Koh Phi Phi

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The Phi Phi Islands Overview

Phi Phi Island

The Phi Phi islands are a cluster of smaller islands in the Andaman sea.

Ko Phi Phi Don and Ko Phi Phi Le are the two biggest and most often visited islands in the cluster. But apart from the main islands, there is also Bida Nok, Bida Nai, and Ko Mai Phai (Bamboo Island). These are small and less frequently visited.

These islands became famous after featuring in the film ‘The Beach’ in 2000, and in 2004 they were devastated by the Indian Ocean Tsunami. However, since then they have been rebuilt and restored to their previous stunning beauty.

The Phi Phi Islands are located in southern Thailand, about 800 kilometres from Bangkok, 46 kilometres from Phuket, and 40 kilometres from Krabi.

The Phi Phi Islands is a stunning location, perfect for visitors who enjoy beautiful beaches, tropical fish, beautiful scenery, and exciting things like fire shows.

When To Go To The Phi Phi Islands

Koh Phi Phi is part of Krabi province in southern Thailand and is close to Phuket. As a result, the weather in the Phi Phi Islands is similar to the weather in Phuket or Krabi Town. Many people reach the Phi Phi Islands via ferries or long-tail boats.

The Phi Phi Islands have some of the most beautiful beaches in the country. Many travel agents recommend it as a popular holiday destination for tourists, but navigating the weather and deciding on a time for visiting Phi Phi can be tricky. Read on for a guide on when to go to the Phi Phi Islands.

Hot Season (Humid Season)

The hottest months of the year come right before Monsoon season hits the Phi Phi Islands, from March until mid-May. While temperatures average around 95 degrees Fahrenheit, the intense humidity makes it feel more like 100 degrees.

Because the Phi Phi Islands are located so close to the equator, the climate is hot and tropical, and even the average sea temperature stays warm, at around 80 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit.

Rainy Season (Wet Season)

The monsoon season usually runs from mid-May to October in the Phi Phi Islands, making it the wettest season of the year, with heavy downpours and about twenty wet days a month.

Average temperatures in this time are around 85 degrees, and the humidity can become unbearable for some tourists. The worst of this season’s heavy showers happen during September, and it is the rainiest month of the year.

However, as it isn’t peak season in Koh Phi Phi, prices are at an all-time low, and it’s not crowded.

Transitional Period (Cool and Dry Season)

Wintertime is the cool, dry season in the Phi Phi Islands, post monsoon season. Typically it runs from November to April, and temperatures can range from around 70 degrees Fahrenheit to 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Rains during this season decrease significantly from December onwards, and it only rains about three or four days each month. January and February are the driest months.

This season is widely considered the best time of year to spend outdoors in the sunshine, sunbathing on the beautiful beaches or spending a night out on the town.

The pleasant weather makes this the ideal time to visit Phi Phi. However, because this is peak season in Koh Phi Phi, the islands can become crowded, and prices will be high.

Best Time To Visit The Phi Phi Islands

November to April

Weather-wise, the best time for a trip to the Phi Phi Islands is during the winter months, from November to April. There is little rain and a lot of sun during this season, but the weather is cool and pleasant.

Phi Phi Island
Phi Phi Island

Key events:

Songkran Festival: The Thai New Year is celebrated annually from the 13th to the 15th of April, traditionally celebrated by locals and tourists having fun with water sports in the streets.

Loy Krathong: Typically celebrated in November, people make banana leaf baskets adorned with trinkets, flowers, and candles and let them drift into the water to pay respects to Buddha and the goddess of water.

March to October

If you are looking for ways to save money, the best time of year for visiting the Phi Phi Islands is during the summer, from March to October. Prices are lower because the weather is less nice, and there are fewer tourists on the islands.

Key events:

Wan Khao Phansa: The beginning of the Buddhist Lent period, typically from July to October, when Buddhist monks keep to their temples and temple grounds.

