Ko Phi Phi Isn't All Terrible
This little island - or rather, two - made of Phi Phi Don and Phi Phi Lee, lives up to its party reputation. While you can certainly burn the midnight oil from dusk 'til dawn at a beach strewn with fire dancers and Sangsom rum buckets, there's plenty of sights to be seen here. Save some precious hours for these fun excursions.
A short boat ride takes you to some of the most exquisite dive sites in the world, nonetheless this hemisphere. Whether you're a beginner looking for a first-time 'fun dive' or a certified diver, there are no shortage of dive schools to choose from. The price on the island is fixed, so just do your research on where you feel most comfortable. I dove with Aquanauts to Bida Nok, Palong Bay in Phi Phi Lee and it was the dive of a lifetime. I descended upon a 4 ft cuttlefish and saw a reef shark the length of my wingspan. Blueview Divers is also a good option if you're up for a challenge - you dive straight from wooden long boats!
HIKE THE VIEWPOINT AT SUNSET
The hike is not difficult, but it's definitely steep enough to work up a sweat - about 20 min if you're a brisk walker and 30 if you care to stroll. Buy water at the bottom, you'll need it. The views, however, are STUNNING. You have a "mountain top" vista of the entire place - including the bay where Phi Phi Lee and Phi Phi Don split. Take the summit in time for sunset and soak in the scene.
SUN BAKE ON LONG BEACH
This beach is a 30-minute trek from the docks so be sure to bring water and snacks. That said, it's the best beach on this side of the island and a cool one to boot. They have a wooden swing that looks out on to the water for a great photo opp, and it's traditionally filled with laid-back, low-key people.
GRAB A BUCKET AND PEOPLE WATCH AT LOH DALUM BEACH
Sangsom buckets are a hangover waiting to happen but it must be done - once. Order a bucket from the street vendors and roam the streets until you get to the beach where the people watching increases ten-fold.
JOIN THE PARTY
The tide is so low you can nearly walk to the edge of the cliffs that anchor both sides of Loh Dalum Beach... but don't (it is dangerous and very, very dark). Because of this, though, it gives you ample square footage for beach dance floors and fire dancing shows. Bars along the way like Slinky's and Stones beckon tourists to come jump rope or limpo under a fire-y rope. If that's not your speed, hit Banana Bar, a rooftop bar that serves spliffs with your drink, when prompted.
EAT AT ANNA'S
Anna's is traditionally Thai, but caters to Westerners need for service. The green curry is the best I've had in the coutry, and the noodles with basil leaves and prawns are not to be missed. It's a very humble abode where you take off your shoes, literally, and stay a while soe n j o ythe experience.
Accommodation: I stayed at Phi Phi View Point Resort and it has all of the creature comforts you want PLUS a restaurant and a pool. And also "house cats" that roam around the property. Check 'em out here.