Koh Phi Phi Don is one of Thailand’s most famous islands. Its popularity is largely accredited to its collection of postcard perfect beaches. Expect white sand and crystal blue waters against a backdrop of towering limestone hills. Island living is what Phi Phi is all about, everything revolves around its beaches and rightly so, they are stunning.
During my visit caught a boat from Phuket to Phi Phi Island which took around two hours and cost 600 baht (around £10) for a one way journey. Phi Phi Don is accessible by boat only; there are ferry routes connecting most of the Southern Thai islands, which make island-hopping easy. The nearest airports are Phuket and Krabi and both have strong ferry links running to Phi Phi Island. The earlier your voyage the better as there are a fewer ferries later on in the day and many routes cut off completely after 5pm.
The ferries are large and usually have two floors below deck. Once we were seated a crew member came around hollering something in Thai whilst handing out some ambiguous looking pills. They turned out that they were nothing too untoward, just sea-sickness pills. One of the crew attempted to explain to us in broken English that it was going to be a bumpy ride ahead.
Our boat pushed off from the pier about 40 minutes later than the scheduled departure time. Many people on board were panicking about being late for their scheduled tours or connection boats from Phi Phi Island.
Once you step off the boat onto Tonsai Pier, you will be asked to pay a 20 baht (about 40p) toll and it’s likely that you will be mobbed by reps trying to flog you accommodation. I would recommend looking around before buying from the reps.
Destination…paradise. This will become all too apparent once you have eagerly ripped off your clothes and immersed yourself Phi Phi’s warm, tropical waters.
The best way to experience Koh Phi Phi in all its glory is from the Viewpoint. Admittedly it is a bit of a strenuous uphill hike to the summit but the views are a more than worthwhile reward.
On the ascent you will be asked to pay a 20 baht (about 40p) toll and when you do finally reach the top expect high fives and congratulations from other summiters for making it. We went up at dusk to watch the sunset over the water which I highly recommend – it’s unforgettable. There’s another viewpoint on the same path but slightly lower down known as the ‘Viewpoint 2’. The views are equally impressive and you can see the settlements below a bit better.
On the descent we came across the Viewpoint restaurant located on the path. It boasts stunning views across the island and serves wonderful Thai food.