Small guide to the Thai islands 2/3 : Koh PhiPhi

Jun 10, 2015

One of the favourite part of my trip in Thailand was visiting the islands. I only went to Ko Tao, Ko PhiPhi and Ko Lanta but I had such good different experiences on each one of them that I decided to blog about it in as much details as I could to share with you the reasons I enjoyed it so much. This second part is about Ko PhiPhi and the fact that there is more to do on the island than party.

Let's go hike on Ko PhiPhi!

What?! Yes, it is possible, although the options are very limited, you can actually go on a day hike on Ko PhiPhi and it's a nice one.
From Ton-Sai Bay (main town of the island) I headed up towards the first viewpoint. It will cost you 30 Baht as it is a "private" area. On the maps of the island there is usually 3 different viewpoints referenced. The first one gives you a nice view of the main pier of Ko PhiPhi. A bit further up, the second viewpoint is the most crowded one. I got there in the morning and there was quiet a few people. So I only imagine how crowded it must be at sunset. I stopped at the first viewpoint to fly my drone but did not as the second one as the view was pretty much the same.
I continued onto the third viewpoint and that's when the hike started to get interesting. You start getting deep into the jungle and you meet no one. The first part in the jungle to the third viepoint is very flat and easy to go through. You get a nice view of the jungle that covers part of the island.

From viewpoint 1

From viewpoint 3

From viewpoint 3
Aerial view of the main pier

After that, the path gets a bit steep and narrow. Although there is pretty much only one path, you'll find small signs along the way making it quiet hard to get lost. So after a while walking down in the dense vegetation you will reach a clear flat area. I continued and reached a small paved road. That's when I saw the first one of many... Tsunami signs. I then noticed that they were all over the place. They indicate the direction to follow and the distance from the next safe area. Seeing this I could only think of how horrible it might have been during the 2004 Tsunami. 

In the jungle

When you get out of the jungle

A small reminder

I followed this paved path and went to Ao Loh Bakao. There's a resort there as well as several small shops and restaurants. I had a quiet expensive lunch in one of them. The prices were in general higher than in Ton-Sai Bay of Koh PhiPhi probably because the only way to get there was by boat or through the jungle like I did. After lunch I went back to the path and kept heading north. It then went along the coastline on the east side of the island. Another 15-20 minutes walk before you reach Haad Laem Thong beach and its resorts. I wlaked along the beach all the way to the end and went further into the resort in the middle of the bungalows. 
Haad Laem Thing Beach

Although the surroundings were not nice anymore and I was in the middle of what was the "behind the scenes" of the resort, my goal was to go as north as possible on the island. AFter a little while, the path I was on became narrower but it was still possible to keep going. I reached some rocks that I had to climb down and then I was walking towards the very north of the island.
It was a bit windy but I reached my destination so I had to take out the drone and film. I wanted to get a whole view of the island from that point. I managed to get most of it by taking the drone pretty high above.
Beside the boats passing in the distance I was all by myself. I walked back on the rocks near the water until I found a nice spot to go swimming. As usual the water was warm. One thing I have noticed in Thailand is that the water was always warm, it's actually not that refreshing when you go for a swim. I stayed there for a while enjoying the quietness of the place. 

I went to the very north of the island

An aerial view from the north of Koh PhiPhi

Another aerial view of Koh PhiPhi

On the way back I stopped at Loh Lana Bay and went to Nui Beach, where you can see the camel rock. From Loh Lana Bay you have to climb a small but very steep hill to get to the other side to Nui Beach. Another quick drone flight and I headed back towards Ton-Sai Bay. Although this time I took another way. Just before entering the jungle again, you'll see a sign indicating Ton-Sai Bay on the right 60 minutes away. Do not pay too much attention to the time on the signs as they can vary by 10 minutes from one sign to another when they are just 50 meters apart. 

Path to Loh Lana Bay

Loh Lana Bay

Camel rock in Nui Bay

Nui Bay from above
So I decided to take this path since I was not keen on going the same way back. That way was pretty much the same though; narrow path in the middle of the jungle. And in the middle of nowhere, after a little while I reach something that we should not see in those beautiful places, or anywhere for that matter. There was a pile of plastic bottles on the side of the path. People, seriously, take care of your shit! How hard is it to carry a bottle of water - especially if it's empty! - to the next bin?! This kind of view really disgust me! 


After another 30 minutes walk I reached Ton-Sai Bay, tired but very happy with the day of exploration I just did. And that same evening I randomly met 2 other French guys I met in Kao Sok National Park just a few days ago. I was then able to enjoy the main activity on Kho PhiPhi : party!!!

A nice sunset to end on a good note :-)

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