Like probably most of the turists, we took a ferry boat from Phuket and headed to the Phi Phi Islands. We bought a joined ticket Phuket-Phi Phi- Raylay beach for 1000 bahts, but you can probably get it much cheaper, as we’re not good at bargaining 😉 We got a transport from our hotel included and at 8.30, we took of from the harbour waiting anxious to see what this whole mess around Phi Phi is all about.
The ferry experience
The minibus from our hotel took us quite early, so we arrived to the harbour 40 minutes in advance. We took some seat on the upper deck and waited for the departure. As the time went on, other passengers appeared. Hundreds of them !!! We thought like : It’s not posiible! It’s like no capacity limits on those ferries! But then, when I went down I noticed that even though the boat doesn’t seem to be that big, it has 3 layers of decks.. So the amount of people was huge! The journey takes around 2 hours and you really have to mind the heat as if you stay outside, the sun can be really strong and the shade is nowhere to be found. But the views are amazing! And you can observe the landscapes changing. The ferry passes by the Maya beach and it’s breathtaking. When you arrive to the TonSay Bay, be patient, as getting to your luggage can take a while.
Landing on Ko Phi Phi
We have arrived on Ko Phi Phi!!! Yey 🙂 The moment you get of that boat, it’s a completely different world from what we experienced in Phuket. Tones of people! The city is all moving. You immediately get into a network of little streets with shops, markets, restaurnts, cafes, street food points, massage centers, hostels and all that you can possibly imagine!
We found a guy from our hotel and were told to wait near 7 eleven for the rest of the people. Then we crossed the city with a friend we met from Ukraine, Ksenia, and got to the Loh Dalam Bay from which we had a boat trasfer to our Sunset Bay Resort.
The first thing to notice upon arrival, the people here are just AMAZING! I mean really, uncomparable to anything we’ve ever seen, even on Phuket. They take care of you every step on the way, always smiling and, uncomparably to our Phuket experience, not tirinig with all the goods they want to sell. I mean, of course, it’s their job and it’s completely understandable they would like you to choose their services, but they have so many tourists here that they don’t try to impose anything on you by any cost.
Honestly, we were quite curious about the standard of our hotel, as we chose quite a cheap resort and we’ve been told that anything below 3 stars is lucky to have a decent roof on 😉 Utter nonsense! We arrived to a quite small, charming resort, The Sunset Bay, with bungalows that have arguably the best view on the entire island.
Not far away from the city center, but secluded enough to make the noisy nightlife of the island bearable! Every hour or two, the hotel provides you with a free boat transport to the harbour. but if you miss it, no problem- you can always take a path- it’s only 15-20 minutes!
Ko Phi Phi Lee and Maya Bay!
On the day of our arrival, we came back to the Ton Sai Pier to look for a good deal to get to Ko Phi Phi Lee and the infamous Maya Bay. We checked the weather forecasts for the next day and they were not promissing, as the rain was predicted, but Ksenia was here only for another day with us, so we decided to go either way. However, the guys in the harbour told us that due to the high waves it may not be possible, so we ust decided to jump in the boat and go right away. Spontainous decisions turn out to be the best 😉 As it was already after 3PM, the sun wasn’t that unbearable anymore and we were able to enjoy the beach without worring about becoming fried tomatoes (which, by the way, turns out to be quite easy here, no matter how you try to avoid it!!!) We paid 1500 bahts for 3 people for 3 hour stay at Maya Bay and the tour of the around islands and attractions 🙂
Now a couple of words about the experience… Maybe it’s perfectly normal where you come from, but from our experience, the good will of people generally ends up the moment you pay them for the service. But not here! Our boat driver was extremely helpful and did all he could to make as much of the journey for us as possible. First we went to see the monkeys, on a small beach populated with dozens of these creatures accustomed to people. I’m strongly against feeding wild animals, but it was quite an experience to see. We were pretty surprised though that parents with small kids didn’t pay any attention to their children and allowed them to freely touch these, whether you wish it or not, wild animals.
Then we went to the Maya Beach, so popular among the turists. And definitely a spot worth seeing! The beach itself is amazingly maintained and undeniably charming. Outstanding views, which most of the people know from the film „The Beach” or the photos on google, exceeded our expectations! When you arrive to Phi Phi, don’t make a foolish mistake of thinking that it’s too touristic and not worth it. It definitelly is!!! The colour of water, the unbelievably soft sand (you feel like walking on the flour!!!), the outstanding views, it would be seriously stupid to come all the way here and miss that…
And a funny thing… Ksenia went to the toilette to change and said „the way to the toilette is the best here 🙂 „. We thought she was actually joking, but then Konrad came back and said that I absolutely cannot miss that. Weird as it seemed, I went to check out what they were mambling about. And, to my huge surprise, the path to the inside of the island was more like a botanical garden than a way to the loo.
