Koh Phi Phi: The Land Where The Productive Go To Die

Untitled from Sean Ogle on Vimeo.

NOTE: This video is in HD, hopefully you have a faster internet connection than I do and can watch it smoothly! I would love some feedback on how it turned out for you. If you are viewing this in a reader and the video doesn’t display head over to my site to check it out!

For the last three days I’ve been hanging out on the island of Koh Phi Phi, about a 2 hour ferry ride from my previous destination of Ao Nang.  I’m not sure what I was expecting to find here, but whatever it was, I was completely unprepared.

Maya Bay, otherwise known as "The Beach"

Maya Bay, otherwise known as "The Beach"

Unparalleled in beauty, a ten minute kayak ride found me floating in the most sparkling clear water I’ve ever seen.  Sea life is teeming, and the softest white sand you could ever hope to find lies just off the main beach.  It’s natural beauty is rivaled only by the beautiful people that flock here from all over Europe, and Sweden in particular.  The combination of scenery and tall blonde Swedish girls led one friend to aptly refer to the island as “heaven”.

Well for all the beauty that’s abound in “heaven”, this island has teeth.

Maybe it’s the buckets for 100 baht.  If you are unfamiliar with a bucket, it’s probably best for your sake that you remain that way, just know that Thai Whiskey, Red Bull and Sprite have never tasted so bad. Perhaps it’s the fire dancing and other fire games which have left more than a few of us burnt and scarred for life.  However, I think it just comes down to the fact that on a nightly basis you have thousands of people who all have only one goal in mind: to party their asses off until they can do it all over again the next day. My lack of shoes and missing camera can attest to this.

I fell in to a burning ring of fire...

I fell in to a burning ring of fire...

I had great intentions when I got to Phi Phi.  You know, set up shop in a nice café with wifi and spend the mornings working and the nights socializing.  Well I never anticipated that mornings were pretty much non-existent here, and the ever beckoning force of the beach would always get its way.  This isn’t to say that I’ve been completely unproductive, but I certainly haven’t spent the time on the blog that I wish I had.phiphistreet

I find myself constantly amazed that almost everything on the island has been rebuilt since the tsunami in 2004.  Many people have said it’s even more overdeveloped than it was before, and I would have a hard time disagreeing.  You can’t help but wonder what this place must have been like even 20 years ago, before the masses got a hold of it.  I imagine it was something even more spectacular than what I’m currently experiencing.

So with that being said, hopefully some of the photos and video provided will give you a taste of what life is like here on Koh Phi Phi, and that there are actually a few readers left after I’ve gone MIA for the last few days!

If you enjoyed this post be sure to sign up for my email updates and RSS Feed!  And I promise there will be more in the coming weeks than there has been this week!

Rob Blasko January 25, 2010 at 11:26 pm

Hey Sean – Glad to hear that you survived the ring of fire… hopefully with at least one wicked scar for storytelling purposes! Koh Phi Phi sounds awesome, and I’ll definitely be adding it to my list.

Financial Samurai January 25, 2010 at 11:30 pm

Nice fotos! One of my biggest fears about retiring in a tropical island in 8-10 years is that I will become too lazy and not want to do anything. But I figure in 8-10 years, I’ll have a right to be lazy and chill on the beach.. maybe!

Are you afraid you’ll end up being a beach bum if you stay too long Sean? I think it’s OK to kick back and enjoy the scenery!

Benny the Irish polyglot January 26, 2010 at 12:21 am

This Ko Phi Phi experience has been unforgettable! But I’m all partied out man!! I need to see less gorgeous Swedish girls walking around distracting me so I can get some work done too 😛
Excellent account and photos! Looking forward to your next posts 😉

Dan January 26, 2010 at 2:47 am

What a gorgeous blog post. Did you take that photo? I’m likin’ more Ogle in HD.

Diggy January 26, 2010 at 4:21 am

Awesome video man, totally cool! 🙂 It makes me excited to see because today I’m deciding if I’m going to Thailand next month! I’m going to do a video of what I learnt from Amsterdam in the last two months, you’ve just inspired me 🙂

Keep us updated!

David January 26, 2010 at 5:04 am

Nice! I knew you’d find your way to the fire twirlers.

Looks like you had a beautiful day at Maya Beach.. Did you kayak to Maya beach? I would have had no idea where to even go to get there..

Where are you staying?

Josh Sager January 26, 2010 at 5:20 am


Just so you know, it’s not really pronounced “Koh” as it’s spelled. It’s actually pronounced more like “gaw.” Ask some natives and you’ll get the proper pronunciation.

For what it’s worth, of course…

Nate January 26, 2010 at 8:17 am

I’m really liking the videos, keep them coming! What a beautiful place you are in. And that ring of fire picture is just crazy. Glad you’re having a great time!

Kristin January 26, 2010 at 9:10 am

Hey man, take a break from the blog to live that life whenever you get the chance! I love your videos and reading your posts, but you’re there now and only for a few days/weeks…I don’t think any of your readers would begrudge you for enjoying it!

Can’t wait to hear more!

David Damron January 26, 2010 at 1:10 pm

I am torn…Do I love or hate your vlogs.

They show you in a beautiful place, living life to the max and have some great ideas and content, but also make me extremely jealous.

I am going to go with…keep the vlogs coming.

David Damron

Mary January 27, 2010 at 2:39 am

Woah. Burning ring of fire looks intense.

And that beach looks amazing.

Eh, what’s a little lost productivity, anyway?

Sarah January 27, 2010 at 6:47 am

Gorgeous photo of Maya!

Bangkok Blogger January 27, 2010 at 7:25 am

I was there recently. What part of Phi Phi are you staying at? The bit where we were was a bit too busy and built up but I hear the rest of it is very nice.

Einat January 27, 2010 at 12:46 pm

I absolutely LOVED this post and the pictures are fabulous! Seeing you live this dream continues to inspire me! Keep it coming!!!

Earl January 27, 2010 at 2:29 pm

I would say that sacrificing some productivity in order to make the most of your time in that beautiful land is going to help the blog in the end. What would the posts be like if you were in the cafe all day?!

Although I’m curious to see if you’ll ever be able to drag yourself away from that island!

soultravelers3 January 27, 2010 at 6:45 pm

Looks beautiful! We’ll be in that area next winter. Take the time to just enjoy yourself.

Ash February 4, 2010 at 6:06 am

Still loving the video content! (And missing you in the blogosphere!) Keep on livin’ the life, man. Hope your beer was nice and cold!

Marc May 16, 2010 at 8:11 am

Man I can not wait until I can be there as well. I’m hoping to score that second semester with tropical mba.

Nickie September 8, 2010 at 7:09 pm

Maya Bay is so fabulous! Thanks for nice video and great post! I wish I would be there too 🙂

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