Saturday, April 1, 2023

Koh Phi Phi Islands – The Ultimate Guide of a Thailand Paradise


Koh Phi Phi is a small archipelago of six islands located in the region of Krabi, in southern Thailand, and which are part of the Mu Koh Phi Phi Nopparathara National Park. This archipelago is considered one of the most beautiful in the world, with its tropical beaches of very fine white sand and turquoise water, its cliffs, its coral reefs, and its exotic marine fauna. Discover in this Koh Phi Phi guide everything about these islands.

This wonderful enclave is one of the best-known destinations in Thailand and as such offers all the services that the tourist could wish for, and a wide range of activities and leisure. One of the great advantages of Phi Phi is that it is capable of offering very different experiences for each type of tourist; from luxury resorts to simple bungalows, from lively nightlife to isolated beaches where you can relax lying in a hammock.

Koh Phi Phi became popular in the early 1990s when hordes of backpackers began to arrive on these islands attracted by the reputation of being one of the most idyllic paradises on the planet. Mass tourism settled when Phi Phi Leh was the setting for Leonardo di Caprio’s movie “The Beach”. These islands became world-famous, and the large hotels, tour packages and excursions from neighboring Krabi and Phuket multiplied exponentially.

Of the six islands that make up the archipelago, only Koh Phi Phi Don offers accommodation possibilities. The rest, despite being uninhabited, receive a significant number of visitors every day on organized excursions. Unfortunately, the irregular urban development of Phi Phi Don and a large number of hikers to these islands threaten to end this idyllic spot.

At the moment the urban development of Phi Phi Don is limited almost exclusively to the bays of Ao Ton Sai and Ao Lo Dalam. In the rest of the island’s beaches, there are hardly any luxury resorts or low-budget bungalow complexes.

It should also be noted that it is still possible to visit Phi Phi Leh from Phi Phi Don by hiring a Long Tail and making the visit at times of the day when the excursions have not yet started or have already finished their circuit.

Do you want to know more about the tropical beauty of Phi Phi? Well, join me on this journey!

How to get to Koh Phi Phi Islands?

Thailand has an excellent transport system, as it is one of the Asian countries with the largest tourism industry, so there are always several and different options to choose from, which depend on the budget, tastes and travel experience that you want to live. In this sense, the island, being one of the main Thai tourist destinations, has excellent and interesting options to move around the entire province.

To get to Phuket or Krabi, you can use the plane, both have an airport that connects them to the main destinations in Thailand, or the bus that is very popular with low-budget travelers traveling from Bangkok. Phuket has no rail connection, but Krabi has a nearby train station located in Trang.

You will have no problem hiring a trip from anywhere in Thailand to Phuket or Krabi, or even to Phi Phi with all transfers. Just go to any travel agency. Most likely, your hotel or guesthouse will also be able to arrange the necessary connections to reach Koh Phi Phi.

You will also have no problem organizing your trip on your own. If you travel by bus or train, go to the relevant stations and buy your tickets right there. You can also buy the ferry ticket at the pier from which you travel to Koh Phi Phi. If you travel by plane, the best option is to use a flight search engine to help you compare prices, schedules, and airlines.

From Phuket to Koh Phi Phi

The pier for ferries to Koh Phi Phi is located in the south-eastern part of Phuket Town. There are quite a few ferries and speedboats that cover this line. The cheapest tickets you will find cost between 250 – 350 bahts and the journey takes just under 2 hours.

From Krabi to Koh Phi Phi

The ferries from Krabi to Phi Phi depart from a pier located at 4 km from the center of Krabi. In high season, there are at least four ferries a day and several speedboats, while in the low season, they are reduced to two ferries per day. The price will be around 300 bahts and the journey takes an hour and a half. The agencies that sell you the ticket will also facilitate transportation to the pier for free.

From Ao Nang (and Riley) to Koh Phi Phi

From November to May, there is a boat that covers the Ao Nang – Riley – Koh Phi Phi route leaving early in the morning and returning at noon. The boat leaves Ao Nang, picks up passengers at Riley, and continues to Phi Phi. The trip costs 400 bahts and the journey takes approximately two hours.

From Ko Lanta to Koh Phi Phi

From Ko Lanta to Koh Phi Phi, there are two daily ferries in the day in high season. The trip costs 450 bahts and the journey takes two hours.

From Suratthani

There you can first take a bus that will take you to Krabi and then take the ferry.

From Bangkok

By land, you can get to Krabi, taking the bus that leaves from the bus station in Sai Tai Mai, also by train to Suratthani, and from there take the bus to Krabi and then take the ferry.

Note: The prices are approximate and may undergo major changes depending on the season, the schedule, and the type of boat you take. On the other hand, do not trust the schedules and the prices that you can see in the travel guides since these change often.

What is the Weather Like?

