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Phi Phi Islands

4.1 /5 36 votes

Weather:

Best Time: November to April Read More

Ideal duration: 3 days

Nearest Airport: Phuket Check Flights

"Island Paradise for the Beach Lover"

Phi Phi Islands Tourism

Phi Phi consists of a group of six islands. Only 40 km away from Phuket, Phi Phi Don and Phi Phi Leh are the two most famous islands of the six. With their pristine waters and vibrant parties, these islands are a wonderful way to spend a few days in Thailand.

With four other islands besides the large ones, Phi Phi houses Bida Nok, Bida Nai, Ko Mai Phai, is also known as Bamboo Island. Phi Phi Islands became famous after the 2000 Hollywood flick 'The Beach' that was shot in Ko Phi Phi Le. Ko Phi Phi Leh houses The "Viking Cave" which is a thriving industry that sells edible birds nests.

It's striking cliffs, white sand beaches with jungles all around and clear blue waters make it look nothing short of paradise. None of the islands has roads, and most of the islands are humanly inhabited, making Phi Phi Islands one of the few untainted beautiful landscapes left in the world. These easily accessible islands can be reached from both Phuket and Krabi, by a speedboat in just 45 minutes or by a ferry in 90 minutes.

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Things to Do at Phi Phi Islands

1. Go Swimming at Interesting Spots
Swim in the crystal clear waters of Phi Phi Islands, be it at the stunning Pileh Bay Lagoon, the nail shaped Mosquito Island, Bamboo Island or any of the other five Phi Phi Islands.

2. Go Kayaking at the Stunning Pileh Bay Lagoon
You can head to the gorgeous Pileh Bay Lagoon in Koh Phi Phi Lee in a Kayak, which looks straight out of a postcard with its 100-metre high limestone cliffs, deep green jungles and clear turquoise water.

3. Go Snorkelling
There are many places around Phi Phi Islands where you can go snorkelling.

Here are the best places for snorkelling in Phi Phi -
  •  Pileh Bay Lagoon
    Not just for Kayaking, Pileh Bay Lagoon is also a great place to snorkel. Sergeant Majors and bright parrotfish can easily be spotted in its clear waters. The best time to go snorkelling here is during the high tides.

  • Hin Klang
    Hin Klang is an underwater reef or coral mountain that cannot be seen from the surface. Located 2km offshore right in front of Laem Tong Beach in the north of Phi Phi, it is easily accessible and a delightful place to snorkel.

  • Maya Bay
    Maya Bay in Koh Phi Phi Leh has exceptionally clear water and is excellent for snorkelling, but you can only enter by boat between November and April.

  • Loh Sama
    Also known as Sama Bay in Thai, Loh Sama is situated on the eastern side of Koh Phi Phi Leh. Featuring a small islet in the centre of the bay and a beach at the back of a small canyon, Loh Sama is another excellent spot for snorkelling.

  • Bamboo Island
    The uninhabited Bamboo Island has some beautiful coral reefs underneath that can be explored by snorkelling.

  • Mosquito Island 
    The southeastern tip of Mosquito Island is a dream for snorkellers, as it has some stunning coral reefs and a wide range of marine life.

  • Monkey Beach
    Monkey Beach close to Tonsai Beach is another fantastic snorkelling spot with its shallow waters that allow you to see all the vivid life underwater.
4. Go Diving
There are many places to dive around the Phi Phi Islands. These include -
  • Mosquito Island
    There is a three-headed pinnacle close to Mosquito Island, where you can go diving and if you are lucky, you can see some blacktip reef sharks.

  • Bida Nai
    If you don't want to go far away, you can go to Bida Nai or the 'Inner Father Island', which is a dramatic limestone island to the south of Phi Phi Leh.

  • Koh Bida Nok 
    There is also its twin site of Koh Bida Nok, which is regarded as Phi Phi's best dive area. It is safe and is visited through the day by Phuket's day-trip dive boats.

  • Hin Dot
    Hin Dot or 'Chimney Rock' on the south side of Phi Phi Don is just outside of Tonsai Bay, the main harbour in the Phi Phi Islands. It is a beautiful spot for diving and just a short boat ride from Koh Phi Phi.

  • Loh Samah Bay
    Loh Samah Bay lies to the south side of Phi Phi Leh next to Maya Bay. You can dive in a tiny cliff islet at the entrance to the bay.

