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Thursday, December 20, 2012

Dining at Ko Phi Phi Island, Thailand

Ko Phi Phi is a very small island in the upper Andaman waters of Thailand, but when it comes to dining here, it offers quite an interesting experience especially with respect to cost and variety. To give you an idea about the size of the island, you can walk from one end of the happening area to the other end in about 15 to 30 minutes. In between, there are a lot of restaurants, market stalls and street vendors who cater to your food needs by serving you everything from fresh fruits, juices, pizzas, coconut doughnuts, sandwiches, sea food, thai food, indian food, continental food and more. And the cost of these items albeit more or less same quality would be the lowest at the market stalls closer to the pier and increase if you went to a nearby restaurant and be the highest when you towards the posh Long beach area of Phi Phi. To give you an idea of the cost, a plate of seafood containing 1 white snapper, 5 prawns and 1 crab would cost you 399 THB at the market stall, 450 THB in a restaurant near the market and between 600 and 1000 THB as you got closer to the Long Beach.

Seafood and Meat on display in the markets of Ko Phi Phi
But, the funny part is that my friend who is a connoisseur of seafood told me that the freshest stuff was available at the market while the oldest stuff used to be available at the posher restaurants. He could tell that by looking at the fish that all restaurants and stalls would lay out in front of their property. If you are at Phi Phi, the best thing to eat is the local sea food. It is fresh, it is the cheapest and it is what the islanders cook the best. Even though the mighty large pizzas look good, I have been told by a couple of English girls that the pizzas are not edible and that the folks on the island don’t know how to make a sandwich.

Menu in Ko Phi Phi Market
Personally, for a vegetarian like me, the options were limited, but not bad. I stuck to fried rice with vegetable, vegetable soup with steamed rice, mixed vegetables with steamed rice or fried broccoli in oyster sauce with steamed rice. In addition, I absolutely loved the juicy corns that are barbecued over a coal fire and served with salt and lemon. If you are on Phi Phi and would like to taste a local dessert, then do not miss the opportunity of tasting the Coconut doughnut (grated coconut, coconut milk and sugar fried in oil). I loved the coconut doughnut so much that I would have at least 2 pieces every day.

Rice Dumplings of Thailand
A couple of inferences from my dining experience here is that food is much cheaper in the market area. Seafood is very fresh if it is white snapper, red snapper, some local varieties, prawns, crabs and squids. Saw fish, shark and sword fish are not that fresh here as they come from Krabi as fishing for such fishes around Phi Phi is illegal. Overall, the dining experience is very interesting here and you can simply soak in the island sun and enjoy your relaxed and tasty meal here.



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