Koh Phi Phi Island

Phi Phi Island, or Koh Phi Phi as it is known in Thai language, is a collection of 6 Islands located on the West coast of Thailand in the Andaman Sea. These stunning  Limestone Islands are located approx 40 kilometers from the Thai mainland and are easily accessible by ferry or speedboat from either Krabi or Phuket. The Islands are part of the Hat Nopparat Thara Koh Phi Phi National Park which is a sub district of Ao Nang and governed by Krabi province which can sometimes lead to confusion that they are part of the mainland.

The Phi Phi Islands truly has something to offer everyone and its visitors vary from high end tourist’s both young and old, backpackers, travelers, families and honeymooners all seeking and finding something different.

The Island is probably most famous for the Leonardo Di Caprio movie “The Beach” which was set in the stunning Maya Bay which is located on the uninhabited Phi Phi Leh which is the 2nd biggest of the Islands. Before the movie the Island was best known by the backpacker and scuba diving communities who first came to the Island to discover some of the most beautiful and pristine reefs in the whole of Asia.

As nearby Phuket developed into a world famous tourist location, Phi Phi Island became more known to international tourists from all over the world and soon the secret was “out”. Phi Phi Island has won many travel awards and admirers for its beautiful white sandy beaches and stunning scenery both above and below the water. Winning Trip Advisor awards for Top Twenty destinations worldwide as voted for by Travelers themselves and also Number #1 in the “Must See Islands of the World”

 

 

Koh Phi Phi Don

Koh Phi Phi Don

The main island of Koh Phi Phi Don is formed from a narrow sandy strip of beach that separates Tonsai Bay and Loh 1Dalum Bay and is only 100 meters at it’s narrowest, this is where the main pier is located in Tonsai Bay and is the arrival and departure point for most of the boats and ferries arriving from Krabi or Phuket. Phi Phi Don is the only inhabited Island and is where all of the resorts, hotels, guesthouses, banks, dive centers, tour shops, bars and restaurants can be found, the pier side is always bustling with life as it functions as an entry and exit point both for diving and daily tourism. One can get lost in the unforgettable view arriving from the ferry or taking off to explore the underwater world on a dive excursion. The more peaceful and scenic Loh Dalum Bay is a haven for beach-lovers and sun-bathers, as the bay is nice and shallow and offers safe swimming conditions in it’s crystal clear waters. There are no cars or motorbikes on the Island except for a few essential services such as police, hospital and garbage collection. so the Island has that lazy laid back feeling that is not found on any of the other main tourist areas in Thailand, everything is within easy walking distance.

Phi Phi Let and surroundings

Phi Phi Let and surroundings

Phi Phi Leh is most well known for the famous Maya Bay located on the West side of this uninhabited Island, which is an 1absolute must visit place on any visitors list, due to it’s extreme popularity the best time to visit Maya Bay is either 8am in the morning or after 3pm this is when the speedboats full of tourists on day trips from Phuket have departed. Phi Phi Leh and the Bida Islands located a little further South are where Phi Phi Islands main Dive sites are to be found and have become known worldwide for stunning colorful corals and Marine life that can be found there. To the North of Phi Phi Don lie the other 2 Islands that make up the Phi Phi Island Group, these are known as Koh Mai Pai (Bamboo Island) and Koh Yung (Mosquito Island). Bamboo Island is a snorkelers paradise and is another fantastic half day trip from the main Island. Currently Koh Yung is closed to tourists as the Thai National Parks department is running a coral restoration program there with the hope to replant new healthy corals to other locations that have been damaged by boat’s anchors or destructive fishing methods.

Weather and climate

Weather and climate

The West coast of Thailand is effected by two main seasons, the dry season which many refer to as the high season, is from November to April/May. During this time, the weather is most stable and is generally blue skies, lots of sunshine and flat calm seas, with a gentle breeze always welcome to help cool down in the evenings. The “Green” or low season runs from June to October, and is when the weather begins to cool a bit in which many good days of sunshine and calm seas can be expected with short heavy rain showers for 1 or 2 hours in the morning or evening. Generally, Phi Phi receives a lot less rain than the mainland due to it’s location in the open ocean, also the islands highest point does not rise high enough to catch the clouds, therefore allowing any rain storms to pass straight overhead, very often big rain storms can be seen on the mainland around Krabi and Phuket but the clouds quickly break up if the wind blows them away from the mainland leaving Phi Phi with clear blue skies or at worst a passing downpour that helps to cool the air down. Phi Phi’s other big advantage at this time of year is its sheltered location sitting behind Phuket in Phang Nga Bay and is protected from the worst of the wind and waves. Thus, no matter the weather, diving is possible all the year round as the islands form a barrier against any waves always offering at least one side with nice flat calm protected dive sites. Underwater visibility changes regularly throughout the season with excellent visibility possible at any time throughout the year depending on weather.

