Travel Guide to Phi Phi Island in Thailand (Koh Phi Phi Islands)

Koh Phi Phi Island is a beautiful place in Thailand with limestone hills, turquoise lagoons, and the world-famous Maya Bay Beach.

There are two main islands – Phi Phi Leh and Phi Phi Don – and both have stunning scenery. Leh Island is completely uninhabited, while Doon Island has hotels, restaurants, and much more.

The Phi Phi Islands are easy to visit on a day trip (boat) from Phuket, Krabi, Khao Lak, or Koh Lanta, and this gives you enough time to see Maya Bai and other major tourist attractions, or you can stay for a few days on Phi Phi Don Island and do more exploring.

Our Phi Phi travel guide will explain how to get there from Phuket or Krabi (or wherever), things to see and do, the best tour packages you can use, where to stay on PP Island, and everything else you need to know before you go . !

Phi Phi Island Day Tour Packages in Thailand

First, if you’re on a tight schedule or want to skip the extra steps involved in arranging your own trip to Phi Phi Island, GetYourGuide has pre-arranged day trips to Phi Phi from Phuket or Similar day trips from Krabi or Khao LakComplete with hotel transportation, boat tickets, island tour, lunch, and same-day return.

These day tours visit the best sights on Koh Phi Phi Islands, including Maya Bay, Pileh Lagoon, and Monkey Bay. They have it too Private tours or Semi-private tours If you prefer this rather than a combined tour, though, prices are a little higher unless you’re bringing friends.

We’ve used GetYourGuide on a lot of tours and day activities around the world, and it’s great. Highly recommended!

Book now: Phi Phi Island Tour from Phuket / Crabby / Khao Lak / Koh Lanta

Where is Phi Phi Island located?

The Phi Phi Islands (pronounced “Pee-Pee”) are located in the Andaman Sea in Thailand, about 40 kilometers (25 mi) southeast of Phuket, and about the same distance from Krabi.

There are six islands in total, the two main ones being Phi Phi Leh and Phi Phi Don, all of which are considered part of the Krabi Province in Thailand.

The only inhabited island is Phi Phi Don, which has hotels, restaurants, and everything else you could want for a short stay.

How to get to Phi Phi Island

The only way to get to Phi Phi Islands is by boat from Phuket or Krabi, and you can use a ferry or speedboat to get there.

There is no airport on Koh Phi Phi, so the closest place to fly is the international airport in Phuket (HKT) or the one in Krabi (KBV). Both have cheap flights from Bangkok. You can Shop for trips to Thailand On Skyscanner.

There are a range of boat companies that operate a trip to Phi Phi daily from Phuket or Krabi, usually including a hotel pick-up and drop-off. You can also take a day trip from Koh Lanta, or further afield from Khao Lak Thailand.

The slow ferry from Phuket to Phi Phi Don takes about two hours, instead Fast ferry (speed boat) It takes half the time. If you are starting from Krabi instead of Phuket, boat travel times to Phi Phi will be approximately 30 minutes shorter.

Keep in mind that these are just transfers to the main island of Phi Phi Don. Once you arrive, you will need to arrange a long-tail boat trip if you want to tour Phi Phi Leh and the rest of the islands. You can arrange this on the spot at Ton Sai Beach in Phi Phi Don, and it’s usually very easy.

The other option is to Book a day tour to Phi Phi by speedboat With a tour company based in Phuket or Krabi. There are shared or private tours, and most of the major sights are visited in a full day. This can be a great option if you have a tight schedule or want to skip the hassle.

Visiting Phi Phi Island – tourist fees

There are two tourist fees you need to pay when you arrive in the Phi Phi Islands.

On Phi Phi Don Island, there is a cash fee of 20 baht per person, payable when you first land at the port. They collect this from everyone, and it helps pay for the daily trash removal from the islands. This is a one-time fee only (not a daily fee).

In national park areas, there is a cash fee of 200 baht per person (about US$6), collected when landing at Maya Bay or Bamboo Island (Koh Phi). This fee is charged each day you visit either of these sites.

Some Phi Phi tours may already include this fee in the price, but you usually pay it separately in cash when you get off the boat.

Transportation: How to get around Phi Phi Islands

There are no car or motorbike rentals on the Phi Phi Islands, nor is there any need for them at all – if you are staying on Phi Phi Don Island, the entire town is small enough to be easily walkable. Bicycles can also be rented.

You can rent a long-tail boat at Phi Phi Don to take you to nearby islands such as Phi Phi Leh and Bamboo Island. This could be Booked online Or you can rent it in person at Tonsai Port after arriving in Phi Phi Don.

