Koh Phi Phi was the third stop on our Thailand adventure, after Bangkok and Ao Nang. We ended up spending 4 nights here because of an unfortunate bout of food poisoning. It wasn’t exactly what I had expected, however there are lot’s of great things about this little island.
We headed to Phi Phi from Ao Nang on the passenger ferry. The ferry takes about an hour or so to reach the island. We went over on a nice day, so the water was calm and the ferry ride was easy peasy. Getting off the ferry they ask you to pay 20 baht (about $0.75 CAD) per person as an environmental fee before you get onto the island. No biggie. The pier was lined with hotel staff waiting to take passengers to their chosen accommodations. This is really nice as I found Phi Phi to be a bit of a maze, especially at first. We stayed at Phi Phi Uphill Cottage. These were nice basic accommodations far enough from the bars that you could get to sleep before 2am, while still being central. The only major downside to these accommodations is the steps. Oh god, the steps. Let me tell you, when they say uphill they really mean it. The last thing you want to be doing in the scorching heat is climb up a hill to get to your bed.
We took this day to relax. What I really wanted from this trip was some good beach time so we headed down to Loh Dalum Bay. This particular beach kind of felt like a perpetual spring break, lots of people, bars, drinks, and music. I’m not really about that life, but the scenery is beautiful and the water is super warm for swimming.
One of the main things I wanted to see on Phi Phi was the viewpoint. This viewpoint is pretty famous, and for good reason. It’s completely stunning. We decided day two would be about tackling the hike up to the view. There are numerous ways to get up to the viewpoint, all ranging in difficulty. Since we didn’t really know where we were going we just followed the signs closest to our hotel. Turns out, this took us up the steepest and most treacherous route. I have some regrets. Whatever you do, make sure you bring water. You will absolutely need it. That being said, it was totally worth the jello legs and I think everyone who comes to Phi Phi should suck it up and check it out.
That evening we decide to check out the nightlife a bit. Like I said early, I’m not really into the Spring Break type partying so we found something a bit more chill. The nice thing about Phi Phi is that there really does seem to be a little something for everyone. We hit up Kongsiam live bar for some live music and beers. This place was great. The musicians were talented and the vibe was really chill.
We wanted to check out the super hyped Maya Bay, so we decided to do a boat tour that would take us to a few other places along the way. We choose a half day trip, which lasted around four hours and cost 400 baht each. The trip took us to Monkey beach, Viking cave, Pe-Leh Lagoon, Loh Sa Mah Bay, and finally to Maya Bay. Monkey beach was very cool, simply because I had never seen a real live monkey before. However, I couldn’t help but feel a bit guilty being there. Watching other tourists feeding monkeys cookies and Coca-Cola just didn’t feel right. The next few locations we were able to jump off our long tail boat for some swimming and snorkelling. Super fun, would recommend. The final destination of Maya Bay was gorgeous but it’s definitely a tourist trap. I imagine years ago this place would have been a stunning paradise.
Day three took a bit of a turn for the worse. We stopped off for dinner on the way home from our tour. While we were eating it began to rain harder than I’ve ever seen. I ended up running through the streets in my bikini all the way back to our hotel. Of course I was wearing a nude coloured bikini so more than a few people thought I was running naked in the rain. Once I was back in the hotel the food poisoning set in. I spent the next two days sick in bed, which unfortunately cut into our time on Koh Lanta.
Overall, I did enjoy my time on Phi Phi. It’s a fun island and there’s lots to do. However I will say that tourism has taken it’s toll on the island. The waters on the beaches are not crystal clear. There are beer bottles and other debris all over the island. I’m sure years ago this island was a perfect slice of paradise, but I would not call it that anymore. If you’re in Thailand I think it’s worth spending a day or two, but have realistic expectations. If you want a clean, quiet, pristine beach, then this is not the place for you. Maybe check out some of the more remote beaches on Koh Lanta or another less touristy Island.