Wide World Blog

Wide World Blog: Ko Phi Phi, THAILAND

Blog by Emily Kroman

Some of the most fantastic days we’ve had on our trip so far were spent on the stunning beaches of Thailand’s Andaman coast! Here is the iconic longtail boat to get you started on the beauty of Ko Phi Phi Don (our first stop).

This is me calling out for my friend Leo DiCaprio in “The Beach.” Actually, this is exactly where “The Beach” was filmed! We arrived at Maya Bay on Phi Phi Ley with some friends, only to find it completely swamped with tourists. So we trudged through the low tide (only one small shark sighting along the way) and scrambled over rocks (only one scraped toe) to reach our own private secluded little cove… lovely!

Here is the backside of the island. Justin and I saw a 4-foot long water monitor coming off the shore here, probably to hunt some of the wild chickens nearby. OMG. We didn’t get a good picture of that one because we were more focused on getting out of the way.

Ko Phi Phi Ley is actually a nationally protected “Marine Park,” so it’s great for snorkeling. We had fun finding the tiny nemos inside the sea anemones and chasing the parrotfish through the coral.

We longtailed away from Maya Bay at sunset, and went to bed early to prepare for scuba diving the next morning.

On our scuba trip we saw leopard sharks, lionfish, oriental sweetlips, giant tuna, moray eels, huge jellyfish and a school of thousands of blue-striped snappers swarming all around us.

Next stop was Railay Beach. Unlike Phi Phi, Railay is not an island. However, it feels pretty island-like because it’s completely enclosed in limestone cliffs and only accessible by boat. We bypassed the 600usd/night accommodations on its west side and stayed in the very charming (and budget friendly) Tonsai Beach area. We were welcomed by lots of local rock climbers, human and otherwise:

While I was off getting a massage, Justin befriended a band of Thai rastas at “The Peace and Love Bar,” our hotel’s hippie-themed watering hole. It came up that he’s a drummer and after hearing him “try out,” they demanded he play a set at their show later that night. So here is Justin with his new buddies. They sounded great!

Justin ended up playing several sets. The place was packed by the end of the night, and everyone was up and dancing.

The band actually had a pretty impressive repertoire. Favorites included “Wish You Were Here,” “Light My Fire,” and “Wagon Wheel.” It goes without saying that they knew Bob Marley’s entire discography as well.


Here’s a short video for the fans at home:

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