What’s in a Name? Island Beauties
Despite its unfortunate English transliteration (Pee Pee Island), Koh Phi Phi is a textbook version of the ultimate dream isle, now officially so: It was Hollywood’s pick for the Leonardo DiCaprio sand-seeking-vagabond dud The Beach.
Against a backdrop of steep, jungled limestone cliffs, a few simple bungalow resorts dot crescents of palm-shaded bleached-white sand. Lucky day-trippers from nearby Krabi or Phuket are transported by boat to the beaches of Koh Phi Phi Don (Big Pee Pee Island), while those who hop a long-tailed boat can visit the even more spectacular Koh Phi Phi Le (Little …). Here you can visit unspoiled coves, crystal-clear waters, and nearly undeveloped beaches; Maya Bay, surrounded by soaring cliffs, is particularly beautiful. Snorkling is excellent.
About the only other thing to do, besides waiting for a simple grilled-fish lunch at an open-air beachside spot, is to visit the immense, cathedral-like caverns, where Sea Gypsies harvest edible birds’ nests, a delicacy prized by Chinese gourmets for their nutritional value. That simple grilled-fish lunch sounds better and better.