Swimming through the Picturesque Phi Phi Islands (Thailand)


I started the first day of my trip to Thailand during Golden Week by traveling to the picturesque Phi Phi Islands in the Krabi province. These islands have been used as film locations for several movies due to their beautiful formation consisting of many beaches and caves, and also are a popular resort destination. Whereas my first trip to Thailand focused on seeing 3 major cities of the country (Bangkok, Phuket, and Chiang Mai), this trip focused on exploring tinier islands and beaches for their unique charm.

To get to Phi Phi, it is easiest to take a speedboat from Phuket so I booked a group tour through Phuket Sail Tours to reach the chain of islands.  This tour was awesome because all of the people were around my age (mid-twenties), and the tour guide provided us with free beer.  It felt amazing to go diving off the boat and get lost within the Emerald waters of the Andaman Sea!

The first stop was Maya Bay, which was used as a film location in the movie “The Beach”. Unfortunately this beach has been closed until mid 2021 by the The Department of National Parks, Wildlife, and Plant Conservation according to Bangkok Post due to it being overcrowded with tourists, but most tours will stop so you can take pictures of the island.

We then stopped at Pileh Lagoon for swimming and diving, and headed towards Phi Phi Don for snorkeling.  I was able to see a colorful assortment of fish and even swim with some!  I also saw tiny sting rays and sea urchins at the bottom of the ocean.  The time allotted for each location was adequate for seeing a lot of amazing sights. The bright atmosphere, bountiful schools of marine wildlife, and colorful assortment of boats really makes this a pleasant trip!

Next we sailed by Viking Cave, which we were unfortunately unable to enter due to the preservation of bird nests inside of it (according to our tour guide), but it was still interesting to see.  One of the most amusing stops was Monkey Beach, where we swam and watched monkeys ransack kayaks and backpacks for bananas.

The monkeys in Thailand are a lot like the ones in Japan–usually non-violent, but definitely handsy!  These monkeys were self-trained to open backpacks and knew exactly where to find the bananas.  Fortunately I did not get anything stolen, but it is advised to keep your luggage with you or on the boat so they do not ransack it.  Regardless, I had a lot of fun watching the monkeys here skillfully snatch food while relaxing on the beach!

To end the trip, we had a buffet lunch and chilled on the white sands of Bamboo Island.  Most tours have curry buffets with mixed vegetables, chicken, seafood, and rice because they are easy to make and are very filling.  I only eat seafood and vegetables, but fortunately I still found a lot of options.

For more information, please watch this video by Phuket Sail Tours, and please keep an eye on my future posts!

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