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Phi Phi Island, Thailand The Ultimate Travellers Guide

Phi Phi Island, Thailand: The Ultimate Travellers Guide

Phi Phi Island in Thailand has beautiful landscapes and amazing beaches to offer tourists looking for that perfect island getaway. The island also offers a one-of-a-kind nightlife experience to those who want to party the night away.

Travellers can experience the best that Thailand has to offer with this island’s many attractions such as shops, restaurants, and other recreational activities. As an added bonus, Phi Phi Island is also located near other tourist spots such as Phuket and Trang.

With so much to see and do, we made a rundown of some of the essential facts about Phi Phi Island, and some travel tips when visiting. Read on to find out more about what this tropical paradise has to offer in our ultimate travellers’ guide on Phi Phi Island! 

Where is Phi Phi Island?

Phi Phi island is located 42 kilometres from Amphoe Mueang, smack in the middle of the Andaman Sea. It is situated between the Malacca coast of Thailand and the island of Phuket.

Phi Phi island is composed of six islands namely Koh Yung, Koh Mai Phai, Koh Pida Nok, and Koh Pida plus two bigger islands Koh Phi Phi Don and Koh Phi Phi Le. 

However, while there are six islands available for tourists to visit depending on their tour package, travellers can only really stay in Koh Phi Phi Don. This is because the island houses the tourist spot’s hotels and shops.

What are the Islands of Phi Phi Archipelago?

What are the Islands of Phi Phi Archipelago

As stated in the previous section, the island we refer to as Phi Phi Island is actually an archipelago composed of six distinct islands. These islands are: 

1. Koh Phi Phi Don

This is the centre island of the archipelago and the largest one. Koh Phi Phi Don is the island that can provide tourists with restaurants, hotels, and shops and as such, will almost always have a crowd of people who are out and about.

To get the best view of the spectacular scenery of Koh Phi Phi Don, tourists can go to an elevated area on the island such as a hilltop and take in the calming view of coconut trees and the tranquil beach.

2. Koh Phi Phi Le

An uninhabited island 1.5 kilometres from Koh Phi Phi Don, Koh Phi Phi Le, consists of steep cliffs topped with some greenery dotted with coral areas and small beaches. Most tourists get to see this island via an arranged boat tour.

Tourists who want to do some snorkelling, sightseeing, and fish feeding can go to the island’s southern side to visit Loh Sama. On the other hand, travellers who want to relax on a white sandy beach with some snorkelling can visit Maya bay.

3. Koh Yung

Also called mosquito island for the throngs of mosquitoes that gather here during sunset, is another island tourists can visit for its surrounding coral reefs. This is a small island, though, and is basically considered a cliff out in the ocean.

The long stretch of its shoreline is rocky but there is a sandy portion where tourists can regroup before heading out for other activities. Koh Yung, however, offers some of the best views on the island with lush greenery juxtaposed against the ocean’s blue waters.

4. Koh Mai Phai

Koh Mai Phai, also known as the bamboo island, is a strip of beach with white sand and trees. The trees that make up this island’s greenery include bamboo trees (as the name implies) and casuarinas trees.

This heart-shaped island may just be 700 metres long but its relaxing vegetation, idyllic beach, and bar that can serve snacks and drinks make it one of the most enticing tourist spots in Thailand.

5. Koh Pida Nok

This island located in the outer portion of the Phi Phi archipelago is considered one of the best diving spots in Thailand. This is mostly due to the fantastic variety of its dive sites which include caves, walls, sloping reefs, and sandy bottoms.

Koh Pida Nok also features a number of unique marine life. These include moray eels, sea snakes, sea turtles, rare leopard sharks, blacktip reef sharks, and whale sharks.

6.  Koh Phi Phi Le

This island was the site of the famous Hollywood movie, The Beach, starring Leonardo DiCaprio. The choice to do the film here is a testament to how this tropical paradise evokes adventure, mystery, and nature’s splendour.

Koh Phi Phi Le is made up of cliff edges and is home to the Viking Caves, a historical site where ancient pirates were believed to have stayed thousands of years ago. Tourists can also do some rock climbing and snorkelling on this island.