  • Maya Bay
    Located on the west side of Koh Phi Phi Leh, Maya Bay is one of the most famous spots of Phi Phi Islands as it was featured in the Hollywood film 'The Beach' starring Leonardo DiCaprio. It is also an excellent place for diving.

5. Visit Bamboo Island

  • Longtail Boat Ride
    Hire a Longtail Boat and visit the uninhabited Bamboo Island or Ko Ma Phai. With its serene white sand beach, pristine aqua waters and stunning vistas all around, Bamboo Island is merely breathtaking. You can swim or stroll along the soft beach here, which you can cover in just half an hour.
  • Prices
    Private Longtail Boat with a driver for a day - THB 220
    You could avail the same from Tonsai Village or at the Sea Gypsies Village on Laem Thong Beach. Since Bamboo Island belongs to a national park, you have to pay an entrance fee of THB 400 per adult or THB 200 per child.

6. Visit Mosquito Island

About 2.5km off Koh Phi Phi Don's northern tip lies Mosquito Island, also known as Moskito Island. It has two beautiful beaches. You can visit here for a swim or relax by the beach with a book or even head south of the island for snorkelling and diving. The best way to get here is by Longtail boat Hire a long-tail boat from Tonsai Pier or Laem Tong, which you can hire for the day for THB 2,000.

7. Hike to the Phi Phi Viewpoint

If you are in shape, hike to the Phi Phi Viewpoint, which is the highest point of Koh Phi Phi Don, one of the two main islands of the Phi Phi Island cluster. Start walking from Reggae Bar at Ao Nang towards Loh Dalum Bay, and you will spot the signs along the way for the viewpoint. It's only a 20 to 30-minute walk. Don't worry, there are plenty of places to rest along the way and cold drinks, ice-creams and many other snacks for sale on top. Though only 186 metres high it offers some stunning views of the surroundings.

8. Trek to Other Beautiful Spots

If you have the enthusiasm and stamina, walk further along. Three paths are leading from the Viewpoint. The path to the left leads to Pak Nam Beach, the road to the right leads Ao Toh Koh and can both be covered in 45 minutes. The road in the middle leads to Rantee Beach and is only about a 20-minute walk.

9. Visit the Monkeys on Monkey Beach

Located on the southwestern side of Tonsai Bay, about 700 metres from the jetty lies Monkey Beach. It is a beautiful 150-metre long strip of white sand beach, surrounded by deep emerald green water. There are many ways to get to this untainted paradise. Hiring a long-tail boat from Tonsai jetty is the easiest way, but if you are adventurous, you can rent a sea kayak and make the 40-minute journey alone or with a bunch of friends. As the name suggests, it's filled with monkeys, so you hang out with them here. But carry some food, as most tourists have been feeding them, they now expect food from visitors.

10. Take Up a Cooking Class

If you want to try something unconventional on your holiday, take a cooking class while you are in Phi Phi Islands at Koh Phi Phi. There are a couple of 1 and a half hour classes that teach 3 Thai dishes, including the famous Thai curry. In the end, you enjoy the yummy food you make with a beautiful view.

11. Clubbing and Parties

There are many party places in Phi Phi Islands, so whether you like Reggae, Jazz or EDM, you are sure to find the music of your liking at some nightclub or pub. The Reggae Bar, Hippies Bar, Ibiza Beach Club, Apache Beach Bar, Carlito's Beach Bar & Nightclub, Stockholm Syndrome & The Dubliner Irish Pub are some of the most popular places to party here.

12. Take a Walk on the Beach

Unwind by taking a stroll along the pristine shoreline of Phi Phi Islands, along any beach that takes your fancy. From almost empty beaches like the ones at Bamboo Island and Mosquito Island to more crowded ones like Tonsai Beach or Loh Dalum Beach, you walk down any beach and breathe in the bliss.

Shopping at Phi Phi Islands

Buying on Phi Phi Islands is not just limited to some pretty hippy necklaces and food anymore, shopping options have boomed in recent years, and it has a lot to offer.

Specialized Stores
Clothing stores on Phi Phi Islands tend to be more like minimarts that sell a host of other knick-knacks. You can find some great books at coffee shops, and in general, there are no watertight compartments for which store sells what. You can find the most exciting things in the most unexpected places here.

