Absolute was true to their word and a driver picked us up at 7 am from the hotel to take us to the port. Once there, we were directed to a three story boat that carried hundreds of passengers. The boat ride took a couple of hours but we made some scenic stops along the way. Once at Phi Phi, passengers who were going snorkeling were loaded onto a smaller dive boat. This boat took us to one of the many coral reefs around the island were we were able to swim in the crystal clear tropical water and observe the hundreds of brightly colored fish who call the reef home. It was a great experience and well worth the time.
About an hour later, we boarded the dive boat and were taken to the dock at Phi Phi Island where we were then led to the free lunch location. They had quite a variety of local dishes prepared on a lazy susan in the middle of each table. Each table held 12 people and refills of dishes were provided so that no one went hungry.
The traditional cruse is a 12 hour one where people visit the island for a few hours and return to Phuket the same day. We made arrangements during our booking to return three days later so our next mission was to find inexpensive accommodations. Phi Phi Island has no shortage of luxury beach front bungalows that cost over $100 but we had lower prices in mind.
After talking to a local dive instructor, I found the Gypsy II bungalows for $8 per night. They are simple thatch huts with plenty of ventilation. I worried a bit about security since you could break into the place with a pair of scissors…but everything turned out just fine…except for the mosquitos!
As you can see, the interior is just basic. It’s just a step above camping because of electricity and running water.
Though I did not stay up for the festivities, I understand the full moon parties on the island are world renowned.
I witnessed the preparation for this party as many vendors were setting up tables full of buckets with fifths of all types of liquor and mixers. the early evening fire dancing shows were a lot of fun to watch.
The next day, we booked a beach front bungalow on the other side of the island on Rantee Bay. We stayed at the Phi Phi Rantee Resort.
They met us at the dock with their longboat but were two hours late.
Like the reviews mention, the hotel is on a secluded part of the island with only two restaurants and no night life. The “resort” offers very basic accommodations.
If you are in a hurry, into night life or need luxury accommodations; this part of the island is not for you. However, if you don’t mind roughing it a bit and like a quiet beach to snorkel and swim; you might like this place.
My only complaint was the steep price hike for food and drinks compared to the rest of the island. I suppose everything has to be brought in by boat so it’s somewhat expected.
They have a great trail leading to the highest point on Phi Phi Island where you may see monkeys along the way. Some sections of this trail are pretty steep but the view from the top more than makes up for the effort. It takes about an hour each direction so plan accordingly if you do this because I do not think it would be much fun in the dark.