Our first real island!
Trip Start Apr 30, 2011
66Trip End Dec 08, 2011
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Where I stayed
Before being allowed on the ferry, we were asked if we had our accommodation booked over on Phi Phi. We did, so were promptly let on board. This questioning about your accommodation is standard practice over here when you're hopping from island to island. You might think whoever is asking you is just being concerned and might recommend you somewhere. But they are reps who work in conjunction with the ferries/minibuses, and get commission if they convince you to stay at one of their recommended hotels. Sounds ok so far, but in reality most of them are a big con. Once they find out you have no accommodation booked, you are not left alone on your journey. They try to scare you by saying all rooms are gone in said island, and the only ones they available are theirs(!) They show you pictures that are far from the truth, and want paying in cash before you reach your destination
A couple of hours later, we made it to Phi Phi. We were a little surprised to find we had to pay 20 baht each before we were allowed onto the island. It claimed it was for Phi Phi's 'maintenance' and keeping it clean. However, during our 6 day stay here, we saw no sign of this money being used to keep Phi Phi clean. The beaches were very dirty, lots of glass and rubbish. And there weren't even any bins around! This money was clearly getting into the wrong hands and was just another way to rip off tourists. Something they are experts at here!
We walked to our hotel which was only about 5 minutes away from the pier. It was in the centre of Phi Phi, and was right on the edge of a big food market. There are no roads on Phi Phi, so it really does have a great island feel.
As we have some time to waste before our flight to Kuala Lumpur, we have plenty of time on our next few islands
Phi Phi turns into a big party island come sun down, and the main beach becomes filled with lots of bars, neon lights and pumping music. We spent one night down here drinking cocktails and watching the fire eaters and dancers. Although it didn't seem to really get busy until midnight, and that's when us oldies left and went back to the hotel!
There are lots of island and snorkel tours to do whilst on Phi Phi, so we booked one for our final day. We paid 600 baht each (about £12.50). We left at 10:00 on a fairly big boat, and set off for various points and islands near Phi Phi. Our first stop was a place called Monkey Beach, just a 5 minute boat ride from the pier, and still on Phi Phi. Because our boat was quite big, we all had to jump into the water and snorkel across to see the monkeys, as the boat couldn't get very near to the shore
We left the next morning on a (packed!) boat to Koh Lanta, about 1 1/2 hours away from Phi Phi.