1. 7 Eleven's
If you are looking for a trusted store, there is a 7 Eleven on Phi Phi Islands. However, as everything is brought to Phi Phi Islands by boat from the mainland, the prices will be much steeper.

2. Kunstone
Chiang Mai silver jewellery is known around the world for its craftsmanship, beauty and use of gemstones. If you are looking for some artisanal Thai jewellery Kunstone is the place on Phi Phi Islands.

3. Namlily
This small boutique behind Phi Phi Banyan Villa in Tonsai is one of the most original shops in Phi Phi Islands. A young French woman runs this place, which sells customised vintage dresses. You can also pick up some unique handbags and vintage silver jewellery here.

4. Mr Rum Boutique
This unpretentious shop on Tonsai Village Main Street is not as small as it appears at first glance. It has a more extensive showroom upstairs and sells a variety of things ideal for a beach holiday like sarongs, beachwear, fisherman pants, dresses and much more.

5. Tonsai East Shopping Alleyway
If you are looking for some good deals and are willing to bargain, head to Tonsai East Shopping Alleyway located on the main path near the Phi Phi Mosque. From T-shirts to bags, sunglasses to souvenirs, you can find all the touristy stuff here.

6. Phi Phi Tattoo Shops
Getting a tattoo on a holiday is the hottest new trend. There are more than 20 Tattoo shops in Tonsai Village in Phi Phi Islands. If you are in the mood for a lifelong souvenir, this is the perfect place for you.

7. Phi Phi Market
Located right in the centre of Tonsai Village it is the perfect place to get a slice of the local flavour. Formerly a typical Thai market, it was renovated in 2014-2015 and today is a high ceilinged building that has an open, modern and clean environment, which makes shopping here much more pleasant. You can find some of the best street food here, along with a lot of fresh seafood, fruits and vegetables.

Nightlife in Phi Phi Islands

The best thing about the nightlife in the Phi Phi Islands is that it is not sleazy. The young and vibrant crowd has a lot to enjoy at the pubs and bars here, which are open till 2:00 AM every night.

Alcohol Highlights 
An exciting thing available in Phi Phi Islands is 'buckets'. These 'buckets' include – a can of Red Bull energy drink, Ice, half a bottle of the spirit of your choice, mixer and straws. If you want to get smashed, buy one these 'buckets', create your own drinks and enjoy the night. The prices for these range from THB 200 for Sang Som, which is a local sugar cane rum, to THB 500 for Jack Daniel's whiskey.

Reggae Bar Phuket

The Reggae Bar stands out amongst other places in Phi Phi Islands for its Muay Thai kickboxing matches in the middle of the pub! The pub provides excellent offers to get people to give it a go in the central ring, and a lot of customers do that. Locals and even professionals often fight here for both sport and entertainment.

Restaurants and Bars by the Beach

1. Sun Flower Beach Bar & Restaurant
This hippy-looking shack situated near Loh Dalum Bay is right on the beach. Hammocks and mats set around a bamboo and thatch building here give it an authentic hippie vibe. Live acoustic music and fire shows will keep you entertained here in the evenings.

2. Hippies Bar
Hippies Bar is a trendy bar and restaurant in Tonsai East. It was destroyed in the tsunami in 2004 but was rebuilt and reopened in 2011. Set slightly above the beach on a terrace, it's has a building made of driftwood and other recycled materials that houses the bar. With live music performances, DJs and fire shows this is one of the best places to spend a fun evening.

Open-Air Bars

1. Ibiza Beach Club on Loh Dalum Beach
This is the most famous discotheque in Phi Phi Islands. With a dance floor made of sand, reasonably priced drinks and some fantastic music, it is the perfect place to party all night. Pool parties are also often hosted here.

2. Apache Beach Bar
Apache Beach Bar is the second-largest open-air disco on Loh Dalum Beach, and if also known for its wild parties. It has a wooden stage for fire jugglers and grabs one's attention with its young vibe and expert DJs. The famous 'buckets' are available at this beach bar.

3. Carlito's Beach Bar & Nightclub
Carlito's Beach Bar and Nightclub is a fun and loud party place, located along the path leading to Tonsai Bay. You can sit on the beach here and practice 'Poi', the local unlit-fire chain handling, play backgammon or learn Yoga during the day. At night you can dance to some great music and enjoy fire shows that start around 10:00 PM.

