Koh Phi Phi Island is very popular with travellers all around the world and there are many reasons why. Koh Phi Phi is well known for it's limestone beauty, emerald waters and white sand beaches. The nightlife is amazing, scuba diving and snorkelling shows you another part of paradise and you can find the perfect resort for your stay on the island. Like you can see there is all sort of entertainment for every kind of traveller.
Top Things To See And Do In Koh Phi Phi
Do a boat tour - Book yourself a boat tour and go snorkelling at the most beautiful places around the island and make sure that you also get a night dive. You will be snorkelling when the sun sets and will witness the glow in the dark plankton. It is an amazing experience that you will always remember.
Visit Monkey Beach - Monkey beach is one of the most beautiful beaches in Thailand. White sand beach and beautiful snorkelling. Wild monkeys live on this part of the island and they come by to say hi. Please do not feed or harm them! And keep an eye on your personal belongings. You can take a tour or kayak yourself.
Hike to Phi Phi Viewpoint - It is quite a hike if you do it on the warmest time of the day so I would suggest to do it early in the morning or later in the afternoon. It is a hard 20-25 minute walk up but you will be rewarded with a panoramic view of Phi Phi Le and Phi Phi Don. Price : 20 THB (less than 0,60 USD).
Spend the day in Maya Bay - Take a boat to the famous Maya Bay, which is known because of the movie The Beach with Leonardo DiCaprio. Be prepared because you won't be the only person out there. It is probably one of the most popular places in Thailand. There is also a viewpoint you can walk to.
Enjoy the nightlife - Nightlife is really crazy. From buckets of cocktails to fire shows. There are often massive beach parties. If you like it more chill, there is always live music somewhere. Partying is not cheap and this is how many people spend their money.
Rent a kayak - You can rent a kayak for half a day to explore the more private beaches and get closer to the limestone cliffs. There are also plenty of tours you can take to watch the sunset from the water.
Costs On The Island
The prices go up every year because Koh Phi Phi is the most popular island destination in Thailand. Compared to the rest of Thailand is the island pretty expensive. You will spend most money on accommodation, alcoholic drinks and adventures.
Food and drinks - It all depends on where you are going for food and drinks but you can limit your expenses by buying most of your food and alcoholic drinks in 7-eleven. They are also open 24 hours a day and they have amazing toasties for a late night snack or even breakfast.
Hostels - They vary between 300 BHT - 600 BHT for a dorm room. A private room starts from 600 BHT. Make sure you always get a hostel with air-conditioning because it gets really warm and sticky on the island.
Hotels - If you go to a budget hotel you can get a double bedroom for 1000 BHT.
Resorts - There are many resorts on the island to choose from. You will find less backpackers and more luxury. Our favourite resort is Phi Phi Ba Kao Resort. Service was great. They picked us up at Tonsai Pier (the main pier) and carried our backpacks to their own long tail boat and brought us to Loh Bagao Bay which is only 2 minutes away from the resort. The resort is around 30 minutes away from the busy/touristic area of the island. The resort offers free boat rides to Tonsai Pier and back. There is a cute little town village with lots of restaurants and bars. The beach is secluded and beautiful.
There are different areas on the island where you can stay. It all depends on what kind of traveller you are. If you are travelling by yourself and you are wanting to meet other backpackers we suggest you to stay close to Tonsai Pier where the boats arrive. There are plenty of hostels to choose from and it is all walking distance. There are many parties every night, restaurants and cocktail bars. Fire shows on the beach and you will most likely have an amazing time.
Travel couples like Hayley and myself don't mind to stