Ko Phi Phi

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Ko Phi Phi (หมู่เกาะพีพี) is a small archipelago in Krabi Province, Southern Thailand.

Understand[edit]

Aerial photo of Ko Phi Phi Don

The named islands are:

  • Ko Phi Phi Don. The largest and only populated island.
  • Ko Phi Phi Leh. A smaller island to the south, popularised when parts of the movie The Beach were filmed there. Uninhabited apart from birds nest harvesters and a few Maya Bay wardens. Expect plenty of tourists during daylight hours, especially in Maya Bay, also known as "the beach".
  • Bida Nok and Bida Nai. Two small adjacent limestone karst formations to the south of Phi Phi Leh, with near-vertical cliff walls rising from the sea.
  • Ko Mai Phai (Bamboo Island). A small low-lying islet to the north of Phi Phi Don with several good beaches.
  • Ko Yung (north of Ko Phi Phi Don). The island has a stone beach in the east and small sandy beaches at the foot of the hills. It is teeming with colourful coral reefs.

Most of the development of Phi Phi Don is in or around Ton Sai Village, which is on the low, sandy isthmus that joins the two hilly spurs that comprise the rest of the island. There are also other, quieter resorts on Long Beach, Laem (Cape) Thong, and at other less accessible areas of the island.

Ko Phi Phi was devastated by the Indian Ocean tsunami of December 2004, when the island's entire infrastructure was nearly wiped out. Redevelopment has, however, been swift, and services are back with building regulations in place to limit the height of new buildings to preserve the island's stunning views.

It should be noted that, while very laid back, many of the local islanders are Muslim. You will lose considerable respect if you walk around town in your skimpies (this applies to Buddhist areas of Thailand too!). While many thoughtless tourists do parade down Main Street in their Speedos or thong bikinis, to avoid offending your hosts, it's best just to throw on a pair of shorts or a sarong. Similarly, going topless on the beach, while grudgingly tolerated by most locals, is also best avoided.

Climate[edit]

Weather in the region is tropical. There are only two seasons: the hot season from Jan-Apr, and the rainy season from May-Dec. Temperatures during the year average 25°C to 32°C (77°F to 89.6°F) and the yearly rainfall averages 2569 mm. Unlike in, say, Europe, the rain in this region comes down heavily over short periods.

History[edit]

From archaeological evidence, it is believed that the area was one of the oldest communities in Thailand, dating back to the prehistoric period. It is believed that this province may have taken its name after the meaning of "Krabi", which means "sword". This may have arisen from a legend that an ancient sword was unearthed prior to the city’s founding.

The name Phi Phi (pronounced "pee pee") originates from Malay, the original name for the islands were "Pulao Pi ah Pi". The name refers to the mangrove wood found here.

Geography[edit]

Ko Phi Phi is considered to be one of the most naturally beautiful islands in the world (in fact, there are six islands in Phi Phi). They lie 50 km southeast of Phuket and are part of Had Nopparattara-Ko Phi Phi National Park which is home to an abundance of corals and amazing marine life. There are limestone mountains with cliffs, caves and long white sandy beaches. The national park covers a total area of 242,437 rai (about 39,000 hectares; 97,000 acres).

Phi Phi Don and Phi Phi Le are the largest and most well-known islands. The islands are surrounded by the Andaman Sea.

There are two villages on Ko Phi Phi under the administration of Ao Nang sub-district, Muang district, Krabi Province.

Get in[edit]

By plane[edit]

Krabi International Airport (KBV), Tel. +66 75 636541-2, is about 10 km from the city limits, 15 km from the city centre, 40 km from Ao Nang, and 23 km from Had Yao.

Thai Airways operates daily direct flights to/from Bangkok, likewise Air Asia from Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur. Bangkok Airways flies direct to/from Krabi and Ko Samui nearly every day of the week. Nok Air operates daily flights to Krabi from Bangkok (Don Mueang).

Air Asia has a special “Island Transfer” offering that includes a flight from Bangkok to Phuket, surface transport, and a ferry to Ko Phi Phi. It can all be booked at their website.

  • Nok Air, Tel. +66 2 6272000 or 1318.
  • Thai Airways, Tel. 1566, +66 2 2800060, +66 2 6282000, +66 2 3561111, +66 75 701591–93.

The international departure tax surcharge is 700 baht but is included in most ticket prices now. Domestic departure tax is included in the price of the flight.

