26 Oct Phi Phi Islands, Phuket, Thailand
Phi Phi Islands, Phuket, Thailand
Phi Phi Islands is one of the oldest Thai communities dating back to prehistoric times. The name Phi Phi is a Malaysian version of the local name “Pulao Pi ah Pi” referring to the plentiful mangrove in the region. It is in fact an archipelago made of six islands that are surrounded by the waters of the Andaman Sea. These six Islands are: Ko Phi Phi Don, Ko Phi Phi Leh, Bida Nok, Bida Noi, Ko Mai Phai, and Ko Yung. Some Islands have inhabitants while others are preserved to promote biodiversity and encourage tourists to visit.
Attractions of Phi Phi Islands
Several factors come into play to make this a must-see destination for all who visit Phuket. The culture, food, historic buildings and natural scenery are major attractions that bring visitors to this region in droves:
Tonsai Bay is a major attraction and it is easy to tell that from the hive of activities. There is a constant flow of Speed boats, Yachts and Longtail boats ferrying visitors to and from the bay. Tonsai village is also a splendid location for visitors who would love to sample some Thai cuisine served by pleasant locals in fine restaurants or along the busy streets. Those who love shopping will definitely enjoy hopping from shop to shop in a quest for jewelry, clothing and handicrafts. While on Ko Phi Phi Don, take to the Viewpoint for a spectacular view of all the Islands.
If all you want is relaxation in a long stretch of white sparkling sand, head out to the Bamboo Island or Koh Phai as the locals call it. It is a stunning tropical location where you can take in the sun and scamper in the shade provided by one of the bamboo trees that dot the area. It is a great place to visit during the day especially if you would love to see some of the most beautiful coral reefs.
After a day unwinding at the Bamboo Island, you will certainly have enough energy for some serious adventure at the Pirate Islands. It was opened in 2012 to give visitors an exceptional experience as they explore the beautiful scenery. It bears three main attractions among them an electronic shooting range, a haunted house and 5D motion theatre for guaranteed amusement for the whole family. It is open from 11:00 am to 11:00pm and it is easily accessible as it lies only 50 miles from the main pier.
A visit to Phi Phi islands would be incomplete without touring the world famous Maya Bay. It was plunged to the limelight when it was featured in Leonardo Di Caprio’s acclaimed film ‘The Beach’. The location’s beauty is simply indescribable providing several opportunities for tourists to go kayaking, snorkeling or just take it easy admiring the coral reefs.
The Monkey Beach provides the perfect adrenalin rush for those with a penchant for the wild. Known as Yun Gassem by the locals, this area is an untouched hinterland where monkeys love to play. They hide in the dense jungle beyond and occasionally come out to enjoy the sun and sand. You should be very careful though, as these are wild animals that could harm you if they feel threatened. If you prefer marine life, spend a day of your trip at Long Beach where you can snorkel with magnificent Black Tip reef sharks.
How to stretch your dollar
Visiting all these attractions can be quite expensive considering the fact that Phi Phi islands is a prime tourist attraction. If you are facing budget constraints, do not worry but instead consider some money saving strategies. You can for example, joined an organized tour with fellow travelers. Not only does this save you hundreds of dollars, it makes the experience better when more people are involved. Organized tours are also guided, meaning that you will get to see most of the meaningful attractions and reduce the chances of getting lost in the vast area.
How to get around
The Island is located 46km from Phuket as well as Krabi. To get there from these two locations you can either take a 90 minute ferry ride or cut the time by half on a speed boat. The Ferries usually leave at between 8 and 10 in the morning and in the afternoons from 1 to 2pm. These times often change depending on the seasons and tide but it is usually a smooth ride to your destination. You can get to various Islands by the famous Longtail boat taxis or walk to your destination.
Walking might sound difficult but it is the only option in the apparent absence of cars and buses. Sometimes the walks will be long on narrow trails or foot paths but they certainly make for memorable experiences. A long trek to the jungle from your hotel is definitely the best way to enjoy the flora and fauna of Phi Phi Island.
In the islands some resorts can only be accessed from the Tonsai Pier by boat transfer. Most of the resorts do not have piers either and travelers are advised to pack flip flops as opposed to their good shoes. You should also come prepared to walk as cabs and motor cycles are not available to get you around different islands. While this location is best preferred by honeymooners, back packers can also enjoy its natural scenery and rich supply of trails for unlimited adventure. Besides the rather pricey resorts and five star hotels, there are several options that could save some of your money. Consider renting a cabin or spending your nights at a cozy bed and breakfast instead of seeking lavish accommodation that will limit your fun.
Next time you are looking for an ideal holiday destination, consider this magnificent location surrounded by beautiful marine life, jungle, rich history and pleasant locals. The pictures you will take, the places you will discover and the people you will meet will certainly leave you anticipating your next trip to the heavenly land. Then you can bring your friends and family for total merriment under the sun on sparkling sand.