Longboats are smaller boats but can accommodate up to 8 passengers, so you can share the boat with friends or other travelers to make it more cost-effective.

Another option is kayaking on Ko Phi Phi Don. This is cheaper than renting a boat, and you can use a kayak to reach some of Phi Phi Don’s hidden beaches, such as Noi Bay and Monkey Beach.

Phi Phi Island hotels


Best things to do on Phi Phi Island in Thailand

• Maya Bay

White sand beach in Maya bai It is considered one of the most famous and attractive places in Thailand, and was the main reason for bringing tourism to the Koh Phi Phi Islands. In fact, it is now one of the most famous beaches in the world!

The entire beach is surrounded by high limestone cliffs. The water is clear turquoise, small sharks swim around, and the sand is snow white. Everything about him seems perfect. Yes, this is paradise!

Of course, the beauty of Maya Bay has attracted hordes of tourists, just like any of the amazing places in the world, but if you time your visit right, you the beach doesn’t have to be extremely crowded to enjoy it.

Maya Bay is located on Phi Phi Leh Island, accessible by landing a boat at Loh Samai Bay (on the back side of the island) and then taking a short, easy, shaded walk through the jungle to get to the beach. The walk is flat and takes about 5 minutes.

In the past, boats could enter Maya Bay and land directly on the beach, but they don’t do that anymore. The Thai government has spent the last few years working to conserve the environment, so the only way to get to the beach now is to walk to it from the back side of the island.

I think this change was a good idea as it keeps the bay clear of boats, although I do miss those picture-perfect postcards of the Thai long-tail boats beached in Maya Bay.

Another thing you should know is that Maya Bay is mostly closed for conservation nowadays. It closed in June 2018, and remained closed for about 4 years, but was finally reopened in January 2022.

In 2022 and 2023, Maya Bay was closed to tourists for two months (August and September) during the low season but will reopen for business on October 1, 2023. After that, the bay will be open to visitors again for the rest of the year. 2023.

Maya Bay has a small shop offering snacks and drinks, and there are restrooms alongside the trail when you first descend into Loh Sama Bay.

The main beach is about 250 meters long, and at the end of the beach, there is a shallow cave suitable for taking photos.

If you want to escape the crowds, there are usually fewer people at the far end of the beach.

Most Koh Phi Phi tour packages give you one hour in Maya Bay, which is plenty of time to explore the beach, take photos from every angle, and dip your feet in the water (swimming isn’t allowed in Maya Bay anymore).

I must say that the beach remained very clean, we noticed almost no garbage, although sometimes up to 5,000 tourists come to this beach in one day! The park rangers did a good job of cleaning up.

Overall, Maya Bay is an amazing experience and one of our favorite beaches in the world!

• Choose the lake

Surrounded by giant rock walls, this surreal turquoise lake is one of the best things to see on Phi Phi Island in Thailand.

The lake can only be accessed by boat. Most Koh Phi Phi tours include a stop here, and small boats can float in and around the lake, giving you up-close views of the magnificent limestone karsts.

It’s even more stunning than it looks in the pictures, and we probably enjoyed this place more than Maya Bay!

When you reach the back of Lake Pele, boat drivers usually turn off their engines and let you enjoy the lake for a while.

This is a popular spot for swimming and snorkeling on Koh Phi Phi Leh because the water is very clean and relatively shallow, and you may see some nice fish, although there is no coral in this spot.

If you arrive in Pele early in the morning, you may have it all to yourself. It gets busier in the late morning and early afternoon, but the lighting is better for photos at that time since the lake is not hidden in shadow.

Either way, you have to visit this place when you go to Phi Phi Island!

• Phi Phi point of view

Phi Phi Viewpoint is a short hike on Phi Phi Don Island, with great views of the town and most of the island, and Phi Phi Leh can be seen in the distance.

There are actually three different viewpoints at different levels on the hill, but viewpoints #2 and #3 are the ones you really want to see because they are higher and without any trees blocking your view of the island, you have the best views.

Phi Phi viewpoint 2 has wide panoramic views of the island and the entire city, with a beautiful wooden platform and some flat rocks where you can take pictures. This was probably our favorite place.

Viewpoint #3 has higher views because it is located at the top of the hill and you are basically sitting in a treehouse with picnic tables and a hammock.

It’s very quiet and I’m sure it would be a great place for sunset.

Phi Phi Viewpoint No. 2 can be reached in about 20 minutes of walking uphill (mostly stairs) if you start from downtown Phi Phi Don Island, then it takes another 10-15 minutes to walk from there to Viewpoint No. 3.

