Koh Phi Phi, Thailand
Yes, The Beach is a major reason why travellers flock to Phi Phi (allegedly the inspiration for the cult book by Alex Garland), but the islands are much more than a film-tourism attraction and diving hotspot. Consisting of road-less Phi Phi Don (the main, inhabited island) and Phi Phi Leh (a nature park devoid of human settlement), both of the obscenely laid-back islands reveal clear turquoise-emerald waters paired with limestone cliffs, resplendent reefs and bleach-white beaches. Although Koh Phi Phi was ravaged by the 2004 tsunami, the islands are now back in business, with greater eco-friendly awareness and modified building regulations. There are few destinations this stunning that are so affordable.
When to go
Save your Phi Phi pilgrimage for the hot period between December and April. The tropical monsoon climate brings a risk of battling winds and rains from May to November.
PlanesIf you don’t mind spending a morsel more for the sake of efficiency | the jet-setting way of reaching Koh Phi Phi is via seaplane. Destination Air Shuttle (www.destinationair.com) makes the 12-minute trip from Phuket’s airport – as well as other popular Andaman coast destinations – to Phi Phi Don.
BoatsFlying aside, the only way of getting to Koh Phi Phi is by ferry from Krabi (either Krabi Town or Ao Nang), Phuket (Phuket Town) and Koh Lanta (www.phi-phi.com/ferry). Boats arrive twice daily, and frequency increases during high season. Be warned, though, the last ferry leaves before 3pm, so you'll need to spend a night in Krabi if you're plain arrives later.
TaxisPhi Phi has dirt tracks, not tarmac, so there isn’t any official form of motorised transport. However, long-tail taxi-boats ply between the various beaches and facilitate nifty island-hopping.