What We Saw in Koh Phi Phi

If we had it to do over again, we would likely skip Koh Phi Phi. It is an island exclusively for tourists, with the corresponding lack of authenticity and affordability. (There’s a cost just to step foot on the island!) That said, here’s what we saw during our day and a half there:

  • Fire Show: Koh Phi Phi Fire ShowNot only did we attend a fire show, but B was even an audience participant! We went to Hippies Restaurant for dinner, which has a DJ, an acoustic guitarist, and a fire show. Despite my hatred for all things touristy, I found everyone here to be quite talented. The fire guys are in their late teens and early 20s, and they definitely practice extensively. A fire-handler-in-training, who is about eight years old, begins the show with them; it’s fun to watch his burgeoning bravado and his admiration for the older guys. They throw and twirl long sticks and chains that have special fires on each end. I say special because even if they land on the wooden ground/porch, nothing lights on fire; all the same, at the speeds at which they were twirling, I opted to move backwards a bit. B’s participation was fun too. They gave him shots of whiskey for courage, had him remove his shirt, and then gave him a fire stick to twirl – without much direction. He twirled it and even threw it up in the air and caught it! Really good for someone completely new to it!
  • Walk to Long Beach: Despite what the warning sign says, you can walk along the rocks all the way from the pier/town to Long Beach. The rocks are large and stable, and the crabs on them will scurry out of your way. There is also a cement path up the beach, but that’s less fun, obviously. At low tide, you don’t even need to walk on the rocks, because you can pretty much walk from town to Long Beach on the wet sand.

What We Skipped

  • Monkey Beach: We saw lots of monkeys in Railay, and we had no wish to court monkey bites, so we skipped this.
  • Tsunami Memorial Garden: It was sweltering and B was sunburned, so our desire to leave our room was not high enough to visit this.
  • Yoga: B’s burning red legs were not up for yoga.
  • Scuba Diving/Snorkeling: This seemed so super commercialized that I couldn’t even bring myself to talk to one of the shops promoting it:
  • Rock Climbing/Cliff Jumping: We were still good from our lagoon climb on Railay.

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