Frenetic, overdeveloped and overrun with tourists, Koh Phi Phi was the complete opposite of Koh Rong. Because my stamina for staying up isn’t what it once was, it wasn’t really my kind of place but once there, I found myself enjoying it for what it was.
Being a party island, I’d anticipated Koh Phi Phi to be teeming with drunken Australians; much like the parts of Thailand I’d visited three years ago. But strangely enough, I encountered very few Australians over the course of that month. Presumably most had returned home at the start of the month to go to university.
The tourist contingent in Thailand was predominantly comprised of people from England – some of whom could only be described as chavs – but this I didn’t mind. It’s not that I don’t like Australians but I can’t help but feel that there is something very boring about constantly running into your own country people when you are travelling.
I mostly hung out with a cool English girl, Katie, in Phi Phi and at night, we hung out with a group of guys from our hostel. Some of them were pretty chavvy, but they were easy going and even if not always intentionally so, pretty funny.
One guy was particularly memorable for spending his entire time on Phi Phi drinking to excess, which culminated in an unfortunate penis tattoo on his thigh one night. Some of the drunken things he used to say before falling asleep were priceless. Returning to our dorm late one night, I remember sitting on my bed, trying to shut the door with a broom and his response to this, naturally, was to start slurring, “Wingardium Leviosa!” at a volume loud enough to wake everyone in the room.
The only other non-English person in the group was an Australian guy, Dean, who I found attractive. This might sound hypocritical given my well documented dislike of Australian tourists. But I liked him – he was easy to talk to and laid back. Going by some of the disparaging comments he made about bogans in Phuket, I think it’s fair to say he was even more anti-Australian than me. Which, I suppose, makes it all the more strange that on an island full of Brits, the two of us got together.
As far as these things go, it was a pretty natural progression of events. I think we both realised there was a mutual attraction early on but it never felt like either one of us actively pursued the other. I had one last night on the island and stayed up to talk with him after everyone else had gone to bed. We kissed and he then asked me if I wanted to go into his dorm. I wasn’t so keen on this idea and suggested using the shower instead. It was a little uncomfortable lying down in the cubicle; I would have preferred to have stood up, but the sex was alright.
The next day, Katie and I left for Tonsai, a small town on the mainland which is only accessible by ferry. As we soon discovered, getting there was no easy feat. Because it was low tide, we were asked to wade about fifty metres into the sea. I’m not sure why they couldn’t have timed it better because we then waited for what seemed like a very long time for them to bring the boat to us. Like everyone else, I was a bit paranoid that my backpack would get wet.
But standing mid-thigh in the sea against the dark backdrop of the sky, I almost felt like it could have been a scene out of The Beach. I had to admit it was pretty cool.