mastercopycat

Virtual meanderings

A dinner at Papaya (sans the papaya salad)

Getting from my Chiang Mai hostel to my Koh Phi Phi bungalow had taken a full 24 hours, and had been full of excitement. Here’s the breakdown for you:

Red truck ‘taxi’ from hostel to Chiang Mai bus station – 80 baht
Overnight bus from Chiang Mai to Bangkok – 660 baht
Taxi from bus station to BKK airport – 290 baht
Airplane from Bangkok to Phuket – 2800 baht
Taxi from Phuket airport to boat pier – 100 baht (after splitting the price in 4)
Passenger boat from Phuket to Ko Phi Phi – 500 baht
Water taxi to Long beach – 100 baht

Perhaps I should add  – being able to get some rest after all that – priceless.

It felt like participating in some episode of “By any means”.

By Any Means with Charley Boorman

By Any Means with Charley Boorman

In case you do not know the show, actor Charley Boorman is trying to get from Ireland to Australia – by any means of transportation. In the bottom of the screen there was a ‘types of vehicles used’ count, and it ended up well above hundred. Boats, cars, trucks, carts, bikes, scooters, animal riding, tuk-tuks, as well as some unique local designs that are beyound describing.

The funny thing is that the route eventually took Charley to this very part of Asia – so I could not help relating to the show. If you have not seen it, or one of the videos releases, or any of the other trips that Boorman did with Eoin McGreggor (going around the world on motor bikes, or travelling from London to Beijing), I recommend you check those out.

***
Long Beach

   One of the greatest things about Long Beach was how secluded it was from the rest of the island. At that time of the year there were hardly any other visitors around (although on the island as a whole, there were crowds and crowds). Perfect!

Long Beach

Long Beach

One of the worst things about Long Beach was how secluded it was from the rest of the island. It was away from just about everything else – bars, shops and places to eat. To get to Koh Phi Phi Town one could ride a water taxi for Bt 100, or walk along the ocean shore (free). Having already tried the water taxi, the four of us decided for the walking.

The walk turned out a notch harder than we expected. When we set off for the town, it was already getting dark outside. I had a torch, but at times the path just seemed to disappear completely and it was confusing to decide where to go next. Luckily, we were in no hurry and we just kept moving in the direction of the town night lights – until we finally got on the beach close to the main pier. It had taken us about half an hour to do it (in broadlight on the next day we covered the same distance in 20 minutes).

Koh Phi Phi town, being the touristy place that it is, offered rows of places to eat on either side of the streets. Yet we were looking for a specific place which we had been recommended – the Papaya restaurant. Excellent food, big portions and reasonable prices. If you know any better than that, we don’t.  And we finally found it! It looked like this

Papaya Restaurant (Koh Phi Phi)

Papaya Restaurant (Koh Phi Phi)

Cortesy: user midgiminx @ travelblog.com

    It does not quite look like your favorite restaurant, I know that. But there was no shortage of customers – and we already knew Papaya was a tried and tested place, anyway (See what the tripadvisor reviews say about it).

We waited for a short while for a table to become available, and then sat down to eat. We had been told that the portions were generous. That was an understatement. Those were the biggest portions I saw in Thailand – truly double the usual size. And they tasted great too. But that was not all – the owner clearly had PR talent and knew how to attract customers. He had it all covered – location (check), unique restaurant look (check), portion size (check), food taste (check),  CATS IN THE FREEZER (check).

Papaya Cats

Papaya Cats

Here’s another shot –

Papaya Cats

Papaya Cats

Each time someone opened the fridge to get some drink a cat would either get in or out – depending on preferences.  “Papaya” seemed to be another family affair – the owner, manager and perhaps main chef was a big dark-skinned guy (I believe he belonged to the Muslim minority living in the south of Thailand), while his wife and perhaps daughters were taking the orders and delivering the food.

When we were done eating, we simply moved a couple of meters – to the neighboring Tiger bar, where we complemented our dinner with music and drinks.

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3 responses to “A dinner at Papaya (sans the papaya salad)

  1. Anonymous September 25, 2011 at 8:53 am

    cats in the fridge!! was it that unbearably hot? poor darlings..

  2. Pingback: Crossing into Cambodia – 4 real « mastercopycat

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