From Phuket to Phi Phi, we set off to discover this collection of 6 islands in Southern Thailand. Only one is inhabited – Phi Phi Don, a quirky shaped island which is mostly motor-less giving it a calm and intriguing charm. The pedestrian town is small and very pretty, bookended by two long beaches facing green islands of all shapes and sizes.
Popular with young travellers and holiday makers (we often felt like we were the oldest on the island), it has a reputation for being a party destination, and on that front it didn’t let us down (you should’ve seen Annalie’s karaoke performance). It is however also a good spot for hikers and snorkelers alike. The island is small enough to be discovered on foot and within a couple of hours the more distant beaches can be walked to by trudging through the thick forest or, at low tide, walking along the rocky coast.
We did a bit of everything on the island as we stayed a total of 6 days. On our first days we familiarised ourselves with the town and walked our way to the main beaches for some paddling and sun bathing time. The weather easily reached the mid 30s so we took advantage of a day of clouds to hike across the island in search of a less crowded beach. The walk was tough enough to tire us out but gentle enough to keep us alive, which was nice.
The smaller, uninhabited islands of Phi Phi are well known in the scuba diving world so Annalie took full advantage of it. She spent a day out with a group of divers and did 3 separate dives, one taking her over 30mt deep to discover a shipwreck. One of her fellow divers was celebrating his 100th dive and tradition has it that it should be done naked. Lucky Annalie was chosen as designated photographer and came home with a good selection of bum shots. Lovely. I in the meantime went for another hike to an even more secluded beach on the Eastern side of the island where I made friends with two gorgeous dogs. Lovely all round.
One can’t come to Phi Phi and miss out on the islands, so on our last day we went for a walk up to Phi Phi’s viewpoint to see where we’d be heading later on our island hopping tour. Many boat trips are the all-you-can-drink kind catered for the youths but we were keen to avoid the 18 year olds so opted for a slightly tamer one. We enjoyed the sun, the sea, some good music and a couple of beers right till sunset, making it a pretty perfect day out. We even got to see Maya Bay (where Leo DiCaprio’s The Beach was filmed) but didn’t want to spend the £10 tourist tax so just enjoyed it from aboard our pirate ship.
Whilst we were a bit disappointed with Phuket, Phi Phi on the other hand turned out to be a great little gem. We had some excellent curries (and the odd western dish) and despite the high numbers of tourists we really enjoyed the town’s vibe. Plus, with beautiful turquoise waters and postcard perfect views, this place offers the heavenly kind of nature you spend your life dreaming of.
Next: the more chilled island of Koh Lanta.
Ciao for now xx