Trip Pulse: Phi Phi is for the young of heart. Our round the world trip continues.

Ko Phi Phi is a must for your round the world itinerary

Average visitor’s age is late twenties, it has amazing beaches, cheap yet delicious cuisine and excellent, inexpensive scuba diving. Oh yeah, and no mopeds or cars:)

Tsunami and Leo

This small, 28 sq km paradise island on the Andaman Sea, even though it is advertised as one of Phuket’s main attractions, is in fact 50 km away from it. The 2004 tsunami and some say, the production and aftermath of the famous movie “The Beach” devastated the island. The character’s experiences and Leo De Caprio’s wide appeal contributed in making this paradise one of the most sought after travel destinations where travellers search for the quintessential zen-like freedom.

Ko Phi Phi beach sunset during a looming storm - Round the world with kids

Unlike Phuket, which is full of leash-less dogs, Phi Phi Don is the opposite with hundreds of cats in its valleys. Its Muslim background and Ladyboys’s prevalence and acceptance also add to the unique nature and distinct vibe of this island.

Phi Phi for families:

Even though it was scorching hot, the crystal clear turquoise waters, white sand beaches, jungle fauna and flora and amazing views make this island one of our favourite destinations! The car and moped free alleys filled with dive shops, street food vendors and tourists still managed to deliver a laid back atmosphere that was very enjoyable.

Hotels are more expensive yet sub-standard to Phuket. For a good reason; it is paradise after all.

Our toddler Niko playing with the fish at Maya Beach-Round the world with kids

Needless to say, our son Niko loved the warm waters, his endless search for the most beautiful seashells as well as his first experiences swimming with the colourful tropical fish. He did also perfect a new saying while strolling with us in the alleys full of vendors: No thank you!:)

Maya Beach Island is a must see

We decided to visit the infamously beautiful Phi Phi Kah (Maya Beach) Island where “The Beach” was filmed. It is located just a short boat ride away from the main island. The trip itself is an adventure as we rented a long-tail boat with a personal driver ($40 or 1200 Baht). We  explored the island’s amazing topography, Monkey Beach (with monkeys running freely), a mini cave village and a stopover at a few amazing snorkelling spots.

The Maya beach itself is letdown with hundreds of visitors and boats covering up its beauty. We opted out for a tiny beach without any other visitors to enjoy the magnificent views.

Close encounters with fellow Torontonians

Big shout out to Mike, a zookeeper and dive master from Toronto whom we met on a bus ride to Surat Thani. He told us some unreal stories about his Phi Phi adventures living with a family deep in the jungle. At times he had to defend the fort from monkeys attempting to steal food from the house. He also gave us invaluable and practical tips on how to behave around animals including monkeys, potentially aggressive dogs or other freely roaming animals on the streets of Thailand.

For instance … to tell  if a dog is potentially dangerous, look for his tail between his legs when approaching. This suggests a non-confident dog that could potentially attack when frightened. His suggestion is to walk around the dog, while looking in his direction to avoid direct eye-contact, as it may be interpreted as provocation.

We would love to hear your thoughts? Anything on Phi Phi, other favourite beach destination or Leo De Caprio? Please share them in the comments section below. Thanks!

Here are some of our photos from our Phi Phi (Thailand) visit: