Well, this post aims to go a bit further.
These are the things I loved about Koh Phi Phi. Yeah, I said it. Love. Despite all the reasons not to, I think I loved Koh Phi Phi.
1. There is a typical Thai street market
tucked away in the maze of “walking streets”, which comes alive as
the sun goes down. If you’re self catering here is where you indulge in fresh
fruit, vegetables and fish at fair prices.
2. Multiculturalism is alive and well on Koh
Phi Phi thanks to the regular influx of backpackers from all over the globe. As
we explored we signs for accommodation, diving and food in Spanish Portuguese,
Hebrew, Russian and many more languages we are not accustomed to seeing in
other touristy areas of Thailand. With this comes the usual welcomed philosophical graffiti, cross cultural bar chats and mix of international cuisine and a surprisingly vast choice of international cuisine.
3. Take a short, steady walk up to the
viewpoint, which promises breathtaking views of the Phi Phi islands. I was
really keen to make the journey as I had seen photographs from this viewpoint,
in particular before and after shots of the 2004 tsunami, which ravaged the
main hub of the island and took an estimated 4000 lives. Thanks to admirable efforts by both
locals and travellers turned volunteers the island is mostly rebuilt and its spirit seems to
have recovered though the numerous Tsunami Evacuation Zone signs everywhere are
testament that that sad day won’t be forgotten.
(I sadly didn’t make it up there
as NewMan was struck with a very unpleasant case of food poisoning on our last
day on the island so instead of enjoying picture postcard views I was mopping
my poor boyfriend’s brow and throwing away bags of sick.)
4. When it comes to the Phi Phi Don's sister island, the film star one called Koh Phi Phi Leh, I have to
say; don’t hate the island, hate the game. To think I wasn’t going to bother
with a trip to Phi Phi Don’s uninhabited sister island because of guidebook
and fellow traveller’s advice not to?! I would never have experienced such breathtaking scenery nor would I have taken these photos, which have even surprised me in terms of how well they capture the colours and the drama of the landscape.
True, if it is 8am or later don’t bother,
but hey what’s an early morning when you’re on the doorstep of one of the most
iconic islands in the world? It’s not like Phi Phi Don’s nightlife is kicking
all night long… Oh. Anyway, set your alarm or stay up for it because jumping on a
long-tail boat (book one the night before!) and cruising towards Phi Phi Leh
at 7 o’clock in the morning is one early start you won’t regret and the only way you'll see Maya Bay without floods and floods of tourists.
I was lucky enough to chance up on a
long-tail boat driver with a little English but a big heart as my
request to visit Maya Bay, turned into a two and a half hour tour of the whole
of Phi Phi Leh island, including the breath-taking Pilah lagoon and a stop off
at Monkey Bay on Phi Phi Don to feed the monkeys.
5. The final reason I loved Phi Phi was for a
sushi restaurant called “Sushi & More”. What can I say? I love sushi and
was starting to show signs of withdrawal so stumbling upon this friendly and
excellent restaurant was a stroke of luck (and I hasten to add it was NOT the
cause of NewMan’s food poisoning).
I don't have a photo of this. We ate it too quickly...
And thus concludes a look at the brighter
side of Koh Phi Phi. If you can be open minded about the crowds on Phi Phi Don
and set your alarm clock to beat them on Phi Phi Leh you will struggle not to
enjoy getting the most out of these unique islands.