Getting To The Phi Phi Islands

Koh Phi Phi became very popular after the famous Maya Bay was featured in the 2000 Leonardo DiCaprio film, ‘The Beach’. Unfortunately, Maya Bay was closed in 2018 due to pollution and damage to the surrounding coral, and there were many conservation efforts to replant them. Since then, the stunningly beautiful Maya bay has reopened.

Koh Phi Phi also has many other beaches to choose from, such as the beaches at Bamboo island or the uninhabited island of Koh Phi Phi Leh, which is popular for snorkelling.

Koh Phi Phi is a cluster of multiple islands in the Andaman Sea, and they are administratively part of Krabi province.

Of the cluster of islands, the small island of Phi Phi Don is the most popular tourist destination. Tourists will find comfortable accommodations and many restaurants here. In addition, some tourists staying in Krabi take a day trip to the Phi Phi Islands and stay overnight. Because this beautiful island is so tiny, it can easily be explored on foot and at your own pace.

As any travel agency will tell you, the Phi Phi Islands have no airport. So, most tourists opt instead to reach Koh Phi Phi Don is with a ferry from either Phuket or Krabi. Another option to get to Phi Phi is a long-tail boat or speedboat ride.

Note: There is an entrance fee of 400 Thai Baht when entering the Phi Phi Islands. Some travel agencies may include the entrance fee in the trip they provide. Be sure to ask the agency first and prepare some cash before undergoing your journey.

From Krabi

Direct flights to Krabi Airport (KBV) can be taken from Singapore, Malaysia, Qatar, or China. Some of the airlines that can be found at Krabi airport include Air Asia, Nok Air, Bangkok Airways, Qatar Airways, Thai Lion Air, Thai Smile, and Thai Vietjet Air.

However, if you are travelling to Krabi town from further away, you may need to fly to Bangkok or Phuket airport first and take a connecting flight to Krabi airport.

From there, you will be able to reach Koh Phi Phi with a boat.

From Phuket

Phuket is the biggest island in Thailand. Phuket International Airport (HKT) is around 20 minutes from Phuket town centre. It is one of the three busiest airports in Thailand and plays a significant role in Thailand’s tourism industry. Qatar Airways, Bangkok Airways, and Singapore Airlines provide flights to and from Phuket airport.

Once in Phuket, you may reach the Phi Phi Islands with a boat.

Direct Trip

Because the Phi Phi Islands are so close to Phuket and Krabi, the best way to travel is via the water. Many ferries and boats leave Krabi and Phuket for the Phi Phi Islands every day. However, these trips may drastically decrease during bad weather or monsoon season.

Phi Phi Island

Phi Phi Island By Ferry

Phi Phi Island

A ferry from Krabi town will take around 90 minutes to arrive in Koh Phi Phi, and around two hours if you are taking it from Phuket’s ferry terminal in Rassada Pier. Ferries leave Krabi from the Klong Jilad Pier.

Ferries then arrive at the ferry terminal in Tonsai Pier, Koh Phi Phi.

Ferries are safe and comfortable. The top deck of a ferry is often used as a sundeck for all the tourists who enjoy sunbathing, and in the middle deck, tourists can usually find air-conditioned rooms where food and drinks are sold.

Ferry trips tend to be more affordable than speedboat or long-tail boat trips and are the better option for travellers trying to save money on their trip to Koh Phi Phi.

Booking online and ahead of time is an excellent idea, and arriving early will ensure that you get good seats. However, in general, a ferry ticket can be bought from the ticket counter at the terminal.

Ferry tickets can cost anything from 400 to 1000 Thai Baht.

Note: Ferries can become very crowded during peak tourist season, and ticket prices may be higher than during the low season.

Phi Phi Island By Long-tail boat / Speed boat

Phi Phi Island

A speedboat or longtail boat ride is another great way to get to Koh Phi Phi. This is also the better option if you are trying to save time, as the journey is much faster than by ferry. However, these tickets tend to cost more. However, they are a good option for people travelling in groups as the cost can be split.

