Phi Phi Islands
The Phi Phi Islands is a group of islands, of which the largest is Phuket, and sit on the Andaman Sea in the far south of Thailand, east of Phuket and west of the very south of mainland Thailand. Ko Phi Phi Don is the largest, and include Ko Phi Phi Lee, Bida No, Bida Noi and Ko Mai Phai also known as Bamboo Island.
Travel the to Phi Phi Islands is by a boat trip- speedboat of Long Tail boats from Krabi Town and others piers in Phuket. The Phi Phi Islands have only been home to residents since around the 1940s. Phi Phi Don became home to Muslim fishermen and then became a coconut plantation. The 3,000 strong population if predominantly Muslim so visitors need to be mindful about protocol and etiquette around Ramadan, which incidentally moves forward by each year in line with the lunar months.
Ko Phi Phi Leh was the location for the film The Beach, released in 2000. The film producers were criticised for environmental damage by the locals, but the publicity of the film brought tourists to this heavenly island.
Although recent residents of the Phi Phi Islands are only known to have been within the last 80 years there have been archaeological discoveries that date previous inhabitants at the islands as far back as prehistoric period. It is believed that all islands were originally one island and that over many thousands of years and the rising water levels and resulted in most of the original land mass is now under water.
The Phi Phi islands are rich is corals, marine life, white beaches, limestone mountains, cliffs, caves exotic vegetation and wildlife. Most of all the islands are free from sound and light pollution that are hard to avoid in everyday life.
Ko Phi Phi has two villages within which there are nine residential areas. The villages are Leam Thong and Ko Phi Phi. Laem Thong is made up of residential areas Ban Ko Mai Phai, Ban Laem Tong, Ao Loh Bakhao and Ao Lana. Ko Phi Phi is made up of Ao Maya, Ton Sai – the capital, Hat Yao, Ao Lodalum and Laem Pho.
The island has some roads that are paved, all are pedestrian, apart from for emergency services vehicles. This means that the islands are largely quiet, naturally preserved, with beautiful beaches and clear waters for which the islands are popular with scuba divers, snorkelers, kayakers and others wanting to take part in marine recreational activities.
For small islands, the Phi Phi Islands are incredibly popular and receive 1,000 visitors each day. All visitors pay 20 Baht entrance fee which is used specifically for keeping the islands free from rubbish.