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Phi Phi Islands
Phi Phi Islands is Thailand's island-superstar. It's been in the movies. It's the topic of conversation for travelers all over Thailand. For some, it's the only reason to touchdown in Phuket. Even with all the hype, it doesn't disappoint.Phi Phi's beauty is a large chunk of the allure. The islands, when approached by boat, rise from the sea like a fortress. Sheer cliffs tower overhead,and then give way to beach-fronted jungle. It's love at first sight.
The second part of the why-we-love-this-place story is attitude: few places on the planet are this laid-back. Of the two islands, one is completely free of human inhabitants (Phi PhiLeh), and the other is without roads (Phi Phi Don). There's no schedule, no hustle-and-bustle, no reason to be in a hurry.As an added bonus, Phi Phi is affordable. Destinations this beautiful are often reserved for those that can pay dearly. That's not the case here; Phi Phi has something for every budget. You might be surprised ? that perfect beachfront room costs less than you expect.
The Phi Phi islands are some of the loveliest in Southeast Asia. Just a 45-minute speedboat jaunt and a 90-minute ferryboat ride from Phuket, these picture postcard islands offer the ultimate tropical getaway.
Classic beaches, stunning rock formations, and vivid turquoise waters teeming with colorful marine life - its paradise perfected.There are two islands, Phi Phi Don and Phi PhiLeh. The larger and inhabited, Phi Phi Don attracts hundreds of visitors to stay on its lovely shores.Phi Phi consists of six small islands south of Phuket which overflow with fine sandy beaches that give way to soaring limestone cliffs to form spectacular scenery.Add crystal clear water, a refreshing lack of roads, plus a laid-back lifestyle, and it's easy to see why Phi Phi is one of southern Thailand's most popular destinations.
Bamboo IslandStunning Bamboo Island is 5kms.From the northern tip of Phi Phi Don. The small island is only 500m across and has beautiful beaches virtually all the way around that give way to coral underwater. An excellent place to snorkel as the reefs are extensive and fairly shallow, but the beach is always there for a rest.Phi PhiLeh is an uninhabited island that lies 1.5km off the southernmost tip of Phi Phi Don.Stunning vertical cliffs capped with green foliage give way to small sandy beaches and tropical coral seas.Most visitors find their way around Phi PhiLeh on an organizedPhi Phi boat tour. However you can rent a longtail boat for your own customized trip.
Maya Bayis a stunningly beautiful bay that's sheltered by 100-metre high cliffs on three sides. Inside the bay there are several beaches, most are small and some only exist at low tide. The main one is around 200 meters long with silky soft white sand, underwater colorful coral and exotic fish in exceptionally clear water; the whole bay is one big reef.
Maya Bay has become the main tourist attraction of Phi Phi since The Beach was filmed here in 1999. It was always very popular before the film but now people around the world who haven't even heard of Phi Phi have certainly heard of Maya Bay.The best time to visit Maya Bay is between November and April during the high season when seas are calm and access to the bay is easy. Rough seas from May to October may hinder access but rarely deny entry.The bad news; as it's so beautiful and so well known many boats are required to ferry all the visitors in and out. On any given day at any time there will be 30 + speedboatsand long tail boats on the beach, with large ferry boats carrying hundreds of snorkelers and sightseers moored in deeper water. Beautiful it is, secluded it isn't ? thousands of people visit each day. Try to visit early in the morning or after 17:00 and you'll avoid the crowds.
Activities in Maya Bay Snorkeling is excellent throughout the bay, large underwater boulders are encrusted with coral and brightly colored fish are numerous.Sea kayaking is also popular. Kayaking tour boats come into the bay and moor while letting clients explore.Tour shops in Phi Phi Don have begun to advertise organised camping on 'The Beach', drinking is usually part of the fun. Currently camping is only permitted on alternate nights.
LohSama (Sama Bay)located on the south side of the island the only activity here is snorkeling which is excellent for discovering beautiful coral and tropical fish. Boats anchor in the shallow waters, swimmers feed fish and snorkel.You can get to Maya Bay from here at low tide via a small hole through a cliff about one meter high and sometimes when the sea is rough from May to October this is the only way to get into Maya Bay.
Pi Leh Bay is on the west coast, the opposite side of the island to Maya Bay. Similar to Maya Bay, it has 100m vertical cliffs rising from the water. Most of the bay is in shade except at midday.This long thin bay is pretty shallow and is only accessible to speedboats and long tails, it does not dry out at low tide and there is a very small beach right at the back that you can just glimpse if you're passing.Very beautiful and excellent for swimming. At the entrance there are excellent snorkeling opportunities.
Viking Cave Just to the north of Pi Leh Bay is the Viking Cave where swifts make their nests. There are some paintings on the walls of boats resembling Viking ships that are supposed to be ancient however they're more likely to be just a couple of hundred years old? if that. However, the Viking tag has stuck.
The nests are made by the birds from their saliva and harvested from February to April by locals who use rickety bamboo scaffolding to get up to them once the birds have finished nesting. The nests sell for many thousands of dollars per kilo and are used for the Chinese delicacy bird's nest soup.
Palong BayJust outside Maya Bay to the north, this is more of a dive site than a bay. Here there are many black-tip reef sharks and coral formations in up to 12 meters of water.There can be strong currents here so it is not advisable to snorkel without an organized tour.