Help Wikitravel grow by contributing to an article! Learn how.
New users, please see Help or go to the Pub to ask questions.

Ko Phi Phi

From Wikitravel
Jump to: navigation, search

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

Understand

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 bird nest harvesters and a few Maya Bay wardens; expect plenty of tourists during daylight hours, especially in Maya Bay, also known as 'the beach'.
  • Ko Mai Phai ('Bamboo Island'), a small low-lying islet to the north of Phi Phi Don with several good beaches.
  • Ko Yung (Yung Island) is 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 various kinds of colourful coral reefs.
  • Bida Nok and Bida Nai, two small adjacent limestone karsts to the south of Phi Phi Leh, with near-vertical cliff walls rising from the sea.

Most of the development of Phi Phi Don is situated 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 Thong, and at other less accessible areas of the island.

Koh Phi Phi was devastated by the Indian Ocean tsunami of December 2004, when nearly all of the island's infrastructure was 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 tourists do in fact parade down Main Street in their Speedos or thong bikinis, to avoid offending your hosts, it's usually best just to throw on a pair of shorts or a sarong; similarly, topless on the beaches, while grudgingly tolerated by most locals, is also probably best avoided.

Climate

Weather in the region is tropical - there are only two seasons: the hot season from January to April, and the rainy season from May to December. Temperatures during the year average 25ºC to 32ºC (77ºF to 89.6ºF) and the yearly rainfall averages 2568.5mm. Unlike in say Europe, the rain in this region comes down heavily over short periods.

History

From archaeological discoveries, 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 stemmed 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 there.

Geography

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 50km south-east of Phuket and are part of Had Nopparattara - Koh 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.

Phi Phi Don and Phi Phi Le are the largest and most well-known islands.

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

Koh Phi Phi comprises of 6 islands, 2 of them main – Phi Phi Don and Phi Phi Le. The islands are surrounded by the Andaman Sea.

Culture

Krabi is a melting pot of Buddhists, Thai-Chinese, Muslims and even sea gypsies. The majority of the population in the rural areas is Muslim. Krabi however, does not suffer from any religious tension and the folk live in peace and harmony. Outside of the provincial town, the rural folk speak with a thick Southern dialect which is difficult for even other Thais to understand.

With this kind of mixture, Krabi is always celebrating something be it part of Thai Buddhist, Thai-Chinese or Thai-Islamic tradition. Visitors can also enjoy the annual boat-launching ceremonies of the sea gypsies and various long-tail boat races.

Art

The art of batik is practiced by the locals. There are also a lot of Krabi handicrafts, such as pineapple paper.

Tourism

Tourism on Ko Phi Phi, like the rest of Krabi province, has exploded only very recently. In the early 1990s only the most adventurous travelers visited the island, staying in only the most basic accommodation costing the likes of 50-100 baht a night. Nowadays, however, the place has turned into one of the major destinations for visitors to Thailand. The development however, is still nothing on a par with the likes of Phuket or Ko Samui. However, presently, budget backpackers can still get a cheap room away from the beach, up the hill a bit.

Ko Phi Phi has plenty of nightlife to drink and dance but if that isn’t your cup-of-tea, then there are lots of really quiet places to chill out and take it easy.

Get in

By boat

Traveling to Ko Phi Phi by boat is BY FAR the most frequent method used. Ferries leave from Phuket and Krabi daily (from Krabi two ferries a day 9:00 am and 14:30PM and from Phuket at 9:00 am, 11:00, and 14:30pm several times a day ( 11:00 during high season only). Tickets can be purchased online at Phiphi-Ferry.com 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 Koh Phi Phi clean". Unfortunately there is still plenty of rubbish on the beaches.

Tickets prices:

  • 600 baht one-way/1000 baht round trip when bought at the Phuket pier (as of 2009/09/15). Possible to get 300-350 baht one-way tickets as part of a deal with a guest house stay.

You can get from the Phuket Airport to Rassada Pier by meter taxi for around 500 baht. It's about a 30 km drive and takes 45 minutes depending on traffic and weather.

  • From Krabi Town - 300 baht in June 2012 from PP Family, office right by the pier in town, incl. songthaew to the pier outside town. The normal passenger ferry does not leave from the centre of town anymore, but from a new passenger port (Klong Jilard Pier Tel. 0 7562 0052) 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. They add additional ferries during peak season.
  • From Ko Lanta - 350 baht (date checked 18 Nov 2011).

