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The Phi Phi Islands are situated in Krabi Province. Phi Phi Don is the larger of the two, while Phi Phi Ley is un-inhabited but well worth a visit to check out the caves where locals collect birds nests. These birds nests are considered a delicacy by the Chinese, who often pay very steep prices for them.
Phi Phi Don is not really a quiet island, although there are some smaller hideaways. The center of the island is normally packed with tourists and some people think it is spoiled and prefer the lesser developed islands elsewhere in Thailand.
The Thai population of Phi Phi Island are predominantly Muslim instead of Buddhist as most Thai people are. You will also find sea-gypsies, or People of the Sea (Chao Lae) as the Thais call them. Sea Gypsies are scattered along the coasts of the Andaman Sea all the way down South to Singapore.
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Phi Phi Island offers very nice scuba diving and a lot of easily accessible destinations, with most less than an hour away. The number of established diving companies is quite impressive considering the size of the island, and in the high season some of the diving destinations tend to be a bit crowded by divers.
Daytrips with 1 or 2 dives can be booked at many places. The prices are lower than on Phuket, but are fixed all over the island.
When booking a trip, be sure to ask what kind of boat the diving company is using and how many people will participate in the daytrip. Some people prefer a big boat where you can relax on the roof or in the shade between dives, but it can also be charming to use the long-tail boats that some companies are using. If you're going by long-tail boat you will normally go to a beach for lunch between the 2 dives. Normally these trips leave a little later than the bigger shops and will mean that you can avoid the crowds under the water during your dives.
The underwater life around Phi Phi Islands is very diverse and fascinating. Leopard sharks are common and sometimes dolphins even visit the coasts. In some places, it is also possible just by using snorkeling equipment, to spot blacktipped reef sharks, especially if you swim along the beach early in the morning. You can also consider a night dive which is offered by most diving companies on the island. A night dive will reveal different underwater life than a daytime dive, and it can be very thrilling. Make sure that the batteries in your torch are new and that you carry both a back-up torch as well as an underwater marker-light.
Warning: Some of the diving companies offer trips that take you inside underwater caves, but it is not recommended to participate in trips like these unless you are trained specifically for cave-diving by a well-known diving organization and bring the proper equipment. It sounds fascinating, and the dive master may be very persuasive, but fatalities have occurred in these caves!
Weather throughout the year is generally excellent. The high season begins in November and finishes at the end of May, which is the time when there is little or no rainfall and there are calm seas and excellent weather. Temperatures usually are around 30 °C during the day and are well above 20 °C at night.
During the low season ( May to November ) the island is subject to occasional bursts of rainfall and bad weather and sometimes rough seas. However, most of the low season is very similar to the high season as it rarely rains for days on end and the island is a little quieter which makes it ideal for people who wish to avoid the crowds.
There are regular ferries every day departing from Phuket and Krabi to Koh Phi Phi as well as from Koh Lanta, Railay and Ao Nang.The ferry journey from Krabi or Phuket is around 1.5 hours.
The islands are actually relatively big, but large areas are very hard to access since it is hilly and with no roads. There are no 4-wheeled vehicles on these islands and normally only 2- or 3-wheeled vehicles are used for transportation. Small tracks used by the locals can take you to most places on the island. You have to be adventurous and it requires hiking through sometimes quite dense jungle.
Phi Phi Don is packed with hotels, guest houses, bungalows, shops and restaurants, but in the high season it can still be impossible to find accommodation here.
|Golden Hill Bungalows||Koh Phi Phi 18 Moo 7 Koh Phi Phi Krabi 81000||Hostel||58|
|Phi Phi Ingphu Viewpoint||Moo 7, T. Ao-nang, Muang Krabi||Hotel||57|
|Phi Phi Island Village Beach Resort &Spa||89 Satoon Rd.||Hotel||-|
|Phi Phi Natural Resort||Mu 8 Laemtong,Ao Nang||Hostel||-|
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