After spending two nights in Phuket Town, we were ready to catch an early morning ferry to Ko Phi Phi. We arranged a van through our hotel, and our driver suggested we book him for the return back across the island to Patong after our two days on Phi Phi. The ferry ride was 2 hours long, and cost about $28 round trip. We got a spot up front so we enjoyed a nice breeze the entire ride, some shade, and uninterrupted sights once the islands came into view.
Once we arrived on Ko Phi Phi Don, the larger inhabited island, we headed to our hotel. There aren’t any roads on Phi Phi, and navigating the narrow walkways filled with shops and tourists was a little difficult, so we took the reviewers advice from Trip Advisor and just headed straight across the island to the opposite beach and walk along it until we found Dee Dee beach house. Our “hotel” was a small group of huts located directly on the beach with a small courtyard in the center. They were decorated sparsely, but had all the basic necessities you would need for a tropical island vacation, especially for $41 a night. The closest restaurant was right next door, and the club bars were right up the beach. Several cats inhabited our courtyard as well, so we had visitors every morning.
We grabbed lunch and our first island cocktails while we waited for our afternoon tour check-in. The weather was beautiful, but definitely hot. At 2:30 we headed back to the pier for our Sunset Plankton Tour through Maya Bay Tours. Our tour group consisted of about 25-30 people and several guides. We set off towards Ko Phi Phi Leh, the smaller of the two islands, and a protected National Park. Our first stop was a drive by of the Viking Caves, inside of which lots of cave drawings and art adorn the walls. We were only able to photograph these from the outside, as now a rich Thai person owns them and the caves are used to grow swallowtail nests, which are a delicacy as soup. The men who climb up the tiny ladders to get the nests each year make very good money for doing this dangerous job.
We were supposed to stop in a lagoon for snorkeling next, but the waves were too choppy and the visibility wasn’t good, so we had to skip that portion of the tour. We headed around the island to Maya Bay and anchored offshore. We were allowed to get off the boat and snorkeling this location, but the variety of fish wasn’t great and neither was the visibility. The highlight was jumping off the top of the boat, Stacy and I were the first ones to go!
Going to “The Beach” where the Leonardo Dicaprio movie was filmed was amazing. The sand was so white and soft and the water was clear blue and warm. The limestone cliffs rising out of the water surrounding the beach were stunning. We spent an hour walking around taking photos and enjoying the water. During the day the beach is packed with tourists but by going in late afternoon, we avoided some of the crowds.
Just before sunset we went back to the boat for dinner. There was rice, mixed veggies, and a chicken curry, which was delicious. We watched the sun set into the Andaman Sea from the top of the boat with some cocktails. Our trip wasn’t over yet though! Once it got fully dark, we got our masks back on and jumped in for a night snorkel. In Maya Bay there is a lot of bioluminescent plankton, so by kicking our legs and moving our arms around, we were able to see the glowing underwater. It was definitely a strange and crazy sight. It looked almost like lightning bugs but underwater.
Once we were back on the boat, we had another cocktail as we sped back to Ko Phi Phi Don. The tour was excellent, despite the lack of prime snorkeling conditions, and was a great deal since we paid $41 each for a 6 hour tour that includes dinner and drinks. I would recommend Maya Bay Tours to anyone, they really took care of us and showed us the beautiful sights of Ko Phi Phi Leh.