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.

Ready To Book Your Trip To Thailand?

Use Skyscanner to search thousands of flights for the best deals.

Agoda is a great site to find discounted rooms around the world.

Viator has biggest selection of excursions from group tours to day activities.

Thailand Travel Videos

Recommended Travel Gear

Related Posts

Top 8 Attractions In Kyoto

Kyoto is an ethereal city that's packed with over 1600 shrines and temples, countless beautiful Zen gardens and more history than you could…

Off The Beaten Track In Japan

Most travelers visiting Japan follow the popular tourist circuit which takes them through Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka and do day trips to…

The Essential Chiang Mai Experiences

There's a reason why all travelers sing praise to Chiang Mai. It's the perfect tourist destination. It's a place that invites you to dig…

Zipling With The Flying Hanuman

I have deadly fear of heights. It's an irrational fear that I've struggled with all my life. I've frequently tried to face it head on,…

Top Festivals You Must Experience In Thailand

One the great joys from my visit to Thailand was being able to witness the lantern lighting festival. To see it in person, was more…

The Meoto Iwa Scam

I never intended to visit Meoto Iwa, but I was conned into going by the Japanese Tourism office. I like to think that I'm a sophisticated…

10 Reasons You Need To Visit Thailand Right Now

Thailand is simply amazing. It's a magnet for backpackers, families and the rich, all looking to escape their mundane lives. In Thailand…

Island Hopping, Binge Drinking And Playing With Fire In Ko Phi Phi

The ferry finally arrived into Ko Phi Phi. As we neared the main island we pass smaller islets that are stunningly beautiful. Their tall…

Thailand Itinerary

Thailand is one of the most popular destinations in South East Asia and a cornerstone in the backpacker's trail through this part of the…

48 Hours In Kyoto

In my travels around the world, Kyoto as a city stands out from almost every other place I've visited. It's a historical and cultural…

Your Guide To Hiroshima: A City Reborn

A visit Hiroshima is a moving experience. Historically Hiroshima occupies a dark chapter in our world's history. It's infamously known for…