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Spotlight: Koh Phi Phi Don & Lee — Andaman Coast, Thailand
For years I dreamed of Thailand’s endless white sandy beaches, softly swaying palms, and craggy islands bursting up from the transparent turquoise water. As a young girl, my mother spun for me exotic tales of Bangkok, the magnificent markets, and colorful, tantalizing cuisine. Finally, I said no to Europe (once, only once!) and set myself on a very different course. The time had arrived… I had to go see Thailand for myself.
But of course, Bangkok — the bustling, chaotic heart of the country — wouldn’t suffice. I had to go somewhere remote, somewhere exceptionally exotic . . . somewhere Leonardo DiCaprio had been…
One tortuous three-connection flight, a two-hour taxi trip and a rocky boat ride later, I arrived on the postcard perfect island of Koh Phi Phi Don. The uninhabited twin-sister island and infamous backdrop for Leo’s movie The Beach — Koh Phi Phi Lee — sat on the horizon just forty-five minutes away.
Sweating buckets and in desperate need of water, a stiff drink and a shower (I wouldn’t have minded all three at the same time), I pried myself off of the sticky, salty boat seat and finally set foot on dry(ish) land. A fragrant hand towel and stiff drink later (praise the forces that be!), I began to relax into the uniquely stunning scenery.
Crystal waters, attentive service and exceptional food awaited me at every corner. Known as the Land of Smiles, the kind Thai staff were genuine, exceptionally quiet (like beautiful ninjas) and accommodating to a point where I felt someone had paid them off just to indulge my every whim.
It was a shame though that the staff couldn’t banish the freakishly large insects that incessantly buzzed, bit and scratched me (and yes, the insects are large enough in Thailand to scratch you) but after slipping into the aquarium-like, tepid water of Maya Bay, I forgot about the stings, insane jet-lag and my pent up stress.
While being poked by a school of vibrant neon fish, I looked up at the lush, surrounding island and swooned at the exceptional beauty. This was raw, relatively untouched nature. For one second my brain stopped, and I wasn’t lost or exhausted or even really thinking . . . I was just breathing in the sweetness that this world provides.
We send our best from the far reaches of the earth. And don’t forget to breathe.
Danielle & Justine
Looking for luxe accommodations on Koh Phi Phi Don? Check out our two favorites.