|Koh Phi Phi Day Tours|
Phi Phi - Those Famous Islands
Many People now in these beautiful islands, but the grandeur cannot be destroyed
The stunning beauty of this pair of islands has seen them listed amongst the most beautiful islands in the world, and justifiably so. Images of Phi Phi are used to sell the whole Phuket region, and most visitors to Phuket have likely seen photos of the rock walls of Phi Phi rising from crystal waters long before arriving here.
Unfortunately the development of the islands has been uncontrolled, and the main beach area in Ton Sai Bay is now a kind of crowded resort slum, though one with its own character. At midday each day thousands of day tripping tourists are poured off tour boats from Phuket onto the beach at Ton Sai, creating a temporary crowd. Note that the first photo here was taken in 1990 before tourism discovered the place!
Despite this, the original beauty of the islands away from Ton Sai beach remains intact. No-one can change the massive rock formations and clear waters. And the many small coves and beaches within the two islands have no structures at all. A trip to Phi Phi is still an awe-inspiring experience.
As with touring Phang Nga, how one travels makes the greatest difference. Best by far is renting one’s own boat, though that is an expensive option. Most of the day trip boats offer a basic, if somewhat crowded tour around the islands. Staying over night offers a chance to experience the real grandeur of these islands after the day-trippers have left. Evening and early morning are magical times in the shadow of Phi Phi’s mighty rock walls, making an overnight stop here a memorable experience.
There are a few good hotels here and many cheap bungalows on Phi Phi. One can usually arrive and find accommodation. But beware during the peak season- it’s better to be sure and book in advance from January to March. See contacts below for some better hotels that can be booked in advance.
Boats to Krabi, Lanta
There are several large passenger boats from Phuket to Phi Phi daily. There are also daily boat connections from Phi Phi to Krabi and to Koh Lanta, making it possible to plan an interesting itinerary.
There are many longtail boats for rent on the beach at Ton Sai Bay (approx 1,500 Baht per day) and the drivers all know the best snorkelling places. Perhaps the best is over an extensive, shallow reef just off Bamboo island. This Island has a beautiful beach is also worth visiting. During the high season a small restaurant usually sets up here, but there is no accommodation here. There were once beautiful coral gardens around the southern, uninhabited Phi Phi island, but these have been almost completely destroyed by longtail boats droppng and dragging their anchors while taking tourists to view them. The boat drivers are learning, bit by bit. Please do your bit to help by not touching any corals at all, and ensure that all of your rubbish comes back with you.
There are a few diving companies operating out of the small village at Ton Sai Bay, and they can provide everything for the new or experienced diver, including instruction. There are quite a few interesting dive spots off the southern island, Phi Phi Le, and of course the companies here know them well. It is an ideal place to learn to dive since the water here is placid, warm and very clear.
There has been one French climber here for several years, and he would guide climbers, new and experienced, up some of the towering pinnacles here. Ask for him in Mama’s restaurant right in the middle of the Ton Sai village. We repeat that by far the best way to see and enjoy the Phi Phi Islands is to stay overnight, rent a longtail and take your own tour. The day trips from Phuket are far from ideal. Daily passenger boats connect Phi Phi with both Phuket and Krabi, and, in the high season, with Koh Lanta.