Speedboats in Phuket also leave from Rassada Pier and arrive at Tonsai Bay, but it can also be arranged for you to be dropped off as close as possible to your hotel or place of accommodation.

Travelling to Koh Phi Phi with long-tail boats can be more dangerous as the islands are far from the shore. Speedboats and ferries are the safer options, and long-tail boats are recommended for a more authentic experience while travelling shorter distances once you are in Koh Phi Phi.

Note: As with ferries, prices tend to skyrocket during the high season.

Getting Around The Phi Phi Islands

Koh Phi Phi is a little tropical paradise in Krabi Province, southern Thailand, close to Phuket Town. The islands consist of beautiful bays and beaches- such as the famous Maya Bay, Bamboo Island, Mosquito Island, Loh Dalum Bay, and Laem Tong Beach.

The name Koh Phi Phi comes from the Malay word for fire, ‘Api’, and it is no surprise that Koh Phi Phi has regular fire shows around the beach bars in the evenings. The Phi Phi Islands have some of Thailand’s best dive sites and rock-climbing sites. The steep cliffs, beautiful beaches, and crystal clear water make for a picturesque holiday.

Koh Phi Phi Don (Ko Phi Phi Don) is the largest of the six islands that make up Koh Phi Phi in Thailand’s Andaman Sea.

Even though it is considered Phi Phi’s main island, Koh Phi Phi Don is still only about 8 kilometres long. It is also the only island of the six that is inhabited. The second-largest, Koh Phi Phi Leh, is an uninhabited island.

Subsequently, tourists will find that almost all the accommodation options are in Koh Phi Phi Don. However, this beautiful island is so tiny that there aren’t any wheeled forms of transport.

In general, there are only two ways to explore Koh Phi Phi Don and the surrounding smaller islands- by walking or by boat.

Phi Phi Island

Phi Phi Island Walking

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Phi Phi Island

Phi Phi Island Boats

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Phi Phi Island

Phi Phi Island Long-Tail Boat

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Phi Phi Island

Phi Phi Island Speedboat

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Phi Phi Island

Phi Phi IslandKayaks

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Where To Stay In The Phi Phi Islands

There are many reasons why someone would want to visit Koh Phi Phi. The islands are home to some truly stunning scenery, beautiful beaches, and limestone cliffs that are ideal for rock-climbers. In addition, Koh Phi Phi’s a fantastic location in the Andaman Sea for families and lone travellers who want an idyllic, island paradise holiday.

However, it can be difficult for first-time visitors to decide where to stay in Koh Phi Phi. Here are some examples of areas favoured by seasoned travellers to help you decide.

Jump to location

Golden Bay (Laem Thong)

Phi Phi Island

Laem Tong Beach (Laem Thong) is a long beach strip on the northeastern side of Koh Phi Phi Don. The area has a small fisherman’s village, some beach bars, restaurants, and a few resorts where tourists can stay. The resorts in this area are classy, and the sandy stretch of golden beach is excellent for a short walk.

The area is great for beach activities like swimming, sunbathing, scuba diving, and snorkelling. Just five kilometres away, you can find Bamboo Island (Koh Pai)- another popular tourist destination.

This is a great location for a relaxing holiday, as it can only be reached with boat rides. This makes it quite a private beach area.

The Catch

Because this is a small area with not much to do besides enjoy the sun, sea, and sand, some visitors may begin to miss the hustle and bustle. Luckily, Loh Dalum Beach is only about 40 minutes away from Laem Thong by longtail boat.

Long Beach

Long Beach is an excellent area for families. It is located on the southwestern side of Koh Phi Phi Don, near Tonsai Beach and Viking Beach. It is separated from the rest of Koh Phi Phi Don by a dense jungle, with a path through with tourists can cross to reach Long Beach.

