Ahhh Phi Phi. The island everyone dreams off when they think of southern Thailand, and unfortunately one ruined by tourism. The main area on the island is the small sand bank at the South of the main island. Altho destroyed in the tsunami it's been built back up, spectacularly, with every square inch occupied or being built on. The beach I can imagine was once impressive, but it's now crowded and covered in long boats and oil slicks.
We hiked to the viewpoint in promise of stunning views, but it just made the tourism more evident. Then we went in search of a quieter beach, and trekked for two hours across the viewpoint and over the other side, only to find an even more dissapointing beach!! In the end we snuck into a resort and had a beach nap for a few hours. We had planned to get a boat back, but as it was a resort they were charging 8 times the standard cost, and for £16 even I was prepared to walk back!!! We found the 'short' route (shame didn't find that on the way out!) and walked around the rocky shore, until some fishermen showed us a shortcut up to a path near our hut... Good job really as the tide was coming it quite impressively.
In the evenings we found a new bar, away from the main strip and up the hill our hit was on you could watch over the fire shows and lights of the strip in a relaxed atmosphere. The evenings on phi phi weren't actually as bad as i expected, many businesses said the island was quiet for the time of year, and it didn't get anywhere near as rowdy as I thought it has the potential for - however drinking multiple buckets of cocktails is still above what I can cope with these days.
As we walked back to our hut at night we could hear the music getting louder as we went up hill, it seemed to Bounce of the mountains and by the end we had 4/5 different bases merging together.
We did another boat trip, being promised the best snorkelling in Thailand. But again it was just too busy, unlike Krabi it seemed to loose its appeal with the mass of boats. It was another 400 baht to step on two of the beaches, so we opted to stay on the boat. There was one good snorkelling stop, but it was on the beach only a few hundred metres from our beach! We also stopped at monkey beach, always amusing to see grown men screaming and running away from baby monkeys getting too close!! Our final spot for the day was a gorgeous little cove, but once again there we numerous boats, altho the best entertainment came from a middle aged man, high, dancing and thrusting on the top of a speed boat!!
We ended up moving over to Koh lanta 2 days early, after 3 nights on phi phi. I can imagine if you have a bit of cash you can go to one of the resorts in the north of the island, have a private beach away from the party - but in my opinion it still lacks culture and doesn't have the beauty of islands like koh Tao.