Thursday, March 5, 2015

Trip To Krabi, Thailand: Phi Phi Islands - Koh Phi Phi Don + Bamboo Island

Photo By: Elin Chow

Continuing from our Phi Phi Islands speed boat tour, we left Loh Samah Bay after a 30 minutes snorkeling session and headed straight to Phi Phi Don for lunch.

Koh Phi Phi Don

Covering a total area of 28 square kilometers, Phi Phi Don is the largest and only inhabited island within the Phi Phi island group. Just like most of the other islands in the group, Phi Phi Don is also enclosed by limestone cliffs, offering some of the most amazing scenery in the world.

Phi Phi Don is made up of two elongated islands joined together by a narrow isthmus. Most activities are concentrated on the bay found on either side of the isthmus. You will find Ao Ton Sai (also known as Ton Sai Bay) on the south and Ao Lo Dalum (also known as Loh Dalum Bay) on the north.

Ton Sai Pier

Our boat docked at a shore near to the Ton Sai pier, in a bay that would be far more stunning if there were no ferries and long-tailed boats lining it from one end to another. Ton Sai pier is the main and only pier of the island, thus it is busy with ferries arriving from Phuket, Krabi and Lanta. However, once the last ferry departs from the island at 2.30 pm in the afternoon, the atmosphere returns to its calm and quiet state.

The island has a small town known as Ton Sai village. The vast majority of shops in Phi Don is concentrated in, offering clothes, jewellery local souvenirs and a variety of accommodation options.

The village is spread between Ton Sai and Lo Dalum beach. Day time on Phi Phi Don is busy with day trippers arriving and departing the island.

There are no motorized vehicles on the island, though you will still find a few motorcycles with truck-side cars usually used for transporting goods and construction materials on the road. The main form of transportation on the island is mainly by foot Or bicycle.

We had our lunch served at Blue Marine Restaurant owned by Phi Phi Princess Hotel. The restaurant is located on the beachfront of Loh Dalum Beach, about 10 minutes walk away from Ton Sai pier.

Our lunch menu for the day consisted a mix of Thai and Western cuisines. The food served to us was delicious and fulfilling, but I did not managed to eat much even though I was starving. Instead, I separated my lunch and ate in smaller portions to avoid sea sickness.

Toilet can be found at the back of the restaurant that features the giant canopy shade, but you would be expected to pay a small fee to in order use the facilities.

Famed as one of the most beautiful beaches in Phi Phi Islands, Loh Dalum beach is a 1 km long bay that is almost entirely enclosed by limestone cliffs, forming a spectacular view.

The beach has soft, powdery white sands that extends into very shallow waters. It is so shallow that you can walk out hundred of meters into the sea and still be waist-deep in the waters. Thus, it is perfectly safe for kids to play and have fun while the adults can kick back with a cold drink.

In addition to that, the water at Loh Dalum Beach is also extremely calm and soothing. There are no waves and the water is warm, making it even more ideal for small children to swim around without adult supervision.

Lined along the beach are numerous hotels and resorts, restaurants, bars and umbrella with beach chairs for rent. Unlike Ao Nang beach or Maya Bay, there are actually plenty of activities you can do on this beach.

For people who love motorized water recreation, you can either choose to do wake boarding, banana-boat ride or parasailing, which is extremely popular due to the amazing view which the Bay offers. 

The flat and calm water in Loh Dalum beach makes it ideal for kayaking and I believe there would be so much interesting to explore in the bay. Unfortunately, we did not have enough time for that due to limited amount of time we had on the island. But for those who managed to do some kayaking, do not forget to apply a generous amount of sunscreen lotion to protect your skin against sunburn and damages.

For those who are not a fan of water recreation or the sun, you might want to rent and enjoy relaxing in a comfortable beach chair under the shade of an umbrella. Alternatively. you could also put your own towels or beach mats down on the sands, lie down and soak up some sun.

However, just like any other well-known beaches in Phi Phi islands, Loh Dalum beach is always busy and noisy at any time of the year. It is a place for beach parties where pubs and bars blast loud music from evening to dawn. So if you are stay near to the beach, be prepared not to sleep every night. 

For people who prefer peace and tranquility, you might want to stay further away from Ton Sai or Loh Dalum Bay. For that, I would recommend areas around the Long Beach or Laem Tong beach (also known as Palm beach).

As much as we wanted to explore beyond Loh Dalum Bay, we did not managed to since we were only given only an hour and a half (including lunch time) to spend on Phi Phi Don. If there is a chance, we would definitely love to visit Phi Phi Don once again in the future.

With that, we left Phi Phi Don and sailed over to Hin Klang for another open sea snorkeling session with colorful coral reefs.

Hin Klang

Located about 2 km offshore away from Phi Phi Don is Hin Klang. Due to its crystal clear water, colorful reef and abundance of marine life, Hin Klang is known to be one of the best snorkeling site of Phi Phi islands.

After a 30 minutes snorkeling session, we left Hin Klang and headed off to the last stop for our our Phi Phi island tour - the Bamboo island.

Bamboo Island

Located northeast of Phi Phi Don is Koh Mai Phai (commonly known as Bamboo island), a small pristine uninhabited island offering crystal clear turquoise blue waters and glistening white sands beach.

Unlike Maya Bay or Phi Phi Don, Bamboo island is a tiny island with a dense patch of trees surrounded by a lovely long stretch of white sands beach. 

We arrived at around 2 pm in the afternoon and was surprised the beach not as crowded as the other islands in Phi Phi. 

Further in, we found plenty of tall pine trees lining the beach which provided shade for its visitors.

Toilet facilities are located right at the back of the island, but you would only want to use them if you really need to.

There is a snack shack on the island that rent out beach mat for visitors to lounge and relax on the white sandy beach.

There are nothing much you can do at the beach except swimming, snorkeling, sunbathing or just laze around the soft, powdery white sands, under the shade of towering pine trees . You may even want to bring along some food and drinks and enjoy a picnic lunch on the beach. However, do not forget to bring your trash with you when you are leaving the island. It was really a very sad thing to find trash laying everywhere on the island.

It was also nice to just lay down on the sand and fall asleep under the clear blue sky.

Bamboo island is the prefect place for anyone who wish to escape from the crowded beaches of Loh Dalum or Maya Bay. 

Final Thoughts

A paradise ruined and lost by over-development. Phi Phi islands, although stunning, are never peaceful at all.

The islands was once devastated by the Indian Ocean tsunami of December 2004 which nearly wiped out all of the infrastructures on the islands. Rebuilding works has, however been swift on the islands, restoring them to their former state.

Today, Phi Phi islands are crowned as one of the most strikingly beautiful islands group in the world. Overall, it was a really great island-hopping experience. To us, this was a very worthwhile trip and an experience that should not be missed.

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  1. Hii Elin, Phi-Phi Island is a Amazing Place for visiting, I loved that place,,, Hope you enjoyed a lot there... Thanks for sharing this moments with us,,, Awesome pictures...!!!

  2. I like all the pictures shared by you, all are beautiful and fantastic. Hope you enjoyed your trip, keep sharing about your future trips.

  3. Images are saying that how much you enjoyed in Krabi. So beautiful place and you captured all moments beautifully. Good Job!