So, you’d like to see the beauty of underwater life but don’t want to be bother in getting certified for scuba diving? Then go snorkeling in Phi Phi Islands, Thailand! I did not dive during my stay in Thailand back then. We rented a boat for couple days, sailing around the islands and jumped into the water for snorkeling. The underwater life in these islands are gorgeous, colorful corals and fishes can be seen just at the depth less than two to five meters.
Phi Phi Islands are located in Krabi Province and consist of six islands: Koh Yung (Mosquito Island); Koh Mai Pai (Bamboo Island); Koh Bida Nok; Koh Bida Nai; and the last two and popular ones: Koh Phi Phi Don, the largest island where visitors stay and Koh Phi Phi Leh, where movie The Beach starring Leonardo di Caprio took place. By now maybe you can guess that Koh in Thai language means island
We reached Koh Phi Phi Don from Phuket by a ferry, Phi Phi Cruiser. It took one and half hour. There is no cars in Koh Phi Phi Don, so upon arrival, we walked to our hotel which was located in between Ton Sai Bay and the Loh Dalum Bay. The reason to chose the hotel in this area was to avoid the crowds and party noises from the center of Koh Phi Phi Don. The island is extremely popular for young people and it is well known that the island has parties for the whole evening that last until early morning. I am too old to join such party 🙂
Nearby to the hotel, we met a friendly boat captain named Kung who offered us a trip to snorkeling in Rantee Bay and Bao Kao Bay for 4 hours – the cost back then was less than 30 Euro. We decided to use his service and promised him that if we were happy then we would like to snorkel on the following day. And we did enjoy the trip with Kung. We also had lunch with him at a restaurant of his choice.
On the second day snorkeling, we spent the whole day snorkeling. In the morning we went to Koh Phi Phi Leh and visited its famous areas: Maya Bay, Loh Samah Bay and Viking Cave (famous for swallow birds nests that can be cooked as soup). The island is stunning. I am not surprise if the Thailand government wishes to keep its nature by preventing inhabitants in the island. However, I am not sure if the boats crowd surrounding this island would help. After lunch time, we were snorkeling surrounding the other two islands: Bida Nai and Bida Nok.
On the third day, we continued our snorkeling adventure to Bamboo and Mosquito islands. Bamboo island has white sand beach and clear water. Not many boats in these islands compared to Koh Phi Phi Leh, less touristy and more comfortable to snorkel.
Overall we were so happy with Kung’s boat service, he was honest and kind person. He worked to support his family in the mainland and most of the time he slept in his boat.
I printed a photo book of underwater pictures and sent it to him. I hope he received the book and would keep it to remind him of the underwater beauty of his sea. The following photos are some photos that I included in the photo book for him.
Eat and Relax
We ate at Pum Restaurant in the island several times. It is actually a chain restaurant and it also offers Thai dish cooking lesson. My favorite Thai dish is Thai’s dessert: Khao Nieo Mamuang. It is sticky rice with mango showered by sweet coconut sauce. The dessert is very much fulfilling that there was a night I just ate it as my dinner 🙂 I was addicted to it during my holiday in Thailand.
Other than enjoying good Thai food in the island, we also visited the View Point. It is located on the hill, 186 meter above sea level. The path to the view point is quite steep but worth to do it. From the view point, we saw the beautiful view of Ton Sai Bay and the Loh Dalum Bay and the island. The island suffered massive destruction because of the Tsunami in 2004 and the view point becomes one of safe areas. Memorial of the Tsunami 2004 such as photos and books can be seen in a small cafe in the view point area.
Climates in Phi Phi Islands
Dry season – December to April. These months considered as high season in the islands. Usually the weather will be hot, hot, and hot.
Rainy Season – May to November. We visited Phi Phi islands on September and some friends visited the island on October. There was hardly rains. The temperature was bit lower but still hot. The rainy season in Thailand is bit similar to the western part of Indonesia, lots of rains but after that then the sun will start shining again.