How to get here

How to get here

There are many ways to get to Koh Phi Phi and this mainly depends on where you are travelling from, Phi Phi is easy to reach from either Phuket or Krabi which are both served by international airports with flights arriving round the clock. 1From Krabi airport the ferry port is approx 15 minutes by taxi or minibus which is easily arranged in the terminal, ferries run to the Island at 9am, 10:30am, 1:30pm and 3pm, you can buy a ticket direct at the ferry port or you may find a combined ticket from the airport. From Phuket airport the journey to the ferry port is approx 1 hour by private taxi or minibus. Ferries start at 8:30am but do not go direct to Phi Phi Don so we recommend taking the 11am, 1:30pm or 3pm options which go direct. travel time from both Krabi and Phuket is just under 2 hours. Private speedboats are available and if you prefer this option we can help to organize for you, the price depends on the number of guests and time of day so please contact us for more information on this option. It is also possible to get to Phi Phi from other Islands like Koh Lanta or Koh Lipe, these times and schedules vary depending on the time of year so is best to check with your hotel or tour agent in that location for up to date information.

Hospitals, medical, banks and police

Hospitals, medical, banks and police

The Island has a fully functional hospital with 24 hour service and in recent years a few International Medical clinics have opened with English speaking Doctors available round the clock. For safety and security the Island has a fully functional Police station staffed 24 hours by regular Royal Thai Police and Tourist Police to assist in the unlikely event they are needed, the Island has an overall happy and relaxed vibe with an extremely low crime rate. The Island has 2 banks, The Bank of Ayudhya and Siam Commercial Bank both have foreign exchanges services and cash machines located around the Island, so access to money is not a worry during your time on the Island.

Accommodation

Accommodation

The Island’s accommodation options are best described as “vast” with something to suit every taste and budget from 1luxury 5 star resorts catering to big spenders all the way through to budget dorm room accommodation for backpackers, a quick look on any of the main hotel booking websites like Agoda or Booking.com will return a huge selection from 200 baht per night up to over 20,000 baht per night, please note that standards and room conditions do change with time or change of ownership so it is always best to check a few of the latest reviews before making a final decision. Please feel free to contact us if you would liike some help with choosing accommodation for your Scuba Diving holiday.

Bars and nightlife

Bars and nightlife

Phi Phi has a an amazing selection of restaurants, cafes and bars to choose from, being right on the ocean with a fishing village history of course Phi Phi has a great selection of Seafood restaurants to choose from with most resorts having beach front options for that special feeling. If you already have a love of Thai cuisine or ready to experiment and try for the first time the Islands streets have plenty of Thai owned restaurants serving authentic Thai food that you will be sure to remember, just remember to go easy on the spices when ordering. The Island has a huge number of excellent restaurants owned by expats from all over the world with Italian, French, Swedish, Mexican, Indian and English to name only a few if your feeling like a taste of home or something new from a part of the world you are yet to visit. The Island also has a large fresh food market with fruit and vegetables delivered fresh each day from the mainland, there are also supermarkets located in this area for those looking to make their own meals on a budget. With small locally owned shops making fresh fruit smoothies, sandwiches or pancakes you can snack away all day long, and a 7/11 or Fresh Mart around each corner you will not go thirsty in the blazing sunshine.

Activities and things to do

Activities and things to do

For adventure seekers and people that don’t just want to go scuba diving, there are many other activities that can be done on Phi Phi Island which include getting a traditional bamboo Thai tattoo at one of the many shops on the island, kayaking around the islands, sailing, snorkeling, and also many different hikes around the mountains that you can explore. The most well-known trek in Phi Phi is called the “Viewpoint,” which are three different hikes that provide views of the whole island and both bays. Signs are posted throughout the island of how to find these hikes, and if in doubt, just ask a friendly local. If you are looking for more of a relaxing time then why not sit by the beach with a fresh young coconut, take a longtail boat around the island, have a traditional Thai massage or simply sit by one of the fantastic hotel pools. Any one of these options would be a great way to unwind from a day of scuba diving and discovering the island’s exquisite marine life.

Where to eat

Where to eat

Phi Phi has a an amazing selection of restaurants, cafes and bars to choose from, being right on the ocean with a fishing village history of course Phi Phi has a great selection of Seafood restaurants to choose from with most resorts having beach front options for that special feeling. If you already have a love of Thai cuisine or ready to experiment and try for the first time the Islands streets have plenty of Thai owned restaurants serving authentic Thai food that you will be sure to remember, just remember to go easy on the spices when ordering. The Island has a huge number of excellent restaurants owned by expats from all over the world with Italian, French, Swedish, Mexican, Indian and English to name only a few if your feeling like a taste of home or something new from a part of the world you are yet to visit. The Island also has a large fresh food market with fruit and vegetables delivered fresh each day from the mainland, there are also supermarkets located in this area for those looking to make their own meals on a budget. With small locally owned shops making fresh fruit smoothies, sandwiches or pancakes you can snack away all day long, and a 7/11 or Fresh Mart around each corner you will not go thirsty in the blazing sunshine.