How To Go From Phuket To Phi Phi Island

How To Go From Phuket To Phi Phi Island

Most tourists who go to Thailand have Phi Phi Island as part of their itinerary. There are a number of ways to get from Phuket to Phi Phi Island. 

Before looking at the different transportation and transfer options from Phuket to Phi Phi Island, let’s look at some things to remember before going to Phi Phi Island.

  • Travellers who want to travel straight to Phi Phi Island from Phuket can do so directly from the airport. Phuket Airport’s baggage claim area should have a number of tour operators who can offer travellers tickets to Phi Phi Island. 

Better yet, tourists can also conveniently book their tickets to Phi Phi Island online.

  • Upon arrival at Koh Phi Phi, tourists are required to pay 20 THB and should prepare some change for this fee. This fee helps in the environmental care of the island and ensures the cleanliness of the area.
  • In terms of size, Koh Phi Phi island is not the largest. However, this tourist spot is one of the most popular spots in Thailand for tourist activities, shops, restaurants, and sightseeing.

As such, hotel accommodations can quickly get fully booked. Therefore, we recommend that prospective travellers book their hotel rooms in advance, preferably weeks before their arrival.

  • The main type of transportation that takes tourists from Phuket to Phi Phi Island is via boat or ferry. This can negatively affect travellers suffering from seasickness.

Before travelling by sea, tourists suffering from seasickness should take their medications at least thirty minutes before riding the boat or ferry to Phi Phi Island.

  • Lastly, tourists going to Phi Phi Island should consider travelling light as much as possible. This is because most hotels and tourist spots on this island are accessible either by longboat or on foot.

Travellers navigating this island will have an easier time if they have less stuff to 

lug around or baggage to worry about.

1. Phuket to Phi Phi Island Via Day Tour

Phuket to Phi Phi Island Via Day Tour

Most tourists who do not have enough time on their hands may opt to avail of a day tour package from Phuket. There are a ton of day tour packages to choose from but most of them will include a visit to Monkey Bay, Viking Cave, and Maya Bay.

For the more adventurous traveller, there are even certain tours that go as far as Mosquito Island (Koh Yung) and Bamboo Island (Koh Mai Phai). 

To get the most out of this day tour package, tourists can also avail of add-ons such as hotel pick-up and a visit to Phi Phi National Park.

Tripadvisorhttps://www.tripadvisor.com.ph/AttractionProductReview-g297930-d17682318-Phi_Phi_Islands_Day_Tour_from_Phuket-Patong_Kathu_Phuket.html 
Phi Phi Islands Day Tour Price1,964.00 THB
Duration9-12 Hours
What to ExpectSightseeing, snorkelling, and lunch

2. Phuket to Phi Phi Island via Ferry

Phuket to Phi Phi Island via Ferry

For budget-conscious travellers who don’t mind a slightly longer journey, travelling from Phuket to Phi Phi Island via ferry may be a viable option. 

The ferry departs the pier at Rassada and will usually take around five hours to reach Laem Tong Beach Pier on Phi Phi Island.  

Aside from being the more affordable option, taking the ferry will allow travellers to take the more scenic route. Travellers will most definitely appreciate the scenery and the fresh ocean breeze as they travel from one pier to another.

Tourists should take note, though, that ferry companies have different schedules. Therefore, it’s best to check your preferred travel time online.

Tripadvisorhttps://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g293920-d1887234-Reviews-Phi_Phi_Cruiser-Phuket.html 
Phi Phi Islands Ferry1,500 THB for Adults, 1,200 THB for kids 
DurationAround 2 Hours
What to ExpectSightseeing, swimming, lunch

3. Phuket to Phi Phi via Speedboat

Phuket to Phi Phi via Speedboat

If you don’t want the hassle of arranging hotel pick-ups and transferring from one pier to another, the speediest method to get from Phuket to Phi Phi is via speedboat. Return tickets usually cost around 1,500 THB while a one-way ticket to Phi Phi costs 750 THB.

It is recommended, however, to get the round trip ticket to and from Phi Phi as speedboat schedules returning to Phuket to get fully booked pretty fast despite ticket prices. This can be attributed to the speed and the convenience speed boats provide.

Travellers are also advised to prepare for earlier pickup times from the service van going to the speedboat waiting area. This is to give the van ample time to pick up other passengers waiting in other hotels or locations.

