Sweet Phi Phi

Trip Start Dec 16, 2006
Trip End May 27, 2007

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Thursday, April 19, 2007

Via Krabi. Phi Phi really is a beautiful place; it has 2 islands (Don-where tourists stay, and Lei-where tourists visit).  From my experience, the key to really enjoying Phi Phi is working hard to find a quiet place to stay, not just away from the port but away from the places where the longtails drop you off, which means hiking to the far end of the beaches.  Case in point is Phi Phi Hill where we stayed on Long Beach at the southern end of the beach.  Once you get past the litter and up the hill, you have an amazing view of a lot of the island and Phi Phi Lei, good-sized rooms at the best price around.  Once we got here on our second day, Phi Phi became A LOT more enjoyable, the food at Phi Phi Hill was really good especially when you can see most of the bay from your table. The staff gave us crickets to try, all I'll say is that they were crunchy.  Long Beach was okay, still a lot of people (but not nearly as much as the port), and the swimming wasn't the greatest but like every burden on Phi Phi the view you get more than makes up for it.  The port where all the shops and bars are only about a 15 walk from there.  Instead of clinging to the masses, we found an isolated beach which was about a 10 minute walk from Long Beach behind the rich bungalows.  It had maybe 5 people on this large stretch of beach with another amazing coastline and only one shop to buy coffee in. The water and sand were also way better.  It was hard to believe we were on Ko Phi Phi compared to what the rest of the places there were like.  We also took a day tour out to Phi Phi Lei and saw where they filmed a little movie called "The Beach" (a cult classic for travelers), which is actually called Coral Bay.  I don't want to knock it because it is beautiful, but it is a tourist trap (make sure if you book a tour of here or around, that your stop includes the additional fee to actually get on the Beach or you will get busted by the "police").  Get there early if you want to avoid the hordes, its not the isolated place the film depicts anymore.  The rest of the tour was great though.  Along with seeing some more beaches (Monkey Beach for one), I did some snorkeling among some amazing coral and probably thousands of colorful fish that really was incredible. Our tail boat took us through some canyon like river trails that really was beautiful. Stayed here for about a week.  I can't imagine coming here during the peak season, but if you can find a place away from the hordes, this place really will take your breath away.  Nonetheless, its still one of the most beautiful places to go in Thailand.
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