There is a small fee to get to viewpoints #1 and #2, and then another small fee if you go to viewpoint #3. In total, we paid 50 baht per person (about $1.50). All viewpoints are worthwhile!

• Bamboo Island (Koh Phi)

This is a small flat island located northeast of Phi Phi Don, with a smaller population and a beautiful sandy beach covering most of the island.

A lot of Phi Phi island tours include this place in their itinerary, but it never feels too crowded, and if you wander around the side of the island for a while, you might have it all to yourself.

Just like Maya Bay, Bamboo Island is part of Koh Phi Phi National Park, so you have to pay a park entrance fee to land on the island and wander around the beach.

In the center of the island there are some trees, including the bamboo shoots that give the island its name, so you can escape the sun for a while when you’re not in the water.

Overall, Bamboo Island is a great place to swim and enjoy the sun without the crowds of Maya Bay!

• Monkey Bay

There are dozens of monkeys (long-tailed macaques) living on the beach, and you can usually see baby monkeys as well.

Monkeys are fun to take photos of, but they can be aggressive if provoked, so don’t try to harass them or take their food. They are also known to steal people’s glasses and other small items, so keep a close eye on them!

It is best to go to this beach at low tide, when more monkeys come to the beach. At high tide, the beach is mostly underwater and the monkeys retreat to the rocks, where they cannot be seen either.

• Monkey Beach

Not to be confused with Monkey Bay, which is a different place on the other side of Phi Phi Don Island. This also has monkeys, but they are not seen as often, and is a larger beach with more room to roam.

The main reason to come to Monkey Beach is the stunning scenery. This is a really beautiful beach with soft sand and a backdrop of forested limestone mountains.

This is considered one of the most beautiful spots in Koh Phi Phi Thailand, and you can reach it by boat or kayak from Loh Dalum Beach. Just remember to keep an eye on the monkeys, as they can be sneaky.

• The Great Gulf

It is a small hidden cove on Phi Phi Don island with a beautiful beach and towering limestone rocks.

It is possible to reach Noi Bay by sea or by land. From Loh Dalum Beach, you can rent a kayak or boat to go there, which is how people usually get there. Kayaking to the bay will take about 45 minutes at a leisurely pace.

Otherwise, it is also possible to reach Nui Bay by hiking from Phi Phi viewpoint. It takes about one hour, and you’ll need to bring plenty of water and mosquito spray just in case.

If you arrive at Noi Bay in the morning (around 8am), it will be quiet and you may have it all to yourself for a while until the tour boats start arriving later in the morning!

Map of Phi Phi Island

Here is a map of Phi Phi Island that you can use to plan your trip. You can click on the icons to get more information about each point of interest, but keep in mind that some locations on this map may be approximate.

For more detailed information about some of the locations on the Koh Phi Phi map, you can check out the individual travel guides for each location.

The best beaches in Phi Phi, Thailand

There are plenty of beaches on the Phi Phi Islands, but the clear winner for scenery is the one at Maya Bay.

Some other beaches with great sand and swimming are those at Bamboo Island, Monkey Beach and Noi Bay.

If you want a quiet beach with hotels nearby in Phi Phi Don, there are some great options Long beach, Loh Mu Di BeachAnd Loh Ba Cao Bay. All of these have beautiful white sand and hotels close to the beach.

What should I bring?

Here are some packing suggestions for your trip to Koh Phi Phi Island in Thailand.

Most of the items listed below can probably be found at Phi Phi Don in a pinch, but things you buy on the street won’t be guaranteed to be of good quality (personally, I’m not about to use a junk knockoff bag from a street vendor to protect your expensive camera gear).

It’s best to buy vetted products online!

  • Water bag: Essential for keeping your electronic devices safe on boats around PP Island. Everything stayed dry, even when I took the bag swimming a few times!
  • Waterproof phone case: Same as above, but these are for your phone only. Great if you don’t have other electronic devices and just need a little something to protect your phone.
  • Diving equipment: Good for exploring the clear waters around Koh Phi Phi Island. Snorkels and masks can also be borrowed or rented from boat companies, but if you plan to stay on the island or do multiple tours, it’s best to bring your own equipment.
  • Water shoes: These can sometimes come in handy while snorkeling in case you need to walk on rocks to get out of the water.
  • sunblock cream: There is usually some shade on speedboats and longtail boats, but you can still get roasted while swimming or walking on the beach, so you’ll need to bring a hat and sunscreen for boat tours.
  • Snacks and drinks: You’ll need to bring some snacks and drinks on the boat when touring the islands. You can bring it from Phuket or Krabi, or there are plenty of cheap snack and drink stalls on Ko Phi Phi Don near the port.

