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  1. #1
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    Phuket to Phi Phi

    Some pics from the transfer Phuket to Phi Phi, and a few around Phi Phi.

    The ferries depart from the eastern side of Phuket.
    We got a package deal including transfer, which meant we were packed into a minvan that made the rounds to hotels and guesthouses to pick up customers. In the end we were 10 farang stuffed in the van and then drove across the southern tip of Phuket over to the ferry terminal.



    We got put on our ferry and off we went.
    Phuket harbor is a normal commercial harbor.



    There were an assortment of tourists aboard.


    The ferry stops in the main port on Phi Phi. This area was washed away by the tsunami and reportedly should be nicer now than before.



    IMHO it is (again) a backpacker mecca and not very nice. There are a million dive shops and we saw people walk to their training dives just next to the harbor. And the rest of the toen center looks like any other tourist trap market.


    Some of the ferries continue around the island to drop off passengers at resorts away from the main town. If you don't catch such a ferry, then you can tranfer by longtail boat. I wouldn't venture to do this as one travels on the outside of the island and you risk that seas are rough.
    Some long tail owners later also offered to transfer us from Phi Phi to the mainland, this is like a 2 hour journey over open seas. The locals do it all the time probably, but our hotel recommended against it for safety reasons.
    After doing that trip by slow but safe ferry I concur in the hotel's judgement, but I did see some farang parties head out for a mainland transfer in a longtail boat. Probably it is OK 99% of the time...
    It is also possible to rent a speed boat, which does the transfer faster and in a reasonably big boat - but it costs 14k thb.

    When the ferry approaches hotels along the shore (northeast tip of Phi Phi in this case) it cannot dock as there are no piers, so hotel shuttles and longtail boats come out to the ferry, and passengers and luggage transfers to the small boat, which then sails right up on the beach. This worked fine, it takes just 2 minutes to go from ferry to beach.




    The beaches along the northeast are much less crowded and industrialized compared to Phi Phi main town.

    Obviously, it is also more expensive.
    There are 3 to 5 star hotels.

    The tide is pretty massive. The beach goes from a thin strip of sand at high tide, to a wide area of sand/sea bottom.



    At low tide it is easier to snorkel at the reef edge.
    The beach reef stretches out some 200 m with flattop reef and then reaches the edge, where there is a nice drop down to larger depths.
    So at low tide the beach reef is exposed and the depth out at the edge is 2-3 m, making it is easy to snorkel a bit down the edge.



    One must beware of fast moving long tail boats however.

    It was interesting to watch delivery of supplies to the hotels. Here a refrigerator is off-loaded.



    Below a cluster of gas tanks are off-loaded. Notice the cloud of gas escaping because a valve was hit during off-loading...


    It is, of course, possible to take tours to neighboring island, such as Mosquito Island a mile or 2 away, or further out.
    Mosquito Island is very pretty. When I scuba dived there was a strong current, which may be unpleasant for some, but one can also just enjoy the ride as one is swept over the coral.



    The reef has suffered a lot from a heat event some years back. This bleached a much coral, e.g. all staghorn is dead. Now it is not white anymore, but covered in algae or something. The braincoral seem to have survived, but the reefs are not a "garden of Eden" to look at (anymore).

    Finally, it is recommended to head to a sunset bar which looks to the west, so one can enjoy a beer and the view of the setting sun.


    Cheers,

  2. #2
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    Nice thread thanks for taking the time to post it

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    The best thing that happened to Phi Phi for years was the tsunami.

    Because it washed away the shitty resorts that had spoiled the islands.

    And the worst thing that happened to Phi Phi for years was the tsunami.

    Because it resulted in a massive land grab and yet more crappy resorts on what used to be an unspoiled beach hut style paradise.

    And of course, you now have Maya Bay, which is a magnet for fucking Leo di Caprio fans to go and wank all over "The Beach".

    I'm glad I had the opportunity to see Phi Phi before they fucking ruined it.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob63
    It is, of course, possible to take tours to neighboring island, such as Mosquito Island a mile or 2 away, or further out. Mosquito Island is very pretty.
    Did you go to Bamboo Island too? Right next to Mosquito Island? During Songkran, right after the tsunami, I spent the night there with 4 friends. We only brought sleeping bags and sarongs for bedding, and we brought food and beer and BBQ'd over a campfire.

    At that time there was a nice long pier there, but it ended up collapsing a couple of months after we left. I have soma amazing picures from there. I'm not sure if I have the CD's here or in BKK though.

  5. #5
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    ^Natalie, no, only Mosquito and just offshore on a dive boat.
    But I am sure both places are nice to camp at or swim from

  6. #6
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    Very nice & good report...

    I was one of those backpacker types doing a diving course there back in 1997.

    The walk up to the viewpoint was worth the effort...

