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It must have been a long time when Phi Phi island was still considered a ‚secret tip‘. Today it definitely is on the beaten track and on the list of many backpackers traveling around Thailand. Since the movie ‚The beach‘ In which Leonardo Di Caprio starred Maya Bay attracts hords of tourist as well each day.
Despite all this, is it still worth visiting Koh Phi Phi? I would say yes.
The island still has its own charm, is easy to access from Krabi or Phuket and there are many options of things that you can do there. If you like partying this will be your place.
From Phuket there are ferries going multiple times a day reaching Phi Phi island in 1.5 hours to 2 hours. We bought our ticket directly at a travel agency at the airport, however you will also be able to buy it at the pier or at your accommodation or other travel agencies on Phuket. Price: 500 Baht one way
From Krabi town or Ao Nang you can also reach Koh Phi Phi by ferry in two hours. Price: 450 Baht one way.
For the exact ferry she due check with a local travel agent or online.
Once you arrive at the pier on Koh Phi Phi you have to pay an entrance fee of 20 Baht which apparently goes towards protecting the environment of the island.
Where to stay
Koh Phi Phi is a popular destination for travellers from all over the world, therefore there are many options available. There are a few up-range hotels, a lot of Mittelklasse Hotels?, bungalows and dorms available.
$ Stones Bar Dorm Rooms
(dorms: from 500 Baht/15 $ a night)
Situated along the beach is the Stones Bar that also offers dorm rooms to travelers. The place is very relaxed during the day and has parties on the beach every night. If you don’t mind loud music that plays until 2 am and want to be right in the happening then this is your place.
Hostels are great if you are traveling solo and are on a tight budget. I usually don’t sleep very well in dorms but they are a great place to socialize and to meet people.
However if you are traveling with someone then you can already get a private room in a cheap hotel or guest house or even a bungalow for the same price.
Link Stones Bar:
$$ Tropical Garden Bungalow
For as little as 20 $ a night you will get your own little bungalow along the Phi Phi beach. It’s a great place if you like it a little bit more quiet but it is not far from everything. Great for sharing or if you want some privacy. Don’t expect anything fancy though. Bungalows are basic with fan, etc.
Link to Tropical Garden Bungalows:
$$$ Holiday Inn Resort Phi Phi Island or Phi Phi Island Village Beach Resort
More up-range but still affordable. If you aren’t on a budget or traveling as a couple or family this is a nice alterative, a little bit away from the party scene.
Link Holiday Inn Resort Phi Phi Island:
Link to Phi Phi Island Village Beach Resort:
What to do on Koh Phi Phi
If you simply want to spend your day on the beach you can. If you feel like being a little bit more active then there are also a lot of options available.
Koh Phi Phi offers divers plenty of nice dive spots nearby where you will have the chance to see a large variety of exotic fish, corals, turtles, etc. and there are also some good sites for wreck diving.
You can do fun dives, discover scuba dive or get your divers certificate here. Koh Phi Phi might be a little bit more expensive for that than Koh Tao which is well known for its diving schools. But keep in mind that Koh Tao is the place where most people get their diving certificate. A lot of unexperienced divers in the water might also mean a lot of dead corals.
So why not try out diving in Koh Phi Phi.
With the water being very clear you might not even need to go diving. Put on a mask, snorkel and some fins and either join a snorkeling tour which you can book in the travel agencies or at the dive bases or walk directly in the water from the beach and snorkel around.
The temperature of the water is nice and warm and you will spot lots of little things. Phi Phi island in fact is a snorkeling paradise.
A hike up Koh Phi Phi viewpoint
From up here you have a great view of the entire island. The hike up there takes around 30 minutes and you have to climb a lot of stairs. Once you arrive at the top you have to pay 30 Baht entrance fee as it is on a private property. There are two viewpoints, the view from the first one is alright but what is really interesting here is that they have a board where you can see pictures of the island before, 1 day after the tsunami and one year after and you can compare it with your current view. The view from the second viewpoint which is 5 minutes further up the hill is the nicest and a popular photo opportunity. Come here to enjoy the sunrise or sunset.
The best time to take pictures however is around 9-11am when the flood came and the sun is still shining from behind.
Up here you will also be able to buy some snacks and drinks-
Price: 30 Baht Entrance fee
The rock climbing community might not be as big as in other parts of Thailand, however offers some of the best walls in the country with walls of steep limestone overlooking beautiful beaches, There are several walls all equipped with glue-in bolts. Offering a lot of fun climbing options for all levels in a beautiful setting and without the crowds once you leave the touristy area.
A trip to Maya Bay
I wouldn’t say Maya Bay is a must visit but if you are interested in seeing where ‚The beach’ was shot or simply enjoy its beauty then I recommend you to go there as early as possible. The best is to get a private long tail boat with a few people and leave at sunrise to Maya Bay. You can find my tips on ‚How to experience Maya Bay without the crowds‘ here.
Price: 1800-2000 Baht for a private long tail boat
Half or full day trips
For either a half or a full day you can go on a tour that stops at Pileh Lagoon, Monkey island, Mosquito Island etc. Those tours usually include snorkeling equipment, water and fruit and sometimes you will even get lunch.
Price around 400 Baht
Party at night
Koh Phi Phi turns into a mad party at night. On Koh Phi Phi you will find one bar lined up next to each other. In the evenings they start off with fire shows. All very impressive and dangerous at the same time. Later at night there will be burning limbo or skipping rope on fire where people try their luck and until late at night you can dance to the beats on the beach or head to one of the bars in town for drinking games like beer pong. The parties here are crazy but fun, however be prepared that they happen every night. If you like that perfect, if you are looking for a little bit more quietness move to a different island quite soon.
Fun bars are Ibiza, Stones Bar, Swedish Syndrom and Slinky.
Where to eat?
Head to ‚Hello my mom‘ for some authentic Thai street food. You can choose from a lot of dishes all for 60 Baht which she prepares in her wok on the street. You can either get them as take-away or enjoy it right on the spot while sitting on plastic chairs along the road. Gets very popular late in the evening.
Have you visited Koh Phi Phi before? What was your experience?