|A big travel day ahead but I was rested. Up at 5am like a work day. Took the ferry past KPN and Koh Samui, then to the coast town of Surat Thani where I changed to a bus. It was a long 5 hour ride but I finally managed to catch up with this journal. So hard to keep up when there's always things happening. As I type away, the view around me is classical picture of thailand. Sunny with towering, forest-covered karst, along with palm trees surrounding the road. Most people on the bus were asleep, don't know how you could miss those views. We had to switch a number of buses when we got to the beach town of Krabi. As we get to the port building, a port staff worker is yelling at us 'phi Phi island!!' in an almost mocking tone. As all the tourists get in, the staff at the desks 'check our tickets'. They tell us about Phi Phi island and sell us on boats, guesthouses, etc. As we leave for the boat, 2 more redundant checkpoints of ticket checking occur. It hits me..these guys fake check our tickets in order to scam us on 'good deals' on hotels. It just never ends. As we get on our boat, it's not a nice one. It looks safe enough, but it's worn, cramped and hot. Most passengers sit on the deck. We cruise across the Adaman sea and Phi Phi appears on the horizon. Really beautiful, small island in the middle of azure ocean. It kind of has 2 big mountains on the ends, with a narrow strip of land in the middle crowded with beach hotels and shops. In 2004 this place was absolutely wiped out by the tsunami, where there was almost nowhere to run from the wave. As I get off the boat there is more than enough evidence of the disaster. The surviving palm trees have their bark splintered half way up. Not only that, the annoying hostel manager was right. This place is more or less a dump, with a great beach. Walking straight through, they haven't fixed the plumbing problem yet and it smells of sewage making you gag. There's also limited roads, with no motos or cars allowed (thank god). One 'road' was actually just the beach itself! This was the first time backpacking I had ever just shown up without reservation, it was a little frustrating. I talked to maybe 5 places and most were ripoffs, ugh. Finally i come across this British guy, equally as lost and frustrated. We team up to find somewhere, and within minutes find a decent hotel-like place with amazing huts along the hillside. Only cost around 30$ for again, my own room..apparently I'm upgrading now. Incredible view and a civilized bed, man I missed this. We go out for drinks and food and as usual fire dancer shows. At one point i get lost and my friend has the map. I think, how on earth am I lost on the smallest island I've ever seen? But Sam the Brit made a good point earlier, although there's scams galore in southeast Asia, rarely there is true danger. Unlike places in south America and Africa. I wandered until I found familiarity and called it a night. Another long day.