The Phi Phi Islands are some of the most well-known in Thailand and in the whole world. This place has increased its relevance, since the time when the movie ‘The Beach’ was shot there, with Leonardo DiCaprio in the main role. It is a tourist destination, but when avoiding the crowds, we can actually see that it is a paradise on earth.
Let’s then be acquainted with this slice of Thailand a little bit better.
When we talk about Phi Phi, we are talking about an archipelago that comprises 6 islands, Phi Phi Don, Phi Phi Leh, Mosquito, Bamboo, Bida Noi and Bida Nok. All of them are part of the Phi Phi-Hat Nopparat National Park, granted with environmental protection.
The whole archipelago remained inhabited until around 1940, a period in which the Phi Phi Don Island started to be occupied by Muslim fishers. At the moment, only this island is still inhabited.
The islands can be found in the Andaman Sea, relatively close to Phuket, in southwestern Thailand. Most of its area is occupied by huge limestone rocks that project themselves over the sea. The vegetation is lustful and the beaches are dreamlike. The sand is golden and the seawater is blue-green and absolutely crystal clear. The boats appear to float there….
Phi Phi Don
Phi Phi Don is the largest in the whole archipelago. Its shape is quite interesting, having a sand strip that appears to work as a connection between 2 distinct islands. The Ton Sai village can be found precisely on this strip, where some lodges, bars and restaurants are spread. It’s quite amusing to walk around the village streets and perceive a little bit of its local culture.
It’s a tiny island, so you can walk by foot or use a bicycle. There are no cars around there. For some places, you may have to go by boat, since it’s unfeasible to use any dirt road, given how the rocks and the dense vegetation prevent people from doing so.
Its highest point is known as the viewpoint and is 186 meters above sea level. Going there is totally worth, as you can catch the whole island from above. If you have time, I recommend doing this several times in a day, to perceive the island’s different hues. Go at sunset time, at least.
If another tsunami hits the island, people should go the viewpoint. There are several signs on the island with this indication.
The busiest beaches are those of Ton Sai and Ao Lo Dalam, however, in my point of view, the best ones are those not so attended by tourists, such as Monkey Beach.
When I was there, I wanted to experience both sides of the island. I lodged myself in a hostel in the village of Ton Sai, in order to be acquainted with a bit of the island and, then, I spent a few days in a resort, private beach included. If you can… do the same.
Phi Phi Leh
The Maya beach, known as “The Beach”, is located on Phi Phi Leh. Its beauty is absolutely unquestionable. Taking the boat trip from Phi Phi Don is mandatory.
As the boat gets closer to Maya beach, we are approaching an absolutely paradisaical scenery. This was one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been to.
The boat didn’t actually dock, so it dropped me a few meters away from the sand itself, given how much rocks the sea has. I stepped into the water and walked slowly towards the sand strip. I was lucky and there were very few people there. The expectation that I initially had was absolutely and positively shattered. I realized indeed the reason why this beach was a treasure that no one seemed willing to share!
The beach is encircled by a luxurious vegetation and cliffs about 100 meters high. Not only the sea and the sand are incredible, the surroundings are stunning as well.
It’s also interesting to visit a cave called Viking Cave. Its name derives from the fact that it holds paintings of vessels which actually resemble those that were used by the Vikings.
These are some gorgeous islands and I deeply recommend visiting them. They are tiny, but provide many activities. Fine beaches, some busy and some peaceful, restaurants where you can eat some good pad thai, interesting shops and plenty of water sports. I’ve talked about the most well-known islands, but you just need to talk with some boat owner and set the price to go to any other you want.