Not all ferries are of equal quality. Andaman wave master is the only company that will take you for free to the north of Phi Phi island after the stop at Tonsai pier. 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, however they are launching a new mega boat beginning of 2010. In April 2007, a ferry operated by Andaman Wave Master caught fire and sank, and all aboard were forced to jump into the sea. Fortunately, nearby vessels were quickly able to rescue all the passengers, and no casualties occurred. 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 snorkeling 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 speadboat from Rawai Beach was quoted at 15,000 baht return(or one way) for up to 6 people(Dec 6 2007). There are many speedboats operating directly from the beach but it may be best to book the day before as most seem to be on away on trips during the day. Speedboats can also be chartered from other nearby locations, but at a very high price (in July 2007, the starting price for a speedboat to Phi Phi Don from Ko Yao was quoted at 20,000 baht).

By all-inclusive Tour

Agencies selling all-inclusive day trips from Phuket are all over Patong town, and most everywhere else on Phuket Island. Circa late January 2011 - booked a lengthier "half day" hour tour via speedboat negotiated to ฿1,400/person (from the pamphlet printed price of ฿3,000). The tour included 6 different stops, a free buffet lunch on Phi Phi Don, snorkel usage, and minibus transport to and from the Patong Beach hotel. This setup 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 approx. 30-35 PAX per 2 Engine speedboat and 50-60+ PAX on 3 engine speedboats.
  • The higher end tours take up to 18 PAX 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 so...don't feel too bad for negotiating the typical way.

Private companies providing small group tours are few:

  • Aloha Ocean Adventures [1] Tel: 081-917-6822 - Small group tours departing from Chalong Pier, closest to Kata, Karon and Patong areas.
  • Simba Sea Trips [2] Tel: +66 (0)8178-777-02 - Small group trips departing from Royal Phuket Marina.

By plane

Krabi International Airport (KBV) is about 10 km from the city limits, 15 km from the city centre, 40km from Ao Nang and 23km 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 and to/from. Nok Air operates daily flights to Krabi from Bangkok (Don Muang).

For more information, contact:

  • Thai Airways International Public Company Limited: Tel. 1566, 0 2280 0060, 0 2628 2000, 0 2356 1111, 0 7570 1591 – 93 or visit [3].
  • Krabi International Airport, Tel. 0 7563 6541- 2
  • Air Asia Airlines: Tel. 0 2515 9999 or visit [4].
  • Nok Air: Tel. 0 2627 2000 or 1318 or visit [5]
  • Bangkok Airway 0 2655 5555, 0 2265 5678 [6].

The international departure tax surcharge is 700 baht but is included in most tickets 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 taxi rides are available outside the terminal.

Krabi Limousine (tel. +66-75692073) has a desk inside the terminal and provides "limousine taxi" (using large air-conditioned sedans) transport to Krabi for 500 baht; Phuket for 2500 baht. Krabi.com offers taxi and minibus (minivans) for less however travellers have to make deposit payment of 200 baht online via credit card.

An air-conditioned Airport Bus service started in 2007, fares are 90baht to Krabi. The bus service meets all incoming flights and serves most outgoing flights (note: it is not possible to catch the first 1-2-go plane in the morning with the new airport bus service) A songthaew to Krabi town is 40 baht from the road outside. Going to the airport they will drop you right at the departure terminal.

By bus

Obviously, since 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. +66-24351199) 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

Since Ko Phi Phi is an island, you can get close but you'll still need to cross by boat or plane at the end. From Bangkok:

  1. Proceed along Highway No. 4, passing Phetchaburi – Prachuap Khiri Khan – Chumphon – Ranong – Phang-nga, to Krabi. The total distance is 946 kilometres.
  2. Travel along Highway No. 4 onto Highway No. 41 at Chumphon via Amphoe Lang Suan and Amphoe Chaiya, Surat Thani. Proceed towards Amphoe Wiang Sa, change to Highway No. 4035 for Amphoe Ao Luek, and switch back to Highway No. 4 again to Krabi. This route is 814 kilometres.

