On our second day in Thailand, we took a two-hour ferry ride from Phuket to Koh Phi Phi island. Koh Phi Phi is...an experience. Apparently it used to be a very tranquil vacation destination before the 2004 tsunami, but it's now a complete tourist trap with hostels and bars catering to twenty-somethings looking to drink vodka out of buckets and get laid on the beach (as evidenced by the fact that the beach was littered with booze bottles and condoms each morning). While Koh Phi Phi might have been my vision of heaven as a 19 year old, it was a little much for my ripe old age of 27. We stayed in on our second night after a very aggressive first night on the island, and could hear (and feel...literally) the EDM music blaring until the wee hours. The main party strip is on Tonsai Bay, and if you do choose to stay there, I would recommend staying at The Beacha Club*. Our hostel was just next door but it was disgusting, and I looked longingly into the windows of the clean, bright rooms of The Beacha Club as I walked past each day.
*For most of my travels in Southeast Asia, I booked hostels very last minute with no issues. Koh Phi Phi is small and popular, so it is worth planning ahead (5-7 days should be sufficient) to ensure that you don't end up in a grimy hostel.
The saving grace of Koh Phi Phi was monkey island. Jessica and I woke up early (you can do this when you're the only people on the island who aren't hungover) and rented a kayak on the beach to head to monkey island. The beach on Tonsai Bay is pretty grimy (remember the aforementioned beer bottles and condoms?) and I was disappointed that we had yet to see the lush, white sand and clear, blue water I was envisioning thanks to Google images of Thailand. We found that beach paradise at monkey island and were so, so happy to swim around by ourselves without fear of swimming with garbage. We didn't see any monkeys until a guide arrived with a German couple. He knew how to call for the monkeys and almost instantaneously there were at least a dozen of them scampering and swinging across the beach. I LOVED this (although they got scarily close to my GoPro) but Jessica was far less excited by our new furry friends so we left soon thereafter.
Sadly, I did not eat a single meal on Koh Phi Phi that I would recommend. For the most part, food is overpriced and caters to a Western palate (e.g. Pad Thai with tomato sauce...?). This will not be the pinnacle of your cultural experience in Thailand, but you will certainly leave with a story or two. I'll refrain from telling mine here, since my mom reads this :).