Three Stories from Ao Nang and Koh Phi Phi
A cave like no other
For one of our days in Ao Nang myself, Dod and Matty decided to take a boat trip around to Railay bay. We snorkelled, climbed up through an incredible cave and lounged in clear blue waters whilst enjoying some beautiful scenery. A stunning day made only more memorable when we stumbled across a cave full of dicks. They were mostly wooden, all different shapes and sizes, in every colour of the rainbow and displayed in a sort of shrine like way. I knew Thailand was a very sexual country but I wasn't expecting to stumble across anything like this! Eventually we found out that the cave is actually dedicated to the spirit princess "Phallus of Shiva" and people donate their phallic offerings to her in favour of increasing fertility in the area. I'm assuming it's an ancient tradition, considering there wasn't a scrotum in sight. Whatever the case it was a cave cum shrine (pardon the pun) like no other!
Known for it's nightlife, Phi Phi doesn't have an awful lot to offer during the day aside from a half decent fry up and it's gorgeous stretch of beach to lounge on. One of the few things you can do is hire a kayak and boat around the mountain to Monkey Beach. With me in the middle, and Dod and Matts at either end we set off on the some of the bluest waters I've ever seen. The ride only took about 15 minutes but it was a beautiful way to view the Island from an alternative perspective. We parked our kayak and walked up into the forest to spy some monkeys. As you'd expect from 'Monkey Beach' there were loads of them, and luckily for us a fair few infants who were fascinating to watch play together. I was expecting the beach to be a lot more crowded with people getting too close but it seemed most people were paying plenty of respect to the monkeys and their habitat. But of course there's always one. After taking 100 or more selfies of him and the monkeys this guy began to taunt one of the dominant males. What an idiot is all I can say. He was pretty much acting like a baboon himself bouncing around and shouting at this poor monkey all because it snarled at him when he got too close. It was amazing to watch this monkey warn him off and take total control of the situation. The guy might have been acting tough in front of everyone but you could see who was really in charge. Although it was horrible to watch it was a great example of how important it is to respect animals in their natural habitat. We spent the rest of our time there lounging in a shore so clear I could see the hair on Dod's toes, then rowed back around for another night of Phi Phi madness!
Sunrise for a selfie
Phi Phi Island is one of the smaller islands but none the less crowded and packed full of bars, shops and delicious restaurants. For our last morning on the Island myself and Dod decided to climb to the viewpoint for sunrise (leaving a sleepy Matty in bed). We trekked up a steep muddy pathway for around 15 minutes making it to the top just in time to see the big bright orange thing peeping over the mountain. It was gorgeous to watch, and also made us realise just how tiny the island really is. It's shaped like a bendy version of the letter 'I'; mountainous hills either side of a curved strip lined with beach and bars. Phi Phi was one of the worst hit by the tsunami in 2004, it's crazy to think how quickly it's been built back up in such a short space of time. Every piece of land possible is filled with small touristic businesses. After sitting for a little while we decided to grab a coffee from the cafe and do some good old 'people-watching'. We renamed the view point 'selfie-point' because nobody seemed to actually be viewing anything. One guy was on face-time to someone for the entire time he was up there, another girl was performing yoga moves whilst her friend took about a million photographs of her and the other 10-15 people just stood with their back to the view taking selfies and then left. Fantastic entertainment for 6.30am!