Clear blue waters, impressive stone formations and cliffs, unique long tail boats, fine white sand, amazingly clear skies—yes, it’s the Ko Phi Phi paradise in Phuket, Thailand!
I decided to include Phuket as part of my 4-week backpacking South East Trip way back in October 2011. I heard somewhere that this is where they shot the film “The Beach” with Leonardo di Caprio, even if the true-to-life inspiration to that came from El Nido in the Philippines!
Suffice it is to say, I of course enjoyed the beaches of Phuket. And soaked in the sun as much as I can!
I stayed in Patong Beach, which is about 45 minutes from Phuket Town by local bus, for 3N/3D. I flew via AirAsia from Kuala Lumpur and shared a prepaid taxi from the airport to Patong Beach with my seatmate on the plane (but that’s another story). I spent the time partying at night and chilling by day. One of those days was used to actually go to Ko Phi Phi island via a “cruise ship” with hundreds of other tourists.
You can actually get a smaller boat which takes you closer to some islands, especially the “James Bond Island”. The thing is, as Patong Beach and Ko Phi Phi are among the most touristy spots in Phuket, these small boats get filled up easily.
I suggest, upon arriving at Patong Beach area and settling in to your hotel/hostel/dorm (I stayed at Sea Blue Guesthouse Backpackers Hostel which has a dorm accommodation), book for the boat already, especially if you want to go the next day. Most tour agents at Patong will offer the same price, and most likely is for the same boat or cruise ship anyway. You can haggle.
Actually, the cruise ships are not so bad. You’d meet interesting people as well, given of course that you’re extrovert enough to chat them up on the way to the islands. With the number of people traveling to Ko Phi Phi and Phuket, for sure you’ll find interesting company. Plus there’s free snack on board!
And there’s buffet lunch included too! This is served at Ko Phi Phi island already, after a stop-over at Monkey Beach. Yes, it’s a beach island with [some] monkeys in it!
After lunch, it’s free time for every one to lounge, sunbathe, kayak and just chill at Ko Phi Phi’s white sand shoreline. After lunch plus under the sun plus a great view equals a great afternoon for me!
If you’re feeling quite adventurous or looking for some fun in the sun, you can take the banana boat ride as well.
You can also go shopping for beach-y items as well as souvenirs. These mostly include sundresses, swimsuits, cover-ups, skirts, beach bags, and light shirts, shorts and beach pajamas. Jewelries made from shells and pearls too!
So yeah, a day at Ko Phi Phi islands is something that you should do while in Phuket. As Eduardo, my [HOT] Spanish dormmate said, “Happy excursion!”