After watching videos of famous YouTubers on this island and also hearing from people who have visited it about how crazy it actually is, we were definitely sure that we wouldn’t go there. Every time we spoke to people they would tell us stories of how noisy it is and just how unpleasant it is all. But, we also heard other people talk about how they had the most amazing snorkeling experience and how they thought that Koh Phi Phi is still a beautiful island. After much discussion we decided that it couldn’t hurt us to pay visit. If anything, we would be able to say that we had been to Phi Phi and witnessed the craziness first hand.
On Koh Lanta we bought our tickets for Bht250, which included the transfer to Saladan Pier on Koh Lanta, from where the ferry departed for Phi Phi. On our arrival I was bit annoyed by the fact that we had to pay Bht40 to enter the island. We were told this was to pay for our litter removal and would help clean and conserve the very busy island. We then whipped out our cellphones to get Google Maps running in order to navigate our way to our guesthouse. On Koh Phi Phi there is no motorized transportation, just a guy pushing a trolley filled with your bags. Unfortunately for us there were no trolley’s available so we were reduced to dragging our bags along and navigating our way through the crowds of tour groups and touts selling us booze boat trips. Give me a break!
We arrived and check-in to our accommodation, but on inspection our room smelled like piss. We complained and we were moved to a better room which was quite nice because it also had a TV and fridge for us to store our fruit. The guesthouse was a quite far from the action which was a good at night because there was less noise from the clubs. What was a surprise for us was the big jump in prices for everything on the island. Even the 7-11 was a 20% – 40% more on each item. A ham and cheese sandwich normally is bht25 but in Phi Phi it was bht37. The 7-11 toasted sandwiches were still the cheapest meal for travelers on a budget in that island and sold out very quickly each day 🙂
We mostly ate at restaurants and two that I would recommend are Cosmic and Basil Bistro. There are two Cosmic’s in the same street so it is very important that you go to the one in the Main Street. The pizza prices there are bht140 and the reason why I stress that you visit this one is because the other one is cheaper but the pizza’s are horrible.It’s nothing like the main restaurant, which is absolutely authentic with delicious pizza’s. In the next street is a restaurant called Basil Bistro which was our safety net. We literally ate there every night. They make very good Italian dishes as well as authentic Thai food and the best Massaman curry Derek has ever had. The prices varied from bht90 for the curry (which was on special) and up to bht180 for my fettuccine carbonara, which was delicious.
The next day we started exploring the area and buying some supplies. I found us handmade coconut bowls which I’ve always wanted. Derek got his hair cut and we also went looking for a tour operator called Adventure Club. It is a dive centre which runs PADI diving courses, but also takes people on diving trips as well as snorkeling trips. We had heard that their guided snorkeling trip to Phi Phi Ley was the best on offer. As I can barely swim it sounded like a good option 🙂
We organized a trip for the next day. Their snorkeling trips accommodate of a maximum of 7 persons at a cost of bht1,100 per person which includes a guide as well as snacks and water. The day of the excursion we were given wetsuits since the water does get cold in deeper seas and snorkeling gear. Alois was our guide for the day. When I tell you that this guy was amazing I truly mean it. I was fortunate enough to have him by my side because my anxiety did get the better of me and I was suffocating in my full face mask. He quickly gave me a normal mask and literally towed me around because it really was too much for me. I had never been in water so deep before with a surge so high that I felt as if I would topple over. It was as exciting as it was overwhelmingly terrifying.
What was amazing was the amount of fish we saw below us. I was so happy and had never been more relaxed in my life as four baby black-tip reef sharks swam past us. I have always had this thing of not feeling scared of the animals beneath me but more of the ocean. I never like feeling helpless and that’s how I feel when I’m in water mainly because I cannot swim well. But, as I drifted along watching the marine life, I could not help but think how amazing life is. All of these beautiful creatures living their lives in such an amazing environment. What an honor it was to be in their presence….
So while we did not enjoy the crowded streets of Phi Phi and the drunken parties and night life, we were glad to have seen the island and to have enjoyed a great day of snorkeling. The rest of our time we explored the other parts of the island on foot and I managed to get the really cool shot of Phi Phi’s overlooking the main bay which doesn’t look to crowded by boats. We also took a really cool selfie just before sunset on the main pier which we both really like 🙂