  7. #7
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    ^Thanks
    Yes, it is quite a steep ascent up there.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by harrybarracuda
    The best thing that happened to Phi Phi for years was the tsunami. Because it washed away the shitty resorts that had spoiled the islands.
    Okay I agree,



    Quote Originally Posted by harrybarracuda
    And the worst thing that happened to Phi Phi for years was the tsunami. Because it resulted in a massive land grab and yet more crappy resorts on what used to be an unspoiled beach hut style paradise.

    Here you lost me as you have contradicted yourself. Until about 2000 you could get a nice clean bungalow on the beach and most of the shit holes had been bought out and new places built.

    Then the tsunami hit and wiped it all out. Sad for a lot of great places owned by local Thai's that were grabbed up and expensive places for the "European" crowd filled the void. The town came back as funky or shitty as ever, but thats part of the so called charm of the place.

    The unspoiled beach paradise was long gone before the year 2000. In fact by 1990 the major changes were well under way.

    I too am glad I was able to go stay in a beach hut for 50 baht a night 30 years ago, and just as happy to have taken friends 10 years ago just before the tsunami. Then I had a family bungalow for 1600 a night with a stay 3 nights get one free low season promotion. That hotel had the nicest infinity pool I have ever seen.

    Wont go back now. Overpriced and overcrowded.

    Thats the paradox and being discovered. I have seen Patong with only a dirt road down the middle, not even sois off to the side. Chaweng and Lamai with only 2 or 3 resorts. Raillay Bay Krabi, when you could not even walk from the east to the west. But as Joni Mitchell said, they paved paradise to put up a parking lot. They took all the trees and put them in a tree museum.

  9. #9
    Thailand Expat terry57's Avatar
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    ^

    Yep, unfortunately thats the way of the world and I also was lucky to see some of those places before the great unwashed foked them up.

    Great pics and good thread, cheers.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by terry57
    Great pics and good thread, cheers.
    Indeed and to bob thanks mate, a great capture of todays Phi Phi with transfer included. It is a beautiful place.

  11. #11
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    ^ ^^, thx, my pleasure.

    At a later stage I shall try to explore less spoiled places (and then of course participate in spoiling them, as tourists do).
    There is a "Rayong" place 200 km north of Phuket that looked promising (not the Rayong SE of BKK).
    At any rate, up in the NE it is still quite unspoiled by us farang tourists.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by rawlins View Post
    Very nice & good report...

    I was one of those backpacker types doing a diving course there back in 1997.

    The walk up to the viewpoint was worth the effort...
    oh my word, the view looks SO different compared to now!

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob63 View Post
    ^ ^^, thx, my pleasure.

    At a later stage I shall try to explore less spoiled places (and then of course participate in spoiling them, as tourists do).
    There is a "Rayong" place 200 km north of Phuket that looked promising (not the Rayong SE of BKK).
    At any rate, up in the NE it is still quite unspoiled by us farang tourists.

    RaNONG is 200 kms north of Phuket, 3 1/2 hour drive time ( RaYONG is outside Pattaya) and nothing much to see or do there exepct stay in the hotels that have piped in hot water from the hot springs. Its an easy place to also make a visa run over to Victoria point in Burma or visit the casino for ur visa run.

    BUT a 45 min speedboat ride ( Nov-May ) will take u to Ko Phayam, one of the least inhabited islands in Thailand and a nice place to hang out, smoke and relax
    "I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol or insanity, but they've always worked for me" HST

    View my pics

  14. #14
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    ^ A crump fan, I see

    Thats it, Ranong, thx.
    Do you know how the diving is there (scuba) ?

  15. #15
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    YEP

    Similan islands and The Burma banks are world ranked.
    you need go on alive a-board and its not cheap but worth is.
    Nov-April only

  16. #16
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    ^ Hm, She who must be obeyed will not be keen on a liveaboard...
    Anyway I am poor...but thx for idea, I will dream about it and maybe do some day if for some reason I can sneak off a few days.

    I meant diving that can be reached from Ranong on a regular out-and-back same day dive boat.

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    Just a word of advice for those thinking of taking the speedboat from Phuket to Phi Phi. Do NOT use it if the water is choppy. I was on one a week ago and half of the boat was sea sick and transferred to the ferry for the return trip.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by terry57
    Yep, unfortunately thats the way of the world and I also was lucky to see some of those places before the great unwashed foked them up.
    if you think about it, Terry, it probably was the "great unwashed" that were there first, that really discovered the places

    The washed people usually follow later, when things get more developed and comfortable

  19. #19
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    Surely It is a wonderful place to be.
    Last edited by andrew690; 01-03-2012 at 03:16 PM.

  20. #20
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    Nice pic report OP.

    Quote Originally Posted by aging one
    In fact by 1990 the major changes were well under way.
    I went there sometime around 1992/3 with 11 Danish friends. It was good, but busy (more Scandos than English/German which made a chane...). It wasn't too busy, but it was popular - generally had a nice time, but then again I stayed on Samui and at Kata, Phuket around the same time and neither of them was over-developed at the time, although developing...

    Over-development has ruined so many nice places.
    How do I post these pictures???

  21. #21
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    Thx Bettyboo :-)

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