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Aim, Focus, Shoot - The HyPyC blog
Snorkeling and exploring in the Phi Phi Islands, Thailand

Exploring the Phi Phi Islands, Thailand – Snorkeling and Sunbathing

Our Thailand adventure was packed full of different adventures – we visited the Bang Niang Night Market, bathed with Elephants in Khao Lak, took a boat tour through Phang Nga Bay and explored the limestone caves of the Dragon Cave Temple. We visited some awesome places and got to see much of the area surrounding Khao Lak and Phuket. One tour we also went on was a boat tour through the Phi Phi Islands – we got to snorkel, sunbathe and see much of this beautiful archipelago.

Rocks and scenery at Monkey Beach, Ko Phi Phi

The only issue with this tour was that it involved a 2 hour bus ride from Khao Lak and the pickup was early in the morning – If you want to do a tour such as this from Khao Lak then I would advise NOT booking any tours for the next day as you will be tired! The Phi Phi Islands are located to the southeast of Phuket and boat trips leave from the Royal Phuket Marina therefore this journey is unavoidable. We did sleep on the bus journey so it wasn't too bad, but if there was a way to avoid it then we would have taken it!

Longtail boats waiting for passengers at the Phi Phi Islands

When at the marina, the process to find your allocated boat was a little hectic really – there were hundreds of other people trying to do exactly the same and it was basically organized chaos. That being said, we got on the right boat in plenty of time, and the whole initial experience wasn't too stressful. Basically you are given a coloured wristband that you wear which denotes which trip you are taking and which guide you must follow – simple!

Snorkeling Sessions

For us, the snorkeling sessions were the highlight of this particular trip. We had heard how beautiful and clear the waters were surrounding the Phi Phi Islands and boy were people right! We stopped at several different places to swim in the gorgeous water and to don our snorkel and flippers and explore the underwater world surrounding the Island chain. Here is one video compilation I took using my GoPro - you can see some cool fish and how clear the water was:

It was such an amazing experience to swim in the water and see what we could find - we saw a myriad of different fish, including some beautiful rainbow fish and soime gorgeous small yellow and blue fish too - we didn't know what species they were even though we were given a chart with the different types of marine life we could potentially see! One strange creature we did see was a Needle Fish - it literally swam past my leg and I didn't even notice - Lauren caught it on camera as you can see in the video below:

Beautiful limestone formation at the Phi Phi Islands Posing like a true tourist at Maya Bay! Swimming at the Phi Phi Islands Swimming at the Phi Phi Islands Swimming at the Phi Phi Islands Climbing the stairs to the viewpoint

Maya Beach (The Beach beach)

Part of our Phi Phi Island tour also involved a visit to the famous Maya Beach - this is the beach that is featured in the cult film staring Leonardo Di Caprio - The Beach. Personally I have never seen the film and Lauren hasn't either so the grandeur of the location was lost on us. It was undoutedly stunning however - it was truly picture perfect - the sands were golden and soft and the waters were a brilliant shade of turquoise.

Beautiful scenery of the stunning Maya Beach

I didn't enjoy this visit loads however - it was simply too crowded! You know how you see the typical perfect Instagram shot of someone standing in the water at Maya Beach? Well do you know that behind the person taking the photo, there is literally a hundred other people doing exactly the same! Its not the pristine secluded paradise that people would have you believe! I found it a little overwhelming and would have enjoyed it much more if myself and Lauren were the only people there!

Ko Phi Phi Viewpoint hike

The other main excursion we did during this tour was a hike to the top of the famous Ko Phi Phi viewpoint. Now let me make this clear - this is certainly NOT for the feint hearted or unfit. You have to climb hundreds of stairs in the blistering heat - we found it hard work and we didn't actually reach the top; we both have health complications so we managed as far as we could before collapsing from heat exhaustion!

Halfway viewpoint from Ko Phi Phi - this is all we could manage!

As you can see from the photo the view was astounding - you could see for miles and appreciate the beauty of the Phi Phi Islands fully. There was a couple of shops on the hike and restroom facilities too. Furthermore, there was some cool gardens and a large sign that you could have your photo taken in front of. The viewpoint really was special once we got our breath back, and we are glad that we made the effort to climb at least most of the way!

This tour certainly did gives us a great look at this magnificent island chain and the snorkeling was so much fun! Don't let my videos put you off though - we didn't have an amazing day for marine life spotting and you can see so much more than what we did!

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