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Just over a month on bus, cycle and foot around the temples, mountains and more importantly the markets of SE Asia has brought us to our “treat” destination… Phuket… Uh, not quite … But Phuket is a mini stopover on the way to our paradise.. the part we’d been waiting for, THE BEACH (u get it right?! The movie)!!… Well that’s how we decided to end this chapter of our trip.. Chillaxing in Ko Phi Phi!!

We arrived around 1am to our overpriced guesthouse in Patong, the heart and soul of Phuket, or at least that’s what it is for the “thrill-seekers”… Although, we were going to be taking the early morning ferry to Ko Phi Phi, Rishi and I couldn’t resist a wander round the infamous Bangla Road.. Luckily it was only a 2 minute walk away. (Hmm, what does that say about our guesthouse?)

The road and area was buzzing at 2am with go-go girls dancing on the poles in the open bars, Brits and other foreigners searching for… Um, a happy ending?!… And touts offering ping pong shows at very reasonable prices!! The atmosphere is pretty electric in this beach/ red light district area..

Despite the ping pong shows being recommended to us before we left (Thanks Tom!) we had to restrain ourselves from the appealling prospect of watching a granny prostitute fling ping pong balls out of her private parts… Talk about PPP!! 😉

Anywho, the ferry the next afternoon (we didn’t make the morning one) is an experience of its own.. Backpackers and some other unsuspecting tourists are herded on.. No exaggeration.. With the promised land of Ko Phi Phi as a reward…

We were staying at Ko Phi Phi Village resort so after the fab ferry ride we had to take a longboat from Tonsai Bay, away from the crowds and backpacker’s accomodation… (So long suckers!!)

I had some stupidly high expectations of the resort so was initially sad on seeing other people on my beach… What do you mean I don’t get my own private beach?! How ridiculous!!

Nevertheless we tried the ‘it’s our aniversary’ play on our arrival to which the staff ever so kindly replied “Happy Anniversary” and then sent us packing to our standard bungalow all the way ay the back of the resort… Next to the staff quarters!! Greeeat.

But they should have known, “no-one puts Princess Sparkle” in the corner”.

That evening, we were fortunate to discover a cockroach in our room, followed by a few ants in our bed… Ah-ha an opportunity… We complained like the typical foreigners who have never stayed in ‘the wilderness’.. That coupled with the extremely excellent service at the resort meant we were upgraded to a deluxe bungalow and got complementary tickets for the Island Explorer tour!! … That’s more like it!

The next couple of days for us wew just fabulous. Cocktails, good food, speed boats, snorkelling and the best of all, visiting Maya Bay where ‘the Beach’ was filmed. .. It really is absolutely stunning… The clear blue sparkling water.. The softest powdery sand.. Luscious greenery and spectacular caves behind it… Utter paradise.. If only we could move there!!

One of the many photos in Ko Phi Phi…..to the extent that our camera may have stopped working from getting sand in it… We took a lot!! Doh!

Our last full day in Ko Phi Phi, having spent as much in 3 days as we’d done in the whole of Laos, we decided to sneak out to the secret village resort for some authentic Thai cuisine. It’s where all the really cool people hang out ofcourse! In the candlelit restaurant, where the two chefs cook everything in front of you, we had the best pad thai and a pretty good papaya salad. (Not as good as mine Rish said, but hey the chefs were trying, can’t expect them to match my superior culinary skills!)

Stuffed from another excessive meal, we got back to our bungalow just in time, before the heavens erupted and a full blown tropical thunderstorm was upon us. It was nuts! I sat there. Staring and filming the storm, mesmerized by the colour of the sky, while on the other side of the room, the rain was leaking through our lighting fixture!

It was hard to drag to ourselves away from the beach the next day to pack or check out… But thanks to our leaky roof we got an upgrade from our human farm ferry to the hotel’s catamaran.. (Didn’t even have to complain) which meant an extra 45 minutes on the beach.. Keerrr Chiing!! (Hey, we are backpacking, every penny and minute on paradise counts).

We did have to return to Phuket and the GFE* on Bangla Road… Might as well enjoy the delights of Thailand before we head off tomorrow morning on the next chapter of this trip… Japan!

Note to Sai: did see a Bikram Yoga in Phuket, but to be fair, there’s not much one class can do for me with the state I’m in now.. 😮 EEK!

*GFE – girlfriend experience where you pay for a lady friend to act as if she is your girlfriend while you wine and dine her and perhaps take her to a holiday destination. Warning: this may lead to a WE (wife experience) which in turn can easily flow into DE (divorce experience). Enjoy! 🙂

We got ripped off… but hey there’s a beach!

We arrived in Nha trang after our first overnight bus.. Because of Tet (I.e. Chinese New Year) we had to get a sitting bus and pay a ridiculous price for it too! But it was a fun journey. We’d met a couple of girls from Denmark who were doing a similar journey to us. Mid way through the trip, I looked up to see one of the girls was missing and checked whether we were at a stop, but no, we were moving. As my eyes wandered down, there she was splayed out on the floor of the bus.. Not a bad idea to be fair..

It was 5.30am when the bus dropped us off in Nha Trang. After being offered a taxi for $2 to our guesthouse, we realised we were actually a 100m away from it and the taxi driver made a very speedy getaway without any passengers. Cheeky sod!

We woke up the guesthouse owner at the beautiful time of 5.30am! She didn’t actually seem too annoyed to see us… After a few moments, she suggested that we must be very tired and her guests obviously hadn’t checked out for the day, so she would do us a favour and take us to another brand new hotel instead so we could sleep… Hmm, how generous of her… So we walked with her to the new place and it was nice and clean plus available immediately so we accepted to stay there. She said it was the same price and quality as her guesthouse! As the hotel was new, they didn’t serve breakfast, which was included in price we were paying and so she suggested that every morning we walk back to hers for brekkie… Uh… No! I asked for discount instead and got a fabulous $6 per night discount – that’s for both mine AND rishi’s brekkie! That was after full force bartering!!

The new hotel was actually really good. Clean, simple and had the best shower we had so far… But didn’t quite add up to the $45 per night our lady was charging us. We got ready from our slumber to go and discover nha trang in its full sunshine glory and as we left asked the receptionist how much the room rate was… It was $30 per night!! Silly guesthouse lady was charging us 50% extra and the hotel didn’t even know about it!

We confronted her bout ripping us off, so she did what anyone in her situation would do …she called our hotel to shout at them!!… We did eventually come up with a sneaky plan with the hotel which involved us pretending we checked out; but can’t say was too impressed with the service so far (even though the hotel was really helpful, so quick shout out to ‘green peace hotel’)… There are many stories of being ripped off in Vietnam, but this tops them!

Aside from that saga, Nha Trang has a pretty beach (I mean don’t expect the Carribean but its good!)…


And a fabulous spa just outside of town where for $17 each you can go for a luxurious mud bath, have a quick hydrotherapy shower, relax in the baking hot mineral water pool and sit under a mineral water fall…o and then have a 45 minute massage followed by 15 mins in the steam room… Hmm, I can’t think of many better ways to spend a few hours for so cheap!


This part of the trip was purely chilling out on the beach, having the treatments and over eating from the wide choice of food options yet again…. It was so relaxed that we often were asleep by 9! I’m pretty sure I enjoyed 12 hours sleep for both the nights in Nha trang… To be fair I think we deserved it! Lol…

Rishi reading!!! :o I KNOOOO!
It’s a cool location for a break on the north/ south journey… Busy enough to keep you entertained but quiet enough to take a time out… Just don’t expect beaches like the Maldives cos you ain’t gonna get that. So keep that in mind and go visit Nha Trang!