Phi Phi Islands, Phuket

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  • Phi Phi Islands - Paradise Lost!

    by Keitho59 Written Aug 4, 2011

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Even though my wife didn’t want to go as she hates boat trips I didn’t listen and had the misfortune to book the speedboat trip to Phi Phi Islands (pronounced Pee Pee which is an appropriate clue to the quality of the trip). All the trips leave from various boat harbours along the eastern coast of Phuket. There must be at least 20 companies running these daily trips packing high-powered speedboats (boasting 3 x 225hp outboard engines) with about 35-40 people and leading them on and off the boats like cattle.

    We booked our Phi Phi Island tour from with one of a dozen tourist agencies along Kata Beach (and later found we had paid too much – 1600 baht pp). We went with a relatively new company - V.Marine Tour Co. Ltd. (www.v-marine-tour.com) and found it too packed (over 35 people on a little speedboat designed for about 20 people). Do these speedboats get a marine certification – is there such a thing as overloading – has any of them sunk over the last few years??? All good questions I was asking myself as we powered off into the blue horizon choking on petrol fumes.

    Our first stop in "The Lagoon" was the best with beautiful clear water providing an ideal swimming spot, BUT THE SNORKELLING WAS RUBBISH – all the coral had been dead for years – it was sad to see 1-2 Parrot fish pecking away at the dead coral twigs. The only colour was provided by a school of small yellow striped fish. Everywhere else in the world I have dived (Hawaii, Rarotonga, Great Barrier Reef, Red Sea) was better than this = I was SO disappointed.

    We only got to swim around for 20 minutes before being herded back on board – in time for a monster ferry boat to reverse in to our spot belching foul black diesel smoke. Next stop was "Monkey Beach" (beach my backside - the brochure showed monkeys on the beach being fed – yeah right!)). We were told that high tide prevented a beach landing (don’t these guys use tide tables?). We weren’t even give time to chuck a banana at the monkeys which scuttled down the branches of the trees along the cliffs before we backed out to make room for other boats.

    The whole trip was pressure to get off the boat (to go snorkeling), get on the boat, go up the front to take photos of monkeys, get off the boat to go swimming, get back on the boat to go to Khai Island etc. It was hell. Maya Bay was a major disappointment - made famous by Leonardo di Caprio in "The Beach") – it was overcrowded, wall to wall boats and rubbish in the water. It was ***e! If that is a National Park – and presumably each boat company has to pay someone to land their boat there – they should be using part of that money to clean the beach and dragnet the water along the foreshore – it is a soup of rubbish, plastic containers and food scraps, Disgusting!

    We were then carted off to a very average lunch on Phi Phi Don at the tired old Resort. I know Phi Phi suffered in the Boxing Day tsunami but wasn’t that a chance to rebuild something nice?

    The worst stop was a compulsory 90 minutes of torture on a god forsaken little lump of sand called Khai Island – and paying 150 baht to sit on two rickety beach loungers under rotting umbrellas vintage circa 1962. This is NOT the image of Ursula Andress emerging from the surf of Crab Key that I had in my mind! I have NEVER seen so many sad trapped people struggling for a spare few centimeters of sand in my life (beats the Lido in Venice or that other Venice Beach in LA hands down for coconut oil smothered desperation).

    You can get this trip for 1500baht pp through Kam – our driver for the day - and he only sells the tour from a better boat company (Anda Varee Co. Ltd - www.andavaree.co.th). Better boat, less overcrowding etc etc.

    Shame on the Phuket tourism industry – shameful and sad. Like other reviewers I too mourn for Paradise Lost. Hollywood and Leonardo have done Thailand a disservice.

    Avoid like the plague or if you must only do it if you really like big noisy speed boats or long boat trips (as it takes 1 hour each way to Koh Phi Phi) or you don’t care that you are part of the problem by supporting the destruction of a fragile and once beautiful marine ecosystem.

