Thailand · Phi Phi Islands
Ko Phi Phi (หมู่เกาะพีพี) is a small archipelago of six islands in Krabi Province, Southern Thailand. It is touted to be one of the most beautiful yet easily accessible island groups in the world. While the latter is certainly true, the former is quickly becoming less so. Phi Phi Islands are technically part of a Ko Phi Phi National Park, but the hordes of visitors have taken a toll on the beaches and reefs over the years. Apart from the narrow isthmus that straddles the middle of the ‘dumbell’ shape they are pretty much uninhabited and rife with verdant jungle and hills.
The two main islands are Phi Phi Don and Phi Phi Leh. The larger and inhabited Phi Phi Don attracts hundreds of visitors to stay on its lovely shores while the smaller uninhabited Phi Phi Leh hosts stunningly beautiful bays and beaches, including the world-famous Maya Bay, which was the set where The Beach (with Leonardo Di Caprio) was filmed.
In Phi Phi Islands, the high season lasts from December to March: the dry season. The sun shines almost every day, the waters are turquoise but many bungalows and hotels are booked and prices soar.
Phi Phi is one of the hottest dive spot on the planet. The warm and fish-abundant waters are exceptional, thanks to the natural reserve. The whale shark is visible during night dives (very popular in Phi Phi). The Phi Phi nightlife is intense, especially around bars, restaurants and shops of Ton Sai Village. The beach bars and nightclubs on Loh Dalam Bay offer awesome fire shows.
From archaeological discoveries, it is believed that the area was one of the oldest communities in Thailand dating back to the prehistoric period. It is believed that this province may have taken its name after the meaning of Krabi, which means sword. This may have stemmed from a legend that an ancient sword was unearthed prior to the city’s founding.
The name Phi Phi (pronounced ‘pee pee’) originates from Malay, the original name for the islands was “Pulao Pi ah Pi”. The name refers to the mangrove wood found there.