We could hardly believe that the day we had to leave Ko Phi Phi had actually arrived. On one hand, it felt like we had been at "Paradise" forever. On the other, it felt like we had arrived only yesterday. Everyone seemed to know we were leaving -- the waiters and waitresses, the reception desk staff, even some of the long-term guests.
Packing took surprisingly little time; despite the fact that we have accumulated a significant amount of stuff since arriving in Thailand, we still have only a grand total of 4 backpacks/duffel bags and 3 day packs.
We really enjoyed the Paradise Pearl Resort; the staff were very friendly and seemed genuinely sad to see us go. They were very generous with us, regularly discounting our bill and maintaining us at the low season room rate even after the high season rates had kicked in. It was really nice to feel our patronage had been appreciated.
We managed to cram a fair bit into our last week on Phi Phi despite several days of monsoon-type rain. Dan and Adrian went on a night snorkelling trip where they saw many nocturnal sea creatures including phosporescent plankton which were visible without flashlight. I was able to get in another day of diving where I saw my first lionfish and seahorses as well as an incredibly graceful sea turtle. Adrian and Robin made a new friend in a little French boy named Jules who happily joined them in their frog and gecko trapping expeditions.
Our trip to Bangkok was uneventful -- just long. We are all heartily sick of the marathon journeys that have punctuated this adventure. The trip to Bangkok consisted of a 1.5 hour boat ride and then a 14 hour overnight bus ride which unfortunately had a broken entertainment system (we missed yet another showing of Phi Phi's favourite movie -- you guessed it -- "The Beach"!!) We arrived in Bangkok at the ungodly hour of 0530 but luckily -- thankfully -- our hotel had a room available for us. We are staying in the slightly upscale Viengtai Hotel, just the next street over from the legendary Khao San Road, but with air con, a pool and tv.
Bangkok seems oddly quiet compared to a month ago and compared to our memories of our time here 11 years ago. We're not sure where everyone is -- maybe on the islands for the holidays?