But it wasn’t the end of our journey 🙂 our driver took us among other small islands around Ko Phi Phi Lee. We stoped in a secluded bay with a coral reef and wonderful sea life. He allowed us to sit, swim or snorkle around the place.
On our way back we stopped between the islands to enjoy the sunset ! This trip couldn’t possibly be nicer!
The ViewPoint jungle trip!
On the way back from the main city to our hotel we passed the signs for the viewpoint. As it was not far away from our resort (or so we thought 😉 ) and the weather turned out to be terrific in the end, we decided to go. Ksenia checked the way on the maps and we went firstly by the beach and then headed towards the hills. The path was becoming smaller and smaller and the forest more and more thick. From time to time we saw some signs for the viewpoint on the trees so we followed. After half an hour or maybe a little more we found ourselves in the middle of the local jungle with all the plans and noises around us. We kept hearing more and more animals escaping from us, which scared a little our new friend 😉 As Konrad was still sick and got a little of a heat stroke the evening before, this trip actually turned out much more demanding that we would wish for that day.
But we were curious. One time or another, we also saw the signs for the misterious P.P. Village, which we though was like maybe another city on the island, maybe for locals. Finally, after going a lot up and down and back and forth, we saw the buildings, or, should I say, the remainings of 2 buildings and a pile of rocks. We arrived at the viewpoint! Little surprised though, that there were absolutely no people around and the place is advertised throughout the entire city, we went up.
The view was wonderful! It was actually the oposite side of the island with a small picturesque beach with a coral reef and some boats around it. As we were all sweaty and Konrad wasn’t feeling well we decided to go down to have a little cool-down swim and had a small conversation about the way back to the resort. After a short discussion, we all agreed to take a boat from the beach, as the heat was incredible and Konrad was feeling worse and worse. We saw a sing „The beach” between the buildings and a small path leading down. Only around 20 metres later we entered to an area which ressembled a butterfly garden in some of the zoos. Hundreds of butterflies flying and sitting calmly on the flowers around us. The experience was so surreal, as they didn’t even fly away when you approached them! As we started walking down, we soon realised that the path was actually heading in the different direction that we desired. We entered something that resembled an abandoned city in which, as Ksenia mentioned, none of us would actually like to stay alone in the dark. We soon realised that it was an unfinished resort, abandonned for an unknown reason. But the path turned into a regular road, which was a first during our trip. We soon saw the roofs of an apparently different resort a big sing with a name „360 Resort”. And this time it was inhabited 😉 We actually entered the reception from which we got a wonderful view of a place that looked like another city of the size not much smaller than the main one. „It must be this village”, we though and if there was a village there must have been some boats. Yet it looked much more beautiful then the main city. The palm trees growing almost averywhere, the wide clean beach and a breathtaking colour of water. Finally, we made it to the misterious P.P. Village… which turned out to be a luxurious hotel to our surprise. It was so incredibly big that it took the entire area. Judging from what we saw and the location of the place, it’s dedicated to the clients apprecaiting some peace and quite and… with larger wallets 😉
I have to admit that we saw something which made us laugh at first. The guests from this resort were transported to the deeper water BY TRACTORS. But when we checked the water’s temperature we stopped lauging, as it was seriously hard to walk. We had one serious problem. We really needed to cool down and, in this water, there was no such option. We got our boat back to the other side of the island for 800bahts! O_O and the price was unnegotiable, as the guys on boats took us for the client of the resorts… suprising as that might be judging by the state we were at 😉 But honestly we didn’t have much of a choice in that moment because Konrad was on the verge of fainting and Ksenia’s feet got incredibly swollen.
But the adventure was fun though 🙂
Meeting the monkeys !
