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4 Jan

The Truth About Koh Phi Phi Island

Pronounced: Ko Pee Pee
Spelled: Too many fucking ways including Ko Phi Phi, Koh Phi Phi, Phi Phi Island, Phi-Phi, Pi Pi etc.
Koh Phi Phi Island is accessible by boat from Krabi – a mainland beach in Thailand. 

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I LOVE traveling. I travel with an open mind and heart always – accepting cultures and people as they are – I truly appreciate the variety of the world.

 I cherish the memories that I have created around the globe. I’m thankful for the people I’ve met and the relationships I’ve formed.

That being said – I loathe Ko Phi Phi. I wouldn’t recommend this place to anyone – legit anyone. 

Why? Let me break it down for you.

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Everything is too spread out for not having vehicles on the island.

You try rolling a suitcase through sand across an island to your shitty hotel in sweltering weather. It blows. 

I had to pay someone to carry my luggage across the island because I’m a kind of a pussy when the weather reaches certain sweltering heights. Whatever.

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It’s overpriced.

Don’t get me wrong – it’s still cheap AF. But everything is more expensive because the island is pretty much all tourists. If you want an authentic experience – you won’t get it here. I found out even the Muay Thai fights were staged – I felt so violated. 

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The hotels are the worst. #worst

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The beaches and water are dirty.

Ko Phi Phi is a small island with a lot of people on it- therefore the beach is polluted. There are oil slicks from all the long boats so you really shouldn’t go in the water. Ever.

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It’s full of drunk assholes.

I get it, some people love drinking cheap alcohol and nursing hangovers all day in foreign countries. I am not one of those people. The last thing I want to deal with when it’s humid AF outside is creepy dudes hitting on me. I don’t want or need you to waste my time. K bye.

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It is boring.

Basically the only thing to do on this island is drink shitty drinks, snorkel shitty waters,  watch “fireshows” or watch Muay Thai fights. 

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It’s overpopulated on the party side. 

The island has lured in many travelers over the years. Both through word of mouth and the movies — the Leo DiCaprio movie The Beach popularized the uninhabited island of Koh Phi Phi Leh to the south. Especially in high-season, the island is filled to the brim with the type of tourists who are solely interested in getting absolutely wasted – my least favorite type of tourists.

The actual area of the island is restricted to the narrow sandbar separating two of the island’s most prominent beaches. This slither of land holds up both the overdevelopment and the overpopulation of the island. The narrow streets are so difficult to move through that while I was there I couldn’t help but feel perpetually claustrophobic. Add in humidity, constant fumes from building projects, and large groups of drunk British males and it is very uncomfortable.

I went with a group that I became friends with and we all stayed on the far side of the island because it was where all the young people were. I had no idea what it was going to be like but I kept an open mind because that’s what you do when you book a one-way ticket to SE Asia. After one night I had had enough of the party side and decided to get a hotel on the other side – as far away as possible from the debauchery. 

I have never written scathingly about a place. I tend to focus on and mention places that I love and highly recommend. But sometimes knowing where not to go can be just as helpful as knowing where to go. In this case, do yourself a favour and don’t bother going to Koh Phi Phi. There are plenty of other Thai islands that have yet to fall to this level of neglect and demise and there are many other cities that I highly recommend

But hey, I got some pretty cool photos on the quiet side of the beach so thanks for that Ko Phi Phi!

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Amy Marietta
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