My definition of paradise until now is Phi Phi Island..and not just the island itself but also the surroundings.
While I was reading about Phi Phi, people on forums were suggesting to stay one night, maximum two. I choose 3 and still not enough. I would have stay 2 more. The island, or better to say, the part where I stayed (Tonsay village) is small. It’s a small labyrinth of shops, restaurants, bars, travel agencies and small hotels (b&b) caught between 2 beaches: one is the Pier (where the ferry is letting you and from where you are going into trips around the island and one on the other side, without big boats, only the ones called long tail boats.
The village is crowded all the day, but specially in the night, when everybody is coming from the trips or scuba diving. Even the ao loh dalam beach is small, durig day I was having the nice surprise to don’t see it very crowded. The water and sand have wonderful colors (which you cannot find it in Ao Nang beach). It’s a thin white beach, finishing with coco nut trees and some bars where you can stay and drink a fruit shake. I don;t know about you, but me I can stay some hours in such a paradise, it’s giving me a great positive energy.
Ok, you cannot stay 5 days only to the beach, so some activities are required.
- Scuba Diving Day you can find at any step in the village. They have the same price 3800 baht (around 90 eurs) for a half day at scuba with 2 divings of one hour each. This is the package for beginners and of course they provide you everything you need: lunch, equipment, training. In all the scuba diving centers you will find non thai people, which is good cause you understand their English (or they understand your English cause most of them are from Australia, US) and in plus..you don’t need to negotiate!!!!
- Snorkeling Trip around the island, or to the islands around. You can buy a half day package, full day package, with long tail boat or fast boat, are all the same trip with some small differences. I would suggest the long tail boat if you want to save money and take it for all the day. They all sell the Maya Bay, the island where it was made The Beach movie (Leonardo Di Caprio if you remember). The trip will stop 2 3 times for snorkeling (great snorkeling 🙂 ), to Monkey Beach to see some monkeys and to the most beautiful island – Bamboo Island (Ko Mai Phai). Even the Maya Bay beach is sold as the jewelry of the trip, I enjoyed mostly the lunch spent on Bamboo Island.
- Night Party. Phi Phi is a very “young” island in terms of visitors. It’s full of young people, groups of single girls or single man so you don’t see so many couples or old people. The night atmosphere is great, the bars on the beach pushing the music high and you can find all over to buy the “bucket” – alcohol bucket. But don’t get scarred, the atmosphere doesn’t get extremely wild, just be prepared if you stay in the village to hear music until 1 AM. I definitely enjoyed the night atmosphere.
- Get a Tattoo, a massage or a souvenir!
- Shopping. You’ll find a lot of dresses, asian style, no brand, but cheap and quite nice for and island look. My favorite one was a simple lace dress you can throw over the bathing suit. A lot of bracelets, t shirts and hats also. And of course..a lot of bathing suits in case you remained without one or you got bored of what you have. For everything – you need to negotiate!
What you can eat: everything! Thai food, pizza, pasta, indian. Food is definitely not a problem. Prices a bit higher than in Ao Nang, but still cheap.
Where to stay: I didn’t find some fantastic medium price place to stay, so I choose one with good reviews at a good price. Phi Phi Palms Residence (3 stars, MD included), 55 eurs /night. Big room, good breakfast. Only the air condition was very noisy unfortunately and you can hear the music until 1 AM.
How you get there? By ferry from Phuket or Krabi piers. Around 2 hours and a half.
What I would do more? I would take a long tail boat and ask to let me couple of hours on Bamboo Island.