    Related to:
    • Beaches
    • Diving and Snorkeling

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    visit the amazing phi phi island

    by hanspeter_W. Written Mar 27, 2011

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Phuket and Phi Phi is the most popular tourist destination along the Andaman Coast, nowaday Khai Nok Ilsand become popular too because of it's near to Phuket and also have white sand beach and clear crystal water.
    goign by speedboat (1 hour) from phuket marina harbour over
    view viking cave, snorkel at loh samah, visit maya bay and pileh cove, feed monkey at monkey beach, after lunch at phi phi dom visit khai nok island

    maya beach phi phi viking cave  phi phi loh samey bay phi phi at phi phi dom koh khai  phi phi

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  • Selecting a boat tour, Phuket.

    by captainmark Updated Feb 5, 2011

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    You will not get a better trip than what you pay for. Cheap tours are just that. The cost of running boat tours is expensive, if done properly, if a tour is cheap it is either because corners are being cut or the trip is going to be overcrowded. Some speed boats carry up to 90 people, around 50 is common. On most boat trips, including snorkeling, most of the people aboard will be non swimmers. Just think of the logistics of getting that many people into life jackets, into their masks and goggles and getting them off and on the boat. Several times in one day. And you will be in the middle of it. The quality of these destinations is usually downgraded as well, by the large numbers of tourists present.

    When agents discount off the brochure price they are cutting out part of their commission, which is often in the vicinity of 50%. They don't own the boats, or shows or whatever, they can only cut the cost at their end, the commission. The brochure prices are usually highly inflated.

    If you want a high quality tour, you have to pay more. Given what it costs to be here, and the opportunity to be here, it seems unwise to opt for the cheaper tours, simply on the basis of price.

    I feel that is a good start to do an internet search for the sort of tours that you want, read reviews and then make up your mind. There are a lot of sites around that have this information.

    Have a great holiday,
    Mark.

    Related to:
    • National/State Park
    • Diving and Snorkeling
    • Sailing and Boating

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    Paradise in Phuket

    by lindyz Updated Oct 4, 2010

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    This is probably the one thing that most tourists will do whilst holidaying in Phuket and it is certainly worth doing. Phi Phi consists of 2 islands. The smaller being Phi Phi Ley which is an uninhabited island where the magical Maya Bay is. The larger island is Phi Phi Don which is the popular holiday destination for many travellers and also which suffered greatly in the Tsunami.

    Our trip was booked with Apple from South Smile and cost only 1100 bt each (about $39AUD which is actually much cheaper than what I paid for the exact same trip 2 years ago!!!)

    Our day included pickup at about 8am, drive to Chalong Pier, arrive Maya Bay about 40 mins later, then to Viking Cave, snorkelling off the back of the boat, feed the crazy monkeys, lunch on Phi Phi Don Island, free time on Koh Khai Nai, then back to pier and home by 5pm. Once again a very long and tiring day, but one that is memorable and worth doing. Your trip also includes morning and afternoon tea, and buffet lunch on Phi Phi Don. The only things you may have to pay for are flipper hire, deck chair hire on Koh Khai Nai, souvenir photos, alcohol and icecreams.

    Our trip was booked through a company called Siam Sea Canoe and this is the exact same company we went with 2 years ago. Trip was very well organised and worth every cent.

    Me at Maya Bay Love this pic - Maya Bay with the glare of the sun Me snorkelling off Phi Phi Don Long tail boats on Phi Phi Don Frank and I arriving on Koh Khai Nai

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  • PhiPhi+Khai by speedboat Part 1

    by picknick Updated Jun 1, 2008

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    We booked a tour to PhiPhi Island by speedboat for 1200THB per person. The normal price listed on the brochere is 2800THB per person. We took a package with Seaway. There are other speedboat packages from other companies too, eg. Andaman Rangers. You can book the package for the next day from any travel agents in Phuket. They all offer different prices, so bargain.

    Update 2 June 2008: Lots of people asking me which agent I booked from. If you are at Patong Beach, the entire stretch is full of travel agents, so just ask a few, look for the best prices, do some bargaining, etc. I usually book from the smaller stalls. I am very sure the price I paid for is definitely not the cheapest. Btw, it is usually more expensive to book tours from your hotel.

    The tour brings us to a few sights on the big and small Phi Phi Islands, with 2 stops for snorkelling, one stop on Maya Bay for swimming, one stop on Tonsai Bay for lunch, and finally a 1hr stop on Khai Island beach for swimming.

    A minibus picked us up from our hotel in Patong beach at 8am. We arrived at Boat Lagoon Marina, where we have some briefing and rented fins for 100THB/pair. Snorkel & lifejackets are provided free. Then it's off to sea on the 23 seater speedboat.

