Coming to you live from Phi Phi Island at the moment, where the weather is fine, and I am friggin' sunburnt. Blackfella genes, my moom! Here for four nights, and at the moment, I'm figuring out how best to spend them. But before I get into that, I'd better do a slight rewind.
Anyone who caught my status updates a couple of days ago knows that I found Patong Beach (Phuket) to be a bit of a trial. Everyone knows that it's a party destination, and everyone knows that it is also a sex tourism destination. Having this knowledge though does not make it less confronting when you get there (at least, it didn't in my case). But for mine, it's wasn't the constant stream of gorgeous Thai Princesses showing a bit of rack (or the pouty princes) and luring you into the bars with a flutter of their eyelashes. No, it was the pervy, viagra set that were floating about, just freely groping these women and men as if they had a right, then pretty much falling over. I just wanted to belt them all, and when I asked one of the girls working at the bar why they just don't kick these drunken pigs out, she just said "because of the money". Patong Beach: probably not the ideal place for a hard-core feminist to visit. I was also about 10 seconds away from telling a bloke trying to sell me a ping pong show ticket that perhaps he should try shooting a ping pong out of his own bits and see if he can sell tickets to that... But Patong was not all bad. For one, I ended up having a wonderful night out when I fronted to a random bar and spent a couple of hours playing pool with the gals working there (I got my arse more than kicked). I also thought the town itself was picture postcard stuff, and whilst there I decided to treat myself to a deluxe pamper package which was just brilliant. So despite it all, I left Patong feeling amazing, and now that I have been, I know it's just not my 80 baht Smirnoff...
Caught the ferry over to Phi Phi yesterday, and it is here where I realised I had made an error of judgment. When I got to the hotel, I worked out that it was a 2hour walk away from the main area of Phi Phi, and not only that, the clientele where mainly older couples and honeymooners. Blech. I just was not in the mood for watching Loved-up types slobber all over eachother, and so after spending an incredibly boring night in (although I had discovered the best green curry ever in a little place out there), I caught the shuttle service this morning to Ton Sai, found myself a fleebagger, and checked in for the night so I can at least get some of the pulse here. Hell, I might just decide to make it two nights! So effectively, the "crazy" part is that I have paid for two hotel rooms, and my suitcase is sleeping in one of them because I cannot be bothered going back at this point and checking out of the room (plus, to get a long tail boat there and back would cost me more than the room I have just paid for anyway). I'm here for the next three nights, so I will just play it all by ear and see how I'm feeling after a complete lack of sleep tonight. Fire-twirling by the beach it is!
So today, I have bought stuff, I climbed to the viewpoints and I saw the Tsunami path of 2004. Also, I forgot to mention that yesterday, I walked to Phi Phi Village where I saw the Woodridge School (and was given cheek from some kids there through the fence!), the Tsunami warning tower, and some extraordinary destruction that had not yet been rectified post-Tsunami. Phi Phi is absolute paradise, but it is also incredibly poverty-stricken, and I would recommend that anyone who does visit here makes the time to go out and see the village. It had a real effect on me.
Ciao for niao