Just off the coast of Krabi and Aonang, the Phi Phi Islands are the best known of Thailand’s West Coast Islands. Then in 2000, the film “The Beach” was filmed there which gave the islands an incredible world exposure and began being one of the world’s most desirable holiday destinations.
The name of the Islands, Phi Phi, actually has nothing to do with toilets (read: pee pee or even that malicious something that you might be thinking) or bodily functions. The name comes from the Malay name Pokok Api Api for the fiery tree which is a type of grey mangrove tree that can be found all over the island. And here comes the ooohs and ahhhhs.
To get to Krabi, Thailand we need to land in Phuket. From Manila, the fastest way to get to Phuket is by plane. Cebu Pacific flies directly to Phuket thrice a week, MWF. It will take around 3 hours to get there. From Phuket, a land travel of almost 2 hours is still needed.
If you’ve got patience, you can also fly via AirAsia (for Manila-Phuket / Manila-Krabi) or Jetstar (Manila-Phuket) with a layover in Kuala Lumpur and Singapore, respectively. The amount of layover time may depend upon the airline but it can get as long as 21 hours.
What We Did
We chose the speed boat group tour from Krabitrek for our Phi Phi Island hopping. And it really pays off to be prompt and not being shy on getting on the boat first. Why? Because we were the ones who entered and got the option of being sitted at the front. Such is open and you could see the view much better. Plus, the impact of the waves are not that strong, it was like riding a roller coaster.
And I assure you, most of our pics are taken at the front and the experience was just so memorable. I even stood up at the front’s tip just to have a good photo while entering the lagoon. What’s so exciting about that? The boat is still moving…though quite slower than it should be. Lol. But still, it’ll give you a scary but exhilarating feeling!
Spots to visit:
Our first stop and though it got us a while to get there, we were mesmerized of the vastness of the white sand bearing island. Picture this: trees, sand and the beach. Who would say no to that?! And I must say, ang laki nung island! This is also famous for its coral reef which at low tide and can be clearly seen from the surface.
Since this was our first stop, my beau initially don’t have plans of taking a dip. Well, just because. But when he saw me enjoying myself in the waters, he jumped right in! Calm and clear waters, mapapa-swim ka talaga!
Pi Leh Bay
Now, this one is a beautiful cliff lined lagoon which reminded me of El Nido’s Big Lagoon but much, much bigger. Our speed boat started moving slower and the tour guide started shouting something in Thai but I understood her when she gestured towards the camera. I asked her if its alright to stand up at the very tip of the speedboat and she said ok.
So there I was, the first one to stand up and have my picture taken upon entering the vast and green lagoon. I’m brave like that. Haha. And of course, everyone else followed. Because sometimes in life, you just have to step up and be a leader. Naks.
Maybe the most popular beach in Thailand as this was the setting of the film ‘The Beach’ way back in 2000. However, I can only describe this island in 1 word: CROWDED. Uhuh and very much so. Though my beau-tographer managed to capture some good photos (he is really good at doing this job), it was kind of difficult doing so.
Tbh, this shot was very hard to capture. We really had an expectation vs. reality moment on this island.
There was a lot of finding the right angles (to exclude a bunch of tourists) and waiting…for our turn to be able to snap a quick pic of the island. Last one was really not that successful. And I hate crowded beaches. Well, at least the sand in Maya Bay is consistent with the other beaches in Krabi.
Walking distance from Maya Bay though this is on the other side of the island. From Maya Bay, walk towards the end of the shore and turn left. Just walk straight until you reach the sign of Losama Bay.
Snorkeling is suggested to be done and night dives are said to be popular here. The one in Maya Bay just provides a good view of Losama Bay so after snapping a quick photo of the place, we hurried back to our group’s meeting place.
We just passed by this island and even though we didn’t stayed long, there were severals monkeys which amde thir appearance for a tourist pictorial. I think they’re harmless, well, I hope so.
Phi Phi Don
This is where our group had our buffet lunch. Such was provided at the Ton Sai restaurant, which was just near the main port of the island. After lunch, we tried to roam around but there is not much to see here. The beach is typically impressive but since we have calibre beaches as well in the country, we didn’t get that excited.
Our last stop for the day to do some open sea snorkeling. Got to see several not-so-shy fishes but since it was already way past lunch, the current was strong and going against it can take quite a toll on you, right? That’s what happened to me and my beau had to literally drag me by the life vest. It was really exhausting! Got an instant hamstring exercise. Lol.
Where We Stayed
We stayed at Ao Nang Home Stay for 3 nights thru booking.com. The cost per night is THB 950 (around Php 1,273). I highly recommend this place as the owner, Mr Chang, is very accommodating and can arrange tours and transfers for you. He organized our Krabi to Phuket ferry transfers. The home stay was also neat and situated in a strategic location.
See contact details below for more information.
>> Fried Prawns in Tamarind Sauce – Just literally 10 steps away from our home stay, we ate our dinner at a restaurant named Ton Ma Yom, which was recommended by our home stay owner. We didn’t realize at first that this resto is being visited by many travelers because of its high TripAdvisor rating. I am just gload it didn’t disappoint. This fried prawns in tamarind sauce became my immediate favorite because of its balanced flavor. I had to literally have to stop myself from licking the plate for the sauce. It was that good!
>> Yellow Curry Chicken – Also from Ton Ma Yom and though I am not a fan of curries, I ate this one. Well, some of it since I am much concentrated with the fried prawn dish. I liked that the heat wasn’t overpowering the flavor of the curry.
>> Coconut Ice Cream – Bought this at Phi Phi Don for only THB5 (around P6) from a Thai mamang sorbitero while I was roaming around the island. It was actually good for that price and there was even bonus peanuts on top!
• For budget travelers, opt for a group tour to avail cheaper tour rates. The catch however is you are to share the boat to 25 (or more) travelers. Can tend to be chaotic at times so brace yourself.
• Don’t forget to bring water. Hydrate yourself at all times.
• Don’t forget to put on some sunscreen.
• As stated above, don’t be afraid to be aggressive. But do it in a good way. You are in a group tour (with 25 other people) after all. If you want to ask questions, don’t be shy and just ask. When the guide tells you to pose, you give her the camera and do it! That’s what I did and it worked. Well, at least for me.
• Majority of the tour agencies offer hotel pickup, ensure that you will be ready when they arrive. You are a foreigner in their country and they don’t understand much of the Filipino time. Be considerate to your tour mates.
Travel Expense Summary
|Expenses||in THB||in Php||÷ by 2|
|KrabiTrek Group Tour*||2,500||3,350||1,675|
|National Park Fee||800||1,072||536|
|TOTAL||THB 5,250||Php 7,035||Php 3,517.50|
Note: *With blogger discount. Airfare and pasalubong money not included.