Phi Phi is renowned for being one of the most beautiful places in Thailand. Guide books are filled with picturesque scenery and pictures of longboats on the shore of emerald green waters.
Many fellow travellers tell stories of swimming in the crystal clear waters, diving with the abundance of tropical fish and laying in the sun until their bodies become a gorgeous golden colour.
However, what most fellow travellers didn’t warn me of (I say most because only one person out of many had mentioned it) was the noise, lack of culture and rubbish.
Upon arriving at the island I was charged 20Baht for cleaning and maintenance of the island. I thought this was a great initiative and a really good example of responsible tourism. However, at that time, little did I know how much ‘cleaning and maintenance’ would actually be needed on the island!
Piles of rubbish on the streets and the edges of the beach have lingering smells and certainly take away from the portrayed peaceful, serene ambiance one would expect from reading the guidebooks. Black bin bags are piled high and have swarms of flies and mosquitos buzzing around them waiting for their next unsuspecting victim to walk past. Drunken tourists drop their litter carelessly onto the once clean and tidy streets. This was not what I had expected.
As I walked up the hill, about a 10 minute walk away from the main nightlife area the peaceful noises of surrounding nature had been replaced with echoing music with heavy base lines. I eventually fell asleep feeling as if I was in a nightclub, rather than the scenic hillside of coastal Thailand.
Although not being quite what I had expected, and perhaps paying more resemblance to Malia than Thailand, there is no doubt about it that there are some beautiful views here in Phi Phi. I just think it’s a shame that it has become so loud, dirty and overpopulated.
Have you been to Phi Phi? Do you think it’s heaven or a tourists hell? I would love to hear your experiences!