Phi Phi Islands

March 23, 2019

Lots of sleep + Stella learns to love the ocean.

Ko Phi Phi is the largest of the Phi Phi Islands. We decided to stay there for 4 days. Unfortunately, Stella was quite sick during our stay (sores all over her mouth and a fever leading to loss of appetite and fatigue). This made us take things much slower, but honestly the relaxation didn’t feel too bad. We slept in until 10am most days and weren’t on a strict schedule.

This sounds silly, but arguably the biggest highlight of the Island for us was finding this cafe called “Aroy Kaffeine.” They serve everything we like (açaí bowls, pancakes, oatmeal, and some Thai favorites for dinner). The owner is super nice and speaks amazing English. The cafe has air conditioning. The food is perfect. We liked it so much, after we found it, it was the only place we ate for the rest of the visit. We ate here 6 times in total.

Finding good food is one of the biggest stressors of traveling for us. Knowing that this cafe was a solid place to eat took a lot of stress out of our days and let us really relax. If you go to Phi Phi, be sure to stop in.

The views of the island are also amazing. We took a hike to the viewpoint on one of the hills. It is so hot here that it made the hike much more strenuous than it would otherwise be. The hike is relatively short, but the elevation gain is real. That, added to the heat, led to all of us dripping in sweat when we reached the top. The island is shaped like an “H” with a narrow strip in the middle that is the center of town, nestled between two large bays. One bay has a deep canal for ships and the other is much more shallow. This creates a beautiful difference in the blue color of the water when viewed from the hill.

We went to the shallow bay several times during our stay because Stella loved it! This was a huge surprise to us because she has been very hesitant to go anywhere near moving water. When we set her down to walk on the beach, she just went straight into the water. We grabbed her and stripped her down and then she went back in. It was the perfect depth for her, even after walking quite a ways out. I think she would have stayed and played in the water all day if we let her.

On other days we went back to this bay on low tide. The tide goes WAY out. There are tons of boats just sitting on the sand at low tide. We had fun looking for sea creatures. We found crabs, sea cucumbers, clams, oysters, and sea urchins. Stella liked petting the crabs but didn’t quite know how to hold them (probably for the best).

One afternoon we rented a kayak and launched into the shallow bay. It was low tide so we walked quite a ways out first (luckily the rental guy dragged the kayak out there for us). Once we got in, it was still super shallow for several hundred yards. We were dodging inches-deep coral for quite a while. Finally I looked over to the right and noticed that there was a deeper channel for boats. I made it our goal to get to that channel. Once we got there it was much easier to navigate since we didn’t have to worry about hitting coral. We first went left and took a look at Monkey beach. Then, we got ambitious and paddled across the bay and around the right side toward some impressive cliffs with a small island/rock. The water got much more choppy on this side and we had a few waves slosh over the kayak. Luckily they weren’t so big to make us feel like we were in any danger. Stella really enjoyed the kayak ride! She was often leaning over to put her hand in the water. We were really happy she’s decided to like ocean now as it’s made our adventures much more enjoyable.

After a few days it was time to return to Phuket. We checked out of our hotel and played in the pool until the next ferry at 2pm. We were hesitant about the return trip because the 2-hour ferry on the way to the Island was extremely hot, stuffy, and cockroachy. We were SO excited that the ship back had air conditioning and was clean!! Air conditioning!

We didn’t make it on a trip to snorkel or visit the surrounding islands (mainly since we were trying to help Stella get better). If you go to Phi Phi, you should definitely do this. There are also tons of dive shops (almost as many dive shops as sketchy tatoo parlors!!)

Thanks for reading!