Koh Phi Phi is a popular tourist destination that is renowned for its impeccable beauty not to mention its appeal to any type of traveller. Whether young or old, family-friendly, adventurous, romantic, or full of party potential, Koh Phi Phi can be tailored to your every vacation desire.
Keep in mind that Koh Phi Phi is actually a group of 6 islands clustered together. You’ve probably heard of it before thanks to Leonardo DiCaprio and his role in the movie The Beach in 2000. Not long after in 2004, a tsunami virtually wiped it out. Whatever type of vacation you want to have on Koh Phi Phi, these helpful hints will make planning your trip go even more smoothly for a vacation you’ll never forget.
You won’t find an airport on Koh Phi Phi, but don’t worry. You can fly into Krabi or Phuket. Then from there, you have a choice of ferries or speedboats to get you there. You can take ferries from other islands too including Ao Nang, Rai Leh, or even Koh Lanta. Be wary of locals trying to get you to pay them to get a ride out of the ports though. This is fairly common in the port cities, however, knowing what to expect will help you avoid wasting time and money.
When you’re making reservations for your accommodations in Koh Phi Phi, you’re going to want something that suits your travel needs. If this is a romantic getaway, you’ll want to choose one of the resorts that cater to romance. If you have kids, choosing a family-friendly resort will be most important. On a budget? Choosing cheaper accommodations that still give you primo beach access will be on your mind.
You can look in Tonsai Village where all the action is to find comfortable guesthouses that are unbelievably affordable. All around Tonsai, you’ll find mid-range prices on bungalows to step up your accommodations. Remote locations like the east coast of the island feature some of the most sophisticated and tropical resorts. Decide what you’re comfortable spending on your accommodations and then see which lodgings offer you the experience you want to have. By comparing in advance, you’ll know exactly what to expect.
How to get around
Koh Phi Phi has no motor transportation but for a few motorcycles with sidecars. You can walk or rent bicycles but Tonsai is really walkable. You can anywhere in the area in about 10 minutes. You can also take long-tail taxi boats between the beaches. Don’t be surprised to see wheelbarrows used to transport things like your luggage. You’ll usually find that just about every hotel will give you some of this free transport from Tonsai Pier to the hotel but don’t expect that to be the case when it comes time to leave.
What to do and see
Koh Phi Phi has plenty of options for any traveller to do and see. Here are just some of the most popular options to explore during your travels here.
See the other islands
Koh Phi Phi is an archipelago so take some time to explore the other area islands here. Koh Phi Phi Leh is the second largest of them. It’s largely uninhabited and the only beach on the island off Maya Bay is where you’ll get those amazing shots for Instagram that you’ll recall from The Beach. The waters here are pristine and the stuff vacation dreams are made from. High season is the busiest from November to April, so if you’d like a little more seclusion and the chance to score more luxurious accommodations for less, plan on travelling during the low season.
The Viking Cave
Head to Koh Phi Phi Leh’s northeastern side and you’ll discover the Viking Cave. No one has been able to accurately pin a date on this centuries-old site. There are old paintings here that seem to point to Viking inhabitants though. But if that doesn’t entice you to check it out, you’ll be able to see where swifts live within the cave and see how to capture their nests.
Phi Phi View Point
Koh Phi Phi Don is shaped like an ‘H’ and from this viewpoint, you can see it perfectly. Plan on a hike of 20 to 40 minutes depending on your level of fitness and you’ll be treated to the amazing view. Pack drinks and snacks to save money, but should you forget to do so you’ll be thankful for the small store at the top.
Diving and Snorkelling
All throughout the archipelago, you’ll find plenty of opportunities for snorkelling and diving. Bamboo Island is among the best for snorkelling with the stunning coral reefs to swim amongst. For diving, you’ll find professional PADI dive centres all over and can make your arrangements with them with ease.
Moo Dee Bay
On the east coast of Koh Phi Phi Don, you’ll find a white sand beach 500 meters long. Snorkeling, food and drink shacks, and long-tail boats will keep you busy here, though once you’ve got what you need, nothing beats sticking your toes in the sand and watching the emerald waters roll up onto the shore.
For the adventurous traveller, rock climbing opportunities are also abundant on Koh Phi Phi Island. Most notably, Tonsai Tower has been dubbed a paradise for rock climbers. Never been rock climbing before? Not to worry. There are a variety of bolted routes (48 of them to be exact) that range in difficulty from beginner to total extreme sports junkie so go for it.
Don’t forget about shark watching tours, booze cruises, and even Thai cooking classes to fill your time when you’re visiting Koh Phi Phi!