From Phuket: Proceed along Highways No. 402 and No. 4. The total distance is 176 kilometres.

By train

Obviously, since Ko Phi Phi is an island, the train will get you close but you'll still need to cross by boat or plane at the end. The nearest train station to Krabi is in Trang province which is just south of Krabi.

Get around

Phi Phi officially has no motorised transport, though there are a few motorcycles with truck sidecars, usually used for goods and construction material transport. Transport on land is by foot or bicycle, but in the populated areas of Tonsai, nowhere is more than about ten minutes' walk from anywhere else. Long-tail taxi-boats ply 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 long-tail boat. As with most everything in an area like this, the price for long-tail boats is a negotiation. Hint: Take some foam earplugs for the long-tail boat rides... it's a fun ride but the engines are loud and after 45 minutes it can get to you. The negotiation 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, 1200 baht for a 6-hour outing to Ko Phi Phi Le and Tonsai Bay from the Holiday Inn Resort.

See

Phi Phi Don

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 home of the main accommodation area. 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 and so they're not quite as spectacular as they were in the days of yesteryear. The landscape however, can never be ruined.

  • Viewpoint - walk up to the Viewpoint, 186 metres above sea level (a very steep walk of between 10-25 minutes, depending on 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.
  • Monkey Beach - accessible on foot or by renting a canoe, or be lazy and charter a longtail boat. Be careful as the monkeys can sometimes be aggressive. Some tourists reports bite attacks and local hospital's number one note is about vactination against monkey rabies. (Note: you should not feed wildlife)
  • Fireshow - there are several highly skilled and entertaining fireshows held nightly in several venues on the island, including at Carlito's, Apache Bar, Hippies, Carpe Diem, and The Tia and Millie Sunflower Bar on Lohdalum.
  • 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 recent tragedy.
  • Yao Beach Yao Beach, just south of Ton Sai, offers visitors some fantastic views, scenery and coral reefs for snorkeling and scuba diving. This small place is packed out however, with places to stay and so some people do complain that the vicinity has been rather over developed. You can get there either by walking from Ton Sai or taking a long-tail boat.
  • 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.
  • Hin Khao Beach This beach is extremely quiet and can only be reached on foot.
  • 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.
  • Laem Tong Laem Thong, located at the very north of the island offers visitors and lovely quiet beach with exhilarating scenery. Accommodation on Laem Thong is aimed at higher spending tourists.

Phi Phi Leh

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

  • Phaya Naak Cave Cave with prehistoric paintings and edible-nest swiftlets that can be partially visited. '
  • Maya Bay Maya Bay has arguably Phi Phi’s most fantastic beach and was the location for the movie The Beach (Leonardo DiCaprio) in 1998. The bay also has hard coral and colorful reef fishes which makes it a favorite spot for tour snorkelers and first time divers. There is also a jump spot (~20 metres) 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 1500 baht for the whole boat for half a day. It is highly recommended to arrive at Maya Bay before 8AM, when the place can still be enjoyed in solitude. As from 9AM 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 (October - 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, though if you are traveling in a tour group, they will typically include it in the price of your trip. The park police will only attempt to charge you for the "park entrance fee" if you turn up on a long-tail boat. The mid-afternoon trip (3 PM) is better... you get to catch the sunset as you leave Maya Beach (you can't see the sunset on the beach).
  • Lohsamah Bay Another bay situated on the west coast of the island, and has a U shape form 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 in the gorge behind Maya Bay beach. It is a very short stroll to go from Lohsama 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 the level of fitness and could liaise to injuries on the rocks below the surface.

Other Islands

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

Do

Diving

Even though the island was struck badly by the Tsunami disaster in 2004, the dive sites were almost unaffected and divers are coming back in flocks.