Can you fly a drone in the Phi Phi Islands?

Yes and no. Thailand is very relaxed about drones, and you can fly them on most islands, but they don’t allow you to fly them in national parks.

This includes Ko Phi Phi Leh Island and Bamboo Island, which are guarded by park rangers who will fine you if you are caught flying a drone. They are especially strict at Maya Bay, and the guards there constantly monitor all areas of the beach.

However, if you are conservative, you can still fly in from other locations. For example, you can park your boat in Pileh Lagoon or Viking Cave and launch the drone from there, and usually no one is likely to notice or care unless a park ranger’s boat passes by and sees you doing it.

Drone restrictions do not apply to Phi Phi Don Island at all. You can fly drones anywhere on Phi Phi Don Island without a problem, although you’ll still want to be considerate and only fly where people won’t bother you, of course.

Other tips for Phi Phi Island Thailand

  • credit cards: Most restaurants offer cash only, although some upscale restaurants accept cards. Use your card for big things like hotels and tours, and save your money for smaller things like great Thai street food.
  • ATM: On Phi Phi Don Island, there are ATMs all over the city. We have used Krungsri on several sites and have had no issues at all. The withdrawal fee was 220 baht and allows you to withdraw large amounts of cash at a time.
  • Cell service: Phone reception is strong on Phi Phi Don, but you may lose signal while walking around Phi Phi Leh (including Maya Bay) due to the steep mountains that cover the island.
  • Wifi: The internet situation is improving, and quite a few hotels and restaurants in Phi Phi Don have good WiFi now. Internet quality isn’t as good as Phuket, but is generally good enough for emails, browsing and streaming.
  • electricity: The power is almost always on. During the rainy season, power went out several times after storms, but it came back quickly.
  • Shops: There are a lot of small mini markets in Phi Phi Don where you can buy cheap snacks, drinks, toiletries, sunscreen and other things. Just remember that their selection is smaller than what you’ll find shopping in Phuket.
  • health: We ate a lot of the cheapest Thai street food and had no stomach problems, but remember not to drink tap water.
  • language: Just like in Phuket, the locals on the islands of Koh Phi Phi don’t speak much English, but it’s easy to communicate about hotels, restaurants, tours, etc.
  • religion: Most of the local population in Phi Phi Don are Muslims (more than 80 percent). One funny side effect of this is that there are a lot of cats on the island, but no dogs. We enjoyed the cats. There is only one mosque on Phi Phi Island, and it is not noisy, so you will not be kept awake at night.
  • Mosquitoes: We didn’t see any mosquitoes on the Ko Phi Phi islands except for a few at Monkey Bay. There have been some cases of dengue here, but this is nothing to worry about. You can buy insect repellent in Phuket, Krabi or Phi Phi Don if you need it. Malaria does not exist here.

Best restaurants in Phi Phi Don

Although Phi Phi Don is a small island, there are plenty of great restaurants to choose from, with different types of cuisine including Thai, European and Asian.

Here are some of our best restaurant recommendations:

  • water: This is probably the best restaurant in Phi Phi Don, although it is a little pricey.
  • Mango garden: This air-conditioned cafe is one of the first places we ate on Phi Phi Island. They have an entire menu dedicated to mango sticky rice. They also have free WiFi and several power outlets.
  • Gaja Cafe and Spice: Awesome pancakes and acai smoothie bowls!
  • Anna’s restaurant: European and Thai food on PP Island with good selection and reasonable prices. Try the pineapple fried rice.
  • 23° Roasters Cafe: A relatively new cafe with great cakes and pastries. Indoor seating and super-fast WiFi.
  • Papaya Restaurant: Indian and Thai food off the main street on PP Island.
  • Garlic 1992: Good Thai food in an unpretentious environment. As you can tell from the name, they have been in this field since 1992.

Again, this is not a complete list of all the good restaurants on Phi Phi Don Island. With a little exploring, you’re sure to find some other gems.

Don’t forget the Thai street food stalls and small family-owned restaurants, e.g Noodles only. These places are very cheap and the food is usually great. In fact, we ate at these places for almost all of our meals on Phi Phi Island!

Last but not least, if you’re craving western food, there’s McDonald’s and Burger King when you first step off the boat at Ton Sai Beach.

Is Koh Phi Phi safe?

It is generally safe to stay on Phi Phi Island, Thailand.

We spent weeks staying at Phi Phi Don and exploring the entire city, and we never felt unsafe. Just take normal precautions and you won’t have any problems with crime.