National Car Rental and Budget Car Rental have a branch at the airport. Motorcycle taxis are available outside the terminal.

Krabi Limousine (Tel. +66 75 692073) has a desk inside the terminal and provides "limousine taxi" (using large air-conditioned sedans) transport to Krabi for 500 baht, Phuket for 2,500 baht.

Air conditioned airport bus service is 90 baht to Krabi. The bus service meets all incoming flights and serves most outgoing flights. A songthaew to Krabi town is 40 baht from the road near the airport. Going to the airport they will drop you right at the departure terminal.

By boat[edit]

Travelling to Ko Phi Phi by boat is how almost everyone arrives. Ferries leave from Phuket and Mainland Krabi daily (from Krabi, two ferries a day, 09:00, and 14:30, and from Phuket at 09:00, 11:00, and 14:30 (11:00 during high season only). Tickets can be purchased online at Phi Phi Ferry or on the dock, from tourist offices, most local guesthouses and hotels. There is a 20 baht per person fee required on the pier for "keeping Ko Phi Phi clean". Unfortunately, there is still plenty of rubbish on the beaches.

Ticket prices:

  • From Ko Lanta: 350 baht.
  • From Krabi Town: 300 baht from PP Family, office right by the pier in town. Includes songthaew to the pier outside town. The normal passenger ferry does not leave from the centre of town any more, but from a new passenger port (Klong Jilard Pier Tel. +66 75 620052) about 3 km outside Krabi Town. Free taxi transfer to the pier should be included in the price of your ticket. Many times they'll take you to a travel agent near the Chao Fah Pier and sell you additional accommodations or services. Only ever buy the ticket you need. Additional ferries are added during peak season.
  • From Phuket Airport: To Rassada Pier (Phuket) by meter taxi for around 500 baht. It's about a 30 km drive and takes 45 minutes depending on traffic and weather.
  • From Phuket Pier (Rassada): 600 baht one-way/1,000 baht round trip when bought at the pier. It's ossible to get 300-350 baht one-way tickets as part of a deal with a guesthouse stay.

Ferries are all not of equal quality. Despite reports to the contrary, Andaman Wave Master will no longer take you for free to north Ko Phi Phi after the stop at Ton Sai pier (expect another 200 baht per person). Andaman Wave Master has also recently suffered a pretty big hit in customer service. Watch out for their Krabi representatives, who will offer to sell round-trip tickets at a discount with the option of changing the return destination to Phuket if you decide to take a different way back to the mainland. Representatives at both Ko Phi Phi and Phuket will refuse to refund or alter the tickets.

The Sea Angel ferries are quite nice with big flat screen TVs and refreshments. These are sold online as first class ferries.

The ferries run by Chao Koh group, particularly the smallest "Pichamon IV" are often overcrowded and appear to be very poorly maintained, which does not inspire confidence. The ferries run by PP Family are larger and seem more suited to the task.

The ferries run by Phi Phi Cruiser may take a little longer but they include a movie, complimentary breakfast (if taking the morning crossing) and complimentary beverage service. For an additional fee, you can purchase a "VIP ticket" which also includes snorkelling and a buffet lunch on Phi Phi Don.

Other tour vessels visit the island from several Phuket-based resorts, usually on day trips. The price for a speedboat from Rawai Beach was quoted at 15,000 baht return (or one way) for up to 6 people. There are many speedboats operating directly from the beach but it may be best to book the day before as most seem to be away on trips during the day. Speedboats can also be chartered from other nearby locations, but at a very high price.

By all-inclusive tour[edit]

Agencies selling all-inclusive day trips from Phuket are all over Patong town, and most everywhere else on Phuket Island. Typical is a lengthier "half-day" hour tour via speedboat negotiated to 1,400 baht/person (down from the pamphlet's printed price of 3,000 baht). The tour includes 6 different stops, a buffet lunch on Phi Phi Don, snorkel usage, and minibus transport to and from the Patong Beach hotel. This offering seems incredibly common, and one should be able to find similar deals sold anywhere on Phuket that tourists frequent.

Things to keep in mind:

  • The lower end priced speedboat tours (what most people book, including the above description) take approximately 30-35 passengers per 2 engine speedboat and 50-60+ passengers on 3 engine speedboats.
  • The higher-end tours take up to 18 passengers on 2 engine speedboats.
  • Tour desks will tell you anything to get your money. It would be best to contact the actual company directly to check prices/services, though 99.9%+ of tourists go through agencies.

