The time we spent in Koh Phi Phi was the most perfect balance of excitement and relaxation.
I got into Bangkok around 12:30 am on Wednesday morning after my flight from South Korea got delayed by a couple hours. From the airport, we went to the hostel Constantin had already checked into, dropped off my backpack, and headed toward Khao San Road to grab some dinner. A plate of pad Thai and a strawberry, banana, and mango smoothie (best combination ever!) did the trick.
The next morning we left our hostel around 6:45 am to make our longer than necessary journey from Bangkok to Koh Phi Phi. Our flight left at 8:55 am and landed in Krabi around 10:15 am. You can only get to Koh Phi Phi by ferry, so you can fly into either Krabi or Phuket and ferry from there. After landing, we bought some ferry tickets at the airport that also provided us with transportation to the ferry terminal.
When we got to the ferry terminal, we had about an hour and a half of time to kill before the 1:00 boarding started. Around 12:30 pm, I realized I didn’t have my camera. My expensive Canon DSLR camera was no where to be found in the ferry terminal. We tried calling the shuttle company back but they hadn’t found anything. I asked all of the employees in the ferry terminal if anyone had turned it in and no one had. I was almost convinced that it was gone forever. I saw a door to the administration offices and somehow through the language barrier managed to convey that I lost my camera and again, asked if someone had turned it in. Nope. They did however, take us to the security cameras and after much rewinding, fast forwarding, and trying to figure out the timing on their broken clock cameras, we saw that I didn’t even bring my camera bag into the terminal with me. It had to be in the shuttle.
After we were done with our FBI investigation shiz, we called the company back one more time and they said they actually found it. WHAT! How unbelievably lucky is that?! My travel guardian angels were looking out for me. For 300 baht, they agreed to drive it back to the ferry terminal and change our 1:30pm ferry for the 3:00pm ferry. Over some milk tea and ham and cheese sandwiches, we anxiously waited to get my camera back.
It took about an hour and a half to reach Phi Phi. With our bags on our back and the stress of the morning left behind us, we walked on the beach to Ibiza hostel.
After checking in, we changed into our swimmers and bolted out the door to do some exploring.
Just as we started walking around the town, we saw a tour company offering a sunrise tour going to: Maya beach, Monkey Beach, Pileh lagoon, Viking cave, and snorkeling at 5:55 am & coming back at 10:45 am. Sign us up! I know some people are against tours and like to do things on their own as much as possible, but in this instance, I’d say the tour is completely worth it. We got ours for 1200 baht each (around $36 USD), but the prices don’t really seem too fixed. There were some girls on our tour that paid cheaper, and there’s some sellers that will try to rip you off and make you pay higher. Either way, it was still a pretty great deal for all that we got to see and do. We spent the rest of the night eating dinner, sharing a bucket and walking through the town before heading back to our hostel early because we’re old people now (& because we had to be up at 5 am to be at the pier by 5:55am the next morning…)
I woke up the next morning and checked my phone to see that it was 5:53 am. Our alarms didn’t go off. Of course, right?! We were supposed to be meeting our group at the pier in the next 2 minutes and while we knew the chances of not making me were about 97.8%, we still quickly threw on clothes and packed our backpacks before running out the door to try and make it anyway. I cant remember the last time I ran that much.
Finally after weaving our way through the maze that’s the town, we made it to the pier but no one that we asked knew where our tour was. Just as we began walking away, a Thai person came up to us and directed us to his tour. Who knew if this was even the specific tour we were supposed to be on, but we joined in anyway since they were going to all the places we wanted to see.
The tour started off in Maya Beach. This is the place that the movie “The Beach”, that Leonardo Di Caprio stars in (I haven’t seen it either) was filmed, so they totally use that to their advantage. For good reason. It was absolutely beautiful. And the water was like bath water. Pictures can do the place more justice than any descriptive words that I try to conjure up can do.
From there, we left to go snorkeling. There were so. many. fish! I’ve been snorkeling before a couple times but never have I seen a place so full of fish and coral. I even got to see a clown fish in their anemone. When our guide yelled “Nemo fish! Over there!”, I sprinted.
Following snorkeling, we hit Pileh lagoon. The ocean here in Phi Phi is so unbelievably blue and gorgeous, it looked like Gatorade or kool-aid. The water in this lagoon specifically reminded me of the fish bowl that I get at a bar in my hometown. Again, it was like swimming in a refreshing food-
Monkey Beach was up next. I just about died from the cuteness. My love brought some bread to feed the adorable monkeys from the breakfast that the tour provided us earlier. The babies were absolutely angels. Again, the pictures can do the experience better justice than I can describe.
Sadly, we only got to stay for about 5 minutes before we had to hop back on the boat to check out the Viking cave and coast back to the pier.
After docking at only 10:45 am, we still had the entire day ahead of us. We walked through the town back to our hostel, picking up some smoothies along the way.
We got ready then went out for some lunch. Pad Thai, chicken schnitzel, French fries, margarita… it was like the United Nations of food sitting on our table. We had the intentions of going to the pool party our hostel was throwing. We stopped by the private pool our hostel had to get a drink before heading to the party pool. However, exhaustion was taking over and we immediately left the party pool after we walked in. Following that, a much needed 4-hour nap commenced.
We woke up around 10:30 pm and the both of us struggled to decide whether or not we should go out. I knew I’d regret not going out and dancing my face off in Phi Phi, so before we had a chance to think about it we got up, got ready, and headed into town to pick up some buckets and pizza to start our night off. The guys working at the pizza place are actually from Myanmar, the country that Constantin is going to be working next month! That was super cool to meet some Burmese folks.
Finally, we made it to the beach to dance. The bars and dance floors are right on the beach, so you can basically dance in the ocean water as the waves come up! Some people were doing body painting with bright neon paint that glowed under the black lights, so you know I was definitely about it.
The following morning I went to the beach to write in my journal for a little while my love slept. Then we went to breakfast, packed up our things and checked out of our hostel.
The Phi Phi Viewpoint hike is the main reason I wanted to come to this island in the first place.
Okay, but what is it with Asia and their “hikes” just being tons and tons of steep stairs?
Needless to say our lungs probably got more of a workout than our legs, but the view was completely and entirely worth it. We didn’t get to enjoy it too long until a rain storm wrecked the experience and forced us to take shelter in the store on top of the mountain.
We waited it out so we could actually get some good pictures of the jaw-dropping view.
After hiking back down, we picked up some smoothies and went to go treat ourselves to a manicure for me ($6!!!) and massage for Constantin ($4.50!!!). There’s tons of massage and nail places scattered all over the island to choose from.
Lunch paired with an incredible view of the pier side ocean marked the end of our time in Phi Phi before we embarked on the next leg of our trip to Ao Nang!
Quick Tips & Recommendations:
• You don’t need more than a couple days in Phi Phi. It’s a small island & you’ll probably run out of things to do if you stay too long
• Don’t miss Maya Beach, Pileh lagoon, and Monkey Beach! Booking a tour is probably the easiest way to see them all.
• The viewpoint hike is a must-do
• Be aware in advance of the ferry times to and from Phi Phi (there’s only one ferry each day for some places EX: Ao Nang)
• Bring a snack (peanuts, bread, banana) to share with the monkeys on Monkey Beach so you can win their cute little hearts
• Drink all the smoothies!! But if you want the best, try a strawberry, banana, mango smoothie!