If anything, we actually found that the locals are friendlier in Phi Phi than in Phuket or Krabi.

Best time to visit Phi Phi

The best time to visit the Phi Phi Islands in Thailand depends on what you are looking for.

The weather in Thailand’s Andaman Sea (including Phi Phi) is best from November to April, when it is drier and sunny, and sea conditions are better for boat tours. However, this is also the peak tourist season, so it is busier and hotels in Phi Phi Don are likely to be fully booked.

The weather is not good from May to October. There are more rainy days, and there are frequent storms in the evening. However, there are fewer tourists in these months and it is still possible to have a great trip if your time is a little more flexible.

If you visit Phi Phi in the rainy season, it’s a good idea to have a few extra days to spare in case some bad weather causes boats to be canceled for a day or two.
Phi Phi ferries are rarely cancelled, even in the rainy season, but small long-tail boats may be grounded if the weather is bad, so keep this in mind.

You can check Wave size forecast on Wisukiand any current weather warnings are on Thai Meteorological Authority website.

We did experience some big storms in the rainy season, but these were usually in the evening when we returned to the hotel, so it wasn’t a problem. Most of the photos in this Phi Phi travel guide were taken in July, during the rainy season.

We visited Phi Phi in the dry season and also in the rainy season, on separate trips. Either way, we had a great time and the weather was great for weeks!

Are Phi Phi Islands worth it?

Yes, the Phi Phi Islands are definitely worth a visit! The scenery is stunning and the prices for everything are very reasonable.

I would say it is the best place to go in Thailand, and also one of the best places in Southeast Asia. Sights such as Maya Bay and Lake Pele are unparalleled on earth.

How do James Bond Island and Phi Phi compare?

So which is better, fi fi or James Bond Island? This is an important question.

Both are great, but I have to say Phi Phi Island is the best. No offense to James Bond IslandBut Phi Phi Island has the best scenery above and below the ocean, with clear blue waters and plenty of fish and coral to see while snorkeling or diving.

There’s also more to see and do in Phi Phi in general. Even if you don’t care about snorkeling, it’s hard to beat Maya Bay, Lagoon Pele, and other great sights on the Phi Phi Islands. They are truly world class.

Don’t get me wrong, Phang Nga Bay is still gorgeous and you should definitely see James Bond Island if you’re able to. Try to see both Phi Phi and James Bond if you have the time! Unfortunately, you can’t see them in one day since they are located in opposite directions from Phuket (south versus north), but it is possible to see both places in two days!

How long to stay

You can see highlights of the Koh Phi Phi islands on a full-day tour, including Maya Bay, Pileh Lagoon, Bamboo Island, and more. This applies even if you are starting from Phuket or Krabi, rather than staying in Phi Phi Don.

However, staying a few days on the Phi Phi Islands will give you more time to enjoy the scenery and see some extra things like Phi Phi Viewpoint, or the many hidden beaches of Phi Phi Don. It also provides you with a buffer zone in case of unwanted weather.

We really enjoyed all the days we spent in Koh Phi Phi, and if you have enough time, I think staying a few days is better than taking a day trip from Phuket or Krabi.

Where to stay on Phi Phi Island

Phuket hotels


3-day itinerary to Phi Phi Island in Thailand

Here’s what a sample Phi Phi Islands itinerary could look like, assuming you spend 3 days on Phi Phi Don and tour all the islands:

  • Day 1: Phi Phi Don. Getting to Phi Phi Islands from Phuket or Krabi. Check into your hotel and unpack your things. Hike to Phi Phi viewpoint and enjoy the scenery for a while, then head to Loh Dalum Beach, where you can take a boat or kayak to Nui Bay and Monkey Beach.
  • Day 2: Phi Phi Leh. Take a long-tail boat to Phi Phi Leh Island. Take a stroll on the famous beach at Maya Bay, then go see Lake Pele and the Viking Cave. If you have time, stop and visit Monkey Bay on your way back into town.
  • Day 3: Miscellaneous. Take a boat to Bamboo Island and spend a few hours swimming and soaking up the sun. Return to Phi Phi Don and explore the town and various beaches before returning to Phuket or Krabi.

I hope this sample itinerary gives you some ideas for your own trip to Phi Phi Island!

More travel guides to Thailand

Thanks for looking! I hope you enjoy this travel guide to Koh Phi Phi Island in Thailand.

Don’t forget to check out my full review Travel guide to Thailand For more tips about Phuket, Krabi, Koh Tao and other Thai islands.

Happy travels!

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