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Phuket : Phi Phi Islands

Famed as among the most beautiful tropical islands of the world, Phi Phi islands have become one of the most popular tourist attractions of Thailand. The islands, together with the nearby Noppharat Thara Beach, were recently established as a national park with a total area of 390 sq.km.

As most visitors to Phi Phi islands come from Phuket some 40 km. away, many of them think that the islands are part of Phuket. In fact, both Noppharat Thara Beach and Phi Phi belong to Krabi province, although the distance from Krabi to Phi Phi is about the same as that between Phuket and Phi Phi.

The islands and the coastal hills are mostly composed of limestone and are an extension of the limestone mountain range in Phang-nga province. Some of the characteristics of such mountains and islands are their steep cliffs, large caves and dwarf trees growing out of the crevices in the rocks, like those in Phang-nga Bay.

Phi Phi Islands

The island group is composed of two rocky, tree-covered islets - Phi Phi Don and Phi Phi Le. Phi Phi Don, the larger one which lies in the north, is well known for its fine beaches and coral formations around the island and is provided with an assortment of accommodation facilities along the two beautiful curved bays, Ton Sai Bay and Lodalam Bay in the south and others at the northern end of the island.

Several places at Ton Sai can arrange diving and snorkeling trips around the island or to nearby islands - Ko Phi Phi Le, Ko Yung and Ko Mai Phai.
About 2 km. to the south is Phi Phi Le. Contrary to Phi Phi Don, this islet is uninhabited, not only because this is banned, but also because there is no beach around it. The island descends abruptly into the sea on all sides.

Its main point of interest is a large cave about 3.2 sq.km. in size known as Viking Cave. It is so called because one of the numerous drawings on the walls resembles a Viking ship. The cave has a ceiling about 10 to 15 meters high which contains many ledges inhabited by thousands of swallows. A demonstration of bird's nest collection is a regular feature of a guided tour of the islands. The sea around the island is deep, especially the southern part, which is over 30 metres deep and is full of coral formations and so is a favourite diving spot.

With its emerald crystal sea, secluded beaches, wooded cliffed mountains, colourful coral reefs and undersea life, Phi Phi is a paradise in the Andaman.

How to Get There

Phi Phi Islands can be reached by boat from either Phuket or Krabi at about the same distance.
1. From Krabi
- Chao Fa Pier : Passenger boats leave Chao Fa pier twice daily at 10.00 and 14.30 hours. The trip takes about 2 1/2 hours.
- Ao Nang : There is one express boat trip leaving daily at 09.00 hours. taking 40 minutes.
2. From Phuket
Many tour companies in Phuket organize one-day trips to Phi Phi Islands. Tickets can be obtained from any hotel.

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