From a distance, the Koh Phi Pi island, bulging out of the sea, already looks somewhat extreme.

Koh Phi Phi Island

Its lush nature and paradisiac beaches are… very attractive.

Koh Phi Phi Island

As a result, it draws hordes of tourists …

Tourists descending on Koh Phi Phi

… of all shapes and colors.

Main Koh Phi Phi beach

The highly instagrammable scene fuels the flux.

Instagram-ready Koh Phi Phi

The mix of crowds descending on the island can be a bit surreal, and the “village” doesn’t feel like anything close to “normal”.

Koh Phi Phi village

Some places draw tourists in with the promise of “getting beat up” …

… and most rely on the omnipresent booze.

Booze in Koh Phi Phi

Unsurprisingly, not everybody there looks as refreshed as one could hope from a vacation …

Worse for wear in Koh Phi Phi...

…. and I don’t envy the people who have to watch over this spectacle day in day out for a living. I wonder what they think of the Westerners.
(And to me it looks like one of these cameras is turning its gaze in despair 😂) – but I know I’m being judgmental here 😉.

Koh Phi Phi surveillance

But actually, there is a lot more to Koh Phi Phi!

Although the island mostly lives from tourism, it is also home to fishermen, professional …

Fishing in Koh Phi Phi

… or more casual.

Fishing in Koh Phi Phi

Like almost everywhere else in the world, kids go to school…

Local school in Koh Phi Phi

… but their commute is not quite like most!

Going to school in Koh Phi Phi

The only visible marks of the devastating tsunami of 2004 which claimed close to 5000 lives on the island is the warning signs present everywhere along the coast.

Tsunami warning in Koh Phi Phi

Tourism in Koh Phi Phi is not all about partying wildly though.
Beautiful and preserved nature is just a few minutes of long-tail ride away … (long tails are these small rudderless wooden boats with propellers mounted at the end of long steel rods)

Long tail ride in Koh Phi Phi

… including the stunning Maya Bay, made famous by the movie “The Beach” with Leonardo di Caprio and Virginie Ledoyen. (Access to the beach is currently [2019] prohibited to give a chance for the local ecosystem to regenerate, after beaten up by the crowds for years).

Maya Bay, Koh Phi Phi

Although you’re unlikely to be alone enjoying the dramatic scenery and pristine water …

Maya Bay, Koh Phi Phi

… more peaceful beaches do exist …

 Koh Phi Phi beach

… but they are slightly more elitist.

 Koh Phi Phi beach

I leave Koh Phi Phi with mixed memories, of an incredibly beautiful and romantic place …

Sunset in Koh Phi Phi

… outside of the shockingly crowded and loud areas.

Leaving Koh Phi Phi

At the end of the day, I leave definitely feel more refreshed than some 😅

Recovering from Koh Phi Phi

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More to come, stay tuned!