    The first stop of the tour is Maya Bay, on Ko Phi Phi Leh. This is where Leonardo DiCaprio shot the movie The Beach. This place has not been the same ever since. Rows of speedboats are parked at the beach, with a small area left for swimmers. This is a picture of me at Maya Bay on the smaller Phi Phi Island.

    Me at Maya Bay (The Leonardo Beach)
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    Phi Phi Cruiser Exclusive Yacht

    by trevndebs Written Oct 30, 2007

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    List price is shown as 1800 Baht but eveywhere in Phuket is offering 50% discount on Phi Phi trips, presumably due to the rainy season.
    We opted for the VIP package as this let us use the undersea aquarium in Phi Phi.
    We were collected from our hotel at 07.15 by minibus and taken to Rassada Harbour and we left there at 08.30. The trip lasted about 1.30hrs and included soft drinks, tea, coffee, fresh fruit, lunch on Phi Phi and snorkelling equipment.
    We sailed to Maya Bay, had lunch on Phi Phi Don, then taken by a smaller boat to Coral Bay for snorkelling and the underwater aquarium. This was great fun and the guys there even give you bread for the fish.

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    • Aquarium
    • Water Sports

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    Crazy rough rides in serene waters of high seas

    by satchmo1963 Written Oct 20, 2007

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Local travel agents at Phuket (and they are numerous and generally reliable) offer, among various other pacakges, a day-long coverage by high speed boats of various islands surrounding Phuket. Rest assured that this will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Its pointless to elaborate...the pictures appended should provide a flavour!

    Maya Island (where they shot `The Beach') One of the many languid beaches One more at Maya
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    • Sailing and Boating
    • Singles

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  • tabrez603's Profile Photo

    Phi Phi Don Island Tour

    by tabrez603 Written Sep 5, 2007

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Phi Phi Island consist of main two Island phi phi ley and phi phi don....so we booked one complete day tour to phi phi island by speed boat and it is a must to visit....

    This tour was for the whole day and they pick us from hotel at 8am and bring us to the peir i think the name was Siray Island (not sure about name) then we been on to speed boat and move on to see Khai Nok Island, Phi Phi Don and Phi Phi Ley....

    On Phi Phi Don Island we been to see the Runtee Bay, Monkey Beach. We stayed here not too much time. I think we just stay here 15 to 20 minutes each place just for the photo graphy and little bit relaxed.....

    Very interesting places to see and visit again and agian.

    At monkey beach for view
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    Phi Phi Ley Island Tour

    by tabrez603 Written Sep 5, 2007

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    I love the clear water beaches and so it was must for me to go to Phi Phi Ley Island tour and we booked this tour through a travel desk on soi holiday inn near beach road....

    This tour was for the whole day and they pick us from hotel at 8am and bring us to the peir i think the name was Siray Island (not sure about name) then we been on to speed boat and move on to see Khai Nok Island, Phi Phi Don and Phi Phi Ley....

    On Phi Phi Lay Island we been to see the Viking Cave, Pileh Lagoon, Loh Samah Bay, Maya Bay. We enjoyed alot by different activities swiming, snoorking, beach volley ball, fruit eating, enjoy sun, relaxing on the beach.....

    I love to go again and agon such nice and peacefull place.

    Relaxing at Maya Bay
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    Packaged day tour to Phi phi islands

    by yukisanto Written May 17, 2007

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Walking along patong beach, we asked around and opted for a day package to phi phi islands. actually all tour desks sell the same tour itinerary with similar prices. anyway, we bought one which is 1200 baht - at a discount since it was the non-peak season - for the luxury package (which wasn't much anyway).

    ok trip, nothing to complain about.

    our speedboat which took 20+ passsengers phi phi island some island we stopped at

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    Visit Monkey Beach

    by bsfreeloader Updated Mar 13, 2007

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    A stop at Monkey Beach features prominently on any day trip from Phuket to the Phi Phi islands. The beach will be full of tourists and full of monkeys. The monkeys look cute, but they can be quite vicious. One of the beasts grabbed my hair and scalp, screeched at the top of his lungs, and probably even bit me when I passed unwittingly too close under the branch he was on. It’s still a cool experience, just be careful and avoid the temptation to give them water bottles or anything else that will accumulate as rubbish on the beach.

