Saturday, 31 May 2008

Zeavola, Ko Phi Phi, Thailand....

Last year, I had the pleasure of spending a week in Thailand, and 2 days of those we succumbed to the "Charms of Rural Thai" in the Zeavola Resort on the island of Ko Phi Phi (one of the 2 islands were "The Beach" was shot). Here's my take on a memorable 48-hour experience.

When arriving from Phuket by speedboat (which takes about an hour and is worth the -- quite hefty -- fare) we were surprised to see that the resort is not as remote as you might believe. It is not reachable by land but is on a strip of beach with a few other resorts and a shanty town.

But don't let that put you off.

All the rooms are effectively luxury beach-shacks many with outdoor living rooms (and in some you have to go through that outdoor area to get to the bathroom). This was hard to deal with the first night when you are convinced you will be eaten alive by some crawlies.

It turns out, we weren't, although the resident pet was a rather large iguana, as well as a green snake and about a million centipedes. With this getting used to, after about 24 hours we were totally in the groove. You will soon realise that you just never were shoes (since effectively everything happens on the beach or in the adjacent jungle).

We were there for 2 nights, and it took us one to acclimatise to the setup. Wished we had stayed for 4 nights. One should bear in mind that the activity and dining options are limited, but not to the degree of being restrictive for a short stay.

More than 5 days might get a little long. Some people have mentioned the lack of privacy and security, and while the indoor/outdoor setup means that your living room can be looked into by other passing guests, we certainly didn't find the latter to be a problem.

The spa is great and so is having dinner on one of the sunbed platforms. The staff was attentive and friendly. We happened to have a room in the far back of the resort, which is not optimal. When booking one should mention to have room further to the front to avoid long walks in the dark and views of he resort next door.

Overall a fun experience for 2-4 days, although I can't think what one would do if there happens to be a period of uninterrupted rain.....

This and quite a few more reviews of Zeavola are available on TripAdvisor. And apparently, not everybody had as much of a good time as we did....