Koh Phi Phi
Koh Phi Phi
Koh Phi Phi is the belle of Thailand’s ball. She made a star appearance in a famous Hollywood movie, The Beach, and has reaped the benefits - or some might say suffered the misfortune of an extreme tourism influx - from it ever since. It’s very common for people to charter a yacht from Phuket to Phi Phi because of all it has to offer.
A whole six islands make up Koh Phi Phi, located 3 - 5 hours sail from Phuket or about the same distance from Krabi on the mainland. Koh Phi Phi Don is the main island, being the largest and most popular. Ton Sai bay is the island’s main hub, with inexpensive accommodation available. For more of a party scene, head to Ao Lo Dalam, where there are plenty of bars and restaurants for beachside entertainment. Monkey beach is accessible by kayak and tender from a medium-low tide upwards and offers a peaceful respite from the normally busy beaches that blanket the rest of the island; and yes, of course, the furry friends for which the beach was named reside here. Ao Toh Ko may be the most beautiful beach on the island. Here - believe it or not - there have been many a report of snorkelers having encounters with dolphins; thus making this beach well worth a visit.
Next we come to the island that made Phi Phi famous, Koh Phi Phi Leh. This island is so well-known due to having been the star of the show in the aforementioned movie, The Beach. It is possible to sail to Maya Bay - the visitor favourite - but not to stay on the beach, or indeed anywhere on the island. Fortunately, it’s still possible to park your yacht in maya bay and stay overnight. The island is virtually uninhabited, unless you count the birds’ nest harvesters, and there is a small entrance fee just for setting foot upon its famed shores.
The lesser-known islands that make up the rest of Koh Phi Phi include Koh Mai Phai, or Bamboo Island, just north of Koh Phi Phi Don. Here, visitors will find a beach and limited snorkelling. Koh Yung, or Mosquito Island, may not be particularly attractive due to its dying coral just off its shores and plentiful sea urchin population. Finally, there are Bida Nok and Bida Nai, two limestone karsts jutting high out of the sea just south of Koh Phi Phi Leh and famous for it’s SCUBA diving.
There is no shortage of diving options on Koh Phi Phi - evidenced by the many, many dive shops that populate Koh Phi Phi Don. The islands attract divers from all over the world for the incredible underwater experience they provide - offering scuba divers the chance to flop their fins amongst sharks, turtles and all kinds of rare macro species that make their homes in the reefs that surround Phi Phi’s shores. You can rent gear at a local shop and take your yacht to Koh Phi Phi Don or the Bida Islands for some amazing diving.
For those who prefer to spend their time above water than below, deep sea fishing is a fun activity that is accessible just off the coast of Koh Phi Phi Don, make sure you are far away enough from the marine park though. Here, everyone from beginner to experienced anglers can experience the thrill of catching tuna, barracuda, dorado, king mackerel and sailfish.