The south is a little bit of a different world. Much more clear water, remarkably warmer, and much higher prices. At times, the tourists or expatriates seem to outnumber the local population.
The old town in Phuket City still feels colonial and has more in common architecturally with Havana than the cities in northward in the country. The rest of the province is partially mountainous and outlined by sandy beaches that are littered with colorful plant life and plastic bottles.
Koh Phi Phi is this exquisite, biconcave island in the middle of the Andaman Sea. The majority of services are located on the isthmus between the two limestone peaks. The island is so small that the service workers live right outside of, and between, the pricier resorts. A quick walk around the corner takes you from a these resorts to a local neighborhood where discarded sports bar signs rest and picture frames hang from windows. Tourists are charged 30 baht (~$1) when arriving at the island to aid in clean up and trash reduction efforts. Even as trash is collected and shipped off the island, large build ups of water bottles and other trash are still present from the mass amount of tourism the island receives.