Forty-five kilometers off the main coast of Phuket, lie the Phi Phi islands. These islands in the Andaman Sea are a place truly worth visiting. An hours’ flight from Bangkok to Phuket or Krabi and another hour by boat and you are into this ‘blue paradise’. The two main islands are Phi Phi Don and Phi Phi Lee. Phi Phi Don is the bigger one.
As one approaches the islands you get an amazing view of gigantic cliffs, leading to a beach with snow-white sand and the crystal clear blue water. The limestone mountains with cliffs, caves and beautiful white sandy beaches, make the view absolutely breathtaking.
These islands are known for snorkelling, scuba-diving, kayaking and rock climbing. Maya bay has been an attraction for scuba divers for years, its amazing corals and diverse aquatic life makes it a divers’ dream. It is rated as one of the top diving sites in the world. For those not interested in underwater adventures, there is the Phi Phi Viewpoint, one of the highest points on the island, a twenty minute walk from the coast. Elevated at 186 meters, it is not a very tiring walk and is completely worth the effort. When tourists reach the top, they can buy refreshments, relax on the hammocks and ofcourse enjoy the view. From the Viewpoint, you can see a mesmerizing view of different shades of water and the whole island.
The islands also have a vibrant nightlife .When night falls in Loh Dalum, the city seems to light up with fire dancers. There are pubs and bars found all around the islands. Though they are large in number, they are never devoid of fun and excitement.
All types of tourists visit Phi Phi– budget backpackers, honeymooners and families. You can find accommodation to fit different budgets, though there are world-class hotels also in Phuket and Krabi..
When in Phi Phi, one has the opportunity to eat the authentic Thai cuisine .The mouth-watering meals and exotic drinks will always leave you craving for more. The locals, like the whole atmosphere of the island, are laid-back and friendly people. Best time to visit these islands is from February to April. The beauty of the islands is so renowned that they have been locations for both Hollywood and Bollywood movies such as ‘The Beach’ and ‘Kaho na pyar hai’. Rumour has it that the shooting of these films caused some environmental damage to the islands.
The 2004 Tsunami left these islands completely devastated. Thousands lost their life, 850 people went missing. But now, most of the island has been restored and there is a tsunami warning system installed on the island.
These islands remind me of a line from a famous poem by John Keats ‘A thing of beauty is a joy forever’. So, be it for an adventure or a laid-back beautiful holiday, visit Phi Phi. It will be a truly unforgettable experience and the one you will never regret.