*KOH PHI PHI ISLAND, THAILAND
9:59 AM There are first world problems then there are paradise world problems. I realize I’m experiencing the latter by waking up sun burned on the snow white sand of Long Beach. It’s not even 10 and I’m sweating like a pig. As I sit up, Amanda’s equally sweaty arm peels off my sticky bare chest, yet she remains asleep.
10:01 AM Koh Phi Phi Island is a beauty. Even this exotic bush I’m peeing into is beautiful. Before I could finish, a fruit juice stand guy setting up shop notices me then waves hello from under a palm tree. I’m parched.
10:04 AM I order an actual coconut for myself and a mango smoothie for Amanda for the cost of next to nothing so I tip him a hundred percent. There’s no comparison to having fresh fruit plucked literally a few meters away on one of the world’s best beaches in one of the world’s most beautiful tropical islands.
10:11 AM I can’t help to laugh out loud when I see Amanda’s perspired face exactly half covered in sand like white sprinkles on a scoop of ice cream, still passed out. “Snap”, I take a photo with my iPhone.
10:33 AM The village, where our bungalow is at, is 3 beaches and 1 jungle away from our present location of Long Beach. Hungover, famished, half-naked, penniless but loving the island life, we take our sippy cups and start the long journey through paradise.
11:49 AM We take a quick dip in Earth’s perfect ocean water on the third and final mini beach before the final stretch to our Koh Phi Phi bungalow.
12:08 PM Exhausted, we take a break at a quaint makeshift bar so on-the-beach that the waves hit our feet at our hammock table. Amanda gets a Chang beer and I go for another coconut. Yum… This is serenity.
2:56 PM Best. Nap. Ever. It appears we passed out on the hammock. We pay our tab and start walking.
3:04 PM “Sizzzzzzzle…” That sound is usually accompanied by the intoxicating aroma of meat cooking. I take a deep breath, ahh, there it is. Lobster and some fish I don’t recognize, caught moments ago on that rainbow colored longboat I presume.
3:12 PM Nom, nom, nom, yum. What would be considered a gourmet meal in the “real world” for a 5 star price is a typical lunch in this “paradise world” for a starless price. Not to mention we’re sitting at a beach table where every other wave kisses our feet, again. Not bad for a restaurant without a name, walls or doors.
3:04 PM With our bellies full and hangovers diminished, we decide to hire a longboat to take a trip to Maya Bay, the beach of an even smaller and uninhabited island that you see in the background of the post photo. Also known for the filming location of the beach of he movie, The Beach, starring Leonardo DiCaprio.
3:12 PM We buy a 6 pack of Chang beer, some sliced fruit, a few bottles of water then embark on our longboat powered by an old car engine. Pew. Pew. Pew…
3:45 PM Island hopping on this uninsurable makeshift boat is a ride better than any stretch limo. We’ve arrived to Maya Bay, another paradise of Koh Phi Phi. But what’s paradise without friends to share it with? Our friends from the bungalows are already on the beach, waving to us. Life is good.
6:38 PM Frolicking, swimming, exploring, partying, snorkeling, fishing and tanning. Repeat.
7:58 PM We take our 3 identical boats and anchor between the 2 Koh Phi Phi islands to watch the sun set over the majestic ocean between the 2 paradises.
8:01 PM Goodbye sun. Puff, puff, pass…
[All photography shot with a Hitcase Pro equipped iPhone.]