[ Episode : PHI PHI SO CUTE ]
PHI PHI ISLANDS : PLACES FOR BACKPACK TRAVELERS
"Don't wait for others to tell....."
The 17-year-old movie called "The Beach" describes story about an American backpacker who dreams of coming to Thailand. A charming actor like Leonardo DiCaprio (main actor in Titanic) takes major roles to run the story from beginning till the end. This movie is shoot at Ao Maya. It accordingly makes Mu Koh Phi Phi in Krabi province become so famous that it is listed in TOP 10 most beautiful islands in the world. It also creates inspiration for worldwide backpackers to follow the movie and experience real nature of white sand, clear sea and attractively colorful coral underwater. And this is also a beginning of my dream too. Convert dream into reality ....
" Convert dream into reality "
"A spirit of traveler is inside every human. Each journey has a hidden meaning. No matter when, human still seeks for exploring the world and receiving new experiences."
17 years pass, what changes :
More than past 10 years I have heard about Mu Koh Phi Phi a lot. Mainly negative side, only little positive side. I see images from local and international media regarding its declining beauty or management problem on island. Today I will bring you to prove if the rumor is real or it's just a word of mouth. Does the island remain its beauty? Why do travelers put efforts to come to a place called " Phi Phi "
" 17 years of waiting to trace "The Beach"
KOH PHI PHI : General Information
Mu Koh Phi Phi are islands in Andaman sea located in Krabi province, 40km. from coastline. They consist of 6 islands; Koh Phi Phi Don, Koh Phi Phi Le, Koh Bida Nok, Koh Bida Nai, Koh Yoong and Koh Pai. Accommodations are mostly located on Koh Phi Phi Don.
HOW TO GET THERE : The least tired method
Mu Koh Phi Phi is in between Phuket and Krabi. Tourists can get on ferry or speed boat from Karbi and Phuket port. For this trip, I choose convenient and economical method. I catch a flight from Bangkok to Krabi (flight 6.45 - 7.55AM) taking around one hour. After receiving luggage and walking out, you will find booth selling shuttle bus ticket to the pier. There are 2 piers in Krabi; Chao Fah pier and Klong Jirad pier. The bus send me at Klong Jirad pier with fare of THB90 per person.Once obtaining ticket, walk out from building and turn left. You will see the bus waiting.
Distance from airport to downtown is not far. The bus takes around 15-20 minutes and stops at ferry booth selling ticket to Koh Lanta and Koh Phi Phi. Tourists have to get off here in order to move on to pier. This place offers ferry ticket at THB400 per person which you can refuse to buy. You can buy at the pier. Ticket price is probably cheaper. THB200 (for islander) and THB300-450. I buy one round ticket from here. The boat departs at 10.30AM. Wait for 20-30 minutes for the bus to leave and take another 5 minutes to arrive at pier.
On return round, I buy ticket right at the pier, THB200 per person. Don't buy ticket from booths on island. A ticket of bus delivering to airport will be sold on the boat at THB100. If the price is higher, I recommend to buy when arrive at the port. There is ticket at THB100++. In case you travel as a group, you can hire taxi at THB400. It would be more worthy ....
When arrive at the pier and walk inside building, staff will check ticket (in case buy ticket from outside the pier). After that, staff will give a real ticket. Since food and drink on island are twofold, I recommend to buy everything you need here.
The boat leaves on time and take about 2 hours to the island. It moors at pier in Ao Ton Sai, Koh Phi Phi Don. You can look for lodging on the map or some hotels send boats to pick up. Observe for local holding hotel's board.
JOURNEY TO KOH PHI PHI
Koh Phi Phi Don doesn't have rental car or bicycle as it is not large. Road is circle around the island which you can walk thoroughly. For journey to beaches, there are long-tailed-boats along Ao Ton Sai and Ao Lo Dalam bay.
AROUND PHI PHI
P h i P h i D o n : is the biggest island where hosts pier, accommodation, shop, restaurant, hospital, police station and all all facilities. It also has beach and various attractive bays.
Bays on Koh Phi Phi Don where you can walk are as follows;
A o T o n S a i : is where boats from Krabi and Phuket moor. It is equipped with everything you need; shop, different kinds of residences, restaurant and entertainment venue. If you would like to visit other beaches, you can find long-tailed-boat here.
H a a d Y a o : is connected with Ao Ton Sai. It is a long beach, not curvy like bay. Crystal clear sea with plenty of tiny fish. It is another popular beach for tourists.
A o L o D a l a m : or some call it Haad Lung located behind Ao Ton Sai. This bay is curved and surrounded with mountains along both sides. Most of travelers stay here. Since the beach is long, it allows tourists to swim including sunbathe and other water activities. The bay is also very joyful at night because there are many entertainment venues for tourists to relax.
Bays and islands around Koh Phi Phi Don where you can travel by hiring villagers' boat are as follow;
L a e m T o n g : is on northernmost part of Phi Phi Don where hosts fisherman village plus beautiful seashore.
A o L o B a K a o : is the most charming beach on the island as it has coconut trees lining up along the beach.
H a a d P a k N a a m : is a small shore with only 300m. length next to Ao Lo Ba Kao.
A o R a n t e e : is exactly a right location for seeing coral reefs.
A o L o M u D i : is peaceful. Its long beach is suitable for sunbathing.
