(Day 155 to 167)
25.04.2010 - 07.05.2010 33 °C
Ko Phi Phi is a postcard perfect island. It really is a must see place, even though it’s very touristy.
As the ferry cruised into the bay, we were struck by the beautiful limestone cliffs and the clear water. Ko Phi Phi consists of Ko Phi Phi Leh (the smaller island) and Ko Phi Phi Don (the larger one). Phi Phi Don is the developed island, Phi Phi Leh is the beautiful small island which is uninhabited but is busy with longtail taxi boats of tourists visiting the place.
Phi Phi Don, as most people know, was devastated by the 2004 tsunami. Many of the buildings in the city center of Phi Phi were totally destroyed. We noticed that they’ve now setup Tsunami Evacuation signs & paths all over the island, and we’re guessing they’ve done the same on all of the Thai islands..?
We arrived at the Phi Phi port and were shuttled off to our accommodation for the next 2 weeks at Viking Resort, situated just before Long Beach. It’s a beautiful place located on its own private beach amongst the trees with some beautiful wooden bungalows and a great restaurant. Every evening they have a tasting of the food on their menu, it’s free and you can have as much as you like. Perfect for cheap backpackers like us (!) but also guilt-free as when asked why they did it – obviously people make it their dinner, the owners said they knew but it made their clients happy! Fine by us The staff were also helpful and friendly. All in all it was an excellent choice for a stay on Phi Phi and we warmly recommend the place.
There isn’t much more to do on Phi Phi other than, relaxing, sun tanning, snorkeling around the island, visiting the other islands around Phi Phi, having Thai massages on the beach and diving. Not bad!
On our first full day my folks, Steph and I, hired a long tail boat for the day and spent it visiting different islands scattered around Phi Phi and discovering little coves to snorkel in. It was a great day as we were surrounded by fish feeding on bread that our boat driver threw into the water. Our last stop was to be Phi Phi Leh. The smaller island is most famous for being the location for the movie 'The Beach'. Maya Bay, or commonly know as The Beach (duh), is stunningly beautiful, with white sand, bright green vegetation & crystal blue water but it was busy with tourists & boats. I’d hate to be here in the height of tourist season (we were there in low season which made things, like accommodation, a lot cheaper.
The rest of our stay was rather strenuous; we walked around town after having a leisurely breakfast overlooking the sea on the hotel’s private little beach, and then had our first Thai massage where they flexed my body into positions that made me look like a human fisherman’s knot!! All this effort was followed by cocktails on our beach again listening to some Thai reggae music. Hard times.
My parents left us to head back to beautiful Cape Town after a lovely 2 weeks with us. Seeing we still had 10 days to kill on paradise Phi Phi, I decided to take my Open Water Divers course. It is more expensive to do it in Phi Phi but the diving was excellent. I did 5 dives at numerous spots around Phi Phi but the best must have been a spot called Shark Point, several kilometers away from Phi Phi Leh in the middle of the ocean, but where a great reef is situated just breaking the surface. Here we saw, turtles, thousands of interesting fish, and a leopard shark swimming majestically past us over the reef.
Finally it was time to wave goodbye to this fantastic place, get on our longtail then our ferry back to Phuket. Direction Bangkok, followed by with 2 separate final destinations: Mauritius for Steph and Nigeria for me..