Long Beach is just 5 minutes away from the main village by longtail boat, and it is an excellent location for nightlife lovers. It’s also an ideal area for dining and shopping, and it features a few bungalow-type budget accommodations and mid-range hotels. Many a beachfront restaurant here has free WiFi, along with delicious local and international dishes.

Long Beach is often considered the best area for family vacationers.

While it has many activities for all the family members to enjoy, it still has a relaxed atmosphere, and it isn’t as busy as Ton Sai Bay or Loh Dalum Bay. Moreover, it has calm, clear waters that are ideal for snorkelling and swimming.

Phi Phi Island

The Catch

From June to October, during the monsoon season, Long Beach gets some high waves that make swimming less safe because of all the coral and sharp rocks.

Loh Dalum Beach

Loh Dalum Beach is an amazing location for budget-conscious travellers. It is located north of Tonsai Bay, famous for its clear, blue water and white, sandy beach. Loh Dalum is also a great area for those who enjoy parties and a rich nightlife scene. Monkey Beach is close by and easily accessible with boat rides.

There are many cheap hotels and other budget-friendly accommodation options, so you won’t struggle to find a suitable budget hotel here. In addition, Loh Dalum Beach is almost entirely enclosed with high cliffs, so you will also be able to find some secluded resorts here.

The water is shallow and still all year round, which means that during the hotter seasons, the sun heats the water until it feels almost like a heated swimming pool.

Loh Dalum Bay is also a lively area and popular place for watersports such as wakeboarding, kayaking, banana boating, and parasailing. There is also the famous Shark Point, an area ideal for snorkelling.

Phi Phi Island

The Catch

Because the water is so shallow, visitors can walk for miles and still be only waist deep- even during high tide. Unfortunately, while the shallow water and soft sand are great for sunbathing, this also means that during the low tide, the water is not nearly deep enough for a proper swim.

Tonsai Village

It is widely accepted that Tonsai Beach is the best area for first-time visitors to stay in when visiting Koh Phi Phi.

The Tonsai Bay district is a central location divided into different neighbourhoods, each offering visitors something unique. It is also an excellent location if you intend on going island hopping in the archipelago. Many ferries, longboats, and speedboats gather in Tonsai Pier (Ton Sai Pier), making it easy to hail boat trips to one of the nearby islands.

Tonsai has some stunning beaches of its own, and most of the best resorts and luxury hotels are located here in Koh Phi Phi Don’s island center. However, there is also a selection of mid-range hotels and budget hotels, meaning the area is suitable for any budget.

From here, nearly everything on the island is within walking distance. For example, Laem Hin Beach is just a few minutes away on foot.

Phi Phi Island

The Catch

Because this is such a great area for tourists and has some of the best hotels on the island, Ton Sai Bay can become crowded during peak season.

Things To Do In The Phi Phi Islands

Often referred to as an island paradise, Koh Phi Phi has many things to offer a visiting tourist – from visiting the amazing beaches to hopping between the amazing islands.

The main island of Koh Phi Phi Don was devastated by the Indian Ocean Tsunami in 2004 but has since been rebuilt to its former glory. Koh Phi Phi is perfect for those looking to spend hours sunbathing or swimming in the crystal clear waters or who enjoy the hustle and bustle of tourist destinations.

However, it may be difficult for someone who has never been to choose things to do in the Phi Phi Islands. Here is a list of some of the most popular Koh Phi Phi activities.

Visit Bamboo Island

A popular activity for visitors in Koh Phi Phi is to visit Bamboo Island (Koh Phai).

The whole island is surrounded by a long strip of white sand and has gorgeous beaches, where many people enjoy taking guided tours.

If you are visiting the island by yourself, you will need to pay an entrance fee of around 400 Thai Baht. However, when taking tours in a group, the fee is usually included in the tour price, and you can expect to pay around 1800 Thai Baht for the whole day.

