Tips for phuket island in Thailand (HONEYMOON)

Tips for phuket island in Thailand (HONEYMOON)
         I have a long dream of visiting the Phi Islands. I first read about these beautiful remote islands off the coast of Phuket about 07 years ago and then, like everybody else, I was spellbound with the stunning scenery shown in the movie, The Beach, starring Leonardo DiCaprio. After seeing the film for a second time, I decided that Phi Phi would be my honeymoon destination one day.    

        You can imagine my sense of anticipation when I finally arrived there with my bride a few weeks ago. Most tourists arrive by sea from Phuket. but we decided to fly there from Phuket Airport using a new seaplane service, Blue Water Air. As we came down to land, I looked out at the splendid sight below – soaring cliffs and dense forests bordering golden stretches of sand. 

     Although it is commonly referred to as Phi Phi “island”, pronounced Pee-Pee, there are two islands. The bigger of the two, Phi Phi Don, is where everybody stays, as the smaller Phi Phi Lei is uninhabited. The big attraction on Phi Phi Lei is Maya Bay and its beautiful beach, where the movie was shot. 

Tips for phuket island in Thailand (HONEYMOON)
     On Phi Phi Don there are some superb resorts dotted around the coastline, but most accommodation is in Ton Sai village. The settlement is perched on a stretch of sand between two steep hills, with the sea bordering either side.
     After booking in our hotel, the Phi Phi Island Cabana, we set off for a swim in Loh Dalum Bay, only a few meters away. It was surprisingly shallow and we waded out with the occasional sea kayak or Thai fisherman for company.
      As the sunset, we lay back in the water and looked at the lights of the waterfront cafes and bars twinkling under the palm trees. We were in heaven!
      Later that night we celebrated our first night on Phi Phi with cocktails at the Jungle Bar, a fabulous beachside bar lit by flame torches. We met some young Scandinavian backpackers and they advised us to head down the beach to an Italian restaurant, Ciao Bella, for “the best pizza in Thailand “. 
      My wife opted for prawns from the fresh seafood on display, but I ordered a pizza, which lived up to its reputation. Later I chatted with the Italian owner, who told me that he has lived on Phi Phi for more than 10 years. His family lives in Phuket during the week, but he prefers the simple life in his beachfront bungalow.
      Early the next morning we hired a speedboat and set off to see Maya Bay, the cove where most of the film was made. Surprisingly, it has remained unspoiled despite the crowds which visit every day. Get there early – or just before sunset – and you should have at least part of the beach to yourself.
      When the first ferry load of daytrippers arrived, we went snorkeling on the other side of the island. I have snorkeled before, but this was special. It felt like I was drifting above a marine wonderworld, with brightly-colored fish swarming around me. My wife was nervous at first, but later we struggled to get her out of the water! We then did a trip around the island, stopping off in quiet little bays for a swim.
      When we finally returned to the pier, I was ready to head for a late afternoon nap, but my wife had a different idea. “What about a Thai massage?” she asked. We headed off to one of the little massage shops and, for the next 90 minutes, I drifted off into a blissful half-sleep.

Tips for phuket island in Thailand (HONEYMOON)

  That night I was all set for another night of drinking and dining with my toes in the sand, but my wife decided she wanted to go somewhere “elegant”. “Darling, we’re on an island, miles from anywhere,” I pleaded. “Don’t be silly, we’ll find somewhere special here”, was her retort. And we did. That night we dined at an excellent little      French restaurant. 

      The next day we chartered a longtail boat and spent the day on Bamboo Island about 30 minutes away. We relaxed in the shade of the casuarinas and palms fringing the beach and read novels bought from a second-hand book store before we left the village. We intended to take a scuba diving course, but the urge to do as little as possible increased the longer we stayed on the island. There was always something new to discover in the village, my favorites being a reggae bar tucked away up the hill and a bakery where the TV seemed to show movies all day to an appreciative backpacker audience.

       Most of the time I was happy to prop myself up at one of the little bars along the seafront chatting to whoever dropped in, while my wife was content to lie and suntan in a deckchair on the beach only meters away. One afternoon we managed to rouse ourselves enough to undertake the rather strenuous walk up the nearby mountain to the “viewpoint” – a spot where you can take in the full splendor of the bays below. It was magnificent and worth the tiring hike.

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