The girls say cheese in Koh Tao
Fire show, Koh Tao
Fire show, Koh Tao
I can’t say much about Koh Tao as I was only there for two half days and one night. What I do know is that it’s renowned for its cheap diving and so Orna opted for two days under water. However due to the price, the diving spots are more crowded there than in Koh Phi Phi and the waters more polluted from boats. Apparently the higher price is worth it in Koh Phi Phi for less crowding and better sights (Orna’s opinion).
My time on Koh Tao was spent roaming through pedestrian streets, dinner and sunset by the beach, another beach fire show, and a dip in the sea. The fire show was headed by a young teen who was amazing. The dip in the water ended in a downpour thus getting clothes and bags soaked and needing to borrow a towel and get changed in the tourist information centre across the road from the bungalow we had checked out of earlier in the day.
The island was still in low season when we were there but seemed like it could have a cool vibe in high season and if we had more time to explore.
What I knew about Koh Phi Phi before going:
1. Party island
2. No cars
3. Maya Bay (where ‘The Beach’ was filmed)
What I know now:
1. Partying on the beach with buckets of alcohol and fire throwers as entertainment
2. No cars except the Policeman’s scooter and a mini pickup truck to transport bricks
3. Maya Bay’s gorgeous tropical water and soft sand
4. Locals cycle everywhere dodging each other and you by the hair on your leg with grace
5. Your rucksack can be transported from one side to the other via large trolley
6. Small pedestrian lanes lined with shops and filled with people are the main streets
7. Gorgeous viewpoint to watch sunset from
8. Great place to bump into friends from home
9. Nice Thai food, and cheese, ham and tomato pancakes
10. Apparently great place to dive even though it’s more expensive than Koh Tao
11. Knowing the tides is quite important so that you don’t get to the beach when the tide is fully out and rocks are all you can see
Koh Phi Phi streets
Koh Phi Phi was a pleasant surprise. We had been told about the islands being party-party but found that you can find what you’re looking for almost everywhere. The thing that struck me the most was that the narrow pedestrian streets with shops, restaurants, and hostels just never ended. That was Tonsai village and nothing else. So when we paid our twenty baht (tourists pay this to help keep the island clean), avoided the local hagglers and the girls followed my stubborn ass beyond the first hostel offers, we found ourself in a private room on the other side of the town close to the beach and the viewpoint.