The Phi Phi Island group consist of several small islands, as well as the large Koh Phi Phi Don, which is a major tourist destination. The reason for the popularity of Phi Phi is easy to explain, Koh Phi Phi is possibly the most stunning example of a tropical island to be found anywhere in Thailand. The crystal blue waters of Ton Sai Bay and the Andaman Ocean, the breathtaking natural coastline and golden sandy beaches combine to deliver a true Robinson Crusoe experience.
If one single beach can be said to have done more for tourism in Thailand than any other, then Maya Bay would have to be it. Anyone who has seen the Leonardo DiCaprio movie 'The Beach', has already had an introduction to Maya Bay, as almost all of the beach scenes for this movie were filmed in and around the beaches and coastline of the bay. Maya Bay can be found on the second largest island in the Phi Phi cluster, Koh Phi Phi Ley.
In 1999, the movie “The Beach” thrust Koh Phi Phi Ley and Maya Bay into the limelight. However, some 25 years before this (1974), another of the islands in the Phi Phi archipelago become a box office success. Koh Tapu (the actual tall islet) or Khao Phing Kan (the island group) was used as the backdrop for the island scenes in the James Bond movie “The Man with the Golden Gun”. Francisco Scaramanga who was the main villain in the movie, used it as his hide out.
Southern Thailand is renowned for its world class water sports and the Andaman Sea around Phuket, Krabi and Phi Phi Island have long been a hot scuba diving spot. However, more modern types of watersports are becoming popular, including sea kayaking. Due to the rugged coastline of the area around Phang Nga Bay, which has formed dozens of sea level caves, a day trip kayaking is part water sport and part exploration.
Thailand remains one of the best value scuba diving destinations in the world. Both the Gulf of Thailand and the Andaman Ocean offer an incredible dive experience. With the exception of possibly Koh Tao in the Gulf of Thailand, the very best scuba diving is to be found around Phuket and the surrounding islets.
There are dozens of dive shops all over Phuket, offering both PADI and SSI scuba diving certification.
Elephants have been a part of Thai culture for hundreds of years. They were used in warfare, they were used as beasts of burden to help with farming and construction. Now they have found a new niche, as part of the tourist industry of Thailand.
Elephant Trekking is one of the very few completely Thai vacation activities which are suitable for the entire family.
One of the most recent crazes to hit Southern Thailand, especially Phuket and Phang Nga, are ATV (All Terrain Vehicle) tours. An ATV tour is part white knuckle ride, part exploration, as you drive these tough little vehicles through the jungle and farm land of Phuket.
There are two types of ATV tours. Firstly there are the very short tours, usually booked for 30 minutes to an hour, and they follow a set track, more akin to go-kart racing than true exploration.
Over the past two decades the golf in Thailand has improved drastically. The country boasts plenty of truly international class golf courses, many of which can be found on Phuket. However, if we consider the fact that most people who take a golfing holiday are also interested in activities that do not involve golf, then Phuket becomes possibly the premier golfing location in Thailand for sunshine golf combined with a beach holiday.
If you visit no other attraction on Phuket, you simply have to take in the FantaSea Show. FantaSea is an audio and visual extravaganza which portrays the culture, history, myths and legends of Thailand through a plethora of different media. The show consist of several parts and themes, including stunts, fireworks, acrobatics, dance, aerial ballet and an incredible 4-D special effects system.