Previously written – Phuket.
The ferry journey from Phuket to Phi Phi Island was beautiful and the moment we started to approach Phi Phi Island, I knew that I am in for some different kind of adventure altogether.
Phi Phis Islands: What a Warm Welcome!
Phi Phi is a group of island, part of Krabi district. In the Tsunami of 2004, almost all of Phi Phi Islands and its infrastructure was destroyed. They certainly have done a great job in restoring everything!
We were in Phi Phi Don, the part of the island which is inhabited by the locals and the tourists. The best part about this place is that you have to pay a cleanliness fee before entering (TBH 20) and you know it is not going in waste because the way this island has been maintained is marvellous.
Once you enter the island, you would feel as if you are in some sort of modern village with shops all around and so many cute cafes. When I say cute, I mean cute by both the look and feel of it!
Since it was a long ferry ride, we decided to have our lunch before moving to the cottages, which again offered some fantastic stay!
The enticing food of Phi Phi Islands!
I decided to have some good seafood, not very local, but yes, I had to try the Thailand varieties. The squids and blue mussels were on my mind for a long time now, so I decided to try them.
After a hearty lunch with a liberal serving of watermelon juice(that is the love that I have brought back from Thailand!), we explored the market a bit more. And yes, Thailand can never stop to amaze me.
There were these li’l kiosks, selling cocktails in buckets with all the component in it. Pleasing to the eyes, yes! And I am very sure that these buckets leave their consumers wholly drunk and high!
Exploring Phi Phi Islands
Narrow, hilly roads are what characterizes this part of Phi Phi Don. I loved the streets because of two reasons. One, they were so thin that you can not take any vehicle that can pollute the air. The limited use of motor-vehicles thus makes it a place to live in. Second, the roads are formed in a spiral, and the terrain is a li’l rough. So, it seems like a hike!
Let me give you the idea of the altitude. One can actually see the horizon and listen to the sea from anywhere you stand.
After a good amount of hike, we could spot the cottages where we were supposed to lodge ourselves. Savage much? Yes.
These cottages offered a great stay! A clean pool, very detached bungalows, all located at different levels and so much peace. Just one thing – the wooden cottages among the wilds also come with the insects and reptiles about which you can’t complain. You signed for it!
This day was about exploring the nightlife of the place. And trust me, the whole place is very different during the day and night. According to me, it is a perfect place – eat the best during the day and then party at the most happening place during the night.
Phi Phi Don has completely different areas – all within the same vicinity. You can go to the central market place where you have all the cafes and shops and pubs. Then there is the Tonsai passenger pier which has got beautiful and peaceful dinner places which close by ten at night. And finally, there is the beachside where the most talked about “neon parties” take place.
Nightlife at Phi Phi Islands
The night of this day was about shopping and exploring and of course, eating.
I did not click much because hey, I was making memories and not clicking pictures! But I wouldn’t have missed any makeshift temple if I spotted one!
The next day was dedicated to the island hopping and exploring the nightlife even more.
The long tail boat adventure!
It was on this day that I realized that these groups of islands resemble elephants – some sitting, some standing and some doing their silly things! And then, I couldn’t stop clicking them. The most mesmerizing pictures came out during this island hopping tour.
This time, the island hopping was a more personalized tour on long-tail boats which could accommodate seven people on board — and opting for this tour rather than the usual speed boat tours was the best decision ever! The tour cost us 1000 TBH (INR 2000 approx.) per person, and the “sailor” would take us to places that we could cover in six hours. We made sure that we made the best out of those six hours!
We left the harbour – Sailing far, far away from the main island.
The sea is furious and trust me, it seems scarier in a long tail boat!
The first thing that I could see was the Viking Caves. The beauty of these caves are best enjoyed from the other side (thanks to the internet for letting me know that!), and I made a mental checklist to cover this island for sure!
Our first stop was Bamboo Island, which is a preserved and restricted entry island. The entry fee is TBH 400. We made our stop somewhere around it, in the middle of the sea, where the divers among us decided to go for snorkelling and diving to enjoy the underwater sea life!
After that, we sailed towards the Laem Tong beach, which is again the characteristically fine white sand and clear blue water beach.
This was the place where I dived into the sea, with a life jacket on, of course. I hate to say, but I am scared of water. I so wish I was not!
After relaxing in the sea(literally) and the sun, we headed towards the shark point.
When you traverse from one island to another, you will come across specific private beaches as well – completely secluded and beautiful – the place where you would want to live for some time!
