Ko Phi Phi, Thailand
7° 41' N 98° 46' E
May 21, 2007 12:51
Distance 843km

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Text written in: English

Blurry Eyes

I've been back in Thailand now for almost 2 weeks. I came back to meet my mate Mook, who's come down for a couple of weeks break from the stresses and strains of real life. We're now on Ko Phi Phi (pronounced pee pee), an island off the west coast of Thailand, with some of the people I would have mentioned before were it not for various internet difficulties and a permanent fuzzy feeling in my head that I have put down to too much partying. We're here with Gizz (Willem) and Thomas, two Dutch guys I met in Cambodia, and with whom I've been travelling for the past few weeks, along with Dave. Dave's a Dubliner who could talk for his country, and mine, and half of Europe while he's at it. We've become really good friends, largely due to our mutual love for football and music, but also thanks to an uncanny ability to continue any conversation until we're told to leave It's great being able to have a proper conversation about music with someone who knows what they're talking about.

Since Mook has quite a limited time here we decided to fly down to the south from Bangkok - the first internal flight I've taken on my travels, and I have to say it is very comfortable and quick. It sounds like I'm stating the bleeding obvious but I do have to find some way of justifying the extra expense to myself. Not only that but we then got a speedboat from the mainland to this island to avoid waiting four hours at a particulalry quiet harbour. This is what is known as flashpacking, and every now and then one should indulge oneself and feel slick. The speedboat was great, zinging across the waves, zooming past fishing trawlers and humiliating any other slower vessels.

 In Bangkok we were all together - along with another English guy, Deano - playing pool and drinking until our livers stopped complaining, but once we got to the island it became obvious that the Dutch lads had different ideas to us three as to what they wanted to do. We've therefore split off into 2 groups, meeting up briefly every now and then. Mook, Dave and I have therefore been passing the time drinking and smoking on the beach and playing pool. There's not really much to do on this island other than that. Immediately on arrival at the island we found our bar. The fact that it was the closest to the harbour had nothing to do with it. It's made completely of bamboo, with flags and bandanas flying all over it. The colours covering it and the music blaring from it are heavily reggae-based. The flag of Bob Marley takes pride of place at the front of the bar, and the classics from Legend are equally prominent. This seems to be a theme running through the whole island, as every bar in the area plays a bit of Bob every time you walk past. It's everywhere! It's nearly, nearly making me sick of Bob. Blasphemous, I know, but this is serious over-playing. To give an impression of the atmosphere here I will try to paint you a picture. The island itself is like two small land masses joined east to west by a small strip. This small strip is where the civilisation lies. And oh, what civilisation. The island was ravaged by the tsunami a couple of years back, and the evidence of that is all around. There is driftwood washed up on parts of the beach, there's building work going on everywhere, there's an area that hasn't been cleared at all by the looks of it - it's black with silt and mud, with bits of foliage, litter, broken wood and the rest of the general detritus from when the wave left this island. Every building available has been turned into a guest house, or internet cafe, or convenience store, restaurant or bar. Tourism is the way to finance the rebuilding of the island, and the type of tourist attracted here seems different to that which I had expected. Here the drinkers rule. Most of the bars cater for the school-leavers and rugby clubs, selling buckets of whiskey cocktails at 400 baht, and playing their blend of r&b hip-pop, cheesy rock-pop and housey dance-pop louder than their speakers can manage. Being in there is as I'd imagine parts of the Costa Del Sol - loud Brits enjoying the meat-market. Sat here at 19:00 I could here U2 competing with the Scissor Sisters for my attention by each trying to blast my eardrums into submission. Now, I'm not exactly a prude, but hopefully I've given an idea as to why I so enjoy our reggae bar by the beach.

To be perfectly honest, alot of the past few weeks has been a blur. I blame the alcohol that has forced its' way into my bloodstream. The other day we took a picture of the wind, for God's sake.

Photos / videos of "Blurry Eyes":

Looking cool in the back of a jeep A quiet, complentative moment...on a speedboat Flashpacking is the ONLY way to travel Mook and Dave with the wind Scary stuff this 'tropical storm' lark Our bar Quite a view Sunset scenes Altogether now... aawwwwwww