Wednesday, 23 July 2008

Koh Phi Phi Paradise Lost!

If you want to keep secretes, kill everybody who knows. The same could be said if you want to ruin a good thing tell somebody about it. If you want the whole world to know feature it in a movie. The islands of the Koh Phi Phi island group in southern Thailand were featured in the movie The Beach. If you are not familiar with the story line, some young travelers discover this fantastic spot in Thailand and decide to make their version of utopia and keep it secrete at all costs, had they been successful this would still be a small island group that few but the most hardy backpackers would visit.

When the movie The Beach was made here there were not many that knew about this beautiful island group of Stonehenge like monoliths that stick out of the pond like waters of the Andaman Sea. Clad in deep jungle greenery they have a forbidding yet enticing aura about them. The white sand beaches look like everyone's picture of tropical paradise with palm trees thick at the top with green pods of coconuts waiting to drop their sweet milk for thirsty travelers.

Today the thirsty travelers come in the form of herds of young backpackers which jam the center of the dog bone shaped main island at night milling in streams propelled by the ever present urban thump. By day these hordes descend on the beaches and lay in clumps of self basting & baking kids. Bars, stores, coffee shops, travel agents, discos even a very popular 7-11 feed the needs of these adventure seekers many of whom sport bandages and crutches from spills and thrills of rock climbing, cliff jumping and jungle expeditions to find water falls.

The waters around Koh Phi Phi are not safe not because of the animals in the water but because of the poor water treatment Streptococcus a particular nasty skin eating bug is around and other ailments as well so it pays to take care of even the smallest scratches here so that you don't end up in the emergency room having pieces of skin cut out.

The other thing to watch out for is your wallet as they are firm believers in price fixing from internet to scuba diving they have some of the highest prices in Thailand and they do not negotiate at all if you are a bargain seeker give this place a wide berth. Cheap hotels in every sense of the term are priced like 3 star hotels else where we did not see any places that delivered value to price with the exceptions of The Phi Phi Hotel which was quoting off season rates seemed to be the only hotel that had a clue.

In the period before the islands here became famous this was a great place to come and hang out for weeks at a time, today however it is another paradise lost.

Fred's new project where he reviews cheap hotels , budget guest houses, discount accommodations and cheap international flights, but is really an excuse to go scuba diving on vacation more, Fred is in Phnom Penh Cambodia planning his next adventure travel tour. Keep up to date with Fred and to view some great pictures go to

Fred Tittle has lived and worked in holiday vacation resorts his entire life, from Lake Geneva's Playboy Club, as a rock jock for KSPN FM in Aspen Colorado, he became a PADI Pro Scuba Diver in Hawaii, diving on Maui, Kauai, Kona on the big island, and Waikiki on Oahu. He founded Eco Adventures South East Asia in Sihanoukville Cambodia. he still teaches SSI and PADI scuba diving courses and runs liveaboards in the gulf of Thailand and Asia adventure tours,

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