Actually it's not that bad. From the snobby Lonely Planet guidebook, I expected it to be totally ruined like the beaches of Cyprus, but there's not even a McDonalds here (but just wait a few years - there's a lot of construction working going on).
Phi Phi is much smaller than I thought it would be and for those who haven't seen a map of the island, it's an odd shape - as if it's been pinched in the middle where the main tourist area is, with higher land to either side. Walking between the two beaches on the North and South of the island only takes five minutes, which is quite novel. Amy and I have settled on the chilled-out North beach, eating Pad Thai in the restaurant there and drinking fruit shakes (fruit liquidised with tap water ice - we haven't caught dysentery yet, but give us time).
As you travel closer to the sea in Thailand, two things happen: costs rocket and the manners of Thai people plummet. We tried to buy food from a street vendor last night, but he was so uninterested in the trade that he turned his back on us until we left. Even in big 'ol Bangkok, the locals treat you with the upmost courtesy (true, they rip you off as soon as look at you, but at least they do it with a smile). Thankfully, rude locals are still very much in the minority and most of the people we've met have been helpful.
What have we been up to? Not much really. We've been spread out on the beach, reading books and occasionally strolling out for a paddle. We may move to another part of the island in a few days, but we've only been here a day and are both quite happy. Our current room on Phi Phi opens out onto an alley that's home to a legion of stray cats. We end up wading shin-deep in writhing fur whenever we open the door.
Tomorrow, we're sailing off for another island tour and cave visit and are currently trying to decide where we'll be for the King's birthday on Sunday December 5. The King is much loved here. In fact, I think that anything short of total adoration for the King is classed as treason, punishable by death. Pictures of him and his lovely Queen hang in streets, houses and taxis. Long may he reign!
I'm currently in an internet cafe next to a bar that plays The Beach on loop all day (it was filmed here). Just thought I'd add that for atmosphere. I shall now return to our room to see if Amy has finished doing her hair so that we can go and explore the East of the island before sun sets.