Watching a 50+ Year Old Woman Muay Thai Fight On Phi Phi Island

A two hour ferry ride which felt like a race against the darkness of clouds as they hunted us down. It was such a crazy contrast as we sat on the ferry looking into such a beautiful day; blue skies with barely a cloud in the sky. On the other spectrum, when we turned our heads it was as if it was a completely different day and time of the year. Black thick clouds only separated by streaks of rain in the distance.

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Well, the ride itself was a long one and when facing the right way, it was amazing. We passed islands that looked untouched and we could see fishing communities in the distance that seemed very undeveloped. As we arrived into sight of Phi Phi Island the clouds finally caught us as it started bucketing down and we hid for shelter. It was more literal than ever that the bad weather was following us everywhere we went, but we made it. The beautiful Phi Phi Island.

This was Kane’s third visit Phi Phi and we was excited to say the least. Beach parties, good food and an awesome location. One would think after being a regular here that we would know the place like the back of our hands, but after a few wrong turns with our heavy packs on we were getting frustrated as we couldn’t get to our accommodation. We were relieved to finally take off our packs for 700 baht a night in an air conditioned room… and trust us, you want air con. We were located near the viewpoint which is far away enough from the beach to be able to sleep but close enough to be able to have a little stroll down and be amongst all the action in the main drag.

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Only a few days out from attending our friends wedding Michelle wasn’t feeling too crash hot. After being bitten by possibly a spider or had a reaction to a mosquito biting her eye lid (self diagnosis), she woke up with an eye looking like a soft golf ball growing under her skin and the struggle was real trying to even keep her eye open. This was not what we needed at the start of our trip and definitely not a few days away from catching up with all our friends at the wedding (even though it was a bit funny too). We even went to the pharmacy to get help and when we showed the pharmacist what was hiding under the dark sunglasses and she responded with a shocked ‘oh shit’ face. She grabbed something and gave it to us and with fingers crossed we hoped it could fix it in the matter of a few days. It did, thank god.

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One place that was as fun as the first time we checked it out is the local Thai Boxing Bar. No complaints about lack of entertainment there; in the middle of the bar is a full size boxing ring. Staff go around encouraging drunk macho men to jump in the ring and throw on the gloves for 3 rounds. In return they get a free bucket and hopefully not lose any dignity. On Kane’s last trip he was actually one of these guys out to impress. A few buckets deep and enough peer pressure from his mates and he was convinced it was a good idea. Once the bell rings and you’re in the ring being watched by everyone, it doesn’t take long to sober up. Well we had learnt our lesson not to volunteer again and we just watched ringside this time.

A big highlight of the night was this athletic girl who got in the ring wearing a baggy sport singlet. She had half her head shaved and was calling women out, left right and centre to come jump in the ring with her… not a chance we would be game enough to jump in. Nobody was keen, this girl gave off the impression that she may have been related to The Notorious Conor McGregor. Honestly the most perfect timing, just as the ref was about to walk her out of the ring as no one was keen, you see this older lady in the corner stand up. Drunk as a skunk with her husband trying to hold her back, this 50 plus year old lady who must have weighed nearly double this athletic girl was on a mission. She was having a good time and clearly in a YOLO mood as the crowd cheered her up to the ring.

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After plenty of laughs in the crowd and a lot of hands covering their eyes in shock the 3 round fight was on. So it quickly became obvious the athletic girl was not sporty, and was not coordinated at all. She was just up there having a good time too and was just a happy confident person. Well her smile quickly left as this older lady absolutely laid her out. Knocking her down numerously and punching her head in over the 3 rounds. The crowd was going wild and in shock. The fight finished in hugs, smiles and good spirits. Entertainment at its finest.

In between all the heroes from the crowd jumping in the ring they put in two proper Muay Thai fighters and that was heavy. One of the most intense fights we have witnessed with elbows, flying kicks and roundhouse kicks. After seeing that we were ready to go but it was a fun night filled topped with good tunes and cold beers.

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Phi Phi is a beautiful island with the long tailed boats you see in all the awesome photos on every single travel page, and it is as impressive as the pics. After climbing what feels like 54000 steps in the heat you can get up to the most impressive viewpoint of Phi Phi. Make sure you bring water unlike us, rookies. The walk up is a long and sweaty one. We got up there in the most clear sky thankfully, as the weather so far had been pretty sketchy. The views over the whole island is pretty breathtaking and it’s a magnificent spot to kick back and take it all in. Clear skies, the sun and such a sweet view, definitely can’t complain up there. It’s not a bad spot for a photo too on the rocks, with so many different opportunities to give you a whole different perception of the island.

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Our time in Phi Phi Island was fun and we got over our jet lag in the best possible way by soaking up the sun rays, sinking beers by the water. Tough life I know. It’s noticeable over the years that the island is becoming more popular and with that comes more expense. It feels like Thailand is losing its ‘cheap holiday’ feel when there are places that sell beers the same price as back home in Sydney. Is it really worth it? When we first visited the islands there was skipping in fire ropes and jumping through big fire hoops. That was fun a few buckets down but it seems the fire shows are substantially smaller now and don’t involve the travellers – probably for good reason.

Our skin a few shades tanner and the jet lag no more, we were ready to get out of Phi Phi and off to the mainland and to get amongst the craziness of Patong. A few days to settle in and see what’s around before we are attending a friends wedding yewwwwwwww.

StAy WEiRd. x
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