Bamboo Island is great for scuba diving or snorkelling and looking at marine life- especially around the Hin Klang coral reefs. Some people rent tents and camp overnight on the island. The sunrise is a beautiful view.

Note: Since this is an uninhabited island, you will need to remember to bring your own food and drinks when taking day trips to Bamboo Island.

Go To The Famous Maya Bay

The recently reopened Maya Bay is famous for featuring in the 2000 Leonardo DiCaprio film, ‘The Beach’. It is located in Koh Phi Phi Leh, an uninhabited island. While uninhabited, Koh Phi Phi Leh is still the second-largest Phi Phi island.

Maya Bay has one of the most stunning beaches in all of Koh Phi Phi and is an excellent example of the natural beauty that can be found in southern Thailand. A boat tour here can cost around 1500 Thai Baht. However, most of these tours take visitors to many different places besides Maya Bay, such as the King Cruiser Wreck, Mosquito Island, or the popular Shark Point.

Another popular tourist spot in Koh Phi Phi Leh is the Viking Cave. This cave features rock paintings that resemble Viking ships.

Note: Maya Bay was initially closed due to damage to the ecosystem, and for this reason, tourists are no longer allowed to swim there. They are also only allowed to visit the beach for an hour at a time.

Visit Monkey Beach

One of the most beautiful beaches in the Phi Phi Islands is Monkey Beach, located on Koh Phi Phi Don’s southern tip. This is not to be confused with Monkey Bay, which is located slightly higher up on the island, closer to Tonsai Bay.

Monkey Beach is popular because of its white sand, turquoise waters, and stunning underwater world. It is one of the best beaches to discover scuba-diving or go snorkelling to see some tropical fish. Some people even take a scuba-diving course. It is also home to beautiful limestone cliffs that are covered in thick vegetation.

There are different ways to reach Monkey Beach. You can hire a long-tail boat to take you, or you could rent a Kayak. Keep in mind that the journey from Tonsai Bay will take about 40 minutes and that you will need to bring your own food and drink when visiting.

Monkey Beach got its name because of the monkeys that live on these cliffs and regularly come down to the beach.

Note: Cute as they may be, these monkeys have sticky fingers, so don’t leave anything unattended when visiting Monkey Beach.

Take a Thai Cooking Class

One of the best ways to learn about traditional Thai cuisine is taking a Thai Cooking Class. A few different places offer such classes, including the Pum Thai Cooking School in central Tonsai Village.

Tourists are able to take classes that go on for anything from 30 minutes to six hours. You can expect to pay around 300 Thai Baht for a 30-minute cooking Thai cooking class, but you may only learn how to make a single dish. For a longer class, from three to six hours, during which you will learn how to make multiple Thai food dishes, you can expect to pay closer to 1000 to 2000 Thai Baht.

Tonsai Bay is located in Koh Phi Phi Don, the largest island in Phi Phi. It is also the only inhabited island, which means that all the accommodation options are based here. Taking a cooking class is an ideal activity for when you don’t want to go island hopping or the weather is unpleasant.

Travel Guides

The Phi Phi Islands Travel Tips: Frequently Asked Questions

How far are the Phi Phi Islands from Phuket?

Koh Phi Phi is around 46 kilometres from Phuket, which means that a ferry ride from Phuket to the Phi Phi Islands should take no more than two hours. However, the trip is even shorter by speedboat or long-tail boat.

What kind of tropical fish can I see in the Phi Phi islands?

Koh Phi Phi has some of the most beautiful beaches and some of the best dive sites in all of Thailand. For example, Monkey Beach is a popular site for snorkelling. The crystal clear water and stunning marine life in the Phi Phi Islands are worth seeing.
Some of the tropical fish visitors can expect to see while diving or snorkelling in the islands are:
Leopard Sharks
Small Moray eels
Emperor Angelfish
Lunar Wrasse
Honeycomb Moray eels
Moorish Idols
Sea Urchins

Which islands are part of Koh Phi Phi?