Private companies providing small group tours are few:

By bus[edit]

As Ko Phi Phi is an island, the bus will get you close but you'll still need to cross by boat or plane at the end. Buses from Bangkok's Southern Bus Terminal (Tel. +66 2 4351199) to Krabi take about 12 hours and depart as follows:

  • VIP bus: 07:20 (1,055 baht)
  • First class bus: 19:00 (680 baht)
  • Second class bus: 07:30, 19:00, 19:30, 21:00 (378 baht)

Shuttle buses run between Krabi airport and Phuket airport several times a day. There are also regular buses that make the 2 hour run.

There are buses to Krabi from every provincial town in the south.

By car[edit]

From Bangkok:

  • Take Hwy 4, passing Phetchaburi–Prachuap Khiri Khan–Chumphon–Ranong–Phang Nga-Krabi. The total distance is 946 km.
  • Travel Hwy 4 to Hwy 41 at Chumphon via Lang Suan-Chaiya-Surat Thani. Proceed towards Wiang Sa, change to Hwy 4035 for Baan Ao Luek, and switch back to Hwy 4 again to Krabi. This route is 814 km.
  • From Phuket: Take Hwy 402 and Hwy 4. The total distance is 176 km.

By train[edit]

The nearest train station to Krabi is in Trang Province which is just south of Krabi.

Get around[edit]

Phi Phi officially has no motorised transport, though there are a few motorcycles with sidecars, usually used for goods and construction material transport. Transport on land is by foot or bicycle, but in the populated areas of Ton Sai, nowhere is more than about a ten minutes walk from anywhere else. Longtail boats sail between all beaches. On Phi Phi Don, you can also walk to any beach. From Ton Sai to Long Beach, expect to pay 40 baht/person in the afternoon, at least 80 baht at night. To have a complete boat to yourself, expect to pay at least 100 baht.

Wheelbarrows are used to transport goods, including your luggage if you like. Expect free transport from the pier to your room, but not necessarily in the opposite direction.

The most common ways to get around on Ko Phi Phi are by foot and by longtail. As with most everything in an area like this, the price for longtail boats is a negotiation. Hint: Take some foam earplugs for the longtail boat rides. It's a fun ride but the engines are loud and after 45 minutes it can get to you. Negotiating for longtail boats is usually done according to where you want to go and how many hours you want the trip to last. As an example, 1,200 baht for a 6-hour outing to Ko Phi Phi Leh and Ton Sai Bay from the Holiday Inn Resort.

See[edit]

Phi Phi Don[edit]

Ton Sai Bay

This island is the largest of the 6 Phi Phi islands and consists of two main sections. It is on Ton Sai where the original inhabitants settled and is now the site of most accommodations. Phi Phi Don is quite stunning and has earned the title of one of the most fantastic islands in the world. Nowadays though, with development, the beaches have paid the price, so they're not quite as spectacular as they were in the past.

  • Fire Show. There are several highly skilled and entertaining fire shows held nightly at several venues on the island, including at Carlito's, Apache Bar, Hippies, Carpe Diem, and The Tia and Millie Sunflower Bar on Loh Dalum.
  • Hin Khao Beach. This beach is extremely quiet and can only be reached on foot.
  • Laem Thong. At the very north of the island. A lovely, quiet beach with exhilarating scenery. Accommodation at Laem Thong is pricey.
  • Lanti Beach. Next door to Yao Beach, Lanti Beach is very similar in many regards with its great scenery and coral reefs. You can get there on foot.
  • Monkey Beach. Accessible by foot or by renting a canoe, or be lazy and charter a longtail. Be careful as the monkeys can sometimes be aggressive. Some tourists report attacks and local hospitals caution about rabies. (Note: you should not feed wildlife).
  • Ton Sai Bay. Ao Ton Sai is where most of the action is, be it restaurants, bars, hotels, or guesthouses. Most tourists stay at Ton Sai Bay because of the convenience. Even though it isn't the most beautiful place on Phi Phi, it is still impressive.
  • Tsunami Memorial Garden (By the Tia and Millie Sunflower Bar). A beautiful place for quiet contemplation and paying one's respects to the victims of the tragedy.
  • Viewpoint. Walk up to the viewpoint, 186 m above sea level (a very steep walk of between 10–25 min, depending on your fitness), to get a breathtaking view of the entire island, particularly at dawn or sunset (bring a torch). You will be surprised at how narrow the sand strip is between the two main parts of the island.
  • Yao Beach. Yao Beach, just south of Ton Sai, offers visitors some fantastic views, scenery, and coral reefs for snorkelling and scuba diving. This small place is packed out, however, with places to stay and so some people complain that it has been overdeveloped. You can get there either by walking from Ton Sai or taking a longtail boat.

