If all the other little Thai islands are like that of Phi Phi then I bloody well need to see them all. The little pictures they have on the pamphlets do not give justice to the beauty of the islands, and island hopping on a speedboat is an experience of itself.
Just some helpful info before I move on to the actual islands, we were staying in Phuket looking to do a full day trip and there are many travel agencies advertising such trips on a whole bunch of pamphlets. They all pretty much follow to same route, just going either south-north or the other way around depending on conditions. They are all speedboats but may have either 2 or 3 engines meaning you will get around faster/slower. Advertised price is 3200 baht but you could easily haggle it down to 1300 which is the lowest they will go.
We traveled with Seastar Andaman tours as it was a slightly premium service and we wanted an english speaking guide to avoid to crowd of noisy and obnoxious Chinese tour groups, I think that in itself is worth paying a little extra for. The crew were also tops and we were served unlimited chilled water and coke as well as plenty of snacks along the way, and a buffet lunch when we arrived at Tonsai bay on Phi Phi Don, the big island.
After pickup from our place we arrived at Royal Phuket Marina, and wow holy shit this was some luxury shit. Expensive yachts and expensive condos, when they said Premium they fucking meant it. We had left for a fishing trip from Chalong pier the other day and were put off from leaving from there a little bit as it was overcrowded and seemed pretty shabby tbh, but this Royal Marina was luxury.
Our first destination was a little pit stop along the way called Kai island, a good spot for some morning tea. And snorkelling although while not the best there are some colourful and vibrant fish to see if you are lucky. Now while there are massive hordes of tourists arriving on the island as well soon after, a lot of them are fair skinned Chinese which means they are very sensitive about not getting tanned so most of them will sit on the beach underneath an Umbrella – more snorkelling space for me!
Next stop was Nui bay at Phi Phi Don; it was postcard fucking perfect. White sands, crystal clear waters, limestone cliffs, vibrant coral and fish, just wow. The visibility is perfect for snorkelling as the bottom is deeper so theres not too much sand/debris being kicked up and you can explore the little crevices and find some real exotic fish like the Parrot fish and Angel fish.
After a solid hour or snorkelling it was time for lunch at Tonsai bay, but on the way we would do a little pit stop at Monkey beach. It’s not really a beach, just a small little spot where these monkeys come down and say hello to the tourists/get fed bananas.
Tonsai bay is where most of the people who actually live on the islands are and is the most developed (which is still not that much, just a few houses/huts). We have a nice buffet lunch here and relax on the beach.
Next stop was Phi Phi Leh, the smaller island just south of Phi Phi Don. We would stop to look at the Viking Caves, famous for 1500 year old cave paintings as well as where expensive Birds Nests used to make Birds next soup are harvested. These are super expensive costing thousands of dollars by the kilo and is coveted by traditional asian cultures as it is thought to provide health benefits such as aiding digestion, libido, asthma, etc.
Then we head around to Pileh Lagoon and Maya bay; again some magnificent sights and clear blue waters. Maya bay however is not that great for snorkelling as the sandy bottom is quite close to the surface to only a few people need to have kicked it all up to make the waters a little cloudy, it doesn’t help either when its the afternoon and the shadow of the tall cliffs blocks out the sun making it a little dark to see things.
Maya Bay is also the last stop before we head back to the Marina on a 1 hour cruise. I sat at the front of the boat and just put my face into the wind to see how fast we were going; if you open your mouth to breathe your cheeks will start flapping and look like how they would if you were skydiving.
Ko Phi Phi is absolutely highly recommended to visit, especially if you are staying in Phuket or Krabi. It is the epitome of an island paradise, I had way too much fun here and am already missing these amazing sights!