Ko Phi Phi Travel Guide

Ko Phi Phi is an archipelago in the province of Krabi. The main island (Ko Phi Phi Don) is the only island with permanent inhabitants. Surrounding Phi Phi Don are secondary islands (the biggest being Ko Phi Phi Leh) which serve as popular tourist attractions. Phi Phi is arguably the most well known island in Thailand. Its fame can be attributed to the movie “The Beach”, which was shot on Maya Bay.

Phi Phi is also known as a major party destination. You’ll find countless bars, tattoo parlors and nightly beach parties with fireshows attended by drunk partiers. The island gets awfully loud and wild. Central Phi Phi Don definitely isn’t suited for family vacationers.

 

How To Get There

Ferry Service

Ferry Service is the most popular mode of transport to Phi Phi. These are vessels travel 46 km from Krabi or Phuket to reach Phi Phi. Travel time is around 90 minutes and tickets cost around 400 THB. The latest information can be found on the Ferry Website  For you convenience I copied the ferry schedule below. Always double check on the Ferry Website for the latest information.

Speedboat Service

You can also charter a private speedboat to travel from/to Phi Phi. The departure and drop-off points are more flexible. The speedboat generally takes 45 minutes to cover the travel distance. Obviously this is more expensive, but if you’re traveling in a group then it could represent excellent value for cost.
 


Where To Stay

When coming to Phi Phi where you stay will greatly impact your experience. Below are your choices:

  • Central area of Ko Phi Phi Don: located between Tonsai Bay (where the ferry pier is situated) to the south and Loh Dalum to the north. This is where you’ll find most of the budget friendly accommodations. It’s also where you’ll find the bars, nightclubs and almost everything else.
    • Recommended For: Backpackers and anyone who wants to stay close to the party scene.
    • Not Suited For: Families or anyone who cherishes peace and quite.
  • Laem Thong (Golden Bay): located in northern part of the island. This area is isolated with only a select number of resorts and it’s near a small fisherman’s village. The only activities revolve around the beaches and what is available in the resorts. This is the exact opposite of Phi Phi Don, this is perfect place for a relaxing holiday and honeymooners.
    • Note: If you plan on visiting Phi Phi Don from Laem Thong, then you’ll need to take a longtail boat which takes 30 -40 minutes. You also may have a hard time finding transportation back to Laem Thong at night.
    • Recommended For: Honeymooners and anyone looking to get away from it all.
    • Not Suited For: With limited dining and party options, it’s not suited for anyone looking to let loose.
  • Long Beach: located on the Eastern end of Tonsai Bay. It offers a few bungalow resorts and you’ll find the peace and quiet to enjoy a relaxed vacation. But there’s few restaurants and no nightlife options. Unlike Laem Thong it’s only a short longboat ride to center of town (5 minutes).
    • Recommended For: Anyone looking for a quite environment with close proximity to Phi Phi Don.
    • Not Suited For: Like Laem Thong, this is not a good fit for anyone looking to stay close to the nightlife.


Top Attractions

The Nightlife: First and foremost, Phi Phi Don is party central. There’s lots of bars, live bands, fire shows and massive beach parties to choose from. Plus, the alcohol flows freely on the island, mostly in buckets.

Maya Bay: This is an iconic beach that was immortalized in the movie “The Beach”.  Maya Bay is accessible as part of the longtail boats island hopping tours. Overrun with tourists, it’s definitely a showstopper, just don’t expect the movie experience. You”ll be sharing the beach with lots and lots of people.

Bamboo Island: This is another beautiful beach that’s great place to enjoy snorkeling and sunbathing. But the day I visited it was quite crowded and cramped.

Monkey Beach: This is a popular attraction where tourists can interact with a colony of monkeys.

Scuba Diving: Phi Phi is in an excellent location to experience a wide variety of dive sites. Some of the most popular sites include: Shark Point, Anemone Reef and the King Cruiser Wreck., Hin Muang, Maya Bay, Koh Bida Nok and Nai.

Phi Phi Viewpoint: It’s a 20 minute hike to Phi Phi View point, but once you reach the summit you’ll get eagle eye views of Phi Phi Don and Leh.

Rock Climbing: With its tall limestone towers, Phi Phi is a rock climbers paradise. There are several operators to choose from including: Spider Monkey, Ibex Rock Climbing, and Deaf Gecko Rock.

Island Hopping on a Longtail Boat: Most of the longtail boat tours cover the main attractions of Maya and Bamboo beaches, Mosquito island for snorkeling and monkey island where you’ll get to mingle with a colony of monkeys. These are full day tours.

Go On A Booze Cruise: This is the drunk cousin of the longtail boat tours. Hop on Captain Bob’s Booze cruise, which serves unlimited beer, while cruising around the islands . You’ll get to snorkel, do some cliff jumping and lounge on beaches.