Phi Phi Leh[edit]

The second largest of the Phi Phi Islands is extremely beautiful, and near-pristine, but is uninhabited because it is a national park.

  • Loh Samah Bay. A bay on the west coast of the island. It is U-shaped with a large rock in the middle. There is a very small beach and small caves at the end of a very narrow gorge. There is also a hole in the rock, accessible from the water only, that leads to the gorge behind Maya Bay Beach. It is a very short stroll to go from Loh Samah Bay to Maya Bay this way, but be careful depending on the tide and waves. Going through the hole can be a bit challenging depending on your level of fitness and there are rocks beneath the surface.
  • Maya Bay. Maya Bay has arguably Phi Phi’s most fantastic beach and was the location for the movie The Beach (starring Leonardo DiCaprio) in 1998. The bay also has hard coral and colourful reef fish which makes it a favourite spot for snorkellers and first-time divers. There is also a jump spot (~20 m) in one of the creeks behind the beach, and some climbing is possible on the cliff just next to it. You can take a longtail boat to Maya Beach for about 1,500 baht for half a day. It is recommended that you arrive at Maya Bay before 08:00, when the place can still be enjoyed in solitude. From 09:00 on, hoards of speedboats with tourists on package tours arrive from Phuket. Another thing to think about when coming to Maya Bay is the time of year. During the high-season (Oct-May) you will feel like you are at Disneyland, but during the off-season it could be slightly better. Note: Park rangers have begun enforcement of a national park entry fee of 200 baht/person. If you are travelling with a tour group, it will be included in the price of your trip. The park police will only attempt to charge you the park entrance fee if you turn up on a longtail boat. A mid-afternoon departure (15:00) is best. You get to catch the sunset as you leave Maya Beach (you can't see the sunset on the beach).
  • Phaya Naak Cave. Cave with prehistoric paintings and edible-nest swiftlets.

Other islands[edit]

  • Ko Pai (Bamboo Island). Not far from Ko Yung is Ko Pai. On the north and east sides of the island are sandy beaches. At low tide the coral is very close to the surface which makes it quite difficult for snorkelling.
  • Ko Yung. This island just north of Ko Phi Phi Don has a rocky beach and some coral.

Do[edit]

  • Bird Watching. The best time of the year for bird watching is from Jan-Apr. Many rare birds are to be seen there: gurneys, finfoots, big-winged brown kingfishers, egrets, bitterns, and herons.
  • Cliff Jumping. Cliff jumping is fairly new to Ton Sai Bay. There are cliffs from 6-16 m that are ideal for cliff jumping due to the depth of water below. Organized tours can be found at Ton Sai, but be careful. Jumping can result in ruptured ears and back injuries.

Diving[edit]

There are many dive shops on Ton Sai Bay within walking distance of each other. They can organize all diving and accommodations. Expect to pay the same everywhere. A PADI open water course is 13,800 baht, with SSI being 900 baht less. There are a few different trips offered by Phi Phi dive operators, the typical trip is a two-tank local dive in the Phi Phi Marine Park which will run about 2,500 baht, or 2,000 baht if you bring your own gear. They also do 2-3 tank trips to the King Cruiser wreck with your follow-up dives at both Shark Point and Anemone Reef. This trip usually runs between 3,200-3,900 baht depending on the number of dives you do. Further away, Hin Daeng has some of the steepest drops in Thailand (60+ m) as well as being the place you are most likely to see manta rays and whale sharks, and can be a great dive trip, but it only runs if sea conditions are good.

