Traveling to the Beaches of Koh Phi Phi Don Island, Thailand

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after a fun few days in phuket, thailand we woke up to catch the first ferry to koh phi phi don (pronounced PEE PEE…insert giggle here) island. this part of thailand is super affordable, especially during the rainier season. we paid a total of $20 for two of us to catch a shared taxi-bus and the two hour ferry ride from phuket to phi phi island.

they even had free banana nut muffins and tea on board for us! you can’t even get this on a domestic 5 hour flight across the USA!

phuket to phi phi don boat muffins and tea

the sea was a tad rough because it’s monsoon season there but that sounds scarier than it actually was. our alaskan cruise rocked harder than this boat ride so we were a-okay.


note: it costs 20 thai baht per person to get on the island to aid in clean-up, which equates to about $0.63 not a big deal but make sure you have cash on you!


here’s the crazy part…we arrive to the main dock and then there are long boats everywhere. i have no idea how far our hotel is from here or if we need to get on one of these.


tip: if you’ve booked a hotel on phi phi, chances are you will need to take a long boat to get there and as you walk farther down the pier, there will be men holding signs with different hotel names so find yours there.


by this point, i am sort of freaking out. little boats, rough water, no idea how long i must sit on there or if it will tip over and my life will end and the sun’s not even out (some say i get a little dramatic).


finally our turn is up and we have to cross over another boat to get to ours and one guy’s foot almost got trapped between the two and severed. me next.


ko phi phi don thailand long boat

we get settled in the boat and about 7 minutes later we pull up to our beach front hotel. i let out a massive sigh of relief and curse the feeling of anticipation while my husband complains that it didn’t last nearly enough. we have different thresholds for ‘adventure.’


the tide is low and there is no dock. fear not, the driver plops a rusted ladder over the side of the boat as we hop out into the water and walk up on the beach to our hotel. it was a crazy experience.

ko phi phi don long about hotel water

the hotel was a bit worn but probably after surviving crazy rains and being right on the ocean but it worked for us! plus…we had a view of the water which i loved!

phi phi thailand view from roomwe stayed at the bayview resort and if you end up staying here be warned it is VERY hilly.


i can say this was officially my only workout while in asia.


we stayed 1 night here so wanted to get here early to explore so we immediately set off to first book ravery for his scuba diving adventure while exploring the little town by us. it’s a leisurely 10 minute stroll from the hotel with partial beach walking for the win.

ryan avery walking on phi phi donthere are a ton of restaurants, mostly thai but a few “pasta and pizza found here!” places. also, no cars are used on the island except for emergency vehicles! there were some bikes but most people walked and used large trolly carts to get groceries, supplies and luggage around from place to place.


really the main point of venturing into town was that my darling husband lost a bet. we love playing cards and he was feeling overly confident about his rummy game skills. we wagered that who ever lost the game had to get hair braided.


the outcome:

ko phi phi don lost betit was spectacular. he was all trash talking about what ridiculous hairstyle he would select for my braids and the beads and then BAM! ha! we had to go to 3 different ladies before we found one that said she could braid his short hair. all of them laughed and looked confused.


ko phi phi don hair braidingthat’ll teach him.


we also had our first official thai iced tea in thailand! watching her dump 3 heaping table spoons of sugar into the drink on top of the already sweetened tea and condensed milk made it taste less delicious. we should probably start incorporating this into our coffee shops and restaurants in the US because if people saw how much sugar is actually in the food we eat, i think it would slightly deter us.


we drank it anyways and hit a hard sugar crash later.

