Advent calendar 2020: 3. Phi Phi Islands, Thailand

Phi Phi Islands near Phuket, Thailand, is world-famous for its beauty.

The islands are populated by Muslim Malay fishermen since the 1940s, and the name of the islands comes from the Malay language: Api-Api, meaning very fiery, referring to the grey mangrove tree (fiery tree).

The islands, specifically Maya Bay, were used by the 2000 film The Beach, and thereafter, the islands became a very popular tourist attraction. Despite the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami killing thousands of people on the island, tourism recovered. Maya Bay has been closed since 2018 to allow ecological recovery.