Major #wanderlust slash #holidaywithdrawals going on right here.
Here's a little throwback to a little holiday spent on Koh Phi Phi, an island off the coast of Krabi, Thailand.
Being the crazy must-always-be-doing-something-productive type of person, this was one trip where the majority of time was spent doing nothing - a first for me! It's a teeny tiny island where there's really nothing much to do, so, much of my time was spent just tanning by the beach. I got so tanned ... burned more like, but I got so addicted to it after this trip and it was never the same for me ever again!
The place has changed heaps since the time I visited (with shopping arcades and whatnot - not quite sure how I feel about this) but if you're planning a trip, here are a few of my favourites from that trip that still exist today!
1. Where to stay: Tonsai West
If you're looking for a peaceful, quiet time on the island, I highly recommend Tonsai West. The area is less lively but A LOT quieter and is extremely beautiful, decorated by limestone hills all around. I stayed at Mama Beach Residence during my stay and I dare say, it is one of the best accommodations (disclaimer: at that time) on the island. The rooms are really cute and quaint and the breakfast spread was really above average. You get a private beach reserved only for hotels guests if you stay here and the sundecks (where I got really burnt) are divine. In the evenings, you can take kayaks (paddleboards) out to explore the surrounding bay and by dinner enjoy a BBQ by the sea!
The only downside, there is a new hotel newly built right behind Mama Beach Residence, so I don't know how exclusive and private the beach is for Mama Beach Residence guests at the moment.
There are quieter stretches of beach on other parts of the island like Long Beach, with quite a number of really chic accommodation as well. However, if you're on that side of the beach, you won't be able to access the main town center without having to hop on a boat. It really depends what your preferences are.
2. Island hopping: Bamboo Island and Maya Bay
This is a must do and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience that I went island hopping twice during my stay. I'd recommend hiring a boatman at the jetty (where you first arrive on the island), there are lots of them there offering different experiences (read different islands) at different rates.
Bamboo Island was an unforgettable experience for me. The water was so crystal clear I couldn't believe my eyes. I happened to stop on a quieter side of the island and got to spend an afternoon enjoying a little picnic by the beach with not a single soul around. Hashtag bliss. We walked over to a more crowded area later in the day. Despite the crowd, the water was still amazing.
I was a major fan of the book "The Beach" by Alex Garland growing up, so naturally, I was obsessed with the movie as well. What trip to Krabi is complete without making a stop at Maya Bay. My advice is to plan with your boatman to make a trip out to Maya Bay as early as you can. I arrived at 7am and it was perfect. The crowds start rolling by 8 or 9 am and before you know it, all you see on Maya Bay are boats /:
3. Sunset Watching
The tide gets really low in the evenings and therefore is not so suitable for swimming. Walk to the other side of the island (the side facing north), passing through Laem Thong (Golden Bay), the long strip of sand located towards the northeastern cost of Koh Phi Phi island and enjoy magnificent sunsets in the evening.
Another option is to hike up to Koh Phi Phi View Point. With the blazing heat, make sure you keep yourself hydrated. It is quite a walk up this small hill but the views are well worth the effort. While waiting for the sun to set, enjoy views of the island.
There are so many other things that I loved about Koh Phi Phi but some of them were wiped out after development on the island. For example, my favourite restaurant and massage place were replaced with a shopping arcade. I don't know if they still exist somewhere else on the island, so I've decided to remove food and massages altogether.
Despite crazy number of tourists, there are little corners and spots where you can still find serenity and peace. If you're into parties, drinking and fire shows, they have it here too! If I were to conclude this blog post, I'd say that Koh Phi Phi island is carefree, young and refreshing with Nat Geo quality sights in surrounding islands. Surrounded by beautiful islands with crystal clear water, there's a lot to love about this place!