A less than two hour flight from Bangkok to Krabi, and just an hour and a half boat ride from Krabi Town. This island is now very accessible for holiday makers as well as backpackers.
Sadly this beautiful islands popularity is quickly becoming its downfall. Since the release of the Leonardo DiCaprio movie, The Beach in 2000, where the movie was filmed on the islands Maya Bay, Phi Phi’s tourist popularity has gone though the roof. Adding to this, the December 2004 Indian ocean Tsunami whipped out over 70% of the buildings and forest area, killing an estimated 1000 locals and tourists on the island.
After this the island was closed. It reopened on 31st October 2005 with a new beach front village of restaurants, bars, clothes stalls, tattoo shops and night clubs on Loh Dalum Bay. Although still beautiful, the many tourists and party goers flocking there is taking its toll.
Don’t get me wrong Phi Phi is an epic party island. But it is fast becoming too much. In the year between my first visit and now I can see the drastic changes. The streets and beach have become dirtier. The sea has become darker. More and more of the forest area has been cut down to build more hotels and resorts and of course this goes hand in hand with the prices increasing.
Its not all doom and gloom tough guys. The alcohol is cheap and the parties are AMAZING. It is becoming a little bit too Magaluf / Ibiza for my liking though.
I yet again chose to stay at Blancos Beach Bar and Party Hostel. Right on the beach and from 8pm this bar goes crazy with every drinking game you can imagine. It is crazy.
I am definitely getting old. I managed 7 nights last year and only three this time. I need sleep. This is a PARTY HOSTEL. Do not stay here if you want a quiet night or to sleep. But if you want epic party carnage, this is your place.
Contary to popular belief, there is stuff to do in the daytime on Koh Phi Phi
– You can hike up to the view point. Follow the signs from the road heading east towards Ao Lo Dalam from the tourist village. After a 300 metre vertical walk you are reached the top. The views are amazing.
– Walk to Long Beach. A beautiful golden sandy beach with a designated swimming area. Just a 30 minute walk from the main pier. Just like the view point hike, this is not for the faint hearted as it is very hilly and rocky.
– Scuba Dive. With a number of dive schools on the island there are many packages on offer from beginner to advanced. Although not as cheap as Koh Tao, prices are a lot cheaper than outside of Thailand.
-Boat trips to Maya Bay, Bamboo Island and Monkey Island and Snorkelling trips. These can be purchased from various ticket operators all over the island. With many different trips on offer. You can even camp over night at Maya Bay.
In addition to this many of the resorts have pools and gyms, which non guests can use at a small fee and of course there are many massage parlours and Spas.
Don’t be put off. Phi Phi is still an amazing island and has a lot to offer everyone. Just make sure you plan you stay according to what you want to do as the two sides of the island could not be more different.