4. Slinky Bar
Slinky Bar is another fun open-air disco set right on Loh Dalum Beach. This place offers more than just dancing. From a mechanical bull ride to fire skipping, face and body painting to fire-limbo, you can try a host of things here.

5. Stockholm Syndrome
Right in the middle of all the hip nightspots of Tonsai Village, Stockholm Syndrome doesn't just have a dance floor, but also pool tables and beer pong tables and a comfortable lounge above.

6. The Dubliner Irish Pub
Another great pub in Tonsai Village is the Dubliner Irish Pub. Apart from occasional live music, they have a pool table, football table and televise many live sports events. It is also the only air-conditioned place around here.

7. Banana Rooftop Bar
This rooftop bar has one of the best locations and views. Banana Rooftop Bar is located on top of a Sombrero Mexican Restaurant in Tonsai Village, on the path to Loh Dalum Beach. It has stunning views of Loh Dalum, cheap drinks at just THB 120 for all cocktails, fire shows and even hula-hoop contests!

What to Eat at Phi Phi Islands

1. Try Some Street Food in Phi Phi Market
The vast and modern Phi Phi Market complex in Tonsai Village is not such great for shopping but a paradise for food lovers. It has the best street food in the Phi Phi Islands. There are also many excellent restaurants here.

2. Have Breakfast at Phi Phi Bakery
Hailed as one of the best places to eat on Phi Phi Islands; Phi Phi Bakery stands in hallowed fame on Tonsai Village's Main Street. This old bakery that started in 1989 is any bread and a pastry lover's dream come true. Choose from a range of cakes, bread, home-baked croissants, sandwiches, burgers and pizzas for breakfast. The raisin bread here is particularly good, and this place also has some delicious vegetarian options, including a Vegetarian Omelette.

3. Indulge in an Exotic Meal at Efe Mediterranean Cuisine Restaurant
This Mediterranean newcomer has quickly become a favourite on the Phi Phi food scene with its sizzling kebabs. Try them or falafels, hummus, salads and many other exotic things at this pleasant little place.

4. Go Tropical at The Mango Garden
This is another interesting eatery in Phi Phi Islands, and as the name suggests, it has a variety of Mango dishes. You can try the king of Thai desserts Mango with sticky rice here or stick to a safer Mango smoothie or Mango juice at The Mango Garden.

5. Unni's Restaurant
This quaint little wooden place in the central lane heading north to PP Palmtree Resort in Tonsai Village, has a beautiful alfresco wooden terrace, which is an excellent spot for people-watching and a spacious dining room below. Apart from Thai, they offer English, Swedish and Mexican food. Great cocktails and free WiFi make this place even more perfect.

6. Lunch by the Sea at Jasmine BBQ Restaurant
If you are looking for a place by the sea that serves finger-licking food, Jasmine BBQ Restaurant at Laem Thong Sea Gipsy Village in the northeastern area of Koh Phi Phi Don is the place to go to. They serve many delectable Thai dishes, including Vegetarian options.

7. Dine With a View at Mama Resto
This picture-perfect place on Tonsai Beach near the western end of the bay is not just a treat for the eyes but also serves some fantastic French, international and Thai food. Built entirely with natural materials like bamboo, wood and thatch, bamboo Mama Resto has a rustic feel, with a great view of the horizon.

Phi Phi Island Customs

Thailand is a country of polite people who operate in smiles. Be sure to greet people not with a handshake but a traditional Thai folding of the hands. Phi Phi is a relaxed place, and you can wear almost anything you like on the beach but do cover up when on a motorboat, not because of customs but because you'll get sunburnt!

Local Language

Thai is the language spoken in Phi Phi Islands. Since it is a tourist place, English may be spoken in most hotels and restaurants. However, small vendors only have a rudimentary knowledge of it. Be ready with a dictionary just in case!

Local Religion and Beliefs

A majority of the population in Phi Phi follows Islam, which is the major religion here. Buddhism is the second most popular religion.

Phi Phi Island History

The islands were called Pulau Api-Api, meaning the fiery isle, due to the fiery tree or the grey mangrove found across the island. The name caught on, and over time, became Phi Phi. The islands have always been on the radar for local Thai tourists. In recent times, a lot of attention is being garnered from foreign tourists as well, especially after its quick resurrection post the 2004 tsunami.

