After featuring in Leonardo DiCaprio’s hit movie The Beach, Koh Phi Phi was propelled to the kind of stardom that most celebrities can only dream of. Gracing the pages of travel websites and guidebooks the world over, Koh Phi Phi has been on the mind of travellers for many years now – and with its gorgeous beaches, scenic bays and incredible parties, it’s not hard to understand why. Fancy a break? Here’s why you should drop everything and head to Koh Phi Phi now.
When you think of the archetypal Thai beach, you probably picture the kind that Koh Phi Phi has in spades. Soft sands, clear seas and always a bar on hand nearby to serve a fruity cocktail or ice cold beer. One of the bonuses of Phi Phi is that it has a beach for everyone. If you’re looking for a party, you’ll find fire shows, bright lights and booming bass lines all along Ao La Dalam. Want something a little quieter? Head to Ao Lo Moo Dee or Ao Toh Ko. From drinking and partying to snorkelling and dolphin spotting, there are plenty of things to do on the beaches of Koh Phi Phi – and plenty of beaches to explore.
If you somehow get bored of waking up to views of the beach and the never-ending sea, then don’t despair – there’s plenty of other kinds of scenery to enjoy on the island. Imposing limestone karsts jut upwards out of the sea, and the mountains covered in lush green forest that take up much of the island offer a tranquility and sense of being close to nature that many places simply don’t. The Koh Phi Phi viewpoint can be reached in about half an hour, and the reward for toiling in the sun is a glorious panoramic view of the bays of the island – well worth the gallon of sweat you’ll pay for it with.
Koh Phi Phi is proof that visiting paradise doesn’t have to be pricey. Whilst prices on the island may be slightly more expensive than those on other islands, it’s still a lot cheaper than you’d pay back home or in other parts of the world. Large slices of pizza will cost you only 80 baht, and buckets of cocktails can be found all over for less than 250 baht. In terms of accommodation, an air conditioned bungalow shouldn’t cost you more than 1500 baht, and dorm rooms less than half the price – leaving you more money to spend on trips, tours and massages.
Whilst they might not be for everyone, one of the reasons why people come to the island of Koh Phi Phi is for its legendary parties. However you like to party, you’ll find it here. Along Ao Lo Dalam beach you’ll find plenty of bars that offer loud, electronic music by the sea, Stockholm Syndrome provides a base to play drinking games such as beer pong and there are also bars that feature live performances, sporting events and even live Muay Thai fights contended by regular punters. There are also free pool parties, where you can party in the pool whilst the sun goes down behind you, making for a partying experience that’ll be hard to beat.
Koh Phi Phi is for everyone. Whether you’re a discerning traveller who wouldn’t be seen dead with a backpack, or someone who wouldn’t leave home without it, you’ll find a hotel that matches both your style and your budget. Hostels such as Coma and Ibiza House are great places to stay, offering clean rooms close to the action and a chance to meet fellow travellers. Not for you? Don’t worry – there are some finer resorts available, such as the Phi Phi Island Village Beach Resort and Zeavola Resort, where you won’t have to worry about people snoring in your dorm – or dorms at all. Of course, there a plenty of mid range hotels too that won’t break the bank.
Koh Phi Phi is a gateway to a world of fun things to do. One very popular activity is diving. The are plenty of dive shops on the island, featuring staff from all over the world, so there’s a good chance you’ll find someone who speaks your language. The water around Phi Phi is clear, and makes for a great place to spot the colourful fish, coral and even sharks. As well as diving, there are island tours, kayaking trips and – of course – excursions to the insanely beautiful Maya Bay.
The sheer number of tourists from all around the world who visit Phi Phi has led to the island developing a diverse selection of places to eat from. Whilst you can of course find all your Thai favourites, there are also great places to eat Indian food, Italian food and Middle Eastern food. As it’s an island, there’s incredibly fresh seafood to eat, and a tonne of fresh fruit – with The Mango Garden proving to be a great choice if you’re a fan of the sweet yellow fruit. There are several bakeries offering freshly baked treat to enjoy, and specialist coffee shops such as Aroy Kaffeine to start your day in.
Few places around the world can match the beauty of Koh Phi Phi on a warm, sunny day – and fortunately enough, that’s most of the time. Laying just off the Andaman coast, Koh Phi Phi enjoys the sun and its hot rays most of the year, meaning there’s a good chance you’ll be basking in the sun during your trip here. Of course, it’s also susceptible to the dreaded Thai rainy season, yet even then it’s unlikely to rain for several days at a time; more often than not, it will be a short downpour, followed by several days of hot sun. Booked those tickets yet?
Thailand is known as the Land of Smiles thanks to its warm, friendly people – and that’s certainly the case on Koh Phi Phi. Whether it’s the porter who’ll carry your bags to the pier, or the lady making your bucket, the locals are bound to have a smile on their face and are sure to give you a warm welcome. Of course, being a tourist driven economy, it’s not surprising that the staff are friendly – but here there’s a sense that it’s genuine and that they mean it, and that can make all the difference.
The relative peacefulness
Here on Koh Phi Phi, there are no crazily-driven motorbikes that’ll keep you on edge or awake with incessant honking, and there are also no cars speeding down the street. Throw in the serene palm-tree lined beaches and the gentle lapping of the waves, and you’ve got a peaceful environment in which to enjoy a few days before heading back to the busy, bustling mainland. Of course, the beach parties and the bars can be noisy, but there are plenty of hotels in areas where the noise can be avoided, and the atmosphere is jovial and relaxed, unlike some party destinations.
Why do we travel at all, if not for the memories? Koh Phi Phi is bound to give you more than a few, whether it’s the splendour of Maya Bay at the crack of dawn, or being chased by a monkey as you kayaked up to Monkey Beach. Phi Phi definitely leaves a mark on all the who visit it – regardless of whether or not they got up to fight in the ring at the Reggae Bar – so for memories you’ll never forget, book your trip there now.