    Related to:
    • Beaches
    • Eco-Tourism

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    Visit One of the World's Prettiest Beaches

    by bsfreeloader Updated Mar 13, 2007

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    If there is a prettier beach in the world than Maya Beach on Ko Phi Phi Lee, I’ve never seen it. The setting for the film “The Beach,” the beach is surrounded by towering limestone cliffs and lapped by crystal clear, azure waters. The hordes of day-tripping tourists and the rubbish accumulating just behind the beach do detract from its beauty, but this is still a place that words and photos cannot do justice to – it really is that remarkable. Easily reached on day trips from Phuket, the list price for a full day trip to the Phi Phi islands is 2,800 baht per person, but with minimal negotiating you should be able to get the price down to 2,200 baht.

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    • Beaches

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    Phi Phi Island Full Day Trip

    by sheliadecastro Updated Dec 6, 2006

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    This trip is worth a visit because you will see the crystal clear water with lot of fish and white sandy beach which is soft like powder. Patong beach have lot of travel agent which offers really competitive prices, you will need to survey which agent give the best price and services.
    My package price is BHT1100 after much bargaining which include rental of life jacket, snorkel equipment, entrance to marine park, fruits and drinks and lunch. You will need to bring some cash to rent the fins to protect from the sharp corals. My first stop is at Khai Nok island, really beautiful and charming. Water is not that clear near the beach side but gets better when go further from the beach side. Not much fish and dead corals. There are chairs and umbrella for you to seat and shelter but chargeble of BHT100. Not worth it because you will stay there for less than 1 hour. There are stalls selling souvenirs and clothes. My second stop was at Monkey Bay which you can feed the monkey, don't get too near cause some of them are agressive. Do not bring your belongings there cause these monkeys will grab your things and run into the jungle according to the tour guide. My 3rd stop is at Phi Phi Don island to have a buffet lunch, we stop here for 1 1/2 hours which let us have plenty of time at the beach. My 4th stop is at Loh Samah bay, here you can see some nice corals and fishes, water is really true blue colour, what a beauty. My 5th stop is at Viking Cave which is for sightseeing only. Here is the place Thai people risk their life to get bird nest. Well my last stop is at Maya bay which is Phi Phi island famous National Park. The beach is really clean and if you are lucky you can see baby shark here. My tour operator bring us some fruits to eat while we sun bathing at the beach, what an experience. There is a toilet inside the park for you to freshen up. When you reach the port you will see your pictures taken by the camera man, you have options to buy or not to if you find your pictures is not ok.

    Khai Island Loh Samah Bay Maya Bay Monkey Bay Phi Phi Don Island
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    • National/State Park
    • Beaches
    • Diving and Snorkeling

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    Beautiful Phi Phi

    by BorneoGrrl Updated Nov 22, 2006

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    There are two islands, Phi Phi Don and Phi Phi Lei. The larger inhabited Phi Phi Don until recently attracted hundreds of visitors to stay on its lovely shores. Phi Phi Lei was made famous thanks to the Leo DiCaprio flick "The Beach". When the islands are in your sight, you could tell why they chose the island as the location for the movie. The waters are absolutely clear.

    Unfortunately, I took the tour on the cruiser so I couldn't get close to the infamous beach on Phi Phi Lei. Next time, I should take the smaller & faster (and pricier) speed boat tours so I can get on the beach and snorkel in the lagoon. Nevertheless, the tour included lunch on Phi Phi Don where you can also wander around, buy some souvenirs and chill with a mug of Chang beer. It's a good place for pictures and people are always friendly

    Phi Phi Don Phi Phi Lei
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    • National/State Park
    • Beaches

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    Phi Phi by speedboat: the best staff on the sea!

    by earthboundfaerie Written Nov 9, 2006

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Before I end this series of Phi Phi by speedboat tips, I just have to mention the fact that ew were treated like royalty on our boat. If you are going to book this tour, please look for the tour where Mr. Boi is the guide. We booked our tour through Phuket-travel.com so I don't know what specific tour operator they worked for though. :(
    But we had the best time at sea!! And all thanks to the wonderful staff, the captain, Mr. Boi, our guide and the crew who made sure we were all comfortable all the time: offering us fruits and drinks every ten minutes, offering to take our photos, giving us trivia about the palces we visited, entertaining us with jokes, stories and even, dances. :)

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