The weather in Ko Phi Phi is very similar to that of tropical areas, in which there are only two seasons, the hot season from January to April, and the rainy season from May to December. The winds change as the season blows from the southwest to the northwest of the country. The temperature ranges between 16.9 and 37.3 degrees Celsius. The climate is warm and constant throughout the year, which makes this place a tropical paradise.

In the month of September, the humidity is still present in the islands, since the rain falls for 19 days, it is also possible that thunderstorms occur, which are usually brief but very strong, especially at night and in the afternoon. The temperature ranges from 24º C at night and up to 31º C during the day. Furthermore, the water temperature is 28º C. The sun rises around five hours a day in Koh Phi Phi.

The Islands of Koh Phi Phi Islands?

Koh Phi Phi Don

Koh Phi Phi Islands – The Ultimate Guide of a Thailand Paradise
Image Credits: Wikipedia

It is the largest of the islands and the only one where there are possibilities to stay. The island’s tourist life is concentrated on the isthmus where Ton Sai is located. Hotels, supermarkets, shops, restaurants, bars, and nightclubs are concentrated in this lively little town. For those looking for quieter places, all they have to do is choose any of the other areas of the island.

Koh Phi Phi Leh

Koh Phi Phi Islands – The Ultimate Guide of a Thailand Paradise
Image Credits: Wikipedia

It is the second-largest island in this archipelago. Like the rest of the islands except for Phi Phi Don, it is uninhabited. Get ready to share it with hundreds of tourists, especially Maya Beach, the beach where the film that immortalized it was shot.

Bamboo Island (Koh Mai Phai)

Koh Phi Phi Islands – The Ultimate Guide of a Thailand Paradise

It is a coral island with palm trees and white sand beaches and crystal clear waters perfect for bathing. There are usually far fewer tourists than at Maya Beach. It is enough to move a little away from the point where all the speedboats dock to find an isolated corner where you can bathe and sunbathe.

Mosquito Island (Koh Yung)

Koh Phi Phi Islands – The Ultimate Guide of a Thailand Paradise
Image Credits: Trip Advisor

The name has nothing to do with the presence of mosquitoes. It is a small islet with a wonderful beach and abundant coral.

Bida Noc and Bida Nai

Koh Phi Phi Islands – The Ultimate Guide of a Thailand Paradise
Image Credits: phuket

They are two tiny coral islets with abundant marine life, very popular for scuba diving.

​The best beaches in Koh Phi Phi Islands

If you want to enjoy the best beaches in Phi Phi, let me tell you that, in this area, you will find a turquoise sea bathed in sun, very white sands and exotic vegetation. You must enjoy the following beaches on Phi Phi Island. Below, we will leave you a brief description of the best beaches:

Maya Bay

Koh Phi Phi Islands – The Ultimate Guide of a Thailand Paradise
Image Credits: phuket

It is the most visited beach because it became a reference site, due to the fact that the movie “The Beach” was recorded. It is a small and enchanting one that dazzles its visitors by the whiteness of the sands and the transparency of the waters, in which you can see limestone mountains, which are full of vegetation and some caves to explore. This beach can be reached by boat or kayak from Phi Phi Don.

Ton Sai Bay

Koh Phi Phi Islands – The Ultimate Guide of a Thailand Paradise
Image Credits: phuket

Here is the main port that you can get by ferry from Krabi or Phuket. Here most of the hotels are located. This beach is surrounded by dense vegetation and tourist establishments. Also to the south are very good diving sites.

Lo Bakao Beach

Koh Phi Phi Islands – The Ultimate Guide of a Thailand Paradise
Image Credits: phuket

This beach is located on the east coast of the island, which is sheltered by the winds in the months of May and November, the mountains serve as shelter, so this beach maintains an apparent calm.

Rantee beach

This place is excellent to rest and swim calmly, avoiding the crowds of Maya Bay or Tonsai Bay. There you can have a delicious meal or take a bath in the sea. Here you can also find some fishermen who come to this beach, tourist boats almost do not come here.

Mosquito island

You can hire a tour in Railay, where you can enjoy a calm atmosphere, and you can get there through a Long Tail. You can enjoy its calm waters of a crystalline blue, you can also see the fish of various colors, right on the shore of the beach.

Monkey Island

This beach has its greatest attraction in the macaques that can be seen climbing in the mountains, they also usually approach tourists in search of food. This beach is also good for diving. It is one of the places where tourist boats stop, to observe the natural beauty. It is advisable not to get too close to monkeys because they are wild and can bite.

What to see in Koh Phi Phi Islands?

There are many places to go to see on the Phi Phi Island such as visiting Koh Phi Phi Leh, which is one of the most typical excursions that exists in this tourist complex. Where you can enjoy the busy Maya Beach, Pileh Lagoon and the well-known Viking Cave. Another place is to visit the Koh PhiPhi Don Island, which has places that you should not miss such as Long Beach, Monkey Beach and Phi Phi View Point.

