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Published: October 20th 2009
at Maya Beach on Phi Phi Ley Island
Saai and I spent two nights in Trang with her family. Her family were great hosts, and her mom is an excellent cook. There was a continuous flow of seafood coming from the kitchen…crab, mussels, fish, and prawns. We ate up. But it was soon time to leave…
On Thursday (October 15, 2009), Saai’s mom and step-father dropped us off at the pier in Krabi to take a 1 ½ hour ferry to Phi Phi (departures at 10, 1:30, and 3 daily). If you’re heading this way, you need to make sure you get to the correct pier. I believe it’s called the Passenger Port, and it’s approximately 5 km from town - you’ll need transportation there.
The boat over to Phi Phi is 400 baht per person (one way) at this time, and 700 baht round trip (we were able to use the round trip ticket to get from Krabi to Phi Phi, and then from Phi Phi to Phuket). The boat is decent enough, and the ride was smooth for us (good weather and sea conditions). It also helped that the boat was only about 25% full.
Anyway, Phi Phi Island is a backpacker haven. It’s
Saai and I with friends on snorkeling trip
a major stop on the SE Asia backpacker trail, and there are thousands of foreigners (many appear to be in their 20s) enjoying the bars, beaches, snorkeling, scuba diving, etc. There is no airport so all arrivals must arrive by boat (from Krabi or Phuket). That hasn’t stopped the crowds though. If you’re looking for peace and quiet, stay away from the main beaches (there are quieter beaches that can only be reached by long tail boats or speed boats).
The island itself is naturally beautiful…one of the most beautiful I have ever seen. There are limestone cliffs, clear water, and white sand beaches. Unfortunately, there is a lot of development too, and the pollution that goes with it. There are very few high-end resorts on the island (and none in the main area). Most of the resorts are low-end and mid-range places that are over priced when compared to other islands in Thailand. We stayed at the P.P. Palm Tree
, a mid-range place that is probably one of the better values on the island. It is 2,350 baht at this time of year, but we negotiated it down to 2,000 baht (approx $60) for our stay. The place is new
bay & cliffs off Maya Beach on Phi Phi Ley
(opened in 2008), clean, and modern with decent service.
The next morning after our arrival, we rented a speed boat for 5 hours with some of Saai’s friends (4,000 baht/5 people = 800 per person to rent the boat with 2 staff) to snorkel and see some of the surrounding islands. Our first stop was beautiful Maya Beach (on nearby Phi Phi Ley Island). Although I had been there before, it is a totally different experience when empty. It is amazing. If you can get to this beach before all the other boats arrive, do it! We were there around 9:00 a.m., and there was only 1 other boat there at first, and then one other arrived before we left.
We didn't see a lot of marine life while snorkeling...coral and diversity of fish was just decent (Similan Islands in Thailand are way better). Still, it was fun.
We’re back in Bangkok now, and I start my second semester of teaching on November 2. I love my job teaching English at Kasetsart University, but it’s great having a break!
I’ll let the pictures do the rest of the talking…
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