Located only 2 km south of the southernmost tip of Phi Phi Don, Phi Phi Leh is the second largest island of Phi Phi Archipelago. The small uninhabited island is about 7 km south of Ton Sai Pier, just 30-minute long-tail boat ride. Phi Phi Leh is universally known thanks to its amazing Maya Bay, as it was the site of the movie The Beach with Leonardo Di Caprio. The view you get when you cross the access by sea is breathtaking. The stunning enclosed cove is sheltered by 100-metre high cliffs on three sides, a natural amphitheatre that is unmatched on the face of the earth. The cove has a main beach about 200 meters long, with a white sand soft like talcum and is considered among the 10 most beautiful beaches in the world. The unique show offered by the bay is even more remarkable in the surrounding waters. The underwater world offers a wonderful view of beautiful colorful corals and tropical fish that swim in crystal waters of an incredible turquoise color, the entire bay is in fact a large shallow reef. In the reality, as in the imagination of the movie, Maya Bay is the true tropical paradise that everyone hopes to find. Behind the beach there is a small kiosk selling drinks and snacks, as well as the Park Office with rangers. Since Maya Bay has become the main tourist attraction of Phi Phi Islands, the beach is often crowded. The tour operators that organize day trips from Ton Sai, Phuket and Krabi have intensified the boats and their sizes. Often there are at least 30 boats at anchor in the most congested hours of the day, and some even carry 100 people or more on board, which once get off cover the entire small beach. Only some operators make the trip to Maya Bay in the late afternoon when the beach is less crowded. These trips cost little more, but well worth it if you really want to enjoy the view of this natural wonder. Alternatively, for tourists who are already at Phi Phi Don, it is a good idea to get to the bay by hiring a long-tail or a speedboat in the early morning or late afternoon. In addiction to Maya Bay, Phi Phi Leh has other secluded coves to explore. Loh Samah Bay is on the east side of island opposite to Maya Bay, and separated only by a thin limestone wall with a small hole which cuts through the rock making it possible to walk through. The interior of the bay is characterized by shallow water, between 2 and 12 meters, suitable for snorkeling. Pileh Bay is located on the east coast of island, a little to north of Loh Samah Bay. Also known as Ao Pileh, Pileh Lagoon, or Pi Leh Cove, it has a similar shape to Maya Bay, a enclosed cove sheltered by 100-metre high cliffs on three sides. It has a more narrow access, which allowing entry only to speedboats and long-tails. With a length of about 600m from its entrance to its end, Pileh Bay is like a long canyon, mostly in shadow except between 11:00 and 13:00. There are some small and narrow beaches at the base of the cliff on the west side, but normally the visitors prefer to stay in the centre of cove where is a beautiful shallow reef, ideal to snorkelling. On the extreme north east of the island there is the Viking Cave, known by local as Tham Phaya Nak. Viking Cave derives its name by some paintings of boats found on the eastern southern walls of the cave including one that resembles a Scandinavian drakkar. Located at the bottom of a tall limestone cliff, the cave has become a significant source of income for the locals, even tourist attraction, due the large colony of swifts that come here to make their nest. The nests are made by the birds from their saliva and particularly prized in Chinese culture, according to which these edible nests are believed to be especially effective for good health and be specifically good for the skin. The nests are harvested by locals from February to April, once finished the nesting period. For the collected are used rickety bamboo scaffolding on which the locals climb in the darkness to collect these precious items. The collection of birds' nests is a risky job but rewarding economically, once collected and cleaned they are sold for thousands of euro per kilo and then used for the Chinese delicacy bird's nest soup.Read More
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