Phi Phi bars and nightlife
It's a simple recipe:
Buckets of cheap booze
A few "tchoons"
Peel the clothing from the youngish crowd; chop and finely dice the tchoons (a.k.a. popular dance music hits). Place all the ingredients near a beach and heat to a warm temperature. Stir constantly, ignoring all local licensing laws. Garnish with a fireshow (or liberal sprinking of ladyboys / Thai boxing, if fire not available) and serve.
This recipe for a party island is brought to you by the Phi Phi Island Guide and is available at all good bars on the island of Phi Phi Don, for example: Carlito's, Apache, Hippies, Carpe Diem and Reggae Bar, to name but a few.
Phi Phi Don island is as well known for its nightlife as for its beaches. For this reason many people actively choose to stay (or avoid staying) in the centre of the Ton Sai tourist village, where most of the larger, more noisy bars are concentrated. Further out, walking to Long Beach on the Ton Sai Bay side, or on Loh Dalum Bay, you will find more civilsed beach bars, often with basic tables and picnic mats on the sand, lit by candlelight - try Sunflower Bar on Loh Dalum Bay.
But, back in the busy village centre, if that is where you want to be, look out for the flyers that are handed out during the day by fellow tourists (who work for the bars in exchange for a couple of free beers / the kudos of feeling like a permananet resident) - these will tell you which places are hosting that night's party, usualy complete with entertainment in the form of a Thai boxing show, ladyboy cabaret, or beach fire juggling. Illegal drugs are unfortunately widely available and though the laws here are less strictly enforced, when they are enforced (if you are unlucky and arrive on a day when the mainland police pay a visit), you will face the same harsh penalties as elsewhere in the kingdom (imprisonment - death penalty), so be warned.
Other options in town include live music (Thai bands covering western songs), an Irish pub, or smaller drinking holes where a conversation is usually possible. The large contigent of western diving instructors that work on the island will also be able to offer tips on where to go - find them in front of any dive shop having a beer at around 5 - 6 pm.
Most places are all within walking / stumbling distance and, after hours, if you are still standing after the legendary Phi Phi "bucket" (similar to the Koh Phangan bucket, with Sang Som whisky, Red Bull and Coke), many people head down to Carlito's (next to the police station) to continue drinking until the dawn.
If you want to avoid the hordes of drunken 20-somethings that congregate during high season, opt to stay out of town altogether, on Hat Yao (Long Beach), or the northern beaches. Here it is relatively more quiet and peaceful in the evenings, though you will still be able to sit on the beach and have a drink.
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