The Paradises of Koh Phi Phi

Koh Phi Phi is an archipelago off the Western coast of Thailand in the Indian Ocean.  It falls under the Krabi province and houses one of the most visited islands and tourist destinations in Thailand. The island is also the second largest off Phuket. The islands were originally used as coconut plantations and is believed to have been home to one of Thailand’s oldest communities since B.C times. The islands are beautiful, and there are so much more to discover than the ones mentioned in this post.

How to get there

Vibrant Phuket
To get to the archipelago, you have to first go to Phuket.  From Phuket you can go to any of the tourist agencies around you and book a place to take a taxi/bus to get to the ferry dock. From the ferry you will go to the main island, Koh Ph Phi Don. The ferry ride is about 2 hours, however it felt like much more. The transport system in the rest of Thailand is pretty poor and not very well organised, unlike Bangkok. You will have to rely on disorganised taxis, and hold on to your handwritten paper tickets as you board your transport.

Phi Phi Don

Phi Phi Don, serves as a base for many travellers who are looking to explore the archipelago. The island has many shops, and party spots for entertaining in the evening. From Phi Phi Don, you can go out to the beach and haggle with boat owners for whichever islands you’d like to explore for the day. There is no other way to get to the beaches and islands other than taking a boat……unless you love swimming!

 

Phi Phi Don’s main beach. Note that “beer” stained yellow shore line. Eeek!

Staying on Phi Phi Don was really nice. The main beach is not recommended as many party revellers trash the waters during the night. There are many little massage parlours, restaurants and well stocked convenience stores and pharmacies. You can even buy alcohol at the stores and make your own bucket to take down to the beach party. The whole beach is conveniently made into one big party at night from dance floors, fire shows and relaxing beach bars.

Maya Beach

Made famous by that Leo Di Caprio film, The Beach, this gem in the Indian ocean was where we decided to spend our Christmas Day. It took about 30 minutes from Phi Phi Don to reach here by boat.  The island is literally a small rocky cove, and the two giant rock cliffs create a natural bay.

Not all of the bay is soft sand and coast line. The main area is very full, but the beach was beautiful. It also had a cool rocky cove shelter on the beach. Beautiful clear waters and tropical lush vegetation as a backdrop made it the perfect place for photo opportunities.

Monkey Beach

Monkey beach is situated on Phi Phi Don, and is a great little spot to relax on when you’ve woken up too late from a night of partying. Yes, there are little monkeys on the beach, and like the Cape baboons, they aren’t scared of people. Watch your goods, these buggers steal!

 

Nui Bay

Nui Bay is also a small beach on Don, and literally around the corner. Surrounded by big jutting cliffs, it also has a cool little cave inlet on the beach. This really isn’t a swimming beach, as the shallow waters are filled with rocky pebbles and stones as it’s a reef. It’s a great place to go snorkeling as well. The waters here are so clear; you can even see the beautiful fish in the reef without going underwater. Very relaxed.

 

 

Accommodation

Our accommodation was nothing what we expected when we arrived. Luckily, we both packed super light, as we discovered our hotel was situated on a hill surrounded by lush trees and vegetation.

 

Mornings are MY thing!

The rooms were literally like little huts. It was very basic, with 2 beds and mosquito nets, the entire structure was made of wood with no glass in the windows. There was a useless fan and no hot water, even though they said there would be hot water. I thought the cold showers were rather refreshing and not an inconvenience, as the weather was so hot and sticky. We think the hotels were built next to a group of actual homes, which included a pet monkey and a very noisy eagle. Oh boy….

 

Travel Tips
  • As said before, you can only take a boat ferry to get to surrounding beaches and islands. You can haggle with the boat riders, however don’t expect too low prices during peak season which is between Dec-Jan.
  • We went during peak season, which is festive season, so book your accommodation for Phi Phi Don in advance. We were able to secure decent accommodation at decent prices 6 months in advance!
  • Most of the beaches are coral reefs. This means that the sea bed beneath the waters are hard and rocky and very shallow. Don’t expect your feet to be comfortable.
  • The transport system on Phi Phi Don is limited to bicycles and ferries. There are no paved roads and cars. This isn’t a big deal and the island is really small. However, if you are carrying heavy loads of luggage you might have a problem getting from the ferry to your hotel. You can hire a guy with a make-shift trailer to help you with your load.
  • The mosquitos are a serious nightmare. The minute the sun starts to set, you will hear them buzzing and aiming for your flesh at full speed. Stock up on Skeet-o-lean or mozzie repellent or buy it on the island. I got very lucky, and after 5 days, they stopped biting me. Sadly, that was not the case for my friend.
  • Pack light. It’s hot and humid whole day and you will be on the beach most of the time. 
  • Also, if you doing lots of ferry rides, take a back pack. It’s just easier.

Till then amigos,
Bee x

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