November 30, 2004
Jody writes:

I'm bowled over by the beauty of Ko Phi Phi. It's like a desert island paradise, but with fifty hotels, noisy bars and ten thousand sunburnt tourists crawling around the place.

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.

posted at 5:51 PM | link


  • Hello again. Uncle Jonty here with a message for Amy. Remember your old school chum Simon Bridger who became a photographer and worked with WENN for a while? Well I bumped into him a week or two ago, because he's working in London with WENN's two former LA bureau hacks, Melaine Bromley and Sophie Vokes Dugeon. I've given him your blog address so he can check out your travels himself. He's also interested in using my bungalow in Bequia as a location shoot - now why didn't I think of thatmyself - and I've sent him a package so he can properly evaluate the possibility. Enjoyed reading your entry today, Jody. It really flowed - and I felt transported to where you were - or maybe it was the mushrooms I had for tea. Needless to say I was brought firmly back down to earth when I got to the bit about you hoping that Amy had finally finished doing her hair. There's some things about women, no matter where in the world they may be, that us men simply have to endure. Lotsaluv, uncle jonty.

    By Blogger Jonathan Ashby, at 11:08 PM  

  • Ahhh... Phi Phi.. I remember... right near our guest house there was a nice italian restaurant called pepe something i think, and it plays episodes of friends all day long. there's also a nice bakery (they do other stuff too) near there, and they show movies in the evenings.

    If you're feeling really adventurous, Phi Phi is where i got my bamboo tattoo...
    (only kidding jackie, malc and nana!)

    make sure you climb up the steps to see the view - it is amazing (but tiring). when al and i did it, there was a massive storm when we got to the top, but it was still really cool.

    so jealous xx

    By Blogger The Berg, at 12:13 PM  

  • Berg - We're just round the corner from that very restaurant - and yes, they're still playing episodes of Friends around the clock! Due to the amount of bars showing illegal copies of films, we've managed to see: 'Bridget Jones - the edge of Reason', 'Shark's tale', 'The Bourne Supremacy' and the last 10 mins of both 'The Beach' and 'Super Size Me' - all in the last three days.

    Yesterday we tried to walk to the viewpoint - but we'd only got half way up when it pissed down with rain and we had to take shelter in this Thai guy's house. His mum looked at us with bemusement as she wandered about in her towel. When it started to thunder, we thought 'sod this' and headed back down again. Maybe we'll try again tomorrow... Love ya xx

    By Blogger Amy, at 2:46 PM  

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Jody and Amy have finished their 10 month adventure around the world, that began Nov 2, 2004, and ended Sep 2, 2005. They're back home in London now, doing normal things, like going to work and drinking tap water. You can see a map of what was their planned route, but we didn't quite follow it.
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