This post is part of a larger trip report from my 17 day trip to Thailand (Krabi, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Bangkok) and Hong Kong!
- Using Miles to Book Flights on American Airlines Home from Hong Kong
- Using Miles to Book Flights on Continental to Thailand
- Sheraton Krabi Beach Resort Review
- Thailand Beaches Day 1: Phi Phi Excursion
- Thailand Beaches Day 2 & 4: Railey Beach
- Thailand Beaches Day 3: Hong Island
- Massages and Dinning in Ao Nang, Krabi
- Norther Thailand – First Stop Chiang Mai
- Three Day Trek and the Golden Triangle
- Spending New Years Eve in Chiang Mai
- Wandering Around Chiang Mai
- Le Meridien Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai Hotel Review
- Aloft Bangkok Hotel Review
- Temples, Activities, and Dinning in Bangkok
- Renaissance Hong Kong Harbour View Hotel Review
- Things to do in Hong Kong
- A Day in Macau
For our first full day in the beaches in Thailand we decided to take a day trip to Phi Phi Island and some other islands nearby. It was an organized trip that we booked through the Sheraton Krabi’s excursion desk. The great thing about the tours in Krabi (and actually most of Thailand) is that they will always pick you up at your hotel, which is extremely convenient. All the hotels offer the same tours (as they are run by an outside company) for the same price.
There are a few variations of the island hoping tours but we went for the Phi Phi Island by Speedboat excursion. It is a fun day with lunch included and stops at a total of 8 places. While it was cool to see some of the other uninhabited islands, we really did not get to spend too much time on Phi Phi Island. There was about 25 people on our boat, which was perfect. Some of the other tours we saw while on the water were massive ferry-like boats with 100+ people. I would try to avoid the massive hauling of tourist excursions at all cost.
Our first stop was at Bamboo Island. It was an absolutely beautiful island with crystal clear water. We walked around the island a little bit and did some snorkeling. The scenery was magnificent as you had a clear look out to many other island and rock formations. Since this was our first stop, non of the other tourists had yet shown up – which was great! We also strategically went on this tour on Christmas Eve thinking it will be less packed.
The second stop we made was the lagoon in Maya Bay. We all jumped off the boat for some great snorkeling. Some parts were hazier than others, but it was still somewhat decent. I also found that the best was to snorkel was to lie on the life jacket instead of wearing it. For these trips, I highly recommend an underwater camera!
Our third stop was actually visiting the famous Maya Bay. This is the island that was used to film Leonardo Dicaprio’s move “The Beach.” After visiting this island, I can absolutely see why this was the island of choice as it is breathtaking. We stopped here for about 45 minutes, which is more than enough. Unfortunately, this has now become a huge tourist spot so it is not a relaxing place to lie on the beach.
We then headed to Phi Phi Island. On the way we saw some Viking Caves. These are places were locals live to collect birds nest for soup. There are many ancient wall carvings inside and outside the cave.
Upon arriving to Phi Phi Island, we had a pretty decent lunch and then had about 2 hours of free time to explore. We walked around the town for a little and then headed right for the beach. This has more of a backpackers feel, however, there are some beautiful hotels throughout the island. There is also a Holiday Inn (where you can use your Priority Club points!) on the more remote side of the island, which others have raved about. The main complaint I’ve heard is that maybe it is too remote and somewhat challenging (and expensive) to get to the more lively town area.
The beaches were beautiful and have a very vibrant feel to it. You could partake in many water activities and there were plenty of people trying to sell you an excursion! I thought it was a fun area and would have liked to spend an entire day on the island – there was plenty to do!
On our way back from Phi Phi island to the main land, we made one final stop at another snorkeling spot. We snorkeled off the boat and through these cave like formations, which was really cool. We also saw some interesting color fish.
Overall, it was a great day and we really enjoyed our tour and guide. The only negative complaint is that we would have liked to spend more time in Phi Phi Island – but I guess that will be for next time! There are many ferries that leave from Krabi straight to Phi Phi so that is always an option as well. Ferries, however, leave relatively early from Phi Phi due to high seas, so its tough to get a full day there. The best way to get a real feel of Phi Phi would be to stay over at least a night.