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Thailand – Koh Phi Phi

Poo Poo'd in Phi Phi

semi-overcast 30 °C

Koh Phi Phi is one of the top destinations in Thailand thanks to its great weather & beaches. The most famous of these beaches is Maya Bay which stared alongside Leonardo DiCaprio in the movie ‘The Beach’. This beach is located on the deserted smaller island of Phi Phi Leh while all the action goes on at the bigger island of Phi Phi Don

The first thing we noticed sailing into the port was the difference between these west coast islands compared to the east coast islands. KPP is much more dramatic with large sheer cliff faces rising out of the sea. There are no roads on KPP so when we arrived to the island we walked through the town to find the hotel we were looking to stay at. We found it alright but the town was looking a bit more touristy than the other islands we had been to. We instead headed off to the bay on one side of the town while the sun set behind the hills

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We wanted to head out to Maya bay the following morning and looked around at different places to try and find somewhere that left early and would hopefully get us out to the bay before it fills up with other tourists. We settled on a dive shop which ran a snorkelling trip starting at 7.30am the following morning so had an early night after some food. Just as we were all in bed, the girl from the dive shop knocked on the door and said that the trip for the following day was over booked, could we do the day after. We didn’t really mind either way so took the following day option.

This turned out as a blessing in disguise for Jeffro as a bout of food poisoning or something hit him during the night and was in no state to leave the room the following day. Tan and I left him to see it through and went for a walk up the hill to the North to get a view over the town and bays. KPP has two mountainous parts to the North and South and these are linked by a sandy strip where the main town and resorts are built. Unfortunately this is a maximum of 2m above sea level. So when the Tsunami of 2004 came through with 6m waves, the town pretty much got wiped away as waves hit from both sides and destroyed about 70% of the buildings!! It was interesting to look down on the town (which doesn’t really show many signs of the disaster now) and imagine what it would have been like seeing the waves approaching back in 2004.

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Looking over to Phi Phi Leh

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After checking back in with Jeff, Tan and I headed back out this time walking over to Long Beach which looks out over the water to Phi Phi Leh. The walk was hot and sweaty as the track to the beach was a little up and down over muddy sandy tracks. The beach was probably one of the better ones on Phi Phi Don however so worth the walk.

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Jeff was starting to come around that evening and was managed to pull himself out of bed in the morning to head out for some snorkelling. The boat took us out to a few spots over by Phi Phi Leh and it was pretty good. We saw plenty of the usual colourful tropical fish but also a lion fish, sea snake and turtle just to top it all off.

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Lion Fish

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We found Nemo

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Due to rough seas, we couldn’t land our longtail boat at Maya Bay, so instead we swam to shore on the other side of the island and walked over to the bay. Supposedly the movie studio did an average job of returning the island back to its original state and copped it with a law suit. We also heard that the tsunami has actually helped to clear up the island better than the movie studio had done.

Getting onto the beach was a bit of a letdown due to the amount of people there. The whole bay was lined up with speed boats that had come from Phuket and Phi Phi Don. I’m sure we would have liked it a bit more if we had got out there earlier and avoided the crowds.

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Another early morning ferry took us over to Phuket where Jeff got his flight to a friends wedding in Hong Kong while Tanya and I passed a day with a quick surf on Ka Ta beach before getting our flight the following day.

FINAL THOUGHTS
Daniel – I think if we come back here again, Maya Beach needs to be done with the camping trip so that you can wake up in the morning with the place to yourself. Even on a cloudy day during low season, it was a bit of an anti climax when you see it with a small army of other tourists on it. The snorkelling made up for it though with great sightings on the swims

Tanya – Im not quite sure what all the hype is about. Long beach was great for a swim but the 2 bays each side of the town aren’t much. The snorkelling trip was great aside from the sea lice!

Jeff – I was a little jaded with Koh Phi Phi, allegedly the primo of Thai islands but I felt it was just too busy and overdeveloped. Again, we were spoilt by Koh Tao I think. Although truth be told spending two days in bed with a serious bout of gastro will never warm me to a travel destination....at least I managed to drag myself out of bed for the snorkelling trip, which was a definite highlight.

Posted by dbgomes 08.05.2012 00:06 Archived in Thailand Tagged thailand round_the_world

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