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Shark Point (Hin Bida) Shark Point is a marine sanctuary with a reef that comprises 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, colorful soft corals and vibrant sea fans that decorate the limestone pinnacles.
  • Garang Heng Garang Heng is a small submerged reef just east of Phi Phi Le. It offers healthy reef with anemones, soft corals and abundance of leopard sharks.
  • 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.
  • King Cruiser Wreck A popular site off Ko Phi Phi and Phuket is King Cruiser which claim remnants of a passenger ship which sunk in 1997 after it hit the Anemone reef.
  • Anemone reef The Anemone reef is in itself a unique dive site between Koh Phi Phi and Phuket with a massive limestone pinnacle which soars 30 metres from the seabed to just 4 metres beneath the surface. The site is well-known for its abundance of sea 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.
  • 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 dives package from Koh Phi Phi.
  • 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 metres and has several coral shelves for exploration upon your gradual ascent. Nurse sharks can occasionally be found here.
  • Lohsamah 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 metre deep canyon just wide enough for single file swimming on the eastern side.
  • Hin Pae This is a relatively shallow dive site - 10 to 15 metres deep. Its shallow depth offers excellent snorkeling. Its soft and hard coral provide shelter for a rich variety of coral fish. Crabs, lobsters, angelfish, groupers, snappers and surgeonfish are also residents of this area.
  • Hin Daeng and Hin Muang From Ko Phi Phi, it is also possible to go diving to Hin Daeng and Hin Muang, world class diving sites, for around THB 5,500 (as of January 2012), see Diving in Thailand.
  • Dive shops There are many dive shops in Ton Sai bay, Phi Phi within walking distance of each other, they can organize all diving and accommodation also. Prices are regulated, so expect to pay the same everywhere. A PADI open water course is 13,800 baht, with SSI being 900 baht less (Nov 2010). There are a few different trips offered by Phi Phi dive operators, the typical trip is a two tank local dive within the Phi Phi Marine park which will run about 2500 baht, 2000 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 3200 -3900 depending on the number of dives you do. Further away, Hin Daeng has some of the steepest drops in Thailand (60m+) 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. Out of the main town there are another couple of dive shops on Long beach. Check out DiveThailand.com [7] for more information, or the original UK ran Long Beach Divers [8] both are located on the longbeach.

Other Activities

  • Snorkeling - there are two rocks within swimming distance of Long Beach known as 'Shark Point' where harmless blacktip reef sharks can be seen. The Adventure Club [9] dive shop runs 'Shark Watch' snorkeling trips to Shark Point that 'guarantee' a sighting of sharks. Many dive schools take snorkelers on their dive boats, but expect to see only a hint of the underwater marvel visible to scuba divers. The snorkeling off Bamboo and Mosqito Islands is quite good although the reefs are a long way below you at high tide. If you arrive to the bamboo island in the long tail 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 island, always ask for the ticket, and do not believe that you have to pay with the ticket 400 baht/person, actually it cost 200 baht/person to stay on the beach. For an excellent chance to see sharks, visit Paradise Diving [10] on Longbeach who will point you in the right direction of the Black Tip Reef Shark's habitat metres from the sandy shore. Paradise Diving is on The Paradise Resort [11] in the middle of Longbeach.
  • Yoga Classes - There are excellent yoga classes on offer daily in Koh Phi Phi, Keira of Keiritas Yoga [12] offers classes on Carlito Bars roof top and in Banyan Villa Gym for people of all levels and experience.
  • Rock Climbing - there are opportunities for rock climbing on Ko Phi Phi, and a few climbing shops to rent equipment, find a guide or take basic lessons. While not as famous as Rai Leh beach, nor with as many routes, the climbing is on similar limestone cliffs, and similarly beautiful. The climbing here also tends to be less crowded than at Rai leh. There are about four walls that are used with some frequency.
  • Kayaking Phi Phi with its dramatic scenery is an ideal location for kayaking. You can either go it alone or with an organized package. Kayaks can be hired either per hour or per day.
  • Cliff Jumping Cliff jumping is fairly new to Tonsai Bay. There are cliffs from 6 to 16m that are ideal for cliff jumping due to the depth of water below. Organized tours can be found at Ton Sai, but please be informed that this is not a particularly regulated activity and can cause injury to people including ear ruptures, and muscle / back injuries.
  • Spa
    • Spa at Zevola Resort & Spa
    • Spa at Phi Phi Island Village, Beach Resort & Spa
    • Spa at PP Princess Diving & Spa Resort
  • Bird Watching The best time of the year for bird watching has to be from January to April. Many rare birds are to be seen there: Gurneys, Finfoots, Bigwinged Brown Kingfishers, Egrets, Bitterns, Herons and more.
  • Sailing & Cruising 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. The Original P.P. Sunset Tour is a big boat with plenty of space for snorkeling and viewing the sunsets, get information about them at The White.

