Thursday, 1 May 2014

The Phi Phi Islands: Part 2

Click here to read Part 1 of this post if you haven't already.

On our third day on the islands, we went to the pier to take a taxi-boat to Ko Phi Phi Leh. We started very early in the morning to avoid the crowds.

Leaving the pier.

It took about 15 minutes to reach Phi Phi Leh.

Entering Maya Bay, where scenes from The Beach were filmed.

It was strange being in this place that had become so familiar to me after watching The Beach many times as a teenager. The beach itself seemed much smaller than in the film, yet the lagoon seemed much larger (the two boats in the distance give a sense of its magnitude). Still, it was just as beautiful as in the film, and we were really glad to get the whole beach to ourselves.

We went for a walk in the jungles behind the beach.

It didn't take long to reach the other side of the island.

Soon we headed back through the jungle, encountering lots of bugs along the way.
When we got back to Maya Bay, the tourists were already flooding in. It seemed we really were very lucky to have had it all to ourselves.

Soon we were back on our water-taxi. We could see some of the smaller, less visited Phi Phi islands.

We stayed for a while in Loh Samah, another huge lagoon, this one lacking beaches but still very stunning and tranquil.

Angela went for a little swim.

Our taxi driver got talking to some local fishermen.

He bought a few stingrays and other fish from them.
Then we made our way back to Tonsai.
That evening in the village, a guy let us hold his monkey.

On our fourth day on the island, we climbed up a long staircase leading out of the village and up into the hills.
There were some beautiful views as we got higher.
From the viewpoint, you can see how Tonsai Village is located on a narrow sandbar that connects two halves of Phi Phi Don island.

At the second, slightly higher viewpoint.

A panorama that Angela made.

After our sweaty climb to the viewpoint, we returned to the village and relaxed for the rest of the day. The next morning we took the ferry to Krabi.

The Phi Phi Islands were easily one of the most beautiful places either of us have ever visited. It was so easy to take pictures that look straight from a postcard, because those views exist all around you, wherever you go on the islands. If it hadn't been for the intense heat and the dwindling time left on our Thai visas, I think we would have stayed a lot longer. We actually wanted to visit some other islands in Thailand, but Phi Phi was so nice it was hard for us to leave sooner, and we may return to the area on our future travels.

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