Koh Phi Phi Islands – The Ultimate Guide of a Thailand Paradise
Viking Cave – Image Credits: phuket

In Phi Phi, you can make excursions to know all the islands, likewise, you can practice diving, although without a doubt to do this activity in Thailand the best island of all is Koh Tao or Koh Lipe, known as the cradle of diving in the country.

The Krabi province is the mecca for rock climbing in southern Thailand, it has high limestone cliffs that are authentic natural monuments, you can enjoy places like Tonsai beach or the Diamond Cave in Railay and of course, that the island of Phi Phi Don is only 42 km from Krabi, so it has the same topography and you can enjoy climbing too. At the western end of Tonsai Bay, you can find the “Tonsai Tower” that it is a paradise for climbers, you can enjoy a 200m tower with 48 different climbing routes for all levels of difficulty, you can also hire courses to learn how to climb. An area full of adventure, right?

Koh Phi Phi Islands – The Ultimate Guide of a Thailand Paradise
Image Credits: Phi Phi island Climbers

Phi Phi is H-shaped and its main village would be on the horizontal bar, a 100-meter strip of sand trapped between Dalum Bay to the north and Tonsai Bay to the south, the two vertical bars of the H are mountainous and jungle-covered areas, the island’s viewpoint is located east of the flat strip of sand, overlooking the town and the two bays, views that will impress you and make you stop for a few minutes to enjoy the little pleasures of life.

The Bamboo Island or Koh Phai in Thai is one of the six islands belonging to the archipelago of Phi Phi in Thailand. Bamboo Island is a tropical dream come true, with 600 meters wide and 700 meters long island is completely surrounded by a strip of white sand and in the center of the island, you will find all kinds of tropical vegetation including the bamboo trees that give this island its name.

What can you do on Bamboo Island? You can perfectly spend a whole day on the island, it has some perfect coral reefs for diving located a short distance from the coast. You have excursions both day and night (you can sleep in tents) that you can hire on the island Main (Don) or visit it from Krabi on a day trip by speedboat.

You can also enjoy the beaches on the east coast, Koh Phi Phi Don was until recently an underdeveloped place, in fact, every time I visit the Thai islands I see that in the area there are more and more houses and buildings, whether they are new restaurants, guesthouses or cocktail bars for tourists who come to the island every day, there are areas of the island where the building is not easy because there are no roads to facilitate this task, but even so, some entrepreneurs have dared to do so. Today, we can enjoy the Bay Moo Dee, the Bay Rantee or bay Phak Nam among others, you will have the opportunity to dive and relax in nature, you can get there by boat or if you are an athlete doing trekking through the jungle with a guide.

The adventures on the pirate island are three attractions in an old two-story house that has been renovated in such a way that it looks like a pirate shipwreck, it is located diagonally in front of the restaurant Le Grand Bleu about 50 meters from the main pier of Koh Phi Phi Don. The three highlights are an electronic shooting range with vintage pistols and muskets, a 5D moving theater, and 250m² of a haunted house that can scare and amuse children and adults alike with old tricks and special effects, something definitely fun and an experience worth living. Opening Hours: 11: 00-23: 00

In the area where many tourists attracted by the beauty of its beaches and waters congregate with both tourism, it is evident that the v round nocturn to the island is also taken into account, enjoy plenty of nightclubs on the beach where you can have a drink on a lounger while you listen to chill music or watch a fire show among other things. The entire beach is full of places to burn the night and meet other travelers with whom to share stories or have a drink, also throughout Phi Phi Don you will find lots of pubs where you can have a drink and listen to good music.

What to do in Koh Phi Phi Islands?

These islands have no great monuments or temples to visit, yet they have unmatched natural beauty and offer a wide range of activities. We suggest some of the most interesting things to do in Phi Phi :

Scuba diving and snorkeling

The waters and abundant marine life of Koh Phi Phi make it an ideal destination for scuba diving and snorkeling.


There are several points where you can practice yoga whatever your level.


Its cliffs are very attractive to rock climbing lovers. There are several stores to rent equipment, hire a guide, or take some lessons.


Its coastlines flanked by cliffs and paradisiacal beaches are ideal to be explored by kayak.

Spa and massages

In this respect, Koh Phi Phi is not different than any other destination in Thailand, and here you can also find good spas and enjoy relaxing massages.

Enjoy your nightlife

In Koh Phi Phi, there are no great nightclubs like in Bangkok, Phuket or Pattaya but still and everything has a fun and very lively nightlife.

Best Tours and Excursions in Phi Phi

To know all the natural attractions of the Phi Phi Islands, I recommend that you take an excursion and take diving courses with the best of the schools in the area So you can know the beaches, the caves, the limestone mountains and all the attractions offered by this tourist complex.

