Phi Phi Don island was devastated by the 2004 Tsunami. The waves apparently came from both sides and hit in the middle. It is easy to see how it could cause so much destruction, because there is only a thin strip of land between the two bays.
We took a ferry from Railay beach to the island, where we stayed at Phuphaya Sea View resort, which was high up on the hill overlooking the “party beach” of Loh Dalum. It was quite hectic pulling our bags up the incredibly steep hill to our accommodation in the midday heat, but we were rewarded with a cool swim in the pool with an amazing view of the bay. At night the beach comes to life with all the beachfront bars blasting extremely loud music, and each one providing their own fire show for their guests. This goes on well into the early hours of the morning. Unlucky for us, the sound traveled upwards, and we could hear the music really clearly until it stopped every morning.
On one of the nights we decided if you cant beat them, we join them, and we purchased one of the famous party ‘bucket’ drinks that everyone walks around with. There are lots of shops that sell these buckets, each one comes with a small bottle of alcohol, an energy drink, and a can of soda. We got the vodka, coke and redbull bucket, which lasted us the whole night.
On one of the days we hiked up the main viewpoint for the island, which was about a 45min hike from our accommodation. The view is amazing from up the top of the hill, and you can clearly see both bays.
There are no cars or bikes on this small island. Everyone walks except for the police who ride around on motorbikes.
Being so close to Maya bay on Phi Phi Le island, we decided to visit it for the second time. Our first time was in 2016 when we took the ‘early bird tour’ to avoid the crowds, and traveled by speed boat from Phuket, and the boat dropped us on the main beach. This time we went in the late afternoon in windy weather on a long tail boat, and entered on the backside of the bay. We had to swim from the boat in the rough sea to a net hanging into the water while the waves were crashing against the rocks. It was chaotic with loads of people trying to climb up a net or grab the ropes and climb through the cave while trying not to get slammed against the rocks.
I was lucky on the way in but not on the way out, and landed up with a very bruised and scratched knee. By taking a later tour, we again missed most of the crowds, as all the tour boats had already left, and the beach was pretty empty.
On the way back from Maya Bay, we watched the sun set from the boat, and then went swimming with the bioluminescent plankton. It was a wonderful way to end a boat trip.
On one of the days we rented a kayak and paddled across the bay to Monkey beach, which had lots of monkeys that try to rob you as soon as you set foot onto the beach. It was not very relaxing, but it was funny watching people screaming as their food was stolen.
On two different days we decided to swim across the bay from the beach below our accommodation, to the reef near the monkey beach. The swim took about 2 hours to reach the the other side as we were snorkeling and looking at the fish along the way.
Our bungalow that we had was quite rustic and had spaces in the floorboards and walls where creepy crawlies can get in. At around 5am one morning, Natacha woke-up suddenly with something scratching her face. She felt it pull at my hair as her hand instinctively flung it off. Now sitting up and half asleep she muttered the words, “There’s something in the bed”. She grabbed her phone to provide some light in the pitch dark room and discovered a huge centipede approximately 20cm in length in the bed with us! We tried to get it out, but it managed to escape from us and go into hiding in the room somewhere. None of us were able to fall back asleep that morning again!