As the ferry draws closer to the islands, you'll notice every tourists' jaw drop open; mesmerized by the majestic limestone mountains, pristine turquoise waters and white sandy beaches ahead.
Made popular by Leonardo DiCaprio's movie, "The Beach", Koh PhiPhi is now the must-go beach destination in Thailand. This little slice of paradise is divided into two islands - Phi Phi Ley, where the infamous unspoilt Maya Bay lies, and Phi Phi Don, where you'll find more tourists than Thai people.
Maya Bay has no modern facilities and is perfect for a day trip. However, there are now overnight camping options available for tourists. I can't give you a review for that as I have yet to experience camping in a desolated island.
PhiPhi Don, the larger of the two islands is where you can find backpacker's accommodation right up to five star resorts. Back in the days before the tsunami (yes, I had to mention it!), PhiPhi Don was filled with lush tropical plants, had only one town centre, an old open air market place and had only two proper resorts. There were no proper pathways, just dirt roads and no cars which made this little island truly a tropical wonderland.
Fast forward to this day, PhiPhi Don is a commercial mini-city on its own. The market place is gone and in its place, stands a two-storey building with more air-conditioned rooms and clothing boutiques. Dirt roads are now proper path ways and there is even a proper Japanese restaurant on the island!
In a way, the island is now catered more towards families and tourists who seek their creature comforts of air conditioners, clean bathrooms and fine dining.
Let this not put you off visiting Koh PhiPhi though. The white sandy beaches, crystal clear waters, various activities such as scuba diving, cliff jumping, mountain climbing (amazing views 23metres up and worthy of the climb), the crazy beach parties at night and Maya Bay all make it worth a visit there.
How to Get There:
Koh PhiPhi is located on the south-west of Thailand. Take the ferry from either Phuket or Krabi to get there. The best ferry would be under the PP Princess group (free coffee/tea and fruits), and head right up to the upper deck for sunshine and sea breeze. You may also spot dolphins along the way if you're lucky.
If you can, try to stay on Twin Palms Chalets. It is located right next to the beach but the rooms are on a first come first serve basis and no reservations can be made.
From local Thai food to fine dining Italian, you can get it all right here in PhiPhi Don. My favourite would be the Thai Duck Rice, which you can find in the Old Market Place. The cream-filled doughnuts (THB10-15), that is sold along the beach is to-die-for!