Ko Phi Phi

Ko Phi Phi should be renamed to Ko Poo Poo. That’s what the island smells like. What a terrible place. Smelly, cramped, overcrowded, dirty, polluted, covered in rubbish, expensive, noisy and crawling with obnoxious shirtless males sporting Calvin Klein underwear and a backwards cap.

The narrow walking malls serve to stifle any breeze and concentrate the smell of sewage. Combine this with the tropical heat and crowds of people and it provides quite an unpleasant experience. The air is thick and suffocating and you just want to escape. What makes it worse is that there is no escape – the island is small and there is no option to hire a scooter and cruise out of town. Actually you can escape by staying in a resort out of the main village and taking a boat or kayak to one of the less smelly beaches. We probably would have enjoyed that better but opted to leave for a more attractive island instead. Stayed just one night in Ko Phi Phi.

The beaches, apart from smelling like sewage and leaving a sticky residue on your skin, are overrun with noisy boats. If you want to brave the smelly water and go for a swim you need to pick a spot on the beach in between the boats.

We paid about $37 for what I’d call a dog box. This sort of price usually gets you a resort in Thailand. Instead we got a small, dirty, moldy room with a mattress on the floor.

One thing Ko Phi Phi is famous for is the bucket – a small bucket with a bottle of spirits and usually a can of coke and a can of redbull that can be bought from most shops on the island. This typifies the culture on Ko Phi Phi.

Ko Phi Phi looks nice from a distance when you’re far away enough to not be able to smell it. I am sure it was once a beautiful island. Today it’s terrible. Over developed and over exploited to a degree never seen before with no regard for the environment.

When we were on Fraser Island I heard a hippie environmentalist say there are too many tourists on Fraser Island and it is not being looked after. That person needs to re-adjust their perception with a trip to Ko Phi Phi. Fraser Island, and the rest of Australia for that matter, is pristine by world standards. Most spots we’ve visited in Asia are dirty and smelly to a certain degree, although not to the extent that Ko Phi Phi is. Although expensive and over-regulated, when we return we will enjoy the Australian wilderness with a new appreciation.

6 replies »

  1. I loved Phi Phi and spent 3 weeks there, I found an amazing room for $20, had fun at night and went kayaking round the island to the secluded beaches in the day. Yes it is overcrowded but it has a similar quality to Bangkok…it just grows on you.

    • One can have fun anywhere, which I’m sure people do in ko phi phi. Its probably more for the younger crowd, like them cool dudes with no shirt. Three weeks in ko phi phi? Did you have a year to do the rest of Thailand or something? Hope you also spent three weeks on some of the other islands. I’d liken ko phi phi more to khao san road in Bangkok rather than Bangkok overall. Other than that its nothing like Bangkok.

      • I had 5 months in South East Asia, I spent a few days on the Khao San Road, which I also loved, some time on Kho Samui and then traveled around the rest. I know that those areas are not for everybody but for a 21 year old looking to have a good time they can be great…however I agree that it is a bad representation of the area as a whole, there are defiantly places to visit that are more rewarding culturally, but for a few weeks blowing off steam and partying it is great, and a lot nicer than Kho Pha Nang.

      • Yeah good for partying, as is anywhere with bars and nightclubs. The sewage, unnecessary expense and environmental destruction hardly enhances partying.

  2. I’m lucky enough to be able to say that I went to Phi Phi before “the Beach” movie, way back in the early 90s…. that’s when it was paradise. big beachfront bamboo and thatched roof bungalow for $5/night …..I will not go back there again though.

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