The Phi Phi Islands are among the most famous and most visited islands Thailand has to offer. Why? Because of “The Beach” – a movie starring Leonardo DiCaprio. Even though I have never seen the movie, Phi Phi was on my list of places I wanted to visit. So when we arrive at Phuket airport and got a chance to book a tour to the islands, we did.
Exploring Phi Phi Islands
Only two days after arriving on Kata Beach, we headed towards those famous islands. Early in the morning a taxi driver picked us up at our hotel, taking us to the departure pier which was on the other side of the island. Upon arrival at the pier you receive a sticker which identifies you as part of a packaged tour group. Then the sales pitches began: waterproof iPhone cases, scuba diving during the tour and so on. After two days in Thailand I’ve already started turning a deaf ear to those.
Finally, we got on board the boat to take us to Phi Phi Island. And what can I say – I should have taken the word BIG boat more serious. I have no idea how many people were on board the ship, but I can’t think it was less than 200. About half of them were travelling to Koh Phi Phi Don and got off there, while the other half was part of the packaged tour that went on to snorkel on Phi Phi Ley and explore Phi Phi Don a little.
The trip to Phi Phi itself takes about 2 hours already. And there is nothing much to see on the way, but even the smallest island in the distance made us intrepid Thailand tourists get out on deck and zoom and zoom until we got a more or less sharp picture of the little green dot in the ocean. What can I say – I was among them
If you’ve never seen this beautiful scenery you will just soak it up. After all, it is spectacular. I’m ashamed to say that I missed a glance at Maya Bay. We were sitting on the other side of the boat and a queue of eager wanna-be snorkellers stood in the way to make it to the other side. In my naivité I had though I’ll get to catch a glimpse on the way back, not knowing that we would ship around the island and that there was no coming back the same way.
Snorkelling on Phi Phi Ley
By far the most enjoyable part of this tour was the snorkelling on Phi Phi Ley. Even though there were too many people and too little fish, the experience was worth it. But let me not try and describe it – I’ll rather show you.
Back to Phi Phi Don
After a short snorkelling adventure we headed back to Phi Phi Don for a really delicious lunch and some free time to explore the island. We spent said free time taking the oh-so-typical tourist pictures with long tail boats facing out onto the bay.
On the way back to the pier we stopped for some post cards and arrived in good time to make it back on board. Even so, we were too late to get a seat on the upper decks and ended up in the belly of the ship, where little hatches were the only form of widows. So, just like everybody around us, we slept all the way back to Phuket.