Destination Guide

Destination Guide to Phi Phi Islands

Adorned with pristine white beaches, blue-green waters and towering limestone cliffs which are draped in lush jungles – the Phi Phi islands are a tropical dream!

While Phi Phi Don is overdeveloped and the most expensive island in Thailand, it’s still cheap in Western standards. This island paradise offers something for everyone and never fails to disappoint. From chillaxing at a luxury resort, to getting your sweat on up the hiking trails. When the sun goes down unwind at a peaceful beachfront restaurant or let your hair down at the wild backpacker parties.

Adventure away from Phi Phi Don and you’ll find the real beauty’s over on the surrounding islands where the snorkelling and sunbathing opps are a-plenty and the diving is world-class.


Longboats of Phi Phi

Longboats in Loh Samah Bay


Phi Phi Island Guide

Phi Phi is made up of six islands, the main two being Phi Phi Lay and Phi Phi Don.

  • Phi Phi Don: The biggest and only populated island
  • Phi Phi Lay: Home of Maya Bay (from “The Beach” starring Leonardo DiCaprio), Loh Samah Bay & Pileh Lagoon
  • Mai Phai (Bamboo Island): North of Phi Phi Don. A great alternative to Phi Phi Lay for secluded snorkelling & sunbathing
  • Mai Yung (Mosquito Island): The most remote of the islands with is also North of Phi Phi Don and a great place to escape the crowds for snorkelling & sunbathing
  • Bida Nok & Bida Nai: Two small adjacent limestone karsts just south of Phi Phi Leh which are popular with divers

Phi Phi Cliffs

Imposing and dramatic Phi Phi Islands

Getting to Phi Phi Islands

Due to the rocky terrain, there’s no airport on the islands. The closest airports are Phuket and Krabi. From there, you’ll need to get a ferry to Tonsai Pier (or private charter if you’re cashed up). Keep in mind, that travelling via sea is weather dependant. During low season (May – October) the sea can get a bit choppy.

Below are ferry details from the popular locations near Phi Phi. You can buy tickets at the pier, which is what we did. You can also book online here or through local agents, both options can include hotel transfers.

 Location  Departing Pier  Duration Cost Frequency 
 Phuket  Rassada Pier  2 hrs  ฿300-750  4+ / day
 Krabi  Klong Jilad Pier  1.5 – 2 hrs  ฿300-500 5 + / day
 Ao Nang*  Nopparat Thara Pier 2 hrs  ฿450 9:30am daily
 Koh Lanta  Saladan Pier 1 hr  ฿500  3 + / day
*Stops at Railay on the way
Tonsai Bay Escape

Longboats in Tonsai Bay, the main entry point to Phi Phi Islands

Accomodation in Phi Phi

There’s no motorised transport on the island, so when you arrive at the pier you’ll need to walk to your accomodation. The majority of accomodation options are in Tonsai Village and Loh Dalum Beach, which are up to 10-15 mins walk from the pier. The footpaths are pretty good if you need to roll a suitcase along. If you need to go to another bay in Phi Phi Don there are plenty of longboats at the pier that will transfer you for ~฿200.

Here are our picks for each budget:

  • Freedom Hostel ($): This modern hostel is quiet, clean, and comfortable
  • The White ($$): Shabby-chic wooden bungalows just off Loh Dalum beach
  • Paradise Resort ($$$): Beautiful Thai style rooms on Long Beach
  • Villa 360 Resort and Spa ($$$$): For the best room with a view stay at this resort on Loh Ba Gao beach

For a unique experience, check out Maya Bay Sleep Aboard. Thanks to Tinseltown, Maya Bay is PACKED during the day. The good news is you can enjoy it when all the other tourists have left. Enjoy a BBQ on the beach and if you’re lucky, you’ll see the bay light up with phosphorescent plankton. Then sleep on a boat under the stars and wake up to sunrise over the abandoned beach. Sounds perfect right? It’s pretty popular so make sure you book in advance.

Where to Eat & Drink in Phi Phi

  • Garlic 1992 Restaurant: The best budget food on the island. Try the rosti (it’s even better if you’re hungover!)
  • Papaya Restaurant: Great value Thai food n the heart of Tonsai Village
  • Aroy Kaffeine: For some tasty Thai food, venture from Tonsai village to the northern end of the island. You’ll find this restaurant in a little village tucked behind Phi Phi Island Beach Resort
  • Banana Bar: A bamboo beach bar & Mexican restaurant just off Loh Dalum Beach. They have a chill rooftop lounge which is perfect for watching the sunset
  • Captain Bob’s Booze Cruise: A fun way to see some of the most beautiful spots in the Phi Phi islands. It’s ฿2,500 and includes booze, lunch, snacks, snorkelling and kayaks
Garlic 1992 Food Presenation

Food presentation on point at Phi Phi’s Garlic 1992 Restaurant


What to Do in Phi Phi

  • Diving: The dive sites around Phi Phi are some of the best in the world. Get your PADI license and check out the famous King Cruiser Wreck and Hin Muang sites.
  • Hire a longboat: Hire a longboat from Tonsai Bay to take you to a nearby island; Phi Phi Ley (Maya Bay, Loh Samah Bay & Pileh Lagoon), Bamboo Island or Mosquito Island. It costs ~฿2,000 to hire the boat for the day
  • KayakLoh Dalum Bay has beautiful, clear turquoise water which is always calm because it’s sheltered by the surrounding cliffs. This makes it the perfect place to hire a kayak for the afternoon (฿200/hr) and check out all the nooks around the bay and see all the tropical fish through the water below
  • Rock climbing: Climb Tonsai Tower for unforgettable views of this island paradise. Half-day excursions are ~฿1000
  • Hike up to the viewpoints: Put on some good walking shoes, follow the signs and hike up to the top of Phi Phi Don for an amazing panoramic view of the islands. It’s best to go at sunrise or sunset
  • Walk around the bayFrom Tonsai Bay, follow the path to Had Yao (Long Beach). The path can get pretty rocky and steep, but you’ll be rewarded with a beautiful beach on the other side
  • Party: Tonsai Village and Loh Dalum beach come alive in the night and parties go on into the wee hours of the night. Make sure you head to the beach to check out the fire shows
  • Massage: There’s countless massage places on the island so it’d be rude not to! I had one of the best massages I’ve had in Thailand at Apple’s Thai Massage in Tonsai Village
Scuba Scarlet

Diving with Aussie Divers Phuket

By Amy, June 2, 2017 I was born in New Zealand and moved to Melbourne, Australia in my early 20s. There I met my partner Steve. 10 years later, we decided to change our lifestyle and move to Southeast Asia, so here we are!


I was born in New Zealand and moved to Melbourne, Australia in my early 20s. There I met my partner Steve. 10 years later, we decided to change our lifestyle and move to Southeast Asia, so here we are!

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