The third day of our stay on Phi Phi, we had to say goodbye to Ksenia, as she went to Kata Beach 🙁 After saying goodbye, we decided to explore the opposite side of the island, which seemed much more steep and wild. We had only one problem: google maps doesn’t find any road, not even a path to get through the mountains. But we thought: let’s go and check. We found one view point on that side of the island so there must have been a way there. when we were approaching the last hotel, we saw the family of the monkeys running around on the beach nearby. But there was no sign to the viewpoint. We fineally asked in the reception if there is anyway to get there and it turned out that this so-called view point was just a construction at the end of this resort. The receptionist also warned us to be aware of the monkeys and that the are particulary agressive and angry now (how convenient is that…). One of the guys from the resort took a long bat and went with us to scare the monkeys (Thai people are so super friendly…). We met a couple of monkeys up there, but luckily they were not in the mood for argument 😉 Actually, monkeys are the big pain in the ass around Thailand and this is exactly what happens if people try to get too familiar with wild animals. They stop being scared of humain and the problem is ready…
We found climbing on Phi Phi 😉
From this slightly dissappointing place we moved to the other bay, which was probably around a hundred metres. We tried to find another way to enter between the hills and rocks on that side of the island. We passed the last resorts and saw a steep, beautifull wall right in front of us. And, surprise surprise, there was a clear path with a sing warning about the monkeys! So there must have been the way up. After maybe 50 meters we realised that this was not a regular path. It was steep and clearly not dedicated for an average tourist, as the way up was almost vertical. Unfortunately,this was not the way to the other part of the island. But, to our surprise, it turned out to lead to a very pleasant and empty climbing area!!! Well bolted, good looking, around 20-25 metrelong routes, at this hour already in the shadow clearly invited for the adventure! The routed starting from 5 up to 7b offered a variety of level of climbing. And most importantly- it was EMPTY 🙂
The VIEW POINT
Later on, we wanted to get to the best known view point on Ko Phi Phi, from which most of the panoramic pictures of the island are made. I remembered seeing some signs from my running track, so we followed my steps from the morning. We quickly found the signs to the view point and just hoped that this would be the one we need this time 😉
The way led 2500 metres from the city center and just a warning- it goes all the way UP and UP and UP again 😉 Take some water, as you’ll probably need it on the way. Be careful near the entrance to these liitle fellows 😉
The entrance fee is 30 baht per person, but the view point is very well maintained. There is also quite a big bar, in case you need something more to drink, a restaurant and a toilette up there, so take some money. The overview to the island is outstanding. I don’t think any better one can be seen from here.
For the way down, we chose the other path leading more directly towards our hotel, and this one wasn’t that civilised. It’s a steep way directly down, quite slippery, so be careful for the flip flops.
Our ovarall impression- the trip was worth the struggle 🙂
Kayaking to the Monkey Beach- my shame 😉
On our last morning on Ko Phi Phi, we decided to take a kayak and go to the Monkey Beach and Nui Beach. What I didn’t know is that Konrad had never kayaked before and I probably haven’t mentioned that I’m afraid of water 😉 So the trip was a brilliant idea to begin with…
I’ve been kayaking a lot, but always in the lakes or rivers. The sea waves made it much much harder. And with Konrad’s lack of experience we struggled with coordination at the beginning. After a lot of shouting (from my side- yeah, I seriously hate water 😉 ), we got to the Monkey Beach. It’s quite large and nice when you approach it, but there are warning signs everywhere. A lot of people got attacked there by the animals and ended up with the vaccinations against rabies after all. If you decide to get off the boat, please don’t take any food with you and mind your personal belongings. These monkeys are not afraid of people, so they will not respect you – Just have that in mind!
Then came the worse part of our journey 😉 Konrad wanted to swim to the Nui Beach, which doesn’t seem to be very far away from there. But you have to cross the open see… And that was where the fun part started :/ The waves got bigger and, in my imagination obviously, it was impossible to go any further… I started feeling a lot worse and, after some time, couldn’t take a breath at all (this is called a full-fledged panic attack). I’m not entirely sure how far away you could have heard me, but really far i guess… We had to come back… I mean, Konrad did, as by that time I was completely useless :/
I think it’s a great trip, but only if you know what you do… although Konrad claimed to love it. If you’ve never tried kayaking before, this is probably not the best place to learn 😉
I know that Thailand is very well known from it’s cheap and fabulous food, but judging from our first experience from Phuket, we were a bit worried. Unnecessarily… The main city on Phi Phi is full of little points with street food, snack bars, restaurants. And the variety of food is incredible. You can get everything: from the local thay specialties, indian cuisine, pancakes, to pizza and hamburgers as well. The prices differ from 40-50 Bahts for some street food to 120-150 for a Thai meal in a decent sit down restaurant. And it is delicious! Word of advice: try as many of local goods as possible, even by sharing if you can. It’s definitelly worth it.
Unfortunatelly, we’re leaving Phi Phi in a couple of hours. Before coming here, we thought it’s just an overrated tourist place and that 4 days would be more than enough. Now we regret not staying here for the entire week, as there are still many places to discover and enjoy on these paradise islands. Well… We’re gonna have to come back here one day 😉