PHI PHI

From Krabi to Phuket we came across the Island of Phi Phi. With a ferry ⛴️

There were several options to reach our final destination. As we already did aeroplane and I had no intention of sitting on a bus for 13 or more hours we opted for a ferry. It was cheaper (around 10 bucks) and fastest option (2 hour ride). We watched a TV movie in an AC space while comfortably sitting hoping we won’t sink. You never know, right?

Klong Jirad pier in Krabi

With a length of 5 miles and width of 2,2 Ko Phi Phi Don is the largest island in the Phi Phi archipelago.

Tonsai pier in Phi Phi

Like the other islands in the archipelago is a non-volcanic island largely made of limestone. It’s almost separated into two islands, with a strand of flat land that connects them. Here lies the largest settlement on the island, as well as most of the resorts, bungalows, bars, restaurants and shops.

The island is a part of Krabi province, and majority of the inhabitants are in the tourism business and they are registered residents elsewhere in Thailand.

Making friends wherever we go 🙂

Although on a tourist map for over couple of decades, the island became extremely popular after Alex Garland’s book and a movie The Beach. You all remember that, right?

Image result for the beach movie

At first just a fisherman’s village that turned out to be a coconut plantation, the island soon became backpackers heaven for everybody that wanted a bit of cheep food and fun.

In the past twenty years the island and the whole archipelago has visited little less than a billion tourists. Each of them leaving it’s own shitty footprint. Like, literally.

Our room in the JJ Bungalow

The island is struggling with the solid waste and lack of water in the peak of season, and during the period of low rainfall.

Water tanks

No rain means, dry freshwater ponds, which means no water on the island. That leads to digging wells for the ground water which than leads to lowering the water table.

Long story short: the island’s water treatment plant cannot handle the volume of waste water generated, meaning that excess untreated waste water is flushed into the sea where it also contaminates groundwater.

Wastewater collection garden (smells like shit, because, yeah…shit)

Maya bay is already closed for the visitors, due to the devastation of the local ecosystem, so the local authorities recommended the number of visitors be limited to at least 27 000 people per day.

Wastewater pond

We’ll see how that goes.

Island tax

For now there’s a small island tax that helps the trash be transported to the mainland.

City center by the Tonsai pier in Phi Phi

I’m not super happy for leaving my shitty trace on the island but I’m sure we would never go back. I mean, the island is no longer the same and it’s definitely not my cup of tea.

Phi Phi is basically the Thai version of Ibiza.

Beach party bar

The only good side of the island that we have enjoyed was the viewpoint sunset and the food.

It was not even good for swimming, because the low and the high tide changing every six hours are so drastic that even the longtail boats set their tame table accordingly.

Low tide aroun noon

During our stay in Thailand we were surprised by the wet moon (Cheshire moon) in Bangkok and weird low and high tide changes.

Cheshire moon in Bangkok

So, late morning in Krabi meant high tide, while Phi Phi had a low tide before noon. Weird. And crazy. And useless for swimming.

Not even pleasant for walking as it was full of sand snakes or worms. I still haven’t found out what they were. Ugh

The best way to spend the day in the case of low tide is – the pool. With a nice cocktail bucket 🙂

Buckets

The first evening that we’ve arrived, we decided to climb the highest point on the island to view the sunset.

Together with dozens of other people, followed by mosquitoes we have enjoyed the warm, humid evening, climbing the actual tsunami evacuation route 🙂

The island was hit by the devastating tsunami wave in 2004 and this is how it looked immediately afterwards.

The view on the island immediately after the tsunami in 2004

Thousands of people have died, even more were injured and there are still some missing.

The view today
The crowd waiting for the sunset
He didn’t mind the sunset hustle 🙂

Thanks to the prosperous economy and the help of the government, the island came back better than ever, and it’s looking good. Minus the lousy infrastructure that can’t handle such a big number of tourists. That brings money. And so, the circle of life continues.

Just like our daily circle of eating. In the morning, for lunch, dinner and in between 🙂

It wasn’t fine dining nor some super exclusive food on the island, the prices are way more expensive than on the mainland, but the cocktails – abundant. Just like we like 🙂

We discovered a cute restaurant with a cute name (Garlic) and even cuter interior.

Garlic 1992 restaurant

The restaurant was severely destroyed in a fire couple of years ago, and last Valentine’s Day they had a big opening. Of the non-restored restaurant. Genius!

Therefore, by eating there you’re helping them to survive and hopefully restore the interior because it looks like this:

I hope that we had helped them by eating there, and we ate well, so it was a win win situation 🙂

Chicken soup with noodles
Breakfast of the champions
Only noodles

The rest of the delicious dishes we had while on the island, before heading further west, to Phuket!

Banana roti

 

PHI PHI OTOK

Od Krabija do Phuketa došli smo preko Phi Phija. Trajektom 🙂

Klong Jilad dok u Krabiju

U obzir su dolazili avion (već doživljeno na putu iz Bangkoka) ili bus (13 sati s jednog kraja na drugi? Neka hvala). Trajekt se pokazao kao najudobnija i najbrža opcija za nekih sitno novaca (cc 80ak kuna). Ako ne računamo kašnjenje u polasku trebalo nam je oko 2 sata vožnje ili taman da pogledamo TV film.

Tonsai dok na Phi Phiju. Prtljaga se parkira na krmi 🙂

Ko Phi Phi Don najveći je otok u istoimenom arhipelagu na Tajlandu. Dužina otoka je oko osam kilometara dok na najširem dijelu broji oko tri i pol kilometra.