For a great adventure...visit DragonHeart. Daily sunset and snorkel tours. Tour Phi Phi Ley and cruise into the sunset. Climbing, slacklining, weddings and more! Find them at The Deaf Gecko on Nice Beach. See [13] or email [14].

  • Fishing Wanna-be fishers can catch the likes of marlin, sailfish barracuda and tuna.
  • Camping Camping in Maya Bay is possible. See [15] or email [16].

Buy

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.

D's Books, with two locations on Ko Phi Phi and many others throughout Southern Thailand, is a well respected book store.

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 told may exactly not be worth the item, but if you are a good talker, you can bargain for a good price.

Learn

Rock Climbing Krabi region with its specific landscape is ideal for learning rock climbing, there are lots of different courses for beginners – advanced. The courses available range from just half a day to three whole days in length. All instructors are properly qualified and well-experienced. There are at least ten rock climbing schools in Railay and Ton Sai, and several more in Ko Phi Phi.

Diving

With its crystal clear water, colourful coral and huge diversity of marine life, Phi Phi is a must-go for all those interested in diving. There are courses for anyone, regardless to whether they are near-on experts or complete beginners. Beginner courses are on offer from a range of dive centres, with more advance PADI Open Water courses taking up to three to four days to complete.

Kiteboarding

Phi Phi island 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.

Eat

In general, Southern Thai food is renowned 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.

Food on Ko Phi Phi is extremely varied, given the diminutive size of the island, but is not as spectacular as it generally is in Thailand, because most ingredients have to be brought in by boat from the mainland. Nevertheless there are some restaurants that manage to serve tasty food:

  • Cosmic - Italian restaurant - has two outlets on the island and serves very good pizza. Aside from the pizza, the Thai food at this restaurant is disappointing. As November 2009 all pizza cost 150 baht, all thai dishes with rice cost 80 baht.
  • Calamero Resto - The usual suspects are served in this simple yet quality restaurant. A wide selection of breakfast, 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, cheap as reasonably priced.
  • Little Britain - If you are 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 also 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 showing "Mr. Tee's" but its facing the other direction. They tend to be forgetful but 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. It's opened by another tsunami survivor.
Khun Nod's cat
  • Papaya - one of the first restaurants rebuilt after the tsunami. A small green 'shop' restaurant opposite the Reggae Bar and next door to Tiger Bar, 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 very good value. Serves authentic Thai food, hot and spicy as it should be, but the staff helpfully allow 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 wil be included on the bill, and check out the cat which lives in there. Note: Papaya opens around 5PM and, in high season, is packed by 6 or 7. Go early if your not prepared to wait!
  • Sports Bar - For some great English-style meat pies Sports Bar is the place to go.
  • The Pirate's House - Great Indian and Western food, but the Thai food as 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 unpractical wooden tables.
  • Tuk's BBQ - Located next to Reggae Bar, its basically a street vendor, but it has the absolute best BBQ on the island, with most items costing 30 baht.
  • Pad Thai Restaurant - Friendly and fun, Pad Thai Restaurant serves great tourist-friendly Thai food behind PP Island Village Resort. Many hotel guests eat better food there each night for 1/3 the price. Hand made spring rolls are excellent as are the garlic pepper fish and fried squid, bought fresh daily from local fishermen. The restaurant is easily accessible from PP Island Village Resort. Exit the rear of the hotel, turn right and walk 50 yds to Pad Thai on the left. The restaurant and PP Island Village are also accessible by walking 25 minutes from Laem Tong. 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-colored rum-based concoction served by the excellent bartenders. You can also book diving and snorkeling trips here. Be advised that it can be quite busy between 7-9pm.

As for Ko Phi Phi, reasonable priced and tasty seafood is obviously what most tourists long for when visiting a coastal province like Krabi. In this connection, the wing shell (หอยชักตีน) is Krabi’s famous cuisine and is eaten with a spicy dip. In addition, stirred fried Spotted Babylon (หอยหวาน), which is found in mangrove forests, with chilies and basil is also famous. This cuisine is common in Krabi’s restaurants. Another great Krabi taste is, of course, seafood.