Lastly, travellers should also be aware of which pier they want to travel to when choosing their speedboat service provider. Tourists can opt to be dropped off at Laem Tong Beach Pier or Tonsai Pier.

Tourists who want less hustle and bustle on Phi Phi Island are advised to go to Laem Tong Beach Pier. 

On the other hand, those who want to be dropped off at the busier area of Phi Phi Island should choose Tonsai as this is where the shops and hotels are located.

Tripadvisorhttps://www.tripadvisor.com/AttractionProductReview-g293920-d11990474-Phi_Phi_Island_by_Premium_Speedboat_including_Buffet_Lunch_National_Park_Fees-Phuk.html 
Phi Phi Islands Speedboat2,700 THB
Duration11 Hours
What to ExpectSightseeing, swimming, snorkelling, buffet lunch

Best Time to Visit Phi Phi Island

Best Time to Visit Phi Phi Island

The best time to visit Thailand depends on which specific part of the country one wants to stay in or check out. For Phi Phi Island, though, it is clear that the best time to visit is when the weather is moderate- not too hot and not too wet.

As such, it is recommended that Phi Phi Island be visited by tourists from November to April. This is because of the less frequent rains and the more moderate temperature in the archipelago during this period.

In addition, sea conditions for travelling to and from the different islands in this area are much more ideal for tourists. 

Travellers should be aware though, that the said months are considered peak seasons for Phi Phi Island so tourists should expect higher hotel room prices and large crowds during this time. Hotels will mostly be fully booked as well.

Tourists can also visit Phi Phi Island during low seasons which run from March to October to get lower or discounted rates. This period usually does offer tourists the ideal weather to venture out into the islands due to frequent storms and rains.

Visitors planning to visit Phi Phi Island during the low seasons and when storms are prevalent should add a couple of days to their tour. This ensures that if and when their planned tour is cancelled, they can have it rescheduled to a different date.

The good news is that most of these storms happen at night and do not really affect morning tours that much. Also, most ferries don’t get held down by such storms as only longboats are generally affected by such weather.

Whichever season visitors choose to go to Phi Phi Island, they are sure to have a blast since both low and peak seasons have their own benefits to them that tourists can take advantage of.

What To Do on Phi Phi Island

Phi Phi Island is chock full of activities tourists can do once they visit this tropical paradise. Below are some of the things to do when on Phi Phi Island:

1. Go scuba diving to explore the reefs and wrecks.

Go scuba diving to explore the reefs and wrecks.

One of the most prevalent activities on Phi Phi Island is diving. It is no longer surprising then that this tourist haven has a number of scuba centres offering various levels of scuba diving activities – from beginners all the way up to advanced divers.

Some of the more popular diving sites include the King Cruiser Wreck, Anemone Reef, Nai, Koh Bida Nok, and Maya Bay.

2. Brave the heights by cliff jumping.

Brave the heights by cliff jumping.

Another thrilling activity tourists can try out when on Phi Phi Island is cliff jumping. With some of the best jumping spots located on this island, travellers can enjoy something more exciting when they jump into the clear waters surrounding the island.

However, this activity entails some risks, and travellers are advised to join an organised tour if they decide to include this in their itinerary. They can also choose to do lower cliff jumps while they are getting the hang of it.

3. Conquer the cliffs and go rock climbing.

Conquer the cliffs and go rock climbing.

The cliff formations on the island may have provided some good jumping spots for tourists but the walls of the said cliffs offered something unique to travellers as well!  This is because the island also offers rock climbing to tourists looking for excitement.

Krabi is one of the popular climbing spots on the island with its tall cliffs composed of limestone. Another famous spot is Tonsai Tower which offers different levels of rock climbing challenges for novice and expert climbers.

3. Explore the beauty of the deep and go snorkelling.

Explore the beauty of the deep and go snorkelling.

Phi Phi Island offers some of the best snorkelling spots in the world. Long Beach has ‘Shark Point’ for those who want to see some ‘pacifists’ and harmless sharks, the blacktip reef shark.

Another unique snorkelling site in Phi Phi is Hin Klang. This area allows tourists to enjoy snorkelling on a portion of the beach with beautiful coral reef formations that don’t stick out of the water’s surface.

