most amazing diving. The islands can only be visited with an extended cruise. A few companies on Phi Phi run such tours to the Similans offer 5 day / 4 night cruises with 1 or 2 dives. Tours departing from Phuket are also available.

To fake that you’ve been there
Talk about how you only planned to stay there for a few days and ended up staying a month. Ko Phi Phi is the sort of place that sucks one in; once there it is difficult to leave.

Farang in Thailand

21 of June 2012

You know you’ve been in Thailand too long when:
You think it’s normal to have a beer at 9:00 a.m.

You begin to enjoy Thai TV programs.

You look four ways before crossing a one way street.

You realize that ALL your problems are caused by Thai girls or cranky ATMs.

You put salt and chilli on your fruit

A Thai cop stops you for a minor infraction and you automatically reach for your wallet.

You think that a Honda Civic is a prestigious car.

All your tee-shirts are emblazoned with the name of some bar.
You can’t remember the last time you wore a suit and tie or shoes

You think a polo shirt and jeans are formal attire.

Someone tells you that watching Thai politics is like watching two chameleons making love,
and you understand the analogy

You aren’t upset when the bar girl next to you eats beetles as a snack.

Later the same night, you actually kiss the bar girl who earlier dined on
the beetles
You haven’t had a solid stool for five years.

You wake up in the morning and realize that you have nowhere to go and all day to get there.
You think white wine goes well with Som Tam

You understand when your Thai wife says, ‘My friend you’ or ‘Same, same, but different.’

A Thai bar girl you’ve just met tells you that her mother is deathly ill and you just laugh and walk away.

You realize that your Thai wife’s loyalties belong to
1. Her parents.
2. Her brats from a previous marriage to a Thai scoundrel who deserted her
3. Any remaining blood relatives.
4. The family buffalo.
5. The family’s goldfish.
6. You.

The Thai Navy buys a new submarine and you’re not surprised when the first thing
they do is remove the mufflers and hang a garland from the rear view mirror.

You consider your mobile phone a fashion accessory.
You start wearing flip-flops everywhere.
You start driving cars with bare feet.
You no longer enjoy Songkran. Instead, you stay home with a stack of DVD’s.

You become an expert on buying and selling gold jewelry.
Dogs become animals you’d rather kick than pet.

When driving a car you’ll start using every free inch of the road.
You flash your 4 indicator lights when driving straight on at an intersection.

It’s two days before payday, so you only go to bars with balloons strung outside.
You realize that all the important words in Thai begin with the letter ‘S’. Sanuk (Fun),

Saduak (convenient), Sabai (comfortable), Suay (pretty).

You believe that buying a gold chain is an acceptable courtship ritual, or at least a form of foreplay.
You find that a calendar is more useful than a watch.

You go to a Thai Boxing match and a soccer game breaks out.

You stand in the shadow of a telephone pole while waiting for a bus.

You can’t remember the last time you had a dry fart.
You think putting ice in red wine or beer is normal.
You phone home and talk like a retard

You don’t care or know what day of the week it is.

You think 15kb’s of upload speed is quite fast.
You begin to think you actually are a ‘Hansum Man’.
You automatically without thinking swear in Thai.
You have aThai nickname.
Lao Khao just doesn’t do it for you any more. Neither does Viagra.

You own a CD compilation with Crazy Frog on it.

you don’t have a problem kissing a ladyboy on the cheek

you sit in a bar in Bangkok surrounded by naked girls and porn on the big screen
and you just want to watch the golf on the small screen in the corner
you avoid walking under fruit laden coconut palms

you avoid looking into a girls eyes longer than 3 seconds

your hotel lets you in accompanied by 2 or 3 girls

you know where to buy booze on officially shut holidays

you realize your whisky and soda is rum based

you accept 5 on a motorbike while shopping is normal

you accept builders clambering up bamboo scaffolding with no boots or helmets

you count the number of passengers embarking on a ferry

you automatically get chinese tea to accompany your coffee

pedestrian crossings mean nothing

nothing surprises you and things are not always what they seem

you realize Thai logic does not tally with Western logic

and you realize Laws are just mere suggestions, not necessarily to be obeyed

Wat Rong Khun, the stunning White Temple, its facade shimmering in the sun from thousands of tiny mirrored pieces inserted into its gleaming white surface. This temple, which is in Chiang Rai in Northern Thailand, is more well-known among foreigners as The White Temple.

The temple is located in Ban Rong Khun, about 13 kilometres south-west of Chiang Rai city along Phahonyothin Road. It is the brainchild of Thai artist Chaloemchai Khositphiphat who started building it back in 1998.In an interview, he said that “maybe in 60 to 90 years after my death will the projected be completed”.

Chaloemchai Khositphiphat, in his lifetime has become a great Contemporary Thai artist that is admired by many people. He has not only revitalized an interest in the ancient Thai murals found in temples, but he has at the same time produce his only unique style. Most obvious is the choice of white for the temple while others are golden. He said that he believes that gold is only suitable for people who lust for evil deeds.

The attention to detail in the temple is remarkable and you do need to spend some time here studying the beautiful artwork. To reach the temple you have to cross a bridge over a pit of hell. Down below there are sculptures of people who are presumably trying to escape from hell. Inside the temple is a beautiful coloured mural of the Buddha. If you take a close look at the devil you will see small portraits of Bin Laden and George Bush in the Devil’s eyes. Across from the Buddha images, the artist has painted a montage of recent events, including the plane flying into the Twin Towers.

One of the new buildings is this Golden Toilet which is probably the most beautiful rest room in Thailand. Surprisingly it is also free, the same as for entry to the White Temple. Though obviously donations are welcome as up-keep of all the buildings is never-ending. You can buy reproductions of Chaloemchai’s impressive artwork in the souvenir shop. The White Temple is open daily from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

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