So we arrived in Phi Phi after a long Ferry over from Phuket... You can get the hotel to do a transfer, but you have to call the reception.... I figured that the long boat would cost less than the international phone call, so we just hopped on a long boat. Fixed prices from Koh Phi Phi, so no need to negotiate. 100 baht p/p.
When we arrived I was a little confused as the beach looked nothing like what I expected... Luckily a fellow traveller was there to advise us that Long beach was the other side and due to the season, we would have to walk over.... This is where the experience begins!!
I am so surprised that this was not in any of the previous reviews. By partner and I are both quite fit and we even found this a challenge, so if you are not fit, do not even think about booking anything on Long Beach in monsoon season!!
You have a walk up hill with your luggage (we had rucksacks, do NOT bring a suitcase to Thailand!!)... This wasn't too bad, muddy, but just a little hike.... You then get to the top of the hill and have to go down the other side to Long beach.... This can only be described as an assault course.... steep climb down through the tree roots with a rope draped down the side to provide limited support so you don't fall.... If you meet people coming up as you are climbing down its a bit of an issue as the steps/tree roots are narrow, so it's hard to get out of each others way....
Anyway, despite being young and fit, in Thai heat, by the time we got to the beach we were exhausted..... No one at the bottom, so then a trek down the beach to try and find your resort.... (BTW, paradise Pearl staff all up this climb and on beach to meet and help their arrivals with luggage!) Eventually found the reception, no apologies are asking how the travel was as we are both drenched in sweat.....
The only thing that made all of the above tolerable... THE BEACH.... WOW!! This is such a beautiful beach and is really quiet!
Rooms - clean, nice bathroom, comfy bed.... everything you would need.... Although couldn't get the right temperature in the shower, either boiling or cold, so have to keep changing t so you get the cross over temperature.... annoying!
Reception service closes early in this season and all of their facilities are shut, so you have to go to the Paradise Pearl for dinner etc.... Their food is great, but I have never experienced service like it.... They barely acknowledge you.... My partner and I both agreed that if they just smiled a little, they would make so much in tips as the food and view onto the beach is amazing!
Getting into main Phi Phi is a bit of a journey as you have to climb up that ridiculous hillside trek, using the rope to pull yourself up the steep climb... We chose to walk in, rather than get the boat... takes around 20 minutes from where the boats would otherwise pick you up.... Again, it isn't an amazing path, but we preferred this to the boat.
FYI - Do not take children to this resort, the paths/climbs are just too dangerous!!
I've been to Phi Phi before, so we had wanted to go in to experience the night life.... We saw some people taking a torch and doing the climb and trek in, but we just decided that it wasn't worth the risk. If you want more than one restaurant at night, in monsoon season, I recommend you just stay in main area and just travel out to Long Beach in the day to enjoy it.
All in all, accommodation in Koh Phi Phi is pretty restricted... I have friends who have stayed at the Holiday Inn/Zevola, resorts are amazing, but there is a slight snobbery, its massively expensive and no traveller fun atmosphere....
Walking to Long Beach, if the tide is out, it is tempting to climb over the rocks between the beaches to save time and avoid the scary paths.... Don't do this, I slipped on a rock as it was covered in some kind of sapp or oil which wasn't visible to the eye.... Shell penetrated into my arm and lodged under my skin.... had to take a trip to A&E!.... Just use the path!!
Excursions.... we took the trip to Maya Beach, Monkey Island etc... So with the half trip, if you pull up to the side of the cliff to see the monkeys.... that is your monkey island stop! Be warned, they will climb on the boat and steal from you! Maya beach.... So because of the season, they can't take you round to the beach... You stop at the back of the cliff, have to jump into the water, swim up to some rope climbing frame and climb up.... all whilst strong waves are crashing into the sides of the cliff and pushing you under the water... Most of our boat wouldn't attempt it as it looked like a death wish and most people were in tears by the time they got to the top. I consider myself a confident swimmer, so decided to attempt this.... I wouldn't do it again.... This was scary as hell!! - As a final note to this, if you get a speed boat, they can take you round the front, so check with the trip people whether the long boat will take you round the front, if not, upgrade to the speed boat as they should be able to.
Snorkelling on this trip was good.... The fish go mad for banana, so if you bring some and break them up, they will all swarm around you.
I invested in an underwater camera at the airport and it's great for snorkelling and for Maya beach (having had to go through water to get there!)
Anyway, sorry for the essay, but all the above information is stuff I was looking for when I booked. I hope you find it useful!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Beach resort on a small island. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Paradise Hotel Ko Phi Phi Don
- Paradise Hotel Ko Phi Don
- Paradise Resort Ko Phi Don