I wasn’t expecting to like Koh Phi Phi. In fact, I wasn’t even planning to go there.
I’d read hundreds of articles in the past describing how it’s overrun with obnoxious tourists. That it’s dirty, smelly and polluted; that it’s extremely expensive for Thailand. It didn’t sound particularly appealing.
But when Dave and I screwed up with our boat schedule when trying to get from Phuket to Koh Lanta and realised we couldn’t get there directly, we found ourselves reluctantly heading to Phi Phi for the day.
To my surprise, I found myself falling in love with the island within the first few minutes of arriving. Yes, there were parts that were dirty and smelly but I found these to be concentrated in one small area of the island and easily avoidable. And the tourists? It was surprisingly easy to escape the crowds too.
We stayed just a five minute walk from the main backpacker area in Tee Guesthouse and for 750 baht a night we had a private fan room, a hot shower, a dodgy toilet and a decent wifi connection.
We liked Koh Phi Phi so much that we ended up ditching our original plan of spending a few weeks working on Koh Lanta and headed back to Phi Phi instead.
It was definitely the right decision.
Phi Phi was a surprisingly easy place to work from – the area we were staying in was so quiet and peaceful that we didn’t feel like we were on a crazy party island at all. We spent our mornings working, our afternoons on the beach and our evenings drinking strawberry daiquiris out of a fishbowl. For the first few days, anyway.
These are some of my favourite photos from my time on Phi Phi:
My love affair with the island began on the ferry ride over there. We spent two hours gliding past tiny islands with striking limestone cliffs and uninhabited beaches. Even the larger islands were gorgeous.
One of my favourite spots on Koh Phi Phi is the Viewpoint. It took me over 30 minutes to struggle up the 300 metre climb to the top but it was SO worth it when I was rewarded with views like these. Just make sure you bring plenty of water with you!
I loved the beaches on Phi Phi. They were so much cleaner than I had been expecting although I still kept my mouth closed while I was in the water!
This was Tonsai Beach. At low tide the water was ridiculously shallow and you could easily walk a couple of hundred metres out into the ocean and still only be waist-deep in water.
Which I did almost everyday.
To give you some idea of just how shallow the water was – when I took this picture I was up to my knees in water. My knees! It’s definitely not the best beach for swimming!
I only discovered this part of Tonsai Beach on my final day in Phi Phi, which is a shame because it was absolutely stunning!
It was much quieter than the main strip we’d been hanging out on and although you still had to swim amongst smelly longtails and boats, the amazing scenery more than made up for it. I spent hours floating on my back in the sea staring up at the soaring limestone cliffs and thinking about how I really didn’t want to leave…
On the other side of the island you can find Loh Dalum beach, a beach that is gorgeous at high tide and kind of horrible at low tide.
I found it to be a lot more crowded than the other beaches, with hostels, restaurants and bars lining the beachfront. However, without the port that Tonsai Beach has, the water felt a lot less polluted…
My two weeks on Koh Phi Phi were incredibly relaxing and enjoyable but more importantly, I managed to get a hell of a lot of work done. By the end of it though? I was exhausted and I desperately needed a break.
I had been working far too hard.
Once more, Dave and I found our plans changing and we decided that in order to remain sane, we needed spend our final week in the islands going off the grid.
We were heading to a Thai island paradise with no internet and I planned on doing an awful lot of napping…