A o W a n g L o n g : is private and clam. If you would like to rest or find a place to read good book, I recommend come here. Ao Wang Long is the smallest gulf of Koh Phi Phi, so there are not many tourists.
VIEW POINT :
I would say this is the highlight. You need to prepare yourself as you gotta climb up the hill for a huge moment. There are 3 view points which are worthy to your effort. I suggest to come in the evening. The view of sunset is splendid. View points are in personal area, so have to pay entrance fee of THB30 per person. The peak is at second point. It is super duper beautiful. How come it is soooo remarkable......
" The higher, The wider view "
After a full day at Koh Phi Phi Don, if you don't have idea of where to go, I recommend to hire a boat to other islands. Or buy one day / half day tour for diving, seeing coral reefs and appreciating beauty of Ao Maya. I guarantee you will definitely get double benefits of what you pay!!
I plan to spend one day at Phi Phi Le and dive. So, I choose one day trip at THB700, THB500 for half day, from "Chaokoh Group". It can be easily found at tour agencies around island. Actually agencies arrange lots of tours. You can choose as you like. However, I select this trip because they bring to various places near Koh Phi Phi Don and Phi Phi Le. The ferry is large which is good for watching 360-degree-view. Coming as a group would be fun. The tour also offers lunch which is even enough dinner plus unlimited water, coffee, tea and fruit during whole trip. They also provide kayak and diving equipment. Very good service. Anyway, negative point of large ferry is inability to moor at coast. For overall image, I vote for this one .....
Journey starts at 9.30AM till 7.00PM. The tour will orderly bring you to Koh Phi Phi Le, Koh Ling, Koh Pai and around Koh Phi Phi Don. You will get full feelings of Mu Koh Phi Phi. Follow me! What you will get and what you will see during this trip ... photos are enough to describe.
K o h P h i P h i L e : has space of 6.6 sq.km. which is the most famous island of Mu Koh Phi Phi. Its reputation spreads all over the world. You can find image, postcard, movie and documentary via multiple medias. Guarantee by the most gorgeous bay Ao Maya. It makes Mu Koh Phi Phi become well known. There is no lodging place here, so nature is still plentiful.
Scene from "The Beach"
V i k i n g C a v e : The boat will pass Viking cave on Koh Phi Phi Le. Inside cave contains stalactites and stalagmites with plenty of century paintings. It is recently not allowed to enter since it causes declining state. Tourists like me only watch from outside but it is beautiful enough...
A o M a y a : Then the boat bring me to the famous Ao Maya. It is a curved bay occurred from collapse of limestone mountain. So, it creates narrow gateway for water to flow inside out. The beach is 250m. long. If anyone's coming Koh Phi Phi, you definitely must visit Ao Maya. The real place is extremely gorgeousssssss!!
A o K a s a e m, K o h L i n g : is a small gulf of 300m. length with delicate white sand. It is suitable for diving since water is crystal clear with charming coral reef and fish. I like this place because there are less tourists. And there are monkeys living here, so people call the bay "Ao Ling".
K o h P a i : The island is surrounded with white soft sand, like powder. The sea is shallow enough to easily walk. No worries for people who can't swim. Or you can snorkel to watch corals which mostly are staghorn corals. In case you want to stay here, you can rent a tent from national park. They also have toilet and restaurant to service.
SHARK & SUNSET POINT : is diving spot where you can see coral reefs and fish including sharks (but I don't find shark). You can also watch sunset moment which I have to say the view here is splendid. Especially in full moon night, you may see 2 moons.
" Chu vee dooo wa, I will bring you to watch crown fish "
" Watching the sun disappearing into the sea "
" Black sea, morning is coming soon "
WALKING STREET & HANGOUT:
If you don't know what to do at night, on PhiPhi Don, there is walking street. It actually opens since morning but it will be more jolly at night. Light and sound will color up you night including restaurant, souvenir shop, pub, bar and seafood restaurant. For HangOver fans, I recommend area infront of Haad Lo Dalam consisted of entertainment activity and nice ambiance. It will entertain you all night. In photos are atmosphere around walking street and the beach at night.
I give 9/10 points. The natural beauty of Mu Koh Phi Phi, sea, beach, and coral are still very plentiful though nowadays there are lots of hotels on the island to welcome travelers. However , it is to offer convenience to tourists. For anyone who's still hesitating, I suggest to come during high season. I promise you won't be regret especially Ao Maya. It is super duper beautiful!! Worthwhile with the word "The Beach". I recommend to stay on the island for 2 nights joining tour to other islands and absorbing underwater world. I guarantee this heaven on earth will surely make you happy. Don't believe in others' words. Don't wait for them to tell....
Expenses for 3 Days 2 Nights :
Round flight ticket included everything THB740/person (Lion promotion)
Shuttle bus THB90/person
Round trip ferry THB600/person
General and cleaning fee on island THB20/person
Entrance fee of view point at Koh Phi Phi THB30/person
Accommodation expense : 2 nights at hostel THB950/person (book via Booking THB475/night)
One day tour THB700/person
National park entrance fee THB40/person
Shuttle bus from pier to airport THB100/person
PS. This doesn't include food and drink. Other expenses depend on one's budget. For small budget, you can use it as a guideline. For more budget, choose what you like. Please share this review if you find it useful. I hope you guys would follow my other journeys. Thank you for reading. ^^