IMG_8368then we found a baby monkey and paid $2 to hold her. i spent the rest of the day hearing from my husband how he would make a great monkey dad and we need to get one ASAP.


the small strip of town is located right along the water so every where we ate was beach front and amazing. i also contemplated hard about getting a traditional bamboo tattoo (i can feel my mother’s eyes rolling as she reads this) but after hours of debate internally, opted to save it for our next trip back (during the sunshine season).


we saw signs around our hotel with arrows that pointed to “long beach” and after some jungle trekking and me whining that we should just turn back before we were eaten alive, we stumbled upon it.

long beach ko phi phi

low tide is craaazy low here. instead of jungle hopping back, we walked the distance in the low water/beach.


oh! you should know that i bought a ridiculously large hat for $6 because i thought “what could possibly make me stand out more like a white tourist?” that hat. jackpot.

chelsea and ryan avery phi phi island thailand

i also realized that lasik eye surgery is moving higher on my list. i cannot snorkel and see all my fish friends like my husband because i cannot see anything without my glasses and don’t have contacts. christmas present anyone?


the next day my hubs set off early for his adventures in scuba diving where they had a clarity in the water of 24 feet but during the peak season it’s 90 feet. 90!!


i walked around the town, feeling incredibly safe and never once worried someone would harm me. we found that each and every thai person we encountered was friendly, helpful and willing to share much of their culture with us. i’m not sure what i exactly expected but even my anxiety-prone self felt more at ease than i thought i would.


i ate the most delectable almond croissant (not traditional thai) with one of the best sceneries.


this led me to getting a $6 pedicure and i opted for the most ridiculous color i would never pay for in the states. bright blue…channeling the water we saw but must be saved for my next post while we stayed at the JW!


koh phi phi don island is fantastic and gorgeous even if the sun never fully came out. my attitude changed to “hey if it’s not raining, i can still be on the beach!”  i will say the one great part of rainy season is that apparently there are 93% less bugs, especially mosquitos so that is grand! i only counted a total of 8 bites.


of course our peace flag had to come out, which we absolutely 100% almost forget if it wasn’t for my mom reminding me literally hours before we left!

phi phi don ryan and chelsea averyit was certainly an adventure to this island but absolutely worth it. if you are in this part of the world-GO! apparently “the beach” featuring leonardo dicapro was filmed here so if you’ve seen that, fangirl it up (that’s my plan when we get back).


1) are you boat person? how about small boats?
2) last bet you won or lost?
3) ever held an exotic animal? which one?



  1. Carlen Lloyd

    September 2, 2014 at 12:07 pm

    First off- I LOVE the braids in Ryan’s hair. Very classy. 🙂

    1. I do better smaller boats than larger boats, simply because if I’m in a larger boat (like on a whale watching cruise-type boat), I get seasick. I love smaller boats, because I learned how to water ski when I was 11 and so most of my favorite memories were going out to Lake Billy Chinook in Central Oregon every summer (even though I griped about it at the time as a teenager, I look back on it now and realized how lucky I was to have parents who did family things every summer).

    2. Because in my relationship I’m always right- there are no winning or losing bets. I win. It’s that simple.
    All kidding aside- the last bet I won, was while watching the Tour de France back in 2011. My honey and I always pick a team (although, we missed it last year and this year- BOO!!) and I picked Garmin. He had picked Leopard Trek. So, the bet was that whoever won would get a new kit (jersey and biking shorts). Well for my birthday I got one since I won. Not only was the race awesome, but I got 2 kits. 🙂

    3. I have never held an exotic animal but my honey has actually held a Tasmanian Devil while he was on liberty in Australia during his time in the Coast Guard. They are grumpy like they are portrayed, but when you hold them next to your heart, they are very docile. He said it was the trippiest thing!
    Carlen Lloyd recently posted…My Interview with Kyle Jones, author of the blog, “HRtoWho”

    • chelsea

      September 4, 2014 at 3:35 pm

      haaaa aren’t they hilarious carlen?! i could NOT stop laughing 🙂

      that is so fun that you learned to water ski so young (i tried it once and got a water ski to the eye. blood everywhere) and so glad you can look back and see how great it was to have the parents you did and grow up near billy chinook-how beautiful!

      ha love that you do bets with tour de france and congratulations on your win-woohoo!

      SO nuts about the tasmanian devil-how interesting that they are crazy unless next to your heart.

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