Koh Phi Phi

The Phi Phi Islands consist of six islands. The largest, Phi Phi Don, is shaped like a butterfly: the "wings," covered by limestone mountains, are connected by a flat 2-km (1-mile) narrow body featuring two opposing sandy beaches. Phi Phi Don is the only inhabited island.

Nowadays, the island looks remarkably developed when contrasted with its humble roots some 30 years ago. The tsunami of 2004 has not had any lasting impact and, if you were unaware that such a catastrophe had taken place, you would think it was a beautiful island under a lot of development, rather than one that was destroyed and has been rebuilt. There's quite a bit of construction these days as resorts as well as budget accommodations update and renovate their facilities. The popularity of the Phi Phi Islands stems from the outstanding scuba diving; leopard sharks, turtles, and sea horses are some species still frequenting popular reefs.

As Phi Phi becomes more developed, people have been forced away from the center of Ao Dalerm beach. Other beaches have been discovered and now bear the brunt of growing tourist numbers on the island. Long Beach has become popular, but still retains its charm.

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