Land of mangroves and kartz

Ko Phi Phi




“You fish, swim, eat, laze around, and everyone’s so friendly. It’s such simple stuff, but… If I could stop the world and restart life, put the clock back, I think I’d restart it like this. For everyone.”  – Alex Garland, The Beach

Thanks to Alex Garland for filming Leonardo DiCaprio for his film “The Beach” that surged the Phi Phi Island in the International Map of beach lovers. For, the heavenly pristine white sand Island was quite unknown to most of the world up until 2000, when Ko Phi Phi Le, served as the setting for the film.

The second largest island, Ko Phi Phi le has a ring of steep limestone hills surrounding the Maya Bay and the Loh Samah. But Maya Bay, famous for the filming of the movie “The Beach” can’t be accessed from the sea via boat due to its shallow waters and coral. But a short walk through the rocky jungle can take you to a staircase area from where you can watch sea farers climbing the rock.

On the northeastern tip of the phi phi le lies the Viking caves where edible nests of swift bird, a key component of a Chinese soup is found. Collectors daringly climb up the fragile bamboo scaffolding to gather the nests from the caves. As a gratitude, before getting down, they pray and make offerings of tobacco, incense and liquor.

Towering limestone cliffs sculpted by wind and water, jutting out from the Andaman sea surely defines the spectacular beauty of Phi Phi Island. Cruising across the aquamarine sea and hopping from one island to another in florescent orange life jackets I was more than once surprised by the unexpected emergence of the tall Kartz caved from the base enveloped in green plants. A conglomeration of six islands Phi phi is like a platter of what islands can offer at their best. You aren’t allowed to get down but the boat slows down to have a close look.

Northwest of Phi Phi Island, the hidden cove of Monkey Bay is home to a colony of monkeys. Cute small monkeys, who might look harmless but are not. A bite or two might be hazardous. Therefore, its wise to look at them and enjoy from a distance unless you are trained.

Koh Bida Nok is a favourite snorkeling spot. You can get down with your snorkeling kit and enjoy the breathtaking world of underwater.

But the best was watching the sun retreat to the other end of the globe spreading its rainbow colors above the rushing waves from the beach front. The silky fine sand cushioned my body as I enjoyed the resplendent horizon sipping fragrant tea made out of Pandan leaves.

The mild grassy aroma of the leaves imparted a soothing sensation and the raw tranquility of the place took a salient promise from me that I must visit this land of mangroves once again very soon.

-Nita Bajoria

Picture Courtesy : Saachi Chirawala, Lishika Chirawala and Nita Bajoria


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