The small popular paradise island in the South of Thailand, Koh Phi Phi is one of the most popular destinations in the wonderful South East Asian country. Beautiful beaches, amazing viewpoints, hidden coves, tall palm trees, no traffic, all night parties. Is there any wonder why Koh Phi Phi’s popularity just keeps getting bigger and better.
On my first visit to Thailand, I spent 8 days on this wonderful island. Left with new friends, three bamboo tattoos, and amazing memories. We even managed to get a job there for a few days in exchange for a few free meals and drinks. It really is a great place. So I have constructed a mini guide to this paradise Island.
How to get there
You will need to take a ferry over from either Phuket or Krabi. The ferry usually takes around two hours. It shouldn’t cost any more than 400B (£8). If you aren’t in the south already then you can fly to either Phuket or Krabi as both have International Airports.
What to expect upon arrival
When you arrive at Ton Sai Pier expect to pay around 20B (50p) (Subject to change) for entry fee onto the island. This is to help with the cleanup of the island. It is a part of a national park and the locals would like to keep the maintenance up. The more tourists there are on the island, the more rubbish is generated.
Expect to see a lot of touts as you walk off the pier offering accommodation. If you haven’t pre-booked accommodation, don’t worry too much, we managed to get a bamboo hut on the hill for around 250B a night (£5) from the touts. Don’t forget to bargain though. It is expected.
There are no cars on the Island so you will have to carry your bags, or if you’re lucky your hotel staff will wheel them in a big cart. Do expect to pay a tip for this service.
Budget- Phuphaya Seaview Resort 450B (£8-$11 per night)
Basic rooms, wifi and AirCon. There’s a restaurant and bar on site and a pool with a sea view but do expect party scenes and young backpackers. For all of this, it is an absolute bargain. Don’t expect to find many places that offer AirCon and a pool for that price.
Mid Range- Bay View Resort 1500B (£29-$38 per night)
Comfortable rooms with sea views. Beachfront hotel with breakfast included. Restaurant, bar and mini bar. Wifi and Aircon. The hotel is very modern.
Luxury – Zeavola resort 6500B (£132-$176)
This luxurious hotel has everything you could ever want. Right on the white sands of Laem Tong beach, the hotel offers a gym to get your workout in and a spa to truly pamper yourself. A swimming pool and a 5* dive centre. Fast Wifi, Room service, breakfast and laundry service. And if getting married on a tropical island is what you’re after, Zeavola offers wedding packages too. A great all-rounder for those people after a luxurious island getaway.
Where to eat
Thailand is known for its cuisine, the mixed array of spices, coconut and lemongrass can set anyone’s mouth watering. On Koh Koh Phi there are magnitudes of restaurants that will cater to whatever you feel like eating, whether it be Thai or a little slice home.
This is a little gem on the island and hidden away behind Phi Phi resort. It offers local genuine Thai food as well as vegan options. This place will no doubt leave you fully satisfied. It scores highly with everyone that pays it a visit.
If you have been on the road for a while, sometimes all you want is a little bit of familiarity. A sandwich, chips and a burger, a bowl of pasta or a pizza whatever it may be you can get all your Western needs here as well as Thai. Anna’s has a bit of everything for everybody no matter what you’re in the mood for.
The Mango Garden
A unique restaurant that specializes in MANGO! Who would have guessed? Mango smoothies and Mango deserts. It is Healthy and Vegan-friendly and very modern. Sit back and enjoy the sweet taste of one of the greatest fruits.
Things to do
The thing about Koh Phi Phi is that it has so many things to do, especially for the adventurous souls.
Diving– It’s no secret now that Phi Phi offers some great dives. There are plenty of dive shops to get your paddy license and I will put my money on it that you won’t want to leave once you get into the world of Phi Phi’s diving. Not many people do.
Snorkelling– Along with diving, there are endless opportunities for snorkelling around the coves. Maya Bay is a favourite among most people. You can take day tours from the Island where the locals will take you to the best places for snorkelling. They entice the fish by feeding them pineapple biscuits. Delicious.
Kayaking- From the main beach you can hire kayaks to go off exploring the hidden coves on your own. A great activity if you want to get away from it all for a little bit. Who knows you might find some hidden caves.
Rock climbing– This is one where you will have to go with a tour company because you will need all the safety equipment. The gigantic limestone rocks surrounding the island are just screaming to be explored.
Phi Phi viewpoint- For an afternoon hike, there is no better place to go other than the viewpoint. It has magnificent views of the island and the blue sea. Take water though as it can be quite a hike in the hot sun. Follow the signs towards Phi Phi Viewpoint.
Island hopping– Phi Phi is surrounded by secluded islands, so a day tour on a long tail boat around these islands is set to make all your friends back at home jealous.
Check out :
Viking cave to see some unique paintings on the walls and a place that was once key to the harvesting and hunting of the famous Chinese Birds nest soup.
Maya Bay, the famous location from Leonardo DeCaprios movie ‘The Beach’.
Bamboo Island a secluded island in the middle of the Andaman sea with clear waters surrounding it.
Finally, not forgetting the world famous Monkey beach, but keep your valuables close, they like shiny things.
Get a Bamboo tattoo– If you’ve always wanted a tattoo, why not try the old traditional way of bamboo. It hurts less and there’s hardly any maintenance in the healing process. There are plenty of places on Phi Phi offering bamboo tattoos but I personally recommend Tapear 1994. It is clean, sterile and professional as well as popular. I got three of mine done there and I trust those guys.
Party all night long- If sleep is what you came to Phi Phi for, chances are you won’t be getting much of that because the island is so small all you can hear is music all night long. Party all night on the beach under the moonlight, do the limbo under bars of fire at Slinky or try your hand at some Thai boxing for free drinks at Reggae Bar. There are parties everywhere and it really is amazing.
Koh Phi Phi is a wonderful experience and a must do, although majorly touristy. You will leave with a huge smile and full heart.