Dive sites[edit]

  • Anemone Reef Between Ko Phi Phi and Phuket, a massive limestone pinnacle which soars 30 m from the seabed to just 4 m beneath the surface. The site is well known for the abundance of anemones that cling to every surface while attracting enormous schools of fish. Different types of fish to be seen include: tropicals, snappers, groupers and colorful clown fish, along with larger game-fish like tuna and barracuda as well as the occasional leopard shark.
  • Garang Heng Garang Heng is a small submerged reef just east of Phi Phi Leh. A healthy reef with anemones, soft corals, and an abundance of leopard sharks.
  • Hin Daeng and Hin Muang From Ko Phi Phi, it is possible to dive Hin Daeng and Hin Muang, world-class dive sites, for around 5,500 baht. See Diving in Thailand.
  • Hin Dot These submerged pinnacles, often called Chimney Rock, are located just to the south of Phi Phi Don. The formation drops to a depth of 30 m and has several coral shelves for exploration upon your gradual ascent. Nurse sharks can occasionally be found here.
  • Hin Pae This is a relatively shallow dive site, 10–15 m deep. Its shallow depth offers excellent snorkelling. Its soft and hard coral provide shelter for a rich variety of coral fish. Crabs, lobsters, angelfish, groupers, snappers, and surgeon fish are also residents of this area.
  • King Cruiser Wreck A popular site off Ko Phi Phi and Phuket is King Cruiser, remnants of a passenger ship which sunk in 1997 after it hit the Anemone Reef.
  • Ko Bida Nai Just up from Bida Nok is Bida Nai. Like its sister island, it is a good place for diving with good chance of black tip reef sharks sighting.
  • Ko Bida Nok Besides an abundance of pretty coral, this island is home to plentiful marine life including: leopard sharks, turtles and moray eels. This island is popular with divers.
  • Shark Point (Hin Bida) Shark Point is a marine sanctuary with a reef that made up of three pinnacles, the largest of which actually breaks the surface, appearing as a barren rock outcropping. The reef is home to a delightful abundance of tropical, colourful soft corals and vibrant sea fans that decorate the limestone pinnacles.
  • Shark Point Phuket Another submerged reef very close to Anemone Reef and often dived together with Anemone Reef and King Cruiser Wreck as part of a 3 dive package from Ko Phi Phi.
  • Wang Long This site is well known for its underwater cave systems and is only recommended for experienced divers. The caves tunnel into the rock face in two places and open out into a larger cave where surfacing is possible.
  • Loh Samah Bay The bay is popular for night-time divers. It has a sandy bottom with oysters and clams and patches of brain coral for nocturnal reef critters to hide amongst. There is a spectacular 15 m deep canyon just wide enough for single file swimming on the east side.

Sailing and cruising[edit]

Krabi has plenty of anchorages, usually deserted and all so beautiful. There are many charter sailing boats available and some even offer "join-in" day trips for two or more people. Phi Phi offers a variety of ways for sailing and cruising. Longtails can be hired for sunset tours and island excursions. They can be found on any beach.

  • DragonHeart (at The Deaf Gecko on Nice Beach), e-mail: . Daily sunset and snorkel tours. Tour Phi Phi Leh and cruise into the sunset. Climbing, slacklining, weddings.

Snorkelling[edit]

There are two rocks within swimming distance of Long Beach known as "Shark Point" where harmless blacktip reef sharks can be seen. Many dive schools take snorkellers on their dive boats, but expect to see only a hint of the underwater marvels visible to scuba divers. The snorkelling off Bamboo and Mosquito Islands is quite good although the reefs are a long way below you at high tide. If you arrive on Bamboo Island in a longtail boat you will be asked to pay 200 baht/person to stay on the beach, or 400 baht/person to stay on the beach and further afield. Always ask for the ticket. With it, you do not have to pay 400 baht/person, just the 200 baht/person.

  • The Adventure Club. Runs "Shark Watch" snorkelling trips to Shark Point that guarantee a sighting of sharks.
  • Paradise Diving (at Paradise Resort in the middle of Long Beach.). Will point you in the right direction to the black tip reef shark's habitat metres from the sandy shore.

Buy[edit]

Most stuff is brought in by boat, so most things are less original and more expensive than on the mainland. However, there are a few shops that manufacture their goods on the island. Prices for commodities vary widely between shops.

Most of the items sold here are either made by local fishermen or they are brought to the island from Phuket town. Rising commercialization and inflow of tourists throughout the year seems to be a big bonus for these locals. Prices asked may exceed the value of the item, but if you are a good talker, you can bargain for a good price.

  • D's Books. Two locations on Ko Phi Phi and many others throughout southern Thailand, a well respected book store.

