I just stepped down at Maya bay from my speedboat after that extensive three hours of the roller-coaster ride, while the crazy waves kept thumping us. I’m trying to reassure me if this is the place which is being advertised everywhere as the blue bliss of Thailand. This is definitely not what I expected and I also speculate that it’s not me alone who is frustrated here seeing the devastating crowd around. But then is it the place or the flaw is in how it has been managed or been exploited due to tourism over the years?
You can hire a private or group speedboat to explore the Phi Phi islands either from Krabi or Phuket. This is a full day excursion which travelers pick from both the provinces to avoid staying at the Phi Phi Islands. The trip would cost anything between 1500 THB to 2200 THB depending how hard one bargain with the tour operators. The trip begins in morning at around 07 am or late depending upon how far is your hotel located from the main pier from where you need to board your speedboat. The package includes pickup and drop to and fro your hotel.
This is a fixed itinerary which most the tour operators sell of Phi Phi Islands
For more details refer: https://www.phuketalltours.com/phuket-tours/phi-phi-island-tour-by-speed-boat.htm
The Phi Phi and its neighbouring Islands certainly won’t disappoint you if you stay here for a night or two to discover them during the non-tourist hours. Here is why exploring these blue territories through a day speedboat tour is a bad idea.
Maya Bay is nothing like “The Beach” during the afternoon
If the aim is to experience the beach shown in Leonardo DiCaprio’s famous “The Beach” movie then you are hitting an absolute wrong aim. Maya Bay is an Island and national park area buzzing with tourists everywhere, especially in the afternoon. Due to the high influx of tourists every day, the beach and its surroundings are not well kept.
If you are on a speedboat day trip you would get half an hour to discover this place which includes swimming. Swimming at the beach is another challenge due to its size and the number of people trying to swim in the water. If you desire to capture the real splendor of this place then early mornings or evenings is the best time as there are no speedboats coming here gathering people from nearby provinces.
It’s just seeing not experiencing
Obligating to stop at each place for 30-45 minutes to explore is awfully less. It’s more like touching a place and move on. The boat doesn’t even halt at places like Vikings caves and Monkey islands. Both the places are shown by the boat guide from a distance.
There’s nothing you do at Phi-Phi islands accept lunch
The crystal clear blue waters, the picture-perfect background of colourful boats and palm trees, Phi Phi Island is a quintessential spot when visiting Thailand however not as part of this one day trip. I personally recommend staying at the Phi Phi islands for a day or two to experience the serenity of this place. As part of the day trip, the speedboat only stops here for lunch for a maximum of an hour which is really not enough to explore these islands.
The snorkeling is surely not for beginners
The speedboats stop near Pileh cove and if you are planning to attempt for your first snorkeling experience it’s definitely, not your stop. The water is deep and you have to jump from the boat which needs nerves, isn’t it? for people who are good swimmers, this can be a treat.
The Monkey Island and Vikings cave is only for viewing
Yes, the speedboat doesn’t drop you to either of these places and you can view them from a distance only. So if you were excited seeing the pictures of these spots in the brochure this fact might disappoint you.
Although I have seen the Phi Phi and its neighboring islands, I would remain disappointed because of all the above-written experiences. Am sure staying at these islands and exploring them and the neighboring ones during non tourists hours would be a better impression.
Traveling tips for a day trip to Phi Phi Islands
1. Very important when you are booking your day package from either Phuket or Krabi, bargain hard. On the same street you would find plenty of tour operators selling the same package but at different prices. Roam around and pick the best deal indeed
2. Carry change of clothes in case you planning to swim or snorkel
3. If you have your snorkeling kit do carry it to avoid paying for the fins at the pier
4. Sunscreen is must
5. Woman must avoid wearing skirts as the journey is overwhelmingly windy, so just in case :)
6. People who suffer from sea sickness must consume the prescribed medicines
7. Carry nausea bags, again just in case :)
8. Carry plastic bags to keep your cameras and phone safe from water
9. Women who are expecting must avoid this trip due to the strong motions during journey