Koh Phi Phi, Thailand

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Koh Phi Phi is a true island paradise in the Andaman Sea, off the Western coast of Thailand. The island has been made famous by the film The Beach starring Leonardo DiCaprio which was set on Koh Pho Phi Ley’s Maya Bay to the south of the largest island, Kho Phi Phi Don, which is where I stayed.

I visited at the end of 2006, almost two years since the Boxing Day Tsunami, and there was much being rapidly rebuilt to serve the tourit industry. A lot of the island was under construction and street planning was none too important in the haste. However we found a lovely community and a pristine beach, and enjoyed a luxury stay in an air-conditioned room with ensuite for about £15! The previous night we had stopped over in the usual grubby backpacker style room and were so miserable we decided this was one of those time when we needed to splash out.

We arrived by boat from the mainland and there were lots of people offering us rooms, you find this at most bust stations and ports, but on Phi Phi there was also a huge board with a map and accommodation listed on it with prices.

The pic above is the view from the soft white sands of the beach facing northwards from the thin strip of land that connects the two bulkier parts of the island together. It is a calm semi-protected cove and we kayaked quite far out from here round to the monkey beach. Careful they don’t steal your camera!

Top Tip for Phi Phi: Sometimes it is nice to spend a little bit more on staying somewhere nice. If you have been on the road for a while then a clean private shower and toilet are just what you need to fortify yourself for an onward journey of dorm rooms and dodgy huts. Where better to splash out than this island paradise in Thailand.