Phi Phi Don, Thailand
Thailand is one of Asia’s top destinations and the main reason for this is the many beautiful beaches and ideal tropical islands. When I planned my trip to Thailand, I wanted half my visit to be on one of these islands and there were many to choose from. Phuket was also on my list with its many modern western style resorts. But, my vision of paradise is more of a remote setting. I chose The Phi Phi Islands, a little more out-of-the-way and a vision of paradise.
You may have never heard of these islands but you may have seen it before. The Leonardo Dicaprio movie “The Beach” was filmed on the island Phi Phi Lei and specifically Maya Bay. These islands are much more than “The Beach” but I would have never known about it if it wasn’t for that movie. These islands are a 90 minute ferry ride away from Phuket and are part of the Krabi Provence. The only populated island is Phi Phi Don where you can find all types of accommodations in all the different price ranges, from your hostels to five star beach side hotels. You won’t have to worry about being run over by speeding taxis or being gouged by tuc tuc drivers as there are no vehicles or bicycles allowed on the island. The mode of transportation here are your feet and by water taxis. Restaurants and gift shops, they’re all here at the main town of Ton Sai Village.
Phi Phi Don is filled with small charming little beaches you can sun bathe in for hours. If you’re the more adventurous type, you can kayak to shark’s point for a little snorkeling or row yourself over to monkey beach.
The monkeys have been accustomed to visitors offering them food so they will come down from the cliffs to greet you on the beach, if you’re lucky. Both of these spots are on the harbor side of the island and you can also hire a water taxi or join a tour to visit them.
If you would like to see a bird’s eye view of the town, I recommend hiking to the viewpoint. It’s about 30 minutes from the pier and the main portion of town. Just look for the sign for the viewpoint placed throughout the town. Prepare yourself to ascend a hillside made up of hundreds of steps. I didn’t count the actual amount but it seemed endless.
There are two viewpoints and the first one is right after the end of the steps and the entrance. Don’t stop here, continue to the top of the hill by following the paved trail. Once you get to the top, you’ll be rewarded by this incredible panoramic. Don’t be scared, take a photo on the ledge of that boulder, you’ve earned this right.
If you never leave the island of Phi Phi Don, I wouldn’t blame you. It’s a beautiful island and they’ve done a wonderful job in resurrecting the island after the devastating Tsunami of 2004. If you do stay within the confines of Phi Phi Don, then you’ll miss out on the amazing beauty of the rest of the Phi Phi Islands.
This archipelago has to be explored and in my four-day visit, I did my best.