by Louise Smithers
With so much sand and sea to soak up, we break down Koh Phi Phi’s top 10 beaches.
Nestled at the northeastern tip of Phi Phi Don, a romantic vibe besets this secluded bay, which houses only a handful of resorts along its vast sandy strip. Access is restricted to water vessels, so peace and quiet is ensured, as are spectacular views of Mosquito and Bamboo Islands.
Famed for possessing some of the finest and whitest sand on the islands, Long Beach is easily accessible by foot or boat and offers visitors superb snorkelling and views of neighboring Phi Phi Leh.
With a coconut plantation to the rear of the beach, Ao Lo Moo Dee is one of the most charming spots on Phi Phi Don. With a sole Rusta Bar serving snacks and refreshments, take a rod and reel and don’t forget your snorkel. It’s a decent walk from Long Beach, so if you don’t feel up to it, hop on a long tail and arrive in comfort.
Completely encircled by limestone cliffs, entrance is gained via a narrow passage that gives way to a small lagoon and strip of sand. The tiny and seldom visited beach in the mountains is a little tricky to reach and only accessible when the tide is at the right level, but if you can make it to this unearthly hidden beach, you’ll never forget it.
As one of Phi Phi Don’s largest beaches, Loh Bagao stuns visitors with its tranquil water and brilliant snorkelling. Larger and less developed than the main tourist drag of Tonsai, you’re sure to find a section along the 800m stretch to call your own.
Not all beachgoers are after seclusion and solitude when hitting the sand. For those hoping to enjoy a livelier beach experience, look no further than Loh Dalum. Just a short walk from Tonsai, the beach is almost completely enclosed by limestone cliffs and fun-loving Farangs.
Early mornings are the best time to visit the sumptuous sands of Bamboo Island. Beat the crowds and snorkel the day away. Just 5km north of Phi Phi Don and devoid of the imposing limestone cliffs that dominate the other islands, day trips are great, but camping is even better.
Just north of Phi Phi Don you’ll also find the aptly named Mosquito Island. Quieter than Bamboo Island, the snorkelling here is arguably the best in the area. Named after the large clouds of mosquitos that descend after dark, be sure to take your leave accordingly.
It must be done. Despite the swarming tourists that flock to the inlet daily, come sunset you can position yourself in such a way as to believe you have the entire beach to yourself. Pop in you iPod, blast All Saints’ Pure Shores (don’t pretend you don’t have it!) and bliss out.
As the name suggests, fury primates dominate this idyllic stretch of sand. Crowds can be an issue, so time your visit carefully and be aware that the monkeys aren’t shy. Tucked away northwest of Loh Dalam Bay, access is possible on foot, kayak or long tail boat.