If you want to keep secrets, kill everyone who knows. The same could be said if you want to ruin something good, tell someone. If you want the whole world to know, show it in a movie. The islands of the Koh Phi Phi island group in southern Thailand were featured in the movie The Beach. If you are not familiar with the history, some young travelers discover this fantastic place in Thailand and decide to make their version of utopia and keep it a secret at all costs, had they succeeded this would still be a small group of islands that few but the least hardier backpackers would visit.

When the movie The Beach was made here not many knew about this beautiful group of Stonehenge islands like monoliths jutting out of the pond like the waters of the Andaman Sea. Clad in deep jungle vegetation, they have an imposing yet enticing aura about them. The white-sand beaches look like the picture of a tropical paradise for all, with palm trees topped with green pods of coconuts waiting to drop their sweet milk for thirsty travelers.

Today, thirsty travelers come in the form of herds of young backpackers who crowd the dog-bone-shaped center of the main island at night, moving in streams fueled by the ever-present urban bash. During the day these hordes descend on the beaches and swarm into groups of children who bathe and bake themselves. Bars, shops, cafes, travel agencies, nightclubs and even a very popular 7-11 cater to the needs of these adventure seekers, many of whom sport bandages and crutches to protect themselves from spills and the thrill of rock climbing, cliff jumping and jungle expeditions to find waterfalls.

The waters around Koh Phi Phi are unsafe, not because of the animals in the water, but because of poor water treatment. Streptococcus, a particularly unpleasant insect that eats the skin, is present and other ailments, so it is worth taking care of even the smallest scratches. so you don’t end up in the ER with severed pieces of skin.

The other thing to watch out for is your wallet as they are firm believers in pricing from the internet to diving, they have some of the highest prices in Thailand and do not bargain at all. Bert. Cheap hotels in every sense of the term are priced like 3 star hotels elsewhere we didn’t see anywhere that offered value for money with the exception of The Phi Phi Hotel which quoted off season rates seemed to be the only hotel that had a key.

In the period before the islands here became famous, this was a great place to come and hang out for weeks, however today it is another paradise lost.

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