I thought the beaches of Florida and the Caribbean were beautiful but Phi Phi islands is on a whole another level. I couldn’t believe how gorgeous and clear the water was at these islands. It’s one of those locations you see on the Travel Channel or National Geographic magazines. It was just unreal.
I always wanted to go to Phi Phi islands but never thought I would make it or it would be years down the line before I visited the place. I wasn't even planning on this trip happening this year but things changed when I visited Bali and met Ashley and Negin. We became fast friends at the yoga retreat and they invited me to come along with them to Thailand after the retreat ended. I was originally going to head back home to Florida but when they mentioned visiting Phi Phi islands, I changed my flight and was on my way to Thailand.
Phi Phi islands is not the easiest location to get to. You leave from Phuket and have to get to a specific dock where all the boats leave from. We stayed at the Amari Phuket hotel, which was in Patong, an hour from the Phuket airport, and it took about 40 minutes to the marina. Then, it takes another 45 minutes to get to Phi Phi islands. Luckily, we were on a speedboat, but if you take a ferry, it will take 2 hours. Although it’s a long journey, it’s definitely worth it.
Phi Phi islands is broken into several different islands. We did a boat tour with Andaman Leisure Phuket, which the hotel booked for us, that stopped at 5-6 different islands and I think it was the best way to go since we only had a day to explore the islands. The tour lasts the whole day from 9 AM - 4 PM. A minivan picked us up from our hotel promptly at 7:30 AM and picked up several other guests at a couple different hotels before heading to Royal Phuket Marina, where we hopped on our speedboat.
When we started approaching Phi Phi Islands, I was so amazed at how beautiful the scenery was that my jaw dropped. I felt like I was living the dream! The waters were so clear and bright blue and the vertical cliffs surrounding it were breathtaking. On our first stop, we were allowed to jump off the boats into the beautiful waters and I felt like we were in some kind of movie. Everything just seemed too beautiful to be real. We stayed here for about an hour and had fun jumping off the boat a few times and swimming around the clear waters.
Before our next island visit, we stopped in the middle of the sea to do some snorkeling. I have never snorkeled before, so when I went into the waters and put the gear on, I kinda freaked out and started hyperventilating a bit. From what I did see, it was a beautiful world under the sea. There were so many different fish swimming around me and I usually get scared when there are fish that close to me, but it felt like a different world under there and I just couldn't believe how clear it was. I wish I could have explored more because Ashely told me she saw some clown fish and they are my favorite kind of fish! Guess I have to learn how to do some snorkeling for next time.
On our next island stop, we had the option to eat at a restaurant or relax at the beach. Although our tour came with a free lunch at the next stop, we were starving at this point, so ate at the little restaurant on the beach. We ordered some good ‘ol fried food like chicken fingers, fried shrimp and fries. Our empty stomachs were very satisfied after that meal.
Next stop was downtown Phi Phi. This is where we had our free lunch but I’m so glad I ate beforehand because their buffet food was average at best. I tried a few dishes and everything was dry and bland. We walked around the downtown area for a bit and there were some stores, massage parlors and more restaurants. We decided to relax at a bar called Jungle Beach and sat at a booth with a beach view.
On our way back, we made a quick stop at Monkey Island. I was excited to visit monkey island as I saw pictures of visitors with monkeys on the beach but we didn’t even get off the boat on this stop. We saw the monkeys on the rocks and they were so hard to spot because they blended in with the rocks. We took some pictures for a few minutes and moved on. It was completely opposite of what I was expecting. I would have been pretty upset about it but I just visited the Monkey Forest in Bali a few days prior, which was awesome, so I was okay with it.
Before heading back to the marina, we stopped by one more island. It was a nice relaxing beach with a bar, beach chairs and swings on the trees. It was the perfect last stop for some relaxation and sun bathing. Ashley completed her beach paradise with a tropical coconut drink.
I’m so happy I made the last-minute decision to visit Phi Phi islands. It was seriously the most beautiful islands I have ever seen and I feel incredibly lucky I was able to experience all of this. Since I live in Florida, I don’t think about beach vacations too often but this place has changed my mind and I’m more open to visiting places like Fiji and Bora Bora now.