Drink

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 are after, you and your loved one can relax in one of the outside hotel bars and sip a cocktail under the stars.


The law-enforcers usually allow, if there is no trouble, bars to open until about 1 in the town and 4 on the beach.

  • Beach Bar - located right in the tsunami wastelands and a good choice for those looking to have a quiet drink.
  • 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 - Chilled beach bar on Nice Beach. Great music, fantastic staff and quiet beach! Fresh fruit shakes, Daiquiris, and loads of Leo beer! Open 5am-1am nightly.
  • Deco Bar - Excellent bar with chill music located above Phi Phi Scuba Dive Center on main road from pier. Nightly specials & Happy Hour(s) with 100B mixed drinks, 50B beers and shisha/water pipe available. Try the Spicy Thai Mojito. Open 7pm-1am nightly.


  • 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.
  • HIPPIES Bar - The original Hippies has returned. Near the original location on the Tonsai bay side, the same staff, great music, cocktails and nightly fireshows! [17]
  • 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 with the Muay Thai fights. They invite tourist, usually drunk, to get into the ring geared up and to beat on each other for a few rounds for a couple of Free buckets.
  • Rolling Stoned Bar - Great rock music with a live band during high season and at other times of the year. They also have four pool tables and is a one of the more popular bars on the island.
  • Sports Bar (สปอร์ตซ บาร์) - Small english style interesting little bar with a pool table and good pub food.
  • Breakers - American / Aussie style pub with huge wide screen LCD screens. Great food, big portions, and an extensive selection of spirits as well as draught beer and cider.
  • Velvet Dojo - Phi Phi's new trendiest looking hang-out.
  • Tia and Millie Sunflower Bar - on Lohdalum Bay, a 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.
  • Woodys Bar is just a liquor store, but they have a few tables out front. Its close to Apache. The staff are funny, and the Beatles music is often playing. Nice place to get a 180 baht bucket to walk around on the beach with.
  • Mojito bar - great cocktail bar with fantastic views and the friendliest staff. Set at Viewpoint resort.

Sleep

Accommodation is relatively expensive - doubles range from 400 baht up into the 1000s the closer you get to the beach front. If you are a budget traveler 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 are double during the high season which runs from October/November until May. Other time of year you can find relatively cheap accommodation in the 200 -300 range.

To have the best choice for accommodation, arrive in Phi Phi just before the time of the full moon party, when most people will be on Ko Pha Ngan. Since a lot of people move from Pha Ngan to 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 on the afternoon one because they have been unsuccessful in aquiring accommodation.

Backpackers need only to look further east in 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 all are different.

