Thailand’s islands and beaches have long been romanticized as the place to go to experience the exotic, the beautiful. These spots, with limestone cliffs jutting out of the water, crystal clear sea, white beaches and, of course, the tropical hotels on Ko Phi Phi, influence people the world over to head here on their holidays. And, with good reason.
Aside from simply taking in the stunning beauty of the Thai islands, there is so much more beneath the surface (both figuratively and literally).
Ko Phi Phi is perhaps one of the most well-known and popular islands in Thailand. Made up of six islands — Ko Phi Phi Don (the largest), Ko Phi Phi Leh (known for the setting of “The Beach”), Ko Mai Phai, Ko Yung, Bida Nok and Bida Kai — this archipalgeo is the most easily accessible from the many islands the country offers.
Aside from simply lazing on the beach, there are plenty of things to do on Ko Phi Phi.
Get in the Water
Of course, heading from the shore into the water is a no-brainer. But, there are so many options besides simply swimming. For those who are feeling adventurous, head out and learn how to scuba. The main island of Phi Phi Don has plenty of places to get PADI certified. After that, head out and explore the Anemone Reef or King Cruiser Wreck, among others.
If you prefer to not strap oxygen to your back, try snorkeling instead. Some really cool options exist for snorkeling here, including a nighttime swim that lets you explore the bioluminescent plankton. If you want to wing it, head to Long Beach and pop some gear on to go and see the gorgeous underwater scenery which awaits
For those who would rather stay above water, hire a long tail boat or kayak and go explore the archipalgeo. Longtail boats are inexpensive to rent for the day and let you explore all the area has to offer.
Take a Hike
The islands are home to some seriously gorgeous hikes, that end in magnificent views of the landscape. On Koh Phi Phi Don, follow the signs for view points, and then being the trek. From the summit, there are four trails to explore that will deliver you to quiet, more remote beaches.
Instead of dealing with the crowds — and there are most definitely crowds on Phi Phi – head to Bamboo Island. About eight miles from the main island, this spot is a part of the National Marine Park and offers a respite from the clamor of the other areas, plus more secluded beaches.
What to Skip
There are so many things worthy of doing while on Ko Phi Phi, but some that shouldn’t be touched. After working in animal rights in Thailand and learning about the realities of animals in captivity in this part of the world, patronizing elephant trekking camps, shows, monkeys and other animal-realted attractions does far more harm than good. Skip the animals and simply enjoy the nature the island has to offer.