4. Enjoy the thrill of the chase by fishing.

Enjoy the thrill of the chase by fishing.

Phi Phi Island allows fishing but follows a strict rule of catch and release which means tourists can’t kill or keep those they catch. However, those who are in for the excitement of catching fish should find fishing on Phi Phi Island to be extremely enjoyable.

Travellers who choose to do some fishing here will encounter various kinds of fish. These include sailfish, giant trevally, black marlin, and wahoos.

5. Be an adventurer and take on kayaking.

Be an adventurer and take on kayaking.

Kayaking may not be a whole-day activity and is only offered as an add-on to other major tourist activities such as snorkelling. However, kayaking can be a thrilling endeavour as it allows tourists to better explore a specific area of the Island.

Where to Stay on Phi Phi Island

Where to Stay on Phi Phi Island

After a day of touring the islands, travellers can stay at different hotels and accommodations Phi Phi Island has to offer. Below are the top four areas to stay at when visiting the island.

1. Long Beach

Best For:Families
Top Accommodations:Paradise Pearl Bungalows, Viking Nature Resort, and Phi Phi the Beach Resort
Activities:Swimming, snorkelling, kayaking, and getting a Thai Massage
Insider Tip:Those who want to enjoy a more vibrant nightlife can simply proceed to Tonsai Village which is just five minutes away from Long Beach via longboat

This area is located in Phi Phi Island’s southwestern area and is said to be home to the whitest and softest sand on the island. It is ideal for families due to its wholesome and varied activities such as diving and snorkelling and its relatively quieter evenings.

2.  Laem Thong 

Best For:Tourists who want to hang out and relax
Top Accommodations:Zeavola Resort, Phi Phi Holiday Resort, Phi Phi Natural Resort
Activities:Water sports such as beach volleyball, scuba diving, kayaking, snorkelling, and taking up Thai cooking classes
Insider Tip:Travellers should book a hotel to gain access to some sun loungers for that perfect relaxing day at the beach. 

Laem Thong is located at the northeast end of Phi Phi Island and requires a boat ride to reach it. While the island provides opportunities for water sports, it is an idyllic fisherman’s village that is perfect for its laid-back environs and its peace and quiet.

3. Loh Dalum 

Best For:Budget-Conscious Travellers
Top Accommodations:Dee Dee Sea Front, Phi Phi TonSai Place, Sweed Dee Hotel
Activities:Night parties, pool parties, bar-hopping, and swimming
Insider Tip:Loh Dalum is the ideal place to be for those who want to enjoy some fire shows and try out some Muay Thai moves.

Loh Dalum is a place to visit for foreigners on a budget. While it can offer what most other areas can offer such as white beaches, lively nightlife, and fantastic hotels and shops, the area does so with great value for money and affordability.

4. Ton Sai Village

Best For:First Time Travellers
Top Accommodations:Tinidee Hideaway Tonsai Beach Krabi, Tonsai Bay Resort, Chill Out Bar and Bungalows
Activities:Rock climbing, kayaking, island hopping, getting a Thai Massage
Insider Tip:Kayaking to secluded beaches in TonSai can provide tourists with some serene swimming and sightseeing opportunities.

For those visiting Phi Phi Island for the first time, it is recommended that they stay in Ton Sai Village. Considered the heart of the island, Ton Sai Village can provide visitors with everything the Island has to offer such as beaches, tours, restaurants, and hotels.

Where to Eat on Phi Phi Island

Where to Eat on Phi Phi Island

Traditional Thai restaurants are some of the ideal places to eat when on Phi Phi Island. For tourists who want to savour genuine Thai dishes, below are some suggested restaurants.

1. Grand PP Arcade Restaurant

Address104/16 moo. 7 T. Ao Nang, Krabi, Thailand, Krabi
Websitehttps://www.facebook.com/GrandPPArcade
Contact Details+66 80 538 2608
Operating HoursTemporarily Closed
Insider TipMeal servings can be quite big so check with the server first if the menu item is for sharing.

This restaurant has a great ambiance and offers a great lineup of western and traditional Thai food. It’s a newly built restaurant but it is already raking in a lot of excellent reviews owing to its fantastic service and superb menu.