Tips

  • Share Long Tail Boats while going to Bamboo Island, Mosquito Island or other remote places, to reduce costs.
  • Take lots of photos. 
  • Put on lots of sunscreens as you will be out most of the day or in the water.
  • Carry hats, sunglasses to protect yourself from the sun.
  • Carry water and snacks with you while visiting the smaller islands, as they have nothing there.
  • Wear comfortable easy to get out of clothes and beachwear underneath, if you are planning to swim, dive or snorkel.
  • Wear flip-flops or other washable shoes so you can walk on the beach without worrying about sand getting into your shoes.
  • Bargain while buying stuff, including things like jewellery. If you don’t ask you will not know if you could get a better price.
  • Bring Maps, learn some Thai phrases and chalk out a plan or itinerary before visiting Phi Phi Islands.
  • Water taxi drivers are not Snorkeling instructors. Hence, snorkel only if you are experienced
  • If you want to save money, you can take one of the half-day or full-day tours and see a lot of places for a much lesser amount.

Restaurants and Local Food in Phi Phi Islands

The food in Phi Phi is not spicy like some other places in Thailand. However, if you wish to avoid spicy food altogether, learning how to say 'mai phet', meaning non-spicy, can be helpful. Fresh seafood is always on the chef's menu at Phi Phi and the catch of the day is mostly highlighted at small stalls and roadside eateries too.

View Top Restaurants in Phi Phi Islands

Suggested Itinerary

Day 1
Take a ferry from Phuket or Krabi to Phi Phi Islands.
Explore the two main islands Koh Phi Phi Don & Koh Phi Phi Leh.
Swim and take a walk along Tonsai beach.
Have lunch with a view at Banana Rooftop Bar or by the sea at Jasmine BBQ Restaurant
Walk up to the Viewpoint in Koh Phi Phi and further along to Rantee Beach if you have the energy.
Have some tea or coffee at Unni's Restaurant and watch people go by.
Check out s shops around Tonsai Village and take a look at Phi Phi Market at night.
Party till by the beach whichever place suits your taste – Hippies Bar, Ibiza Beach Club or Sun Flower Beach Bar & Restaurant.

Day 2
Have breakfast at Phi Phi Bakery
Kayak to Pileh Bay Lagoon
Hire a Long-tail boat for the day and head to Maya Bay, Mosquito Beach and Monkey Beach, and swim, snorkel and dive there.
Have lunch at a cosy restaurant like The Mango Garden or Efe Mediterranean Cuisine Restaurant
Take a quiet walk on Bamboo Island, carry some snacks and make a picnic of it.
Watch the sunset from Loh Dalum Beach.
Wrap up the day with some good food and a match at the Reggae Bar or if you want a quiet evening to have dinner with a view of the ocean at Mama Resto.

Phi Phi Islands Photos

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Holidify's Opinion

What's Great?

The breathtaking beauty of nature surrounds the island, and since most of the islands are uninhabited, they are extremely clean. Ko Phi Phi Don and Koh Phi Phi Leh are exceptionally maintained offering some fantastic viewpoints. Watersports is a huge attraction here as well. With cheaper alcohol options, the local eateries serve other cuisines as well.

What's Not So Great?

Long-tail boats, speedboats or kayaks are the only modes of commute, and all of them are expensive. Since most islands are uninhabited, you need to carry your own food and water along. Daily needs are expensive here since everything other than the coconuts are brought from land via boat. Accommodation is quite costly as well. Some of the beaches can get explosively crowded.

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How To Reach Phi Phi Islands

Phi Phi doesn't have an airport. Since it is a group of islands the standard way is to reach by ferry which will take approximately two hours from Phuket and one and a half hours from Krabi.

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Phi Phi Islands Reviews

Your rating
Taniya Batra 1 year ago
The phi- phi islands in Thailand live up to all the hype. The islands are ideal for travellers looking for a vacation spent relaxing on beaches or in the water. While visiting these islands the speedboat excursions are not something to lose out. The excursion lasts an entire day but makes it worth your time. This includes visiting nearby coves and islands and many optional water activities such as parasailing, snorkelling etc. It is imperative to note that the speedboat excursion is not suitable for those who get seasick easily as the waters can get quite wild. Another option to the boat is, therefore, a cruise, which is comparatively slower and more time-consuming.
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