Ko Phi Phi
One of the most beautiful islands along Thailand’s coastline is undoubtedly Koh Phi Phi. This is also one of the most visited islands in Thailand, despite having no airport.
If you are visiting Koh Phi Phi for the first time, it will be no wonder if you feel like you are in paradise. So beautiful is this island, or the archipelago if you will. This is the holiday paradise for those who want to enjoy the beach life, and at the same time are willing to take a long flight from Europe.
When you visit the Tsunami disaster in 2004, Phi Phi hit hard, but a comprehensive day-to-day action by both residents and visitors has done wonders. The tourists failed Phi Phi for a couple of years, and the hotels that were previously fully booked almost year-round stood half empty. But now, most of it is back in place, both in terms of facilities and infrastructure, and if you didn’t know it, you would never have guessed that one of history’s worst natural disasters hit this little paradise a few years ago.
Ko Phi Phi for tourists
Ko Phi Phi, or Phi Phi Islands, is a group of islands located in the Krabi Province on the Andaman coast on Thailand’s western coastal strip between Malaysia and Myanmar. The island, which in daily speech is referred to simply as Phi Phi, is actually called Ko Phi Phi Don. This is the largest island and the only one permanently inhabited. 40 kilometers away is the smaller Ko Phi Phi Leh, a national park that is connected by many to the filming of the movie The Beach, in which Leonardo DiCaprio played the lead role.
Here you will find neither beach bars, hotels nor other accommodations, so day trips are your only option. You pay a park fee of 200 baht, about 30 kroner, on arrival. The overly beautiful bay of the white sandy beach of Maya Beach is invaded daily by an armada of boats full of snorkeling tourists. Unfortunately, anchoring and slander from tourists has unfortunately removed some of the idyll that the film gives the impression. But the island is still strikingly beautiful, and there is nowhere in Europe that comes up against this tropical paradise. On Phi Phi Leh is also the so-called Viking cave with its murals of boats. These are not very interesting, as they are probably no more than 100-120 years old. The other islands in Ko Phi Phi are, in practice, only large limestone cliffs that rise out of the sea.
The main island of Ko Phi Phi Don is practically two separate islands, but they are joined by a five-hundred-meter-long belt that is only about two hundred meters at its narrowest. On this belt lies almost all hotels, shops, restaurants and bars, and it is easy to imagine the devastating effect it had when the monster waves hit Phi Phi from both sides at the same time. In the bay on the north side of this belt is a long sandy beach, and in the bay on the south side, Ao Ton Sai, is the pier where the boats from Krabi and Phuket arrive. Here, the island’s fishermen also moor their boats, and there are plenty of bars and cafes along the promenade that extend along almost the entire waterfront. Admittedly, there are some nice bathing places. There are no cars on the island, but many of the residents have mopeds.
The eastern half of Phi Phi Don is called Ko Nai, and if you provide a seemingly endless and steep staircase and then an equally steep path, you will be rewarded with a fabulous panorama of Phi Phi, the Andaman Sea and the nearby islands. The kiosk at the vantage point sells expensive drinks, ice cream, postcards and souvenirs, but the sites they carry their items up here every day, they deserve to spend a few bucks extra for the items!
If you continue east through the forest, you come down to the very beautiful Hat Ranti beach. Since you either have to walk over the mountain or get a boat to drive you, there are comfortable few other tourists here. Still, you will find some beach bars, eateries and simple rental bungalows here, as well as the Muslim locals’ mosque. Hat Ranti is also considered the island’s best beach for surfing.