Posts Tagged 'Krabi'
ArcticTropic recently came across a cache of slides from 1988 and scanned them. South Thailand is now Asia’s jetset playground , but 25 years ago was still a sleepy paradise. However fishing boats still bring in fresh ingredients for delicious seafood curry.
Ko Phi Phi Lae, the uninhabited Phi Phi islet,great for diving.
Beach on Ko Phi Phi Don – the bungalows were 50 Baht ( US $ 2 ) per night. Electricity was available from a generator for a couple hours each night, just enough to recharge my video camera batteries. When I returned in 1995, the same beach had been paved over with a multistory modern hotel – which was in turn swept away by the 2004 Tsunami. Apparently everything has been rebuilt since then.
A winding road though the limestone mountains near Krabi. Southern Burma is just now opening up to the outside world and will offer scenes similar to these.
Fisherman with the morning’s catch.
Lord Buddha gazes into the jungle.
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- Krabi, Phi Phi Islands
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In 1988 the Phi Phi Islands in the Thailand’s Andaman Sea were an almost untouched paradise. I was lucky enough to visit, as a backpacker, before rampant development began in the 90’s.
The Bungalow Beach where I spent several days.
I began my journey from Krabi, a fishing port that did not yet have an airport or any hotel over two stars. About three hours later we arrived in Phi Phi. The largest structure on the island was a beautiful open-air mosque made of wood and palm fronds.
The village had no central electricity, though several bungalow settlements, the only accommodation available, ran generators from 6 to 10 PM. The bungalows were made of straw and wood.
Snorkeling the pristine reefs was amazing. Lazy lemon sharks mixed with millions of psychedelic fish and plants.
Nightlife was a trek to the village to gather around a roaring fire to eat fresh grilled fish washed down with Kloster beer, fresh from the ice pit. Later the traveler’s tales would begin, fueled by the passing around of some Mekong Whiskey.
When I returned in 1995, the environment had been destroyed by greedy developers. An ugly concrete hotel stood where the mosque had been. The coral walls around the swimming pool had been dynamited from the reefs. The water was cloudy and devoid of fish. Jet skis drowned out the sound of the wind and swaying palms.
The 2004 tidal wave temporarily returned Phi Phi to its original look, but apparently the developers have returned with a vengeance.
One must now go further and further in Thailand to find Paradise. However, nearby Burma offers thousands of untouched Andaman Islands. ArcticTropic will research those islands and report shortly. If anyone is headed there soon, please let us know.