Learn[edit]

  • Kiteboarding. Ko Phi Phi offers excellent conditions for learning kiteboarding. There are beaches on all sides of the island so any wind direction is suitable. There is only one school on the island and they provide IKO beginner courses as well as advanced lessons. Tours are also provided to nearby islands.
  • Rock Climbing. Krabi region with its karst landscape is ideal for learning rock climbing. There are lots of different courses for beginners to advanced. The courses available range from just half-day to three days in length. All instructors are properly qualified and well-experienced. There are at least ten rock climbing schools in Rai Leh and Ton Sai, and several more on Ko Phi Phi.
  • Yoga. Keira offers classes on the rooftop at Carlito's Bar and in Banyan Villa Gym for people of all levels and experience.

Eat[edit]

In general, Southern Thai food is known for its spiciness. Much of the cuisine has its origins in Malay, Indonesian, and Indian food. Favourite dishes from the south include Indian-style Muslim curry (massaman), rice noodles in fish curry sauce (khanom jeen), and chicken with yellow rice.

  • Calamero Resto. A wide selection of breakfasts, fresh pasta, pizza, Thai food, sandwiches and more is complemented by fruit shakes, liqueurs, and evening cocktails. And the best "fried ice-cream". All food is clean, good, and cheap.
  • Cosmic. Italian restaurant with two outlets on the island. Serves very good pizza. The Thai food is disappointing. All pizzas cost 150 baht, all Thai dishes with rice cost 80 baht..
  • Little Britain. If you're looking for a good traditional English breakfast with eggs, Heinz baked beans, sausage, bacon, potatoes, mushrooms, and black pudding this is the place to go. English tea comes with your breakfast.
  • Mr. Tee's (When you come off the ferry, veer slightly left and you find yourself on an alley covered by tarps, with small Thai restaurants. You'll notice a lot of locals eating in this alley. The second booth on your left is Mr. Tee's. There's a signboard). The food is good, cheap, and spicy! There's a shop just opposite "Mr. Tee's", their food is just as good. They have the best fruit shake on the island.
  • Pad Thai Restaurant (Easily accessible from PP Island Village Resort. Exit the rear of the hotel, turn right and walk 50 m to Pad Thai on the left. The restaurant and PP Island Village are also accessible by walking 25 minutes from Laem Thong.). Friendly and fun, serves great tourist-friendly Thai food. Many hotel guests eat better food here each night for one-third the price of their hotel. Handmade spring rolls are excellent as are the garlic pepper fish and fried squid, bought fresh daily from local fishers. Ask the staff for a free motorcycle ride back after dark, an especially good idea if you have imbibed several PP Scuba Divers, a blue-coloured rum-based concoction served by the excellent bartenders. You can also book diving and snorkelling trips here. Quite busy between 19:00-21:00.
  • Papaya (Small green shop restaurant opposite Reggae Bar, next to Tiger Bar). 17:00-. One of the first restaurants rebuilt after the tsunami. Run by the enthusiastic and friendly Mr Nod. Don't let the unprepossessing looks of the restaurant put you off. The food here is incredibly good and a very good value. Serves authentic Thai food, hot and spicy as it should be, but the staff helpfully allows you to express the spiciness in percentile terms, with 100% being "Thai spicy". Among local expats living on the island, this place may be known as the place to get good cheap Thai food, but it's no longer the cheapest. If you are looking for a personal-sized portion with rice at a cheaper price ask for your food to be "on rice". Otherwise portions are huge! Help yourself to the drinks in the fridge, which will be included on the bill, and check out the cat which lives in there. Note: Papaya opens around 17:00 and, in high season, is packed by 18:00 or 19:00. Go early if you're not prepared to wait.
  • The Pirate's House. Great Indian and Western food, but the Thai food at this place is not the greatest. A bit pricey, but nice and clean. Be careful when you take a seat, it's very easy to hurt your knees on their heavy and impractical wooden tables.
  • Tuk's BBQ (Next to Reggae Bar). Basically a street vendor, but it has the absolute best BBQ on the island, with most items costing 30 baht.

Drink[edit]

Ton Sai Bay has a variety of nightlife, something for everyone’s taste. Jazz, blues, and classics can be found at the leading hotels. Or, if it's romance you're after, you and your loved one can relax in one of the outside hotel bars and sip a cocktail under the stars. The police usually allow, if there is no trouble, bars to stay open until about 01:00 in the town and 04:00 on the beach.

