Monday, March 23, 2009

On Visa Run to Ranong

It is funny how after being with the group for a while I have gotten used to it. Today I left the group, which is Dharma, Gabe, Tyler and Sarah, early in the morning because I had to make it all the way to Ranong today. Tomorrow is the last day of my two month visa so I need to go to Myanmar tomorrow to renew the visa. Since the November closing of the airports they only give you 15 days so I'm basically getting this visa so I can travel to Cambodia slower. I want to see the small Ko Chang near here and Ko Panyam, they are said to be small mellow islands that are not so touristy.

I actually liked Ko Phi Phi more than I thought I would. We stayed in a nice guest house up the hill and next to a water reserviour. The manager was a really nice older thai guy from up north that I hung out with the whole first afternoon. I liked him and had fun talking. He could speak good english because he was raised in a church. I guess his family would send him to live with the church during the week from the age 5 to 17, and he is from a hill tribe. The hill tribe was nomatic moving locations and used to grow opium before the Thaksin war on drugs, now they can barely make money with vegitables.

On Phi Phi the first night we went out to the party, which happens every night. It was fun, the first bar had live thai boxing, but you had to drink if you wanted to watch. It was a funny club with boxing, pool tables, and a disco (which played all the hits from the full moon party). After the rain stopped (around midnight) we went to the beach to another club (which was also playing the full moon party hits). That was fun and we all ended up drinking too many buckets. There are so many competing bars on Phi Phi that they try to get you in with free drinks.
Partying on Phi Phi

The next day was a recovery day with some partying on the beach at night. I went to bed kinda early because I wanted to get up and see the island on my last day there. So, I woke up early and went to the viewpoint to see the main beaches at Phi Phi. That was really nice. I was the only one up and went on my own in the early morning before Ty, Sarah and I went on a boat trip to see the islands around and mostly "the Beach" beach, which is maya bay on the small Phi Phi, or Ko Phi Phi Ley.

The Phi Phi viewpoint

The boat trip was interesting. We were in a fleet of longtail boats that do the tour. The old man at the guest house set it up so that we would be on his boat. At first I thought it was strange because there were so many tourists but soon I realized he did set something special up for me. The boat driver couldn't speak much english but invited me to smoke. We went into the longtail boats while we were at a beach and smoked out of the bamboo bong. It was cool just being me and the boat drivers haning out and smoking while everyone else layed on the beach. Then he pulled me aside again at "The Beach" beach. It made me very happy but I was a bit out of it at the end of the day.
Me on the boat with the clear water

froliking in the water with Sarah
Koh Phi Phi Don from Bamboo Island
My boat driver in Maya Bay
Sarah and Tyler on "the beach"

Today I just woke up early and took a boat to Phuket and then a bus up to Ranong. On the bus I
was the only farang which I like but getting off the bus in Ranong the hustle was strong. They know people come here for a visa so they try to get you right off the boat. I think I worked it out fine though and am at a nice guest house with nice workers there, and I set up the boat to get the visa tomorrow. I have pictures and got all the pictures from the whole group yesterday so I'll get them up here. Right now I don't have my camera though, I hope ya'll noticed that I put up old pictures from Chang Mai (from Sarah), and I'll try to get some more pictures up for everyone to enjoy. Peace and Love to all!

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