  • Pongpan House a cheap guest house, located near Loh Dalum beach, the center of Ko Phi Phi. Price ranges between 1000 - 1500 Bht/night.
  • PP Palm Tree situated at the heart of Phi Phi island, luxury and modern designed hotel with pool access. Price ranges between 4000-8500 Bht/night including daily breakfast.
  • Phi Phi Hill Resort Long Beach (Had Yao) Great budget bungalows. As the name suggests, expect to take 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). phiphihill@hotmail.com
  • Phi Phi Andaman Legacy located on Tonsai bay and after guests get off the boat, about 7-10 minutes by walk straight on the beach side. Price ranges between 2000-5000 Baht / night.
  • Phi Phi Lagoon Resort, (15 min by longtail from Ton Sai Bay to Loh Bagao or Loh Lana Bay), +66-75-623239 +668-4889-8225 (), [18]. checkin: early; checkout: late. Remoteness personified. This is one of the best get-away family bungalow complex 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. Nestled among the coconut orchard the resort offers comfortable but simple accommodation. No discos or loud music at night. The air conditioned bungalows will make yours Robinson Crusoe on Pandora experience worthwhile. Daily fishing trips and BBQ parties with he owner of the resort is special touch. Nearest hotel to the beautiful secluded beach at Nui Bay. US$80 (2,500 bhat).
  • Phi Phi Natural Resort situated in Laem Tong, the northernmost of Phi Phi Island. Price ranges between 2500-8500 Bht. Public ferries from Krabi or Phuket to the resort are available. Accommodation is set amidst lush surrroundings and the beach is just a short stroll from your cottage.
  • PP Casita, situated in Loh Dalum 5 minutes by walking to the beach and 10 minutes from Tonsai. Room rate starts 1500-4000 Bht/night.
  • PP Banyan Villa, situated on Tonsai beach, 200 metres from the main pier. Price: 2000-5200 Bht/night including breakfast.
  • Viking Natures Resort, Viking Beach (15 min walk from town or take a longtail between Maprao and Long Beach), 075819399 0785819398 0819308866 (), [19]. On its own private beach and gardens. Private and shared bungalows with good attention to detail. Safe, clean, and environmentally friendly with spectacular views.
  • PP Erawan Palms Resort is a luxury beach resort with Thai island style accomodation, located on Leamtong Beach (cape of God), the northern most beach of Phi Phi Don Island. Price ranges between 3000-9000 Bht / night. A tempting outdoor swimming pool lies looking over the white powdery sand beach and emerald blue ocean.
  • Holiday Inn Resort. A great place to get away for couples and families. Exceptionally relaxing. Expensive (by Thai standards). There are NO clubs or bars in this area and no way to get to any clubs or bars except via 45 minute longtail boat ride. If you want to relax, this is a good thing. There are 4 resorts clustered on one beach... Holiday Inn, Zeavola, Phi Phi Erawan, and Phi Phi Natural Resort. As of 2009/09/15 could get USD$60/night garden bungalows, USD$100/night sea view, USD$140/night beach front. The cost of food at the resort is very high. However, there are two independent restaurants on this beach next to each other, one called Jasmin's, where the food is better cheaper. Also, it's recommended to take a long-tail boat to Ko Phi Phi Le ... on the way back stop in Tonsai Bay and buy enough food/beer for a few days as it's 1/3rd the price.
  • Chaokoh Phi Phi Lodge Resort, situated on Tonsai bay just ten minutes by walking to the pier. Nice with both fan and air-conditioned rooms near the beach for 1200 - 3500 Bht per night.
  • PP Charlie Beach Resort, situated on Loh Dalum Bay, Phi Phi Don. Price ranges between 1500-2500 Bht. 100 metres away from the market, the Tonsai pier, banks and food shops.
  • Phi Phi Rimlay. Very nice air conditioned rooms near the beach for 800 baht.(25-28 January 2009 = 1800 bath/night )
  • PP Island Resort, [20]. A good place for honeymooners. Expensive. Some staff don't speak English. starting from 4,700 baht.
  • PP Viewpoint, [21]. 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.
  • Sacha Guesthouse, (opposite The Rock). Do not under any circumstances stay at the Sacha Guesthouse (opposite The Rock hostel). Between 5 and 6 am about three Thai people were pounding on the doors of all rooms, yelled "open open" and tried to break in by kicking the door and the lock. Thank god the lock and the door was strong enough or maybe I wouldn't be alive now. In the morning (11am checkout) when I went to downstairs all scared, not only did nobody care how I was, they had the audacity of asking if I wanted to stay another night. They knew exactly what happened during the night and when I left and said to them "call the police, call the police" the owner yelled "f*** you I never wanna see you again" at me and actually suggested it was all my fault because of the way I talked back to the burglars "all night". Of course I didn't say a single word to the thieves because I was scared and just wanted them to leave, but I quietly tried phoning the police (both 1155 and 191) several times. The tourist police (1155) never picked up the phone and even though at the emergency 191 number somebody in some HQ did answer, police never showed up.
  • The Rock Backpacker, (075) 601 021 (). Clean and friendly place and excellent for meeting up with other travellers, with 200 baht dorm beds, 300 baht really tiny singles and a few 500 baht doubles (prices double up during high season).
  • View Garden Resort. Rooms with bathroom, double bed, and shared balcony for 300 baht.
  • PP Island Cabana, 5-star hotel in Tonsai Bay, prime location closest to the main pier with spacious and large swimming pool. Price ranges between 2800-20000 Bht.
  • Kinnaree House, [22]. Rooms with private bathroom, twin or double bed for 1000-2000 Bht/night. Situated at the centre of Koh Phi Phi.
  • Oasis Guesthouse. Nice fan rooms with clean shared bathrooms for 500 Baht (Feb 25, 2010). Location is 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.

Stay healthy

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

Get out



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!




Variants

Actions

Destination Docents

In other languages

other sites