So as a hapless backpacker who stumbled onto a little island in southern Thailand called Koh phi phi, after spending a night freezing our nuts off in the Siberian McDonald’s air con almost a year ago, I could not of known what an adventure it would be and adventures it would lead me to.
Phi Phi is like the lover you’d never want to introduce to your parents. The one that everyone warns you about, the one that probably rides a motorbike and has a criminal record, the one that can get you into kinds of trouble you never even knew existed before – and the one you just can’t stay away from. What was supposed to be a few days turned into ten months of dancing barefoot on beaches, falling barefoot off tables (thank you relax bar), falling barefoot down stairs, five stitches in my forehead, half a front tooth smashed out, gallons of alcohol, litres of body paint, more glitter then a party at tinkerbells’ and about 50 random tattoos. I’ve been in love and out of love, laughed till I cried and cried bitter tears until there wasn’t a single one left in me. I’ve seen the beautiful, the ugly and everything in between, the best and the worst – in others and in myself.
Spending nearly a year on a beautiful little island of sin where the only rule is that there are none will change a person. Seriously Phi Phi will bring out sides of you that you didn’t even know were there. I’ve done things that I look back on now and the only words that come to mind are “Jesus Christ!” (And then “please forgive me” as an afterthought occasionally) and I’ve had fellow beautiful partners in crime that I know will be compadres for life. But as in all walks of life the good and the bad thrive and I’ve had the experience of coming across those ugly souls that live on Phi Phi for all the wrong reasons. Living a life without limits is a double edged sword and Phi Phi opens the door for you to do things you know aren’t right that you probably wouldn’t do in other environments and also allows the inherently bad to get away with things that in any western country you’d do time for, things that leave scars on your soul and some of these things have made me hate the island as much as a love it at times.
That said, Phi Phi has given me the ride of my life and I know that it’s changed me, broadened, twisted, scrunched up, added a splash of colour and smoothed out many bits of who I was before. And I’m so glad to have had the chance to come now – despite being some hectic party place Phi Phi is still relatively undeveloped. And that’s how it should stay, I don’t think there was a workers heart that didn’t sink when we saw the sign for a Starbucks going up. As much as Lady Phi Phi is wild and has done things that have made me want to kick her in the face I am, we all are, fiercely in love with her too. She is wild, unpredictable and sometimes frankly dangerous, but for all the hair raising antics of the night, the next day the sun will wash away the dramas and with a short walk you can find yourself a quiet spot of beach and let the island hold you, heal you, and give you a cracking tan.
I felt many things as I sailed away on the yacht that will take me onto my next adventure… Alot of nausea as it was 7 in the morning and I’d spent the last night charging round the island with a bucket dressed as a dominatrix.. but also a sense of peace, almost a metaphorical smile and nod to an old friend that knows .I will miss all of the wonderful friends I’ve made from all over the world for however long or short a time they were in the crazy playing field, and I’d like to thank all of the extra special ones for helping me, loving me, making me smile. My doors are always open to all of you if ever, when ever you need it. Im not sad to be leaving Phi Phi I feel like my time there is done for now, and if and when I want to come back she’ll be there. But I did leave two more little bits of my heart there, one with Phi Phi herself, and one with someone who knows who he is.
9 thoughts on “Goodbye Phi Phi”
Aww I remember that McDonalds well! This is so beautifully written. You capture things so well my love. Can’t lie there have been multiple times over the past 8 months where I thought about joining you on PhiPhi again. I’m glad I will be seeing you this fall. Miss you dearly. Xx
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My babe I would love nothing more then for you to be here, rest assured I have told your/our story to many and varied over my travels. Can’t wait for September and to see that beautiful face of yours xxxx
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Aww I remember that McDonalds well! You have such a beautiful way of capturing things my love. I miss you dearly and cannot wait to see you this fall. Xx
Babe……this is the most amazing thing ive read about PP. She has the most special place in all of our hearts, no one who hasnt been, worked and experienced will ever understand the emotions we develop for that island. Loved this post. Cant wait for more. Send love to everyone on the boat please. Love and miss you xxx
Thanks babe, what lovely words 🙂 and too right, that’s one thing you have to have legitimately done before anybody will come close to understanding lol. Will send love to all the boat peeps, and love to you!!!!!! Xxxxxx
Ahhhhh that McDonalds, after hitch-hiking with that cute little kid called Four (Because she was born at 4:44am) and all the insanity that has come since then! This post made me well-up a little bit sweetheart just because I could hear your voice reading it, and you write so genuinely and beautifully and with an open honesty that you just never see in anything but the most natural of writers. Love you lots and can’t wait to have a drink with you in London town. (We’ll start with the tequila and see where we end up…) 😉 xxx
Well that makes two little mushy peas coz that just made we well up a little bit lol. Too many memories babe, I’m back in Penang at the moment. I can’t wait to see that beautiful face of yours again, and thank you for your lovely words! Sarah, Sarah, WHY DID THE MEXICAN THROW HIS WIFE OFF A BRIDGE????….. Xxxx
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I could not express it better myself. One week in Phi Phi turned into a year and a dozen visa runs.