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Koh Phi Phi is a piece of Asian paradise boasting aqua waters, golden sands and idyllic seascapes. The stunning location for Danny Boyle’s critically acclaimed movie The Beach, Phi Phi’s tropical scenery and infectious island vibe have made it one of Thailand‘s biggest tourist attractions. And there is much here for the adventure-seeker as well as the beach-goer; a region brimming with hidden treasures and awesome activities, here’s our list of the ten best things to do and see in Koh Phi Phi, Thailand.
Phi Phi Le won fame through the filming of The Beach, where it provided the breathtaking backdrop for Leonardo Dicaprio to play a traveller exploring the island. The natural scenery on offer is unparalleled in beauty, with craggy cliffs plunging dramatically into the turquoise water, and with no accomodation anywhere in the area, a serene and peaceful atmosphere abounds all around. Maya Bay is an extremely popular spot, and is home to the idyllic scene of fishing boats bobbing lazily on the waves. Visit via one of the many ferries offering trips nearby.
For around 3000 Bhat travellers can purchase a 6-hour long-tailed boat tour, an excursion designed to take parties of four around the entirety of the blissful island. Tours make stops at Bamboo Island, Mosquito Island, Monkey Bay, Maya Bay and Tonsai Village for a few hours of shopping and swimming, and first-rate snorkelling gear is often provided. Set sail at sunset if you can, as a view of the orange sun hitting the water, viewed from a long-tailed boat, is spectacular.
For visitors with only one day to spend in Koh Phi Phi, snorkeling in Hat Yao should be the top choice of activity. An exciting destination for a day trip, the water is crystal clear and the temperatures warm, maximising the chance of seeing an array of colorful and exotic marine creatures. Black tipped sharks and clown fish are often spotted in this idyllic area.
Not just a beautiful beach destination, Koh Phi Phi also boasts many stunning sights on land. One of the best and easiest ways to experience these is by hiking the island, a popular route being the comfortable 30-minute hike to a viewpoint at the southern end of Ao Lo Dalam. This is a quiet and pretty bay with a curve of white sand skimming crystal blue waters, and provides the perfect setting in which to relax after the long trail.
For only 300 Bhat visitors can view the famous and majestic Viking caves of Koh Phi Phi. Towering at the northeastern end of the island, images of long boats have been intricately inscribed along the inside walls of the caves, and many parts are covered in colored chalk. Legend goes that these drawings are the work of pirates and are more than one thousand years old. Watch out for the enthralling sight of many swiftlets roosting in the caves.
The limestone cliffs of Koh-Phi Phi are stunning, and are definitely a secret worth exploring on the island. Providing panoramic views of the area, the rock climbs available here are advanced but worth the effort. Many reputable companies offer affordable climbs and use top-quality, trusted equipment. It’s recommended to try a climb in the later afternoon as the temperatures are much cooler. And if you’re not interested in taking your feet off the ground, why not hire a boat and view the cliffs from the water’s edge; they really are a magnificent spectacle worth seeing.
Ao Pileh Bay; a secluded piece of Thai paradise. This is a large, shallow cove with a colorful coral reef at its entrance. Majestic limestone cliffs full of lush plantlife surround the emerald green lagoon, and the water is beautifully crystal clear, so serene it’s as if bright lights are illuminating the floor of the cove. The sea is warm, making it a top spot for swimming and snorkelling, and visitors can spend hours immersing themselves in the breathtaking beauty of the scene.
One of the most popular activities attracting visitors in Koh Phi Phi is kayaking. Most resorts are happy to organise a trip for you, and most kayaks cost around 700 Bhat per day. This is an innovative way to see all the island has to offer, with the boat able to reach secluded caves and parts of the blue waters unreachable by land. Serenely skim across the aqua waters and relax in a kayak for an unforgettable experience on the island. And why not step your kayaking experience up a gear? Paddle boats and waterskiing trips are also extremely popular here, and costs average at around 150 Bhat per day.
Aptly titled, Mosquito Island is home to a plethora of bothersome mosquitoes, so don’t forget to bring your bugspray. But don’t let these pesky critters put you off, as this island boasts some of the most famous shipwrecks in the region, sites which serve as interesting and beautiful dive destinations. The well-known King Cruiser wreck is situated here, a premier wreck diving destination measuring 85 meters from bow to stern. This is a top diving spot and provides hours of activity for keen divers.
Situated off the coast of Phi Phi are the Bida Islands, a collections of small islands which are home to several varieties of coral. They are the most famous dive sites of the area, and are large enough to allow for upto 3 separate dives without repeating an area. The shallow bay of Bida Nok is perfect for novice divers, whilst advanced divers can explore the beautifully submerged Fantasy reef to the south-west of Bida Nai.