|Maya bay, in the EXACT right location to appear closed|
Ever since seeing the movie, The Beach, my son and I have been infatuated with "that" island. I mean who wouldn't be? It appears to be totally secluded, stunningly beautiful, and Leo sat right on it! Since we were already in Phuket Thailand when my son's birthday was coming up, I left it to him to decide what he wanted for his birthday. No need to think about it, he said, Phi Phi island boat trip!
There are many ways to experience Phi Phi. You can stay on the island Phi Phi Don (different actual island than in the movie) and tour around on a longtail boat. You can stay in Phuket and take a day trip, which is what we did because Phuket is less expensive than Phi Phi island is. Or you can go camping overnight ON the actual beach (Maya beach) from the movie. The last one I think would be the best option but the cost was a factor. It's triple the cost of the day trip. If you can swing it though, camping there is probably amazing.
We booked our day trip through our hotel. 2800 Baht (roughly $90 US) for both of us. Included were several stops, unlimited beverages (non alcoholic), lunch, and transport to and from the boat dock. We were picked up at the hotel promptly at 8am and drove directly to the boat dock. I was impressed right away with the dock area as it was very clean and the boats were all beautiful, well maintained, and gave a nice feeling of confidence that quite frankly I really need when heading out into the open ocean with one of my children.
After waiting at the dock for about 20 minutes we boarded the boat and took off, very James Bond style, as we twisted around the curves of the canal to get out to the ocean. We enjoyed the ride out. Many small secluded islands peak through the sea offering beautiful scenery. It was a speedy and comfortable way to reach Phi Phi.
First stop was the famed Maya bay, where the movie was actually filmed. It is disappointing and amazing all at the same time. You could hardly even see the actual beach because of all the boats lined up against it. There were so many people on the island, so many boats in the water, an odor of gasoline, and a HUGE gap in the supposed secret beach. It was clearly a bit photo shopped for the movie. We knew that, but the size of the opening was still surprising. If you went way to one side you can get a pick that makes it appear closed otherwise it looks like any other highly overpopulated beach. The water is beautiful and the sand amazingly white and soft, but something about being herded around like cattle and breathing in gasoline fumes just left us feeling a bit deflated!
|What the gap really looks like|
|Viking cave, and no that water has not been photo shopped|
Lunchtime was at a very nice buffet set up, clearly designed for the hundreds of tourist-packed boats they see everyday. We were on Phi Phi Don, the main island, but no where near the actual town. The lunch was actually quite nicely presented and delicious with a wide array of choices. Maybe it was because we were starving, but we both thought the meal was fantastic. We had a whopping 45 minutes to eat and then onto another point, our last stop of the day.
|A bit disturbing!|
Have you been to Phi Phi Island? What were your impressions?
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