  • Beach Bar (In the tsunami wastelands). Good choice for those looking to have a quiet drink.
  • Breakers. American/Aussie-style pub with huge LCD wide-screens. Great food, big portions, and an extensive selection of spirits as well as draught beer and cider.
  • Carlitos Bar. Relaxed drinks on the beach served by amiable waitresses. During the winter months this place is full of Scandinavian party-goers. Most of the service staff this time of year is over on extended holiday from Sweden so expect a lot of beautiful tanned blonds to be walking around.
  • Carpe Diem. Nice, relaxing beach chill out bar. Staff used to be notoriously bad, but these have recently been replaced with better staff.
  • Deaf Gecko. 17:00-01:00. Chilled beach bar on Nice Beach. Great music, fantastic staff and quiet beach. Fresh fruit shakes, daiquiris, and loads of Leo beer!
  • Deco Bar (Above Phi Phi Scuba Dive Center on the main road from pier). 19:00-01:00. Excellent bar with chill music. Nightly specials & happy hours with 100 baht mixed drinks, 50 baht beers, and shisha/water pipe available. Try the Spicy Thai Mojito.
  • Hippies Bar (On the Ton Sai Bay side). The original Hippies has returned. The same staff, great music, cocktails and nightly fire shows!
  • Ibiza Bar. One of the best beach dance bars. A live music band, playing classic rock and roll hits, is a great feature as well. Don't miss the fire shows every night and great dancing and fun games.
  • Mojito Bar (At Viewpoint Resort). Great cocktail bar with fantastic views and the friendliest staff.
  • Reggae Bar. Popular place that organizes mock muay Thai fights most nights. If you are there at the right time you can even join in. They invite tourists, usually drunk, to get into the ring geared up to pound on each other for a few rounds in exchange for a couple of free buckets.
  • Rolling Stoned Bar. Great live rock music. They also have four pool tables in one of the more popular bars on the island.
  • Sports Bar (สปอร์ตซบาร์). Small English-style bar with a pool table and good pub food (English meat pies).
  • Tia and Millie Sunflower Bar (On Loh Dalum Bay). Nautically-themed beach bar with "ark" and longtail bar, pool table, and laid-back beach seating. A great place to watch the often spectacular sunsets.
  • Woody's Bar (Close to Apache). Just a liquor store, but they have a few tables out front. The staff are funny, and Beatles music is often playing. Nice place to get a 180 baht bucket to walk around on the beach with.

Sleep[edit]

This guide uses the following price ranges for a standard double room:
Budget Under 1,000 baht
Mid-range 1,000 baht to 2,500 baht
Splurge Over 2,500 baht


Accommodation here is relatively expensive. Doubles range from 400 baht up into the 1,000s the closer you get to the beach front. If you are on a budget expect to work hard to find a decent price. If you get really desperate, a couple of places rent out tents for about 200–300 baht. Mind your valuables! One thing to note, prices double during the high season which runs from Oct/Nov-May. Other times of the year you can find relatively cheap accommodation in the 200-300 baht range.

To have the best choice for accommodation, arrive on Phi Phi just before the full moon party, when most people will be on Ko Pha Ngan. Since a lot of people move from Ko Pha Ngan to Ko Phi Phi after the party, accommodation may be very hard to find on Phi Phi around this time. It is not uncommon to see people arrive on the morning ferry only to leave in the afternoon because they have been unsuccessful in finding accommodation.

Backpackers need only to look further east on the main street for relatively cheap accommodation. Certain guesthouses have dorms, and some have reputations for being good sources of camaraderie and parties. Compare. All the dorms are different.

Budget[edit]

  • Oasis Guesthouse. Nice fan rooms with clean shared baths. Close to bars/restaurants but the noise doesn't make it to the rooms. Prices are simple, no negotiating but good prices on rooms, tour packages, and travel to mainland. 500 baht.
  • Phi Phi Hill Resort (Long Beach (Had Yao)), e-mail: . Great budget bungalows. Expect plenty of stairs to and from the beach (though there is a pulley system for your luggage). Sunrise bungalows 700-750 baht (fan) and Sunset bungalows 1,200-2,000 baht (fan or air-con, with breakfast). 700-2,000 baht.
  • Phi Phi Rimlay. Very nice air conditioned rooms near the beach. 800+ baht.
  • The Rock Backpacker +66 75 601021, e-mail: . Clean, friendly place, excellent for meeting other tourists. 200 baht dorm beds, 300 baht tiny singles and a few 500 baht doubles (prices double during high season).
  • View Garden Resort. Rooms with bath, double bed, and shared balcony. 300 baht.

