Next stop in our Southeast Asia trip – Thailand. We are not a big city people, those high skyscrapers never interested us; we preferred scenery and we picked two islands in Thailand: Phi Phi and Koh Samui. The gateway to Phi Phi is either Phuket or Krabi so we flew from Siem Reap to Phuket due to the price and schedule. Our flight was originally scheduled to arrive at 10:05 AM so I booked the 12:20 PM ferry but just a week prior to our trip, we got a notification from AirAsia that our flight will be arriving at 11 instead due to the runway work at Phuket Airport. I contacted Phuket Ferry (Liva Travel) and their customer service was astonishing! I was able to use the website chat to let them know about the change and the representative changed our ferry to the 1:30 PM ferry with a minimal change fee, the process was very fast! I wish all customer services are that easy and pain-free!! I highly recommend booking the ferry through them: Phuket Ferry.
Phuket Airport was a zoo, I have never seen so many lines through immigration before and the lines moved like a snail. It took us an hour to get through yikes! After immigration, there are ATM machines where I took out 10,000 Baht for our tours and expenses. Once we got out of the airport, we found our transfer which I booked through Phuket Ferry as well. There was a little bit of wait for our driver…urg their logistics was not as efficient as their customer service. Our driver finally arrived with this luxurious and comfortable van; it was a huge contrast to the old vans in Siem Reap. Our driver was driving like crazy and got us to the ferry pier in less than 50 minutes (Google Maps estimated 1 hour) and we made it for our 1:30 PM ferry to Phi Phi. The cabin inside the ferry was freezing cold OMG to a point that we had to walk out of the cabin to warm up by the sun. Jason caught a cold or stomach virus during that cold ferry ride 🙁
Once we arrived Phi Phi Tonsai Pier, our hotel: Phi Phi Harbour View Hotel was only minutes walk from the pier. Note that there is a bank right across the street from the hotel, if I know this earlier, I wouldn’t need to take out as much cash from the airport. We picked this hotel due to the location and it was newly built so the rooms were quite modern. Our room was right across from Sokunna’s, you can see her waving her hand to me:
The one thing I don’t like about the hotel is the see-through restroom so if you forgot to close the shades, your neighbor across from you can potentially see you :O
We were super hungry so once we settled down, we walked out for lunch. Our plan was to Anna’s Restaurant but it was already closed for lunch so urg the guy said the Italian restaurant at the beginning of the start is open all day. Italian food in Thailand hum….we went to look at the menu and luckily they have Thai food!
Typically shopping street in Phi Phi Don and I noticed every block there’s a 7 Eleven!
Brian was super happy to order a calzone; he hasn’t had Western food for a week LOL! Italiano Bar and Restaurant, the atmosphere was very island like relaxation but careful not to lie your back on the couch, Jason noticed bugs and ants in there!
Jason ordered a seafood fried rice, finally, an edible fried rice after those bad ones in Cambodia!
I had basil leaves stir-fried with beef, it was spicy and good! Oh, how I miss spicy food! Our smoothies were cheap and good as well.
After the late lunch, we had our long walk to the Phi Phi viewpoints by following the map from our hotel. Let me tell you, Google Maps is not accurate in Phi Phi Don island, it doesn’t have all the side streets! The elephant lamp posts were very cute!
There were signs for Phi Phi Viewpoints until the road started to go up the mountain and that was incorrect! We turned left to what it looked like a hotel (motel) and a nice old guy came out and pointed us the right way to the viewpoint. You’ll need to walk around this pond and tons of mosquitoes so make sure you have a good insect repellent! I use the brand – Moustidose that I learned about in Bora Bora and it worked so well that I looked everywhere and found a website from the UK that’ll ship to the USA. Here’s the link: https://www.cocooncenter.co.uk/moustidose-repellent-milk-family-sensitive-skin-all-areas-125ml/15245.html
It was a long walk around to get to another populated area in the island and then it started the staircase to go up and up….it was so humid that we were sweating so make sure you carry water with you for this hike!
Once we get to the first viewpoint, we paid the admission fee, it was like 20 Baht. At the first viewpoint, you couldn’t see the “beach” yet so we continued up to Viewpoint 2.
Another 10 minutes or so of stairs, we got up to Viewpoint 2; that’s where the postcard pictures were taken. There’s a wooden platform and it was filled with tourists. When we reached the Viewpoint 2, a girl approached us and said that her cellphone ran out of battery! She asked if we can take photos of her at the viewpoint and email her. Poor her, climbed all the way up and ran out of battery; we always carry a backup battery brick. The view at Viewpoint 2 was well worth the sweaty hike but unfortunately, the weather was not good so we didn’t have much hope for a sunset 🙁
People left so we were able to get some space on the platform:
There is a Viewpoint 3 but I read that the view is not much of a difference so it’s not worth the extra hike to get up. We stayed at the platform since we have our space to wait for the sunset, although not much hope. As sunset approaching, the whole atmosphere turned to this gloomy yellow color.
Before we headed down after the sunset, we walked to this beautiful blooming tree for a photo.
On our walk down and we constantly heard thunder noises, we made it down and luckily no rain. The island became lively at night with restaurants, shops, and of course bars and clubs. Since it was dark, it was hard to find the street sign to know where we are on the map so it took us a while to get out of this mini-maze xD
Finally, we found our way back to Anna’s Restaurant and we got a table almost immediately. Our dinner; Sokunna and family went back to the hotel to rest and skipped dinner. I also bought a bag of logans when we passed by a mini-mart. We ordered the curry and sizzling seafood plate.
Cash is the king in Phi Phi, restaurants usually don’t accept credit card unless you dine at a high-end restaurant. I don’t even remember the cost of our dinner but it was very cheap! After dinner, we walked back to our hotel and had some logans; they weren’t as sweet and juicy as I hoped for. Goodnight Phi Phi!