The Phi Phi Islands are made up of six islands, of which only one small island is inhabited, namely Koh Phi Phi Don. Other popular islands in this group are Koh Phi Phi Leh, an uninhabited island that is home to the famous Viking Cave, Koh Young (Mosquito Island), and Koh Phai (Bamboo Island).
The Phi Phi Islands are only accessible via boats, and visitors should take note that they can only be explored using boats or on foot, but not with cars. Because Koh Phi Phi Don is the only inhabited island in Phi Phi, tourists will find many accommodation options here, including hotels and resorts. However, there are still many fun things to do on this small island and many restaurants to visit.

What is Maya Bay famous for?

As one of the most beautiful bays in southern Thailand, it is not surprising that Maya Bay was featured in the 2000 film ‘The Beach’, starring Leonardo DiCaprio.
The film is what made the Phi Phi Islands popular as a tourist destination. However, due to the influx of tourists to Maya Bay, the area became less of a tropical paradise due to pollution and severe damage to the surrounding coral. As a result, Maya Bay was closed from 2018 until 2021 while the Thai government worked tirelessly on conservation efforts to replant Maya Bay’s coral and restore it to its original glory.

When is peak season in Koh Phi Phi (Ko Phi Phi)?

The high season in the Phi Phi Islands is between November and April when the weather has the coolest months. Therefore, prices are at their highest during this season, and Koh Phi Phi can become crowded with all the tourists visiting the islands. Consequently, you can expect to spend a lot more money if you decide to visit Koh Phi Phi during this season.

When is monsoon season in the Phi Phi Islands?

Monsoon season in Koh Phi Phi usually runs from mid-May until October, and these are some of the wettest months in Phi Phi. However, because the weather is less pleasant, prices are lower. In other words, this is an excellent season to save money while you visit Koh Phi Phi.

When did the tsunami hit the Phi Phi Islands?

The Indian Ocean tsunami devastated Koh Phi Phi Don in December 2004. While the exact numbers are still not known, it is believed that around 4000 people lost their lives because of it.

When can I see fire shows in Koh Phi Phi?

Watching a fire show is a fun way to spend an evening in Koh Phi Phi. There are many beach bars all around the Phi Phi Islands that offer fire shows at night, including in Tonsai Bay and Loh Dalum Bay.
These shows are a big part of Phi Phi nightlife and usually include a young man twirling lit torches around, throwing them in the air, and attempting to catch them on the way down. In addition, jugglers can be seen with fireballs, and sometimes a skipping rope is set on fire and spun around. It is a spectacular sight that any travel guide would recommend you experience at least once on your trip to Koh Phi Phi.
However, when visiting these bars, be sure to keep a close eye on your drink and not partake of any illegal substances since Thailand has very strict anti-drug rules.

Where are the best spots for rock-climbing located in the Phi Phi Islands?

Krabi Province and Koh Phi Phi are very popular among rock-climbing enthusiasts. Koh Phi Phi Don, like much of Krabi, has towering limestone cliffs that are perfect for climbing. Koh Phi Phi Leh is another popular rock-climbing site.
Many professional companies organise rock-climbing tours in the Phi Phi Islands that are led by trained instructors. For tourists who are already comfortable climbing, many locals in Koh Phi Phi Don will have useful information regarding climbing spots that have been properly rebolted throughout the beautiful island.

What should I avoid in Koh Phi Phi?

As with many places in the country, the tap water in the Phi Phi Islands is not safe for human consumption. Bottled water is relatively cheap, but if you are visiting the islands for a long time, it may be better to invest in a water bottle with a built-in purifier.

What is a good budget for a Koh Phi Phi trip?

If you are planning to Koh Phi Phi, a good mid-range budget would be around 800 to 1000 Thai Baht per day for accommodation, and about 700 Thai Baht for food.

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