Thanks for your reply, I give here a link which cover both phi phi and khai island. I can check the price from site but my guess is the actual price will be lower that they show in the website, can any one help me what will be the actual price for this tour so that it will be a tool for me to bargain.
My agent and friend, Rebelo, when we were preparing the trip, showed me a package with 2 days in Phi Phi islands, saying it was tourist trap, the islands were easily visited in one day, and we could enjoy those nights somewhere else.
We accepted the suggestion, and saw he was right. But the contrast between the violent surf in our coast (monsoon time), and the clear and calm waters of Phi Phi islands, made us doubt that maybe that package was not such a bad idea.
The night in the island may be a little boring, but the day with the fish, it’s really a great experience.
We took a day trip to Phi Phi islands and Maya beach and loved it. We got to snorkel and stroll around the beaches. the speed boat was a bit crowded(all the ones we saw were), but nevertheless we had a very nice trip.
The is plenty to look around and buy in Phi Phi. Prices maybe high but some of the things that I saw here, I didn't find in many other places, so maybe that is why the prices are a bit high.But what you find everywhere, do not buy from here.
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.
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
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,
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.
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.
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.
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!
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