Phi Phi Islands
Arriving at Ocean Mania, we begin our Phi Phi Islands Tour with kkday. Our guide reviews our itinerary for the day. Fins, clean mouth pieces, and sand socks are available at additional costs. Before boarding the boat, shoes are collected to be returned at the end of the tour.
After a 60 minute speed boat ride, we arrive at the uninhabited white sand beach of Bamboo Island or Koh Pai. The heart-shaped island is named after the many palm trees growing in the center of the island.
A coral reef home to colorful ocean life almost entirely surrounds the white sand beaches. For more adventurous snorkelers, the Hin Klang coral reef is located farther off shore between Phi Phi Don and Bamboo Island.
Phi Phi Don
Phi Phi Don, once a coconut plantation, is inhabited and the largest of the 2 main Phi Phi islands. We arrive for lunch at a small section of beach bordered by a secluded resort and homes.
At 1:30pm, we are not the only boat needing assistance leaving the island during low tide. After our boat is towed to deeper waters, we form a single file line behind our guide to avoid stepping on rocks and sea urchins. Bags are piled on our heads in attempt to keep our belongings dry as we carefully walk farther into the ocean towards our boat.
Macaque monkeys are the only inhabitants of Monkey Bay, located on Phi Phi Don. Use caution when visiting the beach, Macaque monkeys are known for their mischievous and occasionally aggressive behavior. Avoid showing teeth (smiling and laughing) or making eye contact. These actions can provoke the Macaques and result in aggressive behavior.
Viking Cave, located on Phi Phi Leh, is named after the paintings found on the walls inside the cave and famous for the Swiftlet bird nests collected for bird nest soup, a Chinese delicacy. The nests are believed to have extreme health benefits, rejuvenate the skin, and assist with digestion. Bird nest soup is one of the most expensive animal made food products in the world. The saliva of the Swiftlet, or Sea Swallow, hardens when exposed to air creating extremely hard nests the size of an egg. The bamboo scaffolding used to retrieve the nests is visible at the mouth of the cave.
Pi Ley Bay
Due to the low tide our boat is unable to enter Pi Ley Bay, also known as Pileh Lagoon at Phi Phi Leh, the second largest of the 6 Phi Phi Islands.
The air cools as our boat passes into the shadows of massive limestone formations creating Phi Phi Leh. The sun only reaches the water between 12:00pm – 1:00pm. There are beaches on the western side of the island, but Phi Phi Leh is most popular for snorkeling and swimming.
Khai Nai Island
A 30 minute speed boat ride from Phuket, in Phang Nga Bay, is the lively Khai Nai Island. Bars, shops, restaurants, and cats line the white sand beaches.
- A multiple day excursion is needed to see the 6 Phi Phi Islands. If we were to retake our trip to Phi Phi Islands, we would book a 2 or 3 day cruise throughout the islands of Southern Thailand. Our 1 day excursion was a great introduction to the islands, but left us wanting more. Traveling from Phuket and between the islands took much longer than expected. Visiting in September, rough waters also added to our travel time.
- Confirm Maya Bay is open if it’s listed on the tour’s itinerary. Maya Bay, at Phi Phi Leh, is currently closed to tourists in efforts to survey the environmental damage to the coral reefs caused by tourism.
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