The shark-point is a fantastic place for snorkelling. Though this place is named after the leopard shark you might not be able to locate any. However, this is a place for some pretty soft corals and different species of reef fishes.
And these are super hungry and friendly reef fishes. You dip your finger in the sea, with no fish in the sight, and hundreds of fishes swiftly swim towards you mistaking your finger to be food.
This was one of my cutest experience ever. Given the fact how much I fear water, this was indeed too big for me – standing stagnant, somewhere in the middle of the sea, on a rickety boat, not knowing what creature might pop up from anywhere.
Some more enchanting islands in Phi Phi Islands!
The next stop was Monkey Island. Of course, as the name suggests, one would expect monkeys there.
I was expecting a usual beach – white sand, blue waters – with the typical jungles but with wild monkeys roaming around. This island is nowhere near this description.
It doesn’t have a proper beach. You anchor your boat near the island, and then you can hear some noise which is pleasantly unpleasantly. And it is rhythmically aligned with the sound of the waves.
I had no clue what is happening. And then I realized, oh, I am at the Monkey Island.
And that is me, more shocked than surprised after I spotted the monkeys.
So, this place is scary, and I don’t know how scary it might get at night. Dense jungles surrounded by water all around and inhabited by the closest cousin of the human species – that is scary if you ask me!
But everything aside, this place is indeed beautiful. Beautiful is instead an understatement.
Finally, we proceeded towards the Viking Caves. Our stoppage here was of short duration because the boat wala bhaiya was very tired by now. You can not go inside the caves, but the internet will tell you that the cave walls have paintings of the Viking ships and thus they get this name.
The Swiftlet’s nests are harvested here for human consumption. And it turns out that this is one of the most expensive animal product consumed around the world! Edible nests – strange, right?
And finally, we stopped at the nearby Pileh Bay. This place is picturesque, to say the least, I have never seen anything so astonishing and peaceful.
Even now, when I sit to write this, I am surprised at the miracle of nature. Pileh Bay is an entirely calm bay, somewhere in the turbulent and wild Andaman Sea, surrounded by huge chunks of limestone from all the sides.
This place will send you to a state of complete ignorance and trance as you enjoy the green limestone walls and the emerald bay of the Andaman Sea! And that is how this island hopping tour on the long tail boat ended.
Food coma, courtesy Phi Phis Islands
By the time we returned, it was already lunchtime. And it was time to try something new. Okay, so whenever in Thailand, you have to try the local cuisine without any fuss.
We ordered the famous Papaya Salad, Massaman Curry and Pad Thai Noodles. Not to forget, the dessert – sticky rice and Mango.
After this and some more shopping, I started to hike towards the cottage. I was burned in the sun and was in pain. But it was all worth! This place is probably my favourite place in Thailand. Please take me back!
Full moon party at the Phi Phi Islands
We retired to our cottages to catch up some sleep. In the evening we decided to explore the beach party scenes. Though none of us was in a mood to have a wild party or anything but then again when in Roman, do as the Romans do!
It was wilder than I expected and I certainly had some bizarre experiences of my life there! I don’t like the idea of doing hazardous stuff, like playing with fire, when under the effect of any drug. But I did enjoy my stay at these parties – not to mention, super short stays!
I soon found my kind of drug while coming back. There were two things that one can spot throughout the Phi Phi Don – one, the bucket cocktail stalls and second, Monster Ice Cream vendors. I was already so high on my travel that I decided to skip the alcohol. However, I never say no to desserts.
And ladies and gentlemen, that is how I got my ultimate high!
That is how the night ended. Sweet ending indeed!
The next morning was about watching the sunrise. I was not expecting something amazing because yes, I have seen too many beach sunrises.
Just when I thought that I was done with the beauty of Phi Phi, this group of the island proved me wrong.
I, along with another girl, Aditi, started to hike towards the viewpoint at around five in the morning. The hike was an easy one and took about 30 to 40 minutes to reach the viewpoint.
Wait till the trail starts to get uneven and rough.
So, we reached the top. What now? I first looked back towards the trail that we just covered.
And then, there was this breathtaking view!
And there were my lovely elephants!
I was left speechless. I was too mesmerized to say anything! Or maybe too hungry because yes, the hike goes you famished.
And after having breakfast with a view, back in our cottage, we started for the last leg of the trip – Krabi Town.
With so many beautiful memories of this place, I started for Krabi with no expectations – all beaches are the same, right? But again, I was proved wrong!
Next Up – Ao Nang, Krabi!