Phi Phi islands tour from Krabi

It is one of the most beautiful places in all of Thailand; white sand, crystal clear waters, snorkeling with tropical fish …

Enjoy a day trip around the islands enjoying places like Bamboo Island or the Viking Caves, enjoy a buffet on the beach and tropical fruits.

It is important to highlight that Koh Phi Phi Lee is one of the most important and famous islands, as it was the setting for the movie “The Beach”.

James Bond Islands Tour

This famous and popular island is located in Phang Na Bay and includes canoe explorations in the caves and cliffs of islands like Tapi and Thalu, James Bond Island is definitely a must-see if you are going to spend your vacation in Thailand.

Koh Phi Phi Islands – The Ultimate Guide of a Thailand Paradise
Image Credits: Phuket Tours Direct

It is a magical place that appears in all the tropical postcards around the world, a beautiful bay where you can enjoy a bath and some views that you can only find here.

Where to eat in Phi Phi

Many resorts and guesthouses have their own restaurant. Also in Tong Sai, there are quite a few reasonably priced restaurants serving Thai and Western food. You eat acceptably well but don’t expect to find high-quality restaurants.

Most recommended restaurants in Phi Phi

Restaurants to enjoy a good Thai breakfast, a preferential lunch or dinner are all available from the moment you arrive in Phi Phi, a Thai community with a good tourist scene.

Restaurant recommendations to go daily for its good prices

1- Oasis restaurant Phi Phi Island

It is identified as a great establishment to enjoy excellent Thai and Asian foods such as noodles with prawns and vegetables, as well as tasting them in a phenomenal atmosphere that will make you remember the people, forever.
Address: Ao Loh Bagao | behind Phi Phi Island Village hotel, Ko Phi Phi Don, Thailand

2- Grand PP Arcade

there is a great variety of foods offered in this restaurant, in which its specialty is Thai dishes such as rice noodles with seafood, among other European menus accompanied by exclusive salads and in good portions. It is a place not to underestimate!
Address: 104/16 Moo. 7 | Ao Nang Subdistrict, Ko Phi Phi Don 81210, Thailand

3- Garlic 1992

The most authentic Thai and Asian dishes, you will find them in Garlic 1992 on the Phi Phi island, a traditional food spot, at prices that you will not want to miss.
Address: 131 Moo 7, Ko Phi Phi Don, Thailand

Recommendations for luxurious restaurants and high-quality food

1.- Anna’s Restaurant

They have surprised the most demanding tastes with their duck menu with green curry and their reputation is increasing with the quality of all their meals.
Address: 111, Moo 7 | Koh Phi Phi, Ko Phi Phi Don 810000, Thailand

2- Acqua Restaurant Koh Phi Phi

Accompanied by authentic decoration, you have the option to fully enjoy this fantastic restaurant with the best Thai food and European menus such as the large smoked salmon sandwich, at all hours of the day.
Address: 125/18 Moo 7, Ko Phi Phi Don 81210, Thailand

3- Unni’s Restaurant

Good price and excellent menus are what Unni’s Restaurant offers, at first glance, you will have what is a pleasant restaurant with exquisite flavors in its specialty that is Pad Thai, this being the preferred Thai food and also the Mexican menus. Be sure to try it!
Address: 125/36 Moo 7, Ko Phi Phi Don, Thailand

Nightlife and Leisure: What you can find at night

All of Koh Phi Phi’s nightlife is concentrated in Tong Sai. There are no great nightclubs or amazing clubs like you can find in other parts of Thailand, but still and all the Phi Phi night is quite lively. The beach hosts a number of parties.

Where to Sleep in Koh Phi Phi

Only the island of Koh Phi Phi Don offers accommodation possibilities. Most hotels and guesthouses are concentrated on the isthmus between Ao Ton Sai and Ao Lo Dalam. This area is quite noisy so find out about the situation of your accommodation and if it is well soundproofed or not.

There are other quieter areas on the island such as Hat Yao Beach or all those on the east coast of the island.

Keep in mind that Phi Phi Don is very popular but very small. Its size also conditions its hotel offer, which is insufficient for the demand. It is absolutely necessary to book well in advance especially in high season where there is not a free bed left. Forget about showing up on the island without accommodation.

You can check the offers on this link:


The shopping possibilities are limited to basic items and the typical souvenirs that are sold throughout Thailand. In Koh Phi Phi, there is nothing worth buying. Book your purchases for other parts of the country where you will find much more variety and better prices.

Map of the Phi Phi islands

Below we offer you a map of Phi Phi so that you can have a complete guide to the entire island and each of the most important tourist points so that you do not miss any of them and you can access each one with the greatest ease and comfort. You can see it every time you need it, so we invite you to save it in your bookmarks.
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