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The Koh Phi Phi Island group consists of six islands located off the mainland coast of Krabi in southern Thailand. A 45-minute speed boat ride or almost two-hour ferry from Phuket town or Krabi will get you to this incredibly beautiful archipelago. A tropical paradise of natural beauty, Koh Phi Phi is instantly recognizable to visitors by its iconic vertical limestone towers known as “karsts”, capped with green vegetation and scattered white sandy beach enclaves and tropical coral waters. Satellite views of this group of islands, day or night, are awesomely stunning! Koh Phi Phi is also known all over Southeast Asia for its attractive locations with stunning beaches and clear waters from aquamarine to turquoise colours.
The only inhabitable island is Koh Phi Phi Don. The island has been heavily criticized for its over-development and some travellers preferring an exotic destination choose to avoid it. There are several beaches on its east coast with available hotels where visitors can stay. Loh Dalum Bay has a one-kilometre stretch of beach with shallow aquamarine waters with a laid-back vibe. However, at night, this quiet beach on Loh Dalum Bay transforms into a mini Full Moon type of party every evening, with the restaurants and bars open until the wee hours. Another beach is Laem Thong, located on the northeast. This one-kilometre sandy enclave makes for an ideal secluded getaway as it is only accessible by boat. There are a scattering of resorts along this traditional fishing area. Nearby islands to Koh Phi Phi Don are accessible on longtail boats or speedboats and are good for day trips of snorkelling and scuba diving activities.
At the same time, the Koh Phi Phi Island group is just nearby other equally beautiful island locations, like Krabi town with its lively centre – Ao Nang. Krabi is the last layover of a boat ride from Phuket to Koh Phi Phi. Vice versa, from Koh Phi Phi, it is easy to go by the traditional long tail boat and dock at Railay Beach of Krabi, just near the Full Moon Party (famous even beyond Southeast Asia) beach in Koh Phangan. Near Railay and Tonsai Bay, Ao nang has great beaches too. A longtail boat can easily bring you on a day trip from Koh Phi Phi to Ao Nang in Krabi.
The company has various hotels to recommend on Koh Phi Phi island. Among these hotels are:
Discover more hotels in Phi Phi Island
Besides indulging in water activities, here are places to see in Ko Phi Phi Island Group for you to enjoy, on land by foot or in the water by a longtail boat. Whatever mode of transport you wish to take, you will certainly enjoy and be amazed at the natural splendor of these sights!
Ko Mai Phai
Ko Mai Phai is a small island, located between the Krabi coast and the Phi Phi Islands, usually part of Koh Phi Phi day trips. It is also referred to as “Bamboo Island,” which is a wrong translation for the casuarina trees abundantly growing on the island. With its white-sand beaches, coral reefs on the north and south of the island, crystal clear water and nice weather, Bamboo Island is famous for snorkelling activities and fantastic experience of sightings of lionfish, leopard sharks and hawksbill sea turtles in its nearby waters.
The casuarina is like a pine tree and its abundant presence on the island makes for a novel change from the typical coconut palms dotting the shores of tropical islands. It is a small island but described as idyllic in one visitor’s comment.
Its white sandy beach and clear blue waters make it a perfect romantic getaway location. Some guest comments mention wanting to extend their stay on this island for that reason – and be able to prolong their romantic moment with their beloved!
Viking Cave (Tham Phaya Nak in the local language) is one of the top must-see places in the Phi Phi Islands at the bottom of a tall limestone cliff located on the north east coast of the island. By longtail boats from Tonsai Bay, it is only a 30-minute ride. Viking Cave has been so named because of its star attraction – the vast majority of paintings on the eastern and southern walls of the cave, of various boat types, including what looks like a Viking ship, the Scandinavian “drakkar.” Legend has it that these paintings were made by sailors seeking shelter during a storm.
A visit to Viking Cave will expose you to one of Phi Phi’s most lucrative industries – the harvest (and sale) of swiftlet birds’ nests. These are highly prized in Chinese culture as the main ingredient for a popular cuisine, birds’ nest soup, believed to boost good health.
Harvesting these nests is risky and dangerous. Bamboo scaffolds are built on which the hunters climb to collect these nests from the dark cave walls.
Phi Phi Lee
Among the nearby islands of Koh Phi Phi Don, Ko Phi Phi Leh (alternative spelling) is the second-largest island of the Phi Phi Archipelago, in the Strait of Malacca. It is also in Krabi Province and is part of the Noppharat Thara Mu Ko Phi Phi National Park, one of Thailands big national parks.
Koh Phi Phi Le is surrounded by steep limestone hills and two shallow bays, the now-famous-by-Hollywood Maya Bay and Loh Samah.
At low tide, the coral and shallow waters of Maya Bay restrict direct access from the sea. Boats have to drop anchor at Loh Samah, which is deeper. Visitors must walk through a short path of rocks and forest to get to Maya Bay.
At the bay’s entrance is a large shallow inlet with a small coral reef, Pi Ley. Maya Bay has been closed by the government in 2018 to allow for environmental repair and reconstruction.
By contrast, Ton sai Bay and Tonsai village is the pulsing heartbeat of Phi Phi Don. It is the main arrival port so it is a hive of activity with day-trippers and boats going in and out. Ton Sai Bay is almost two kilometres long with tall cliffs and small beaches inhabited by monkeys and with coral reefs fringing the west side. Monkey Beach which is often confused by most people with Monkey island Thailand, is located on the southwestern side of Tonsai Bay, about 700 metres from the jetty. It is a stunning short strip of white sand complete with its resident troop of monkeys. To the east coast, are more shallow waters sporting coral reefs beachfront hotels and resorts. The far west end of the beach is very isolated offering powder-fine sand and clear aqua water.
