After five full days on Phi Phi, it was Friday, December 30th. We were scheduled to hop on a a ferry back to Phuket early in the AM.
We asked the man in charge of the ferry what beach was closest to the airport (we had to leave super early on Saturday morning) and he threw a coded sticker on us to take us to our unknown destination. We knew not where we were going or what it would be like. Luckily, this ferry was a polar opposite from the ferry to Phi Phi. We were dry, laying on a deck in the sun- it was awesome.
Upon arriving in Phuket, we were shuffled into a crowded van as per our coded sticker. Halfway through the ride, the driver is begins yelling at us in, what sounded like, panicked, flustered Thai. He pulls over, throws our bags out and we are like Oh no! This is it! We are going to be those foreign girls that went to Thailand and were never heard of again. Thankfully, a new van pulls over, picks us up and takes the rest of our van to the airport. Crisis averted. Again, once at the airport, our driver throws out our bags. We do our best to show him our “coded” stickers and say no! no! NO AIRPORT! Angrily, he loaded us back into his van, furiously pulling away.
To see where we ended up, jump!
A few minutes later, the van pulls over and it looks like we are in the middle of nowhere. He drops us off and we are on a two lane road lined with tall, beautiful trees. We think we can hear the beach, but we aren’t sure, so we just start walking. We pass a big police station and we see some folks cooking outside. We try to mime that we need to find a place to stay. Thai people are incredible. A very kind man says, “400 baht a night? Bamboo hut on the beach? I’ll take you girls there!” We climb in the back of his pickup truck and he drives us to paradise. After negotiating his price for us, he continued on with the rest of his day, as if nothing out of the ordinary had happened. He had dropped us off at bamboo huts on the beach. Bamboo huts on the beach! I’m fairly certain I could have lived in one for the rest of my life.
We had landed in Nai Yang, a ten mile stretch of white sand beaches that are part of Sirinart National Park. As the antithesis of Koh Phi Phi, Nai Yang was breathtakingly amazing. The beaches were not crowded, it wasn’t a big party, it was clean, quiet and it was beautiful. Everything about Nai Yang was extremely laid back and relaxed.
I may have failed to mention that that day I had also gotten up for sunrise in Koh Phi Phi. I was swimming in the water as the sun rose and from the minute we put our bags down in our huts until it was too dark to see, I was in the water. I had the pleasure of watching the sunset in Nai Yang. Sunrise and sunset in the water in one day? This last day in Thailand was absolute heaven.
I should also mention that the food in Nai Yang was fresh and wonderful. When we stayed in Phi Phi, we had primarily Western food or Westernized Thai food. In Nai Yang, I had fried rice with cashews and shrimp served OUT OF an actual pineapple! Delicious!
None of us wanted to leave Thailand. While I understand that I didn’t even see real Thailand, I just saw beautiful beach towns, it left quite an impression on me. In fact, I am already planning to go back for my weeklong summer vacation at the end of July!
Need another Nai Yang fix? Find all of the photos on my Flickr.