2. The Mango Garden

AddressAo Nang, Mueang Krabi District, Krabi 81000, Thailand
Websitehttps://facebook.com/themangogarden
Contact Details+66 95 250 3954
Operating Hours8:00 AM to 9:00 PM, Monday to Sunday
Insider TipTry their dessert sampler to get a variety of mango infused sweets.

Mango is a popular local fruit in Thailand used as a main component or ingredient for desserts and shakes. The Mango garden uses mangoes in ingenious ways, preparing various cocktails, juices, and desserts based on the said fruit.

3. Phi Phi Bakery

AddressAo Nang, Mueang Krabi District, Krabi 81000, Thailand
Websitehttps://www.facebook.com/phiphibakery/
Contact Details+66 75 601 017
Operating Hours7:00 AM to 5:00 PM, Monday to Sunday
Insider TipAside from local pastries, tourists can also try their western menu item composed of eggs, bacon, and toast.

For tourists looking to enjoy some homemade comfort food such as cakes, burgers, and croissants, Phi Phi Bakery may be the ideal place. This bakery has been in the business since 1989 and can get quite crowded due to its status as a national monument.

4. Mama Resto

Address199, Moo 7 Mama Beach Residence, Krabi Town 81210 Thailand
Websitehttp://mama-beach.com/bar-et-restaurant/
Contact Details+66 88 443 1363
Operating Hours11:00 AM to 10:00 PM, Monday to Sunday
Insider TipSome of the restaurant’s best tasting dishes include their Tom Kha and black olive and goat cheese tapenade.

Mama Resto allows customers to enjoy a meal with a beautiful view of the ocean. This remarkable view of the bay is coupled with the delicious menu offerings of the restaurant which is a fusion of Thai and French cuisine.

5. Oasis Bar and Restaurant

Addressเกาะพีพีดอน Mueang Krabi District, Krabi 81000, Thailand
Websitehttps://www.facebook.com/oasis.pp/
Contact Details+66 82 801 4704
Operating Hours10:00 AM to 10:00 PM, Monday to Sunday
Insider TipGuests should try out this bar’s Thai beef and green curry for a delicious and traditional meal.

Tourists looking to feast on traditional Thai cuisine for breakfast, lunch, or dinner should check out what Oasis Bar and Restaurant has to offer. Aside from serving international and local food items, their seafood offerings are also quite top-notch and in demand.

Where to Party on Phi Phi Island

Where to Party on Phi Phi Island

Partying in Phi Phi Island is as varied and interesting as they come. In fact, tourists can choose between four kinds of setup based on their party preferences and these are boat parties, pool parties, town bars and rooftops, and beach parties with a fire show.

Boat parties should be experienced by Phi Phi Island tourists at least once for them to get that ultimate party vibe of the island. Bars that offer these kinds of parties include Pirate Boat and  Bob’s Booze Cruise.

On the other hand, pool parties are designed to gather guests around a pool area to meet new people and enjoy having a drink while in and around the pool. For those interested in such parties, check out what Princess Pool and Ibiza have to offer.

Lastly, tourists can enjoy an energetic and vibrant beach party with a fire show and some fun games like musical chairs, limbo, and skipping rope. Beach parties are offered by groups or bars such as  Hippie’s Bar, Carlito’s Bar Phi Phi, Slinky’s, and Stones Bar

Traveler’s Tips When Visiting Phi Phi Island

When travelling to Phi Phi Island, tourists should take the following tips into consideration:

  • ATMs and Banks- It is best to withdraw money or do bank transactions while in Tonsai Village since banks and ATMs are not as prevalent once tourists reach the east coast of the island.
  • Electrical Plugs and Outlets- Phi Phi Island uses either US 2-Pin Plugs or 220V European-style Plugs. Fortunately, shops commonly have adapters for sale.
  • Hospitals and Clinics- Phi Phi has some medical clinics, a general hospital, and an international-standard hospital to address emergencies and minor ailments.
  • Thai Etiquette and Culture- Tourists are advised to return the “wai” or the traditional Thai gesture of greeting, dress modestly when not on the beach, and try to always be polite.

FAQs about Phi Phi Island

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