Mid-range[edit]

  • Chao Koh Phi Phi Lodge Resort (On Ton Sai Bay just ten min walk to the pier). Nice with both fan and air-conditioned rooms near the beach. 1,200-3,500 baht.
  • Holiday Inn Resort. A great place to get away for couples and families. It is expensive by Thai standards. There are no clubs or bars in this area, and to get to any clubs or bars is by a 45 minute longtail ride. There are 4 resorts clustered on one beach. Food at the resort is expensive, but there are two independent restaurants nearby. On the longtail boat journey back from visiting Ko Phi Phi Leh it's recommended to stop at Ton Sai Bay for provisions as it's one-third the price there. 1,800-4,200 baht.
  • Kinnaree House (Centre of Ko Phi Phi). Rooms with private bathroom, twin or double bed. 1,000-2,000 baht.
  • Phi Phi Andaman Legacy (On Ton Sai Bay. After getting off the boat, about 7-10 min walk straight on the beach side). 2,000-5,000 baht.
  • Phi Phi Banyan Villa (On Ton Sai Beach, 200 m from the main pier). 2,000-5,200 baht, including breakfast.
  • Phi Phi Casita (In Loh Dalum, 5 min walk to the beach and 10 min from Ton Sai). 1,500-4,000 baht.
  • Phi Phi Charlie Beach Resort (On Loh Dalum Bay, Phi Phi Don). 100 m from the market, the Ton Sai pier, banks, and food shops. 1,500-2,500 baht.
  • Phi Phi Lagoon Resort (15 min by longtail from Ton Sai Bay to Loh Bagao or Loh Lana Bay),  +66 75 623239 +66 84 8898225, e-mail: . Remoteness incarnate. This is one of the best get-away family bungalow complexes on the island. It is not even easy to get there as you have to take a taxi boat after you arrive at the main pier. In a coconut orchard, the resort offers comfortable, but simple accommodation. No discos or loud music at night. Air conditioned bungalows. Daily fishing trips and BBQ parties with the owner of the resort is a special touch. Nearest hotel to the beautiful secluded beach at Nui Bay. 2,500 baht.
  • Phi Phi Viewpoint. Wide variety of rooms from bungalows with fans to air-con with minibar, all with awesome views of the bay. Pool, full service dining, two bars, kayak rentals, diving lessons, and a private trail to the viewpoint. Poor food quality, the bill might be higher than listed on menu. 1,800-5,900 baht.
  • Pong Pan House (Near Loh Dalum Beach, centre of Ko Phi Phi). A cheap guesthouse. 1,000-1,500 baht.

Splurge[edit]

  • Phi Phi Erawan Palms Resort (On Leamtong Beach (Cape of God), the northernmost beach on Ko Phi Phi Don). A luxury beach resort with Thai-style accommodation. A tempting outdoor swimming pool lies looking over the white sand beach and emerald ocean. 3,000-9,000 baht.
  • Phi Phi Island Cabana. Luxury hotel in Ton Sai Bay. Prime location closest to the main pier with large swimming pool. 2,800-20,000 baht.
  • Phi Phi Island Resort. A good place for honeymooners. Expensive. Some staff don't speak English. starting from 4,700 baht.
  • Phi Phi Natural Resort (In Laem Tong, north Phi Phi). Public ferries from Krabi or Phuket to the resort are available. Accommodation is amid lush surroundings and the beach is just a short stroll from your cottage. 2,500-8,500 baht.
  • Phi Phi Palm Tree. Luxury, modern hotel with pool access. 4,000-8,500 baht, including breakfast.
  • Viking Natures ResortViking Beach (15 min walk from town or take a longtail between Maprao and Long Beach),  +66 75 819399, +66 78 5819398 +66 81 9308866, e-mail: . On the beach amid gardens. Private and shared bungalows with good attention to detail. Safe, clean, and environmentally friendly with spectacular views. 1,500-12,000 baht.

Stay healthy[edit]

Ko Phi Phi has a couple of pharmacies and a hospital. For serious illnesses, go back to Krabi or even better, Phuket.

Go next[edit]

This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!


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