After talking to the Canadian and looking at my guidebook, I had gone to sleep convinced I would be heading to Railay beach as my first stop on the island circuit. For reasons I cannot quite pin down, I woke up envisioning myself in Koh Phi Phi instead. The conveniences and flexibility of traveling solo never seem to end. If I told a traveling partner about my last minute decision, they would have been through a whirlwind. Hopefully, Koh Phi Phi brings a trip into the deep waters for a scuba diving adventure for some world class views of unique marine life. After an hour and a half on the boat, mostly in mid-bobbing sleep, I was in the bay of Koh Phi Phi staring at the heavily vegetated limestone karst cliffs wrapping around the island’s shoreline with water that could only be described as crystal, ethereal blue with just a tint of green. The island of Koh Phi Phi Don reminds me of butterfly wings with a narrow strip of beach connecting the two outstretching wings. I joined a German guy I met the night before at my hostel who happened to be going to Koh Phi Phi as well as, along with a German girl he knew from earlier, in search of accommodation. Eventually they settled on a guesthouse while I got stuck into the most expensive dorm room in Thailand yet. I learned a quick lesson that Southern Thailand will be bleeding my pocket quicker than anywhere else in Southeast Asia. The three of us went to the main beach to soak in the sun and relax in the shallow clear waters of the Andaman Sea. Staying on an island with the idea of unwinding is polar opposite to all that I know with traveling. Most of the time I am always on the go with the goal to see the next historic city or place and not trying to slow down. After the sun set and we ate some expensive, overpriced Pad Thai and a coconut donut to round things out, we watched a fire, rave show that can be best likened to a seizure light show with men playing with fire and music blasting to the point that no matter where you stood on the island some form of the sound waves would reach you. After that became too much, we completed the night by sitting on the beach chatting away as the waves continued to lap up onto shore with the oncoming high tide and beautiful cast of stars shining from above. As much as I like the scenery of Koh Phi Phi I am a bit turned off by how much of a resort destination it is. Besides the dirt and shamble of the alleys, you can easily picture yourself somewhere in the Mediterranean with all the white people walking around and the constant American music sifting through the airways.
Side Note: I know I shouldn’t be complaining about this because most people would gladly accept the position I am in but I am getting tired of always be on edge. This trip is not a vacation but rather traveling. I am always worrying about where my next dollar is going, concerned about my overall budget, which has prevented me from enjoying the moment at times. I am always price checking, always researching travel recommendations, judging where I should place my money. It is a sickness I need to get over but I can’t help feel this way when I always feel like a target in these countries, a bright green dollar sign hovering over my head.