Ko Phi Phi Leh is the most popular with Maya Bay made famous by the year 2000 film named “The Beach,” starring Leonardo DiCaprio. However, the Thai government closed this area in 2018 due to damaged coral reefs impacted by tourism. The region remains closed for coral rejuvenation but new eco-tourism projects see it eyeing a possible 2021 opening.
Koh Pei (Bamboo Island) is a small landmass approximately 600 metres in width and 700 metres in length and belongs to a national park so you will pay an entrance fee. The central island is covered with thick green vegetation including bamboo trees which gives the island its name and is surrounded by a strip of white sand. Koh Pei is almost surrounded by a reef that spreads up to 500 metres from the shore making it the right beach for a magical snorkelling wonderland.
Koh Young or Mosquito Island sits to the northeast of the Koh Phi Phi isles and is a long but narrow landmass. The southeastern tip of the island has a colourful soft coral reef and an abundance of marine life, making it an exceptional snorkelling spot. The northeastern tip is the perfect diving location in waters up to waters 15 metres in depth. It is best to avoid the beach around sundown when swarms of mosquitos appear; that is how it got its name Mosquito Island!
Koh Bida Noi and Koh Bida Nok are two large limestone rocks rising from the Andaman Sea about 1.5 kilometres south of Koh Phi Phi Leh. They do not have any landing access and best service the diving community. Koh Bida Nok has a huge array of marine life and is renowned for its zebra sharks and stingrays lying on the sand. The northern side features good wall diving as well as a cave that can be explored. Koh Bida Nai also has some great diving options where divers can swim through underwater cliffs. The east of the island offers good snorkelling opportunities in its more shallow waters.
These two islands are among the reasons why the Koh Phi Phi Island group is famous as a divers’ paradise as written in any travel blog, along with a nearby island, Koh Tao.
Ko Phi Phi consists of six islands. This incredibly beautiful archipelago is located off the mainland coast of Krabi, off the southern coast of Thailand, in the Andaman Sea.
From Phuket town to Phi Phi island takes about 45-minutes via speed boat or an almost two-hour ferry. This is the same if you are coming from Krabi by boat or ferry travel.
Thailand has two seasons, the wet season (or rainy season) and the dry season (or hot season). Phi Phi island weather is ideal between November and April when the average temperature is a bit cooler with occasional showers. Peak season is January to April when prices also sky-rocket.
The only island you can stay on is Koh Phi Phi Don. The rest of the Phi Phi islands, Thailand, are not inhabited. Phi Phi Don is fully developed with many accommodation options. Its hotels range from budget hostels to 5-star hotels and resorts, many of which receive positive guest comments. The various restaurants all over the island also offer an array of menu choices, from local Thai to international cuisine! The island’s infrastructure has evolved to meet the increasing needs of tourists and visitors. For a stand out high-end family-friendly option, Phi Phi Island Village Beach Resort has luxurious bungalows on a private beach. For the more budget-conscious who still want a little luxury, Phi Phi CoCo Beach Resort offers excellent value for stylish bamboo villas.
Due to their immense popularity, these islands are one of the most expensive destinations in Thailand. Even the prices of the most basic lodgings are inflated compared to other locations.
While Phi Phi is already considered by some travellers as an expensive destination, it is still relatively cheaper than Phuket. Phuket has been on the international travellers’ radar far longer than Phi Phi Island and still attracts more visitors than other islands in the country. It also has more hotels and accommodations than Phi Phi.
Its turquoise waters, abundant marine life, and the most well-known isle is Koh Phi Phi Leh with its Maya Bay made famous by the year 2000 film aptly named “The Beach,” starring Leonardo DiCaprio attract visitors all year round.
Out of the six islands, only Koh Phi Phi Don is inhabited, which means you can stay only there. There are several Phi Phi island tours available so you will be able to take day trips to the other islands by longtail boat. Nearby islands are not recommended to be at night, having no hotels or any form of accommodations.
It is about 45 kilometres away from Krabi and is only accessible by boat or ferry.
The island is 46 km from Phuket and the main way to get there from Phuket is by boat. There are ferries from Phuket that travel around two hours and 90 minutes from Krabi. The main departure point in Phuket town is Rassada Pier.
Despite its increasing popularity and accompanying rise in tourist numbers, the stunning white sandy beaches, turquoise waters teeming with colourful marine life and relaxed island vibe make the island worth visiting! Even with only one habitable island, the nearby islands are easy to get to by boat on day trips. Some boat companies offer sunset cruises around the different bays.
You can take a leisurely longtail boat tour around the islands. Or a sunset cruise. Or you can take a sunrise tour and have a buffet lunch onboard with snorkeling and some diving after.
Here are some of the best things you can do in the Koh Phi Phi Islands for three days:Go Snorkeling. The waters around the islands are perfect for snorkeling!Trek To Ko Phi Phi Viewpoint.Watch The Sunset. This is an impressive experience, overlooking the Andaman Sea!Kayak To Loh Lana Bay + Phak Nam Bay.Have Dinner And Drinks On The Beach. So many beachfront resorts and bars.Watch A Fire Show On The Beach.Party On The Beach.Go Cliff Jumping. Great hyper-energy activity from the karsts!
With Koh Phi Phi Don, the only inhabitable island among the Phi Phi Islands, car and motorbike-free, everyone either walks or bicycles to get around. Thus, it can be considered one of the safest places in Thailand.
Phi Phi Island is 45.3km away from Phuket and it takes two hours by boat to travel between these two islands.
Maya Bay is one of the two bays of Koh Phi Phi Don, the only inhabitable island in the group.
Bamboo Island, with its local name of Koh Pai, is part of the Koh Phi Phi island group.
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