Phi Phi is known for its white sand and enclosed bays with a perfect backdrop of limestone cliffs, such as Maya Bay – the beach used in ‘The Beach’, the film starring Leonardo Di Caprio.
In reality, the island is far from its depiction in the Danny Boyle film, with hundreds of boats lining up in the crystal clear water, thousands of tourists and music pumping from sunrise until sunset.
Whilst watching West Ham fall to pieces against Spurs, I met a local Thai man called Mr. Liquor. I’m sure that’s not his real name, but that’s all he gave me! He was shouting and cheering and I asked if he supported Mauricio Pochettino’s men.
“In England, Totttenham and (Cristian) Eriksen is great, but in Thailand, Buriram United is my team” he replied.
My second encounter with Mr Liquor was at his shop by the beach, which sold football shirts, basketball jerseys, jewelry and plenty of souvenir t-shirts with elephants printed on the front.
I wore the Reds’ Puma home shirt and he started showing me each of the Buriram United kits: black, navy, white, and told me I could have one if we swapped.
Of course, I wasn’t going to give away my black and red beauty that has had so many compliments on my travels, so we came to a deal.
I bought presents for my family back home and he gave me the Buriram home shirt for half price, so I walked away with three anklets and another football shirt.
Mr. Liquor said he wanted to sell CTFC home shirt in his shop and when Reds eventually make it to the pinnacle of English football, he would have the full range in stock!