My experience in Koh Phi Phi Islands (Beaches in Phuket)
Have you read the popular travel guide “1,000 Places to See Before You Die”? Well, in July 2009 my boyfriend and I took the book to a whole new dimension. We decided to open it to a random page and to travel to that destination, no matter where it is - within the next two years. In suspense, we opened the book and landed at “Koh Phi Phi”. Then, we stared at the page and at each other, not knowing what or where Koh Phi Phi was and preceded to read the mini description of our future vacation destination. Phi Phi islands are considered as some of the most beautiful in the world. They're known for the limestone cliffs, white sandy beaches and caves. In June 2010, we landed in Phuket, Thailand – the hub to Phi Phi islands.
The Book That Led Us to Koh Phi Phi
Phi Phi What?
Phi Phi (pronounced "Pee Pee") Islands refers to an archipelago of islands 30 miles (50km) southeast of Phuket, Thailand. There are six islands - Ko Phi Phi Don, which is the largest and only populated one, Ko Phi Phi Leh, Ko Mai Phai which is also referred to as 'Bamboo Island', Ko Yung, Bida Nok and Bida Nai. As you may have guesses, koh is "island" in Thai.
You Probably Already Know Phi Phi Le
Parts of "The Beach" was filmed at Koh Phi Phi Leh, further adding to the popularity of the stunningly beautiful island with huge cliffs. Maya Bay is located on this island and is surrounded by 100-meter cliffs on three sides. We explored this part of the island's beaches with soft white sand, swam in the warm and crystal clear waters, and snorkeled around the reef, seeing lots of colorful fish and coral.
Getting to Phi Phi Island
We booked a day-trip to Phi Phi from a travel agency down the block from our hotel, and by the way, there are loads of travel agencies and you can definitely benefit from shopping around for the best package deal. Our trip included a pick-up from the hotel, a speedboat to 2 islands (Phi Phi Don which has a monkey beach and Phi Phi Le), buffet style lunch, snorkeling and snacks - not just for us but also for the monkeys we'd meet.
We were picked up at 7 in the morning to make our way toward Rassada Pier in Phuket Town where we gathered with other passengers and our flamboyant tour guide, who called himself "Beautiful Lucy".
When to visit Phi Phi - You can't visit just at any time of year!
We visited Phi Phi in June but our first attempt to board a boat to the islands went sour when we got to the pier and were told that the waves were too high, making it dangerous for the boats so were had to reschedule for an alternative date but others even got refunds and didn't try to make the 1 /12 hour car ride to the pier another day. We rescheduled for the following day and thankfully the waves weren't too high and we made it to our randomly picked travel destination of Koh Phi Phi. Visits to Koh Phi Phi usually go without a hitch from November to April.
Cute Monkeys at Monkey BeachClick thumbnail to view full-size
Unbelievable Tsunami Footage - Part 1 of 7
The Tsunami of December 2004 Devastated Koh Phi Phi
Koh Phi Phi was not spared during the tsunami of December 26 2004. The archipelago was devastated and most infrastructure was wiped out. Amazingly, the people were able to rebuild and four years later, when we were there, there was hardly a trace of that terrible day.