Otokom prometuju samo kolica 🙂

Poput drugih otoka u arhipelagu, Phi Phi je većinom vapnenačkog podrijetla i gotovo je podijeljen na dva dijela, s pješčanim sprudom koji ih povezuje i koji je zapravo dom brojnim apartmanima, resortima, restoranima i trgovinama.

Otok leži pod upravom Krabi provincije, a većina stanovništva zapravo nisu starosjedioci, već sezonski turistički radnici s prebivalištem negdje drugdje na Tajlandu.

Iako na turističkoj karti već desetljećima, otok je postao ekstremno popularan nakon ekranizacije Garlandove knjige Plaža. Ono kad Leonardo govori hrvatskosrpski? Sigurno se sjećate se toga.

Balkončić našeg bungalova

Ono što je isprva bilo ribarsko selo i plantaža kokosa, ubrzo je postalo raj za bekpekere i mlađariju željne jeftine cuge i nezaboravnog provoda.

U posljednjih dvadesetak godina od izlaska filma otok i arhipelag je posjetilo nešto manje od bilijun turista. Svatko od njih ostavio je svoj usrani footprint. Doslovce. Otok se bori s nestašicom vode u mjesecima najviše posjete turista, taman onda kad ionako ništa kiše ne pada. Ionako loša infrastruktura ne može podnijeti taj napor pa se sve otpadne vode slijevaju u more i zagađuju podmorje.

Vrt gdje se skupljaju otpadne vode. Zelenilo buja od prirodnog gnojiva 🙂

Maya bay je ionako već zatvorena za posjetitelje jer su koraljni grebeni uništeni, a lokalna vlast predlaže restrikciju turista na najviše 27 000 posjetitelja po danu. Vidjet ćemo kako će im to poći za rukom.

Ljudi turisti

Za sad lokaci ubiru jednokratni porez od turista koji se potom koristi za naplatu firmi koje odvoze otpad s otoka na kopno.

Nisam presretna što smo svojim boravkom doprinijeli zagađenju i svakako se nećemo ikad više vratiti. Uostalom, to više nije ribarski otok kakav je bio ili kakav bi nam se svidio.

Sitnice koje uljepšaju dan

Otok je Tajlandska verzija Zrća. Kužite sve.

I sve majmuni okolo 🙂

Jedina dobra strana otoka bio je pogled s vrha brda i lokalna hrana. Čak nije bilo ni za kupanje, jer se plima i oseka izmjenjuju četiri puta dnevno i to drastično. Toliko drastično da se isplovljavanje i uplovljavanje longtail brodova ravna prema tome.

Ono što nas je iznenadilo, između mnogo toga, bio je nelogična ili nevjerojatna izmjena plime i oseke. Znači u Krabiju bi dan ujutro počeo s plimom i onda osekom ranije popodne, dok je na Phi Phiju bilo obrnuto.

Mi se spremili za plažu i došli na nasukanu obalu. Nemaš se gdje namočiti, kamoli okupati.

I sve je bilo puno malih pješčanih glista kojih sam se gnjušala.

Vratili smo se na bazen, gdje smo ubili jednu kanticu koktela i oba oka 🙂

Topla, vlažna prva večer bila je savršena za penjanje na vidikovac iznad grada. Praćeni rijekom ljudi i komaraca, penjali smo se jedan za drugim uskim stepenicama do drugog vidikovca odakle se pružao divan pogled na cijeli otok i zalazak sunca.

Izlazak sunca bi bio daleko pogodniji za fotkanje jer bi otok bio obasjan, a ne u sjeni, ali tko bi se dizao u cik zore zbog toga. Tko bi se dizao u cik zore, generalno?

Do vidikovca se zapravo dolazi evakuacijskom rutom u slučaju tsunamija, što vam ne bi baš puno pomoglo jer su ulice tako uske da bi bilo mrtvih već po putu.

Ovako je izgledao pogled s istog mjesta prije petnaest godina.

Inače, prilikom katastrofalnog tsunamija 2004. godine oko tisuće ljudi je smrtno stradalo, a gotovo cijeli otok je bio uništen.

Zahvaljujući snažnoj ekonomiji i vladinoj potpori, otok se poprilično brzo vratio na noge i sad je bolje nego ikad. Minus i dalje loša infrastruktura koja ne može podnijet ogromnu količinu turista. Koji donose novac. I tako u krug.

Baš kao i mi kad je bila u pitanju hrana.

Juha od piletine s rezancima, proljetne rolice, salata od zelene papaje i litarski koktel u Češnjaku

Jeli ujutro, jeli popodne, jeli navečer. I tako u krug. Dan za danom 🙂

Nismo se ekskluzivno najedali, ali nije da smo loše jeli. Cijene su bile daleko skuplje nego na kopnu, ali ponuda koktela u kanticama – neprocjenjiva 🙂

Jednu ovakvu donije smo doma. Praznu doduše 🙂

Otkrili smo simpatičan restoran, zgodnog imena (Češnjak) i još zgodnijeg interijera.

Restoran je prije par godina stradao u požaru, a grand otvorenje imali su prošle godine na Valentinovo. Znači prije godinu dana.

Još uvijek nisu uspjeli sanirati štetu ili barem obnoviti uništeno. Sa svakim novim danom, novim gostom, novom porcijom jela trude se pokrpati financijske rupe i streme naprijed.

Valjda. Nadam se 🙂

Ili to ili se ubijaju u svojim koktelima iz kantica i prženoj riži s ananasom.

Znamo da mi bi 🙂

Žuti curry
Banana roti

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