A relaxing holiday in the stunning sea of Phi Phi Islands
Wha to see and do in Phi Phi Island
When we talk about the fantastic sea of Thailand, the first place which we think about is the Phi Phi Islands. They are located 40 km south-east of Phuket and consist of six islands famous for their limestone cliffs rising sheer out of the emerald green waters, white powdery beaches and their many coral reefs offering great diving and snorkelling.
The major Island, the only one inhabited and the base for all the tours, is Phi Phi Don. Here, in Tonsai Bay, the main arrival port of the island, you’ll find the main village (Tonsai village) with a wide range of accommodations, 2 long streets (and alleys) plenty of restaurants, bars, mini markets, shops and stalls selling clothes and souvenirs, diving centers and local agencies offering tours and tickets.
The most beautiful beach of Tonsai village is Loh Dalum , on the north-facing coast with its palm trees and clear water. This quiet beach, during the night, turns into a bustling night open disco with its many bars playing live disco music until late night.
On the east side of Tonsai, walking south on the main road (15 minutes from the pier), there is a long white sand beach (Tonsai east beach) where are also located some excellent resorts.
Only 10 minutes boat from the Pier and facing south-west, is located Long beach (here you’ll also find resorts), a 600 meter long quieter beach with soft and white sand (It is possible to walk to Long Beach from Tonsai Village, but you will need to dedicate at least an hour to hike an undulating roads and mini forests).
Another pristine, quiet beach, located on the northeastern side just reachable by boat (40min by longtail boat), is Laem Tong. Here there are some resorts where relaxing far away from the chaotic and crowded Tonsai village.
On the est side of the Island is located Loh Bagao, a peaceful and scenic bay with an 800 meters long pristine beach, turquoise water and some resorts.
On the east coast are also located the beautiful Loh Moo Dee beach (it’s private), a 250 meters long of fine white sand caressed by the warm emerald water, the small Phak Nam beach, that is home to a small fishing village, and Rantee bay beach, all reachable by foot from Tonsai with a quite long hike, but with no doubt better by longtail boat.
Last but not least, if you like having a 30 minutes hike, you can climb up the hill from the center of Tonsai village (from the Reggae Bar, head towards Loh Dalum Bay and you’ll see signs for the viewpoint) and reach the Phi Phi Don viewpoint, with a fantastic view on the 2 bays and the village.
We’ve been twice in this beautiful Island spending three days both times and doing the Islands hopping tour. You can locally book a tour with the agencies (they offer different daily trip) or haggle with one of the many guys next to the pier and rent a motorised long-tail wooden boat.
Our Phi Phi Islands Hopping tour
The first time we visited Phi Phi islands, we rented a longtail boat for half day to visit and enjoy just Phi Phi Leh, whereas the second time we locally booked a full day Islands hopping tour through an agency in Tonsai Village.
1) Phi Phi Leh
Phi Phi Leh is the most known and famous Island of the six for the beautiful Maya Bay (unfortunately it’s temporarily closed), a stunningly bay that is sheltered by 100 meters high cliffs on three sides.
The main beach of the bay is around 200 meters long with silky soft white sand with awesome clear water. Here took place the movie “The Beach” with Leonardo DiCaprio.
During the high season, we suggest to visit the bay and enjoy the beach early in the morning because after 9 am it turns into a super crowded place full of people and any boat next to the shore.
If you like having a short hike, from the beach, it starts a path (15 min. walk) to reach the southern part of the island and its cliffs. Cruising around the Island, in the south side you’ll see the small Loh Samah bay with its high rocks;
then the amazing Pileh lagoon (you must stop here and have a swim), a small inlet surrounded by limestone walls cliffs and a stunning turquoise watercolour, and the ‘’Viking Cave’’, a large opening slightly above water level where, after pulling up to the yet more rickety bamboo poles, you can climb onto the little wooden decking at the cave mouth.
If you want to rent a long-tail boat to visit Maya Bay, the price for 3 hrs is around 30$ whereas a speed boat around 100$ for half day. The cheapest choice is to join a tour combined with other islands.
2) Snorkelling at Shark Point
It’s a small shallow water area close to Phi Phi Don where you have the chance to spot the black tip sharks.
This rocky reef poking through the waves allows you to see many corals, anemones and tropical fish so, even though it’s nothing special, it’s worth stopping by.
Shark Point is close to Long Beach, so you can get it swimming from the beach as well but be careful because of the many boats crossing and stopping there.
The best time for snorkelling is early in the morning to prevent the shark from being scared from the boat engines.
3) Bamboo Island
It’s a beautiful place for relaxing and swimming. The Island measures around 650 meters long and 600 meters wide and is surrounded by a strip of white and pristine sand.
Its central part (there is also a restaurant here) is covered with lush vegetation including Bamboo trees that gave its name to the Island. Between Phi Phi Don and Bamboo Islands is situated a coral reef called Hin Klang and known to be plenty of tropical fish.
4) Mosquito Island
This bent nail-like shape island owes its name to the myriad of mosquitos that show up around sunset. In front of Bamboo Island, with an approximate length of 900 meters and a width of just 150, it boasts two small beaches on its eastern side with clear sea.
The southeastern tip of the island host a nice coral reef as well as an abundance of marine life that make this place a right spot for snorkelling.
5) Monkey beach
It is a small piece of seashore in the north part of Phi Phi Don, reachable by boat or by kayaking.
It’s nothing special but known because it is the home of some monkeys that once spotted the tourists, they climb down from the rocks and trees waiting for someone to give them food and water.
The coral reef is in front of the small beach then you can also snorkelling.
Need to Know
1) When to go
You can visit Thailand all year round, but the best season is during the dry months from November to the end of March. However, it’s also the busiest season, so forward planning is essential.
2) How to get there
You can fly to Phuket or Krabi and take a boat to reach Phi Phi Don. You can purchase your ticket online using 12go.Asia.com or locally. There is also daily boat rides from Ko Lanta Island. If you don’t want to spend more days here, you can arrange a daily tour from Phuket.
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3) Where to sleep
Phi Phi Don offers a wide range of accommodations. If you want to enjoy the crowd and nightlife as well, the right place is Tonsai village. If you need a quieter place, you can choose one of the other bays (the only issue could be that if you want to reach Tonsai, you need a longtail boat).
We slept next to Loh Dalum beach at Phi Phi Ton Sai Place (around 40$ the double) and also next to Tonsai east beach at Andaman Resort. You can book your accommodation using booking.com or Trip.com that always offer good deals and discount.
4) Where to eat
Tonsai Village is the right place where to find excellent restaurants and taste the delicious Thai cuisine and fresh fish. We had a delightful dinner at Anna’s restaurant and Papaya restaurant and Acqua restaurant.
Click below to see the best restaurants in Phi Phi Don and the reviews of the customers.
5) Planning the island hopping and other activities
It’s effortless to arrange a tour, walk through Tonsai village and you’ll find tour agencies and Divings. If you want to visit Phi Phi Islands from Phuket with a daily journey, you can check locally or on the web Platforms as Viator and Getyourguide.
Notice: at the moment (2019 February) Maya Bay is temporarily closed by the Government.
6) Guide book
Are you looking for the best company to save money with?
Check our Travel Resources and find out the companies we always use to arrange our trip.