The Famous Phi Phi Islands
24 Miles / 4-5 hours sailing east of Phuket
Once chosen by the magazine ” Islands” to be the second most beautiful island in the world, close behind Bora Bora Island in French Polynesia. You probably have heard or read about this island group already, and yes it is true; The Phi Phi Island group is breathtakingly beautiful, with spectacular karst s, stunning coastline and abundant marine life.
Naturally, this could not be kept a secret for long. Its most spectacular bay, “Maya Bay”, was used as the location for the year 2000 movie ‘The Beach’ starring Leonardo DiCaprio. It has become quite busy on most days during the high season from November – April. From 10 am – 3 pm day trip boats from Phuket and Krabi bring tourist who all want to see these beautiful islands and THE BEACH.
Phi Phi Island is often our first stopover on sailing trips heading south. Usually our sail and diving charters leave Phuket in the late morning to midday and head for Phi Phi Island. With a nice breeze we arrive around 3-4 pm, just in time to enjoy the island in her best light when the heat of the day has passed and her beauty really shines as the sun sets. By then, most of the day charter boats have left, and, in the whole of Maya Bay there are usually only a few sailing boats at anchor. Often our sailing catamaran Nakamal is the only yacht in the bay, what a luxury! There’s plenty of time to go and explore “The Beach”, where a few hours earlier many tourist walked around. Now, you have it to your selves! Maya Bay is on Phi Phi Leh, the uninhabited Island of the Phi Phi group. There’s a very nice walk across the island, to its West coast. By the time you have strolled there and back, you probably have worked up a thirst, that can be quenched by a sun-downer aboard Nakamal. Maya Bay is the perfect place to watch the sunset. If you are super lucky, and your charter falls on a full moon, you are in for another spectacular show. When the majestic limestone cliffs that fringe Maya Bay, and the powdery white sand of the beach are illuminated and shimmering in moonlight.
If you want a few more hours to enjoy the beauty of Phi Phi you should get up early and go swimming or take the kayak to explore the many little coves, bays and beaches. It is a great morning exercise before returning to your floating home on catamaran Nakamal where the breakfast of your choice and the smell of freshly brewed Italian coffee is waiting for you. Once you have finished your breakfast around 9-10 am we can hoist the sails and head for the next spectacular island stopover of your sailing cruise. This way your memory of Phi Phi island will be the same as people who have visited the islands in the early 1980’s.
Then there is the other island; Phi Phi Don.This island has it all; hotels, resorts and shops. This is the place for party people who like to dance the night away. There is good anchorage in the bay and if you don’t mind hearing music from different beach clubs the whole night, this is another possible stop over on the west side of Phi Phi Don. On the east bay there is “Monkey Beach” with a beautiful bay where monkeys come down from the lush rain forest during the late afternoon to feed on crabs. This is my anchorage of choice, it is just sheltered from the beach and music but still an easy dinghy ride should you wish to sample the night-time pleasures. Even if you don’t stay for the whole day Phi Phi Island is an absolute MUST SEE!