Travel To Grow

Understanding The World Through Travel

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Feb '09

Day 34 – Koh Phi Phi

Next we arrived at the amazing and famous Koh Phi Phi island!

The unforgetable Koh Phi Phi

The unforgetable Koh Phi Phi

Back on Dec 24th 2004 this island was devastated by a massive Tsunami that killed nearly 1000 people and destroyed countless lives. The island was abandoned and it was thought that the popular backpacking destination may never return to its former state. Thankfully only a few short years later, with the combined efforts of locals and foreign travelers Koh Phi Phi was rebuilt and now thrives as one of the greatest destinations in Thailand.

There are however still reminders around of the past that the island has. We discovered that one bar we went into for lunch one day was constructed entirely out of the wreckage washed ashore from the devastation. The owner of the bar had lost his wife in the Tsunami and the construction was a tribute to her.

Koh Phi Phi was the biggest party area we went to during our 40 day trip. This definitely wasn’t the place to have quiet relaxing nights! The island almost never slept and blaring dance music would play until the early morning. It was the perfect place to go wild because around every corner was a new party.

Koh Phi Phi was the best place on the trip for wild nights and parties.

Koh Phi Phi was the best place on the trip for wild nights and parties.

Our bungalows in Ko Phi Phi were up on a large hill so we had a pretty cool view:

ko phi phi 5 ko phi phi 4

ko phi phi 3 ko phi phi 2

The trip so far had been the best time of my entire life, so I wanted to get a tattoo to remind me of the memories I had here forever. Before this trip I had decided to never get a tattoo, but something about the trip caused me to change my mind. After thinking about what I wanted for days and making sure the tattoo followed my guidelines for an awesome tattoo I came up with what I wanted.

In case you’re wondering my tattoo guidelines are:

  1. 1. It should have deep meaning. (So that means don’t just get a dolphin on your back cause you think it’s cute, it should be meaningful)
  2. 2. It should have a purpose. (When you look at it something should happen, like it could remind you of an awesome time, or remind you about who you are, or create a positive emotion
  3. 3. It should be timeless. (When your 70 years old and you look down at that tattoo is it still going to be a positive thing? Or will that flaming skull seem kind of lame all those years later?)

I’m not a big fan of rules, but I think if you follow those guidelines you could never get a tattoo that you would ever regret later.

Anyway here’s what I got!:

"Rei la mai ni chi, wibt yang sam boon"

"Rei la mai ni chi, wibt yang sam boon"

It’s a Thai phrase that approximately translates to “Live completely in the present moment.” You would have to read the book “The Power of Now” by Eckart Tolle to fully understand all the meaning that phrase has for me, but it’s huge.

The coolest thing about this tattoo is that it was done using bamboo! Bamboo tattoos are really awesome because they heal almost immediately. There is no bleeding and you can even go swimming the next day (essential on a vacation). The Thai’s actually poke you repeatedly with a stick of bamboo luckily they have good aim!

Someone elses tattoo showing the bamboo needle

Someone elses tattoo showing the bamboo needle

I really loved the end result of my tattoo and it’s pretty useful too. (More on that later)

At night Ko Phi Phi has a huge number of bars/clubs with an awesome variety of different music. I walked into the only hard rock bar I found and there was a killer live band playing Seven Nation Army – White Stripes. I had a huge psychic moment here too, As seven nation army ended a thought popped into my head about how it would be so awesome if they played Chop Suey by System of a Down next, I’d have to run to the front and go crazy! About 10 seconds after I finished thinking that, the song started. It was pretty unbelievable but I held myself to my thought, ran to the front and went crazy!

After hanging out at the various bars for a couple hours we’d usually go down to the beach where there was also a whole line of killer beach dance parties. It always feels nice to dance all night in the sand with the cool breeze from the ocean rolling in, and of course the buckets were always plentiful!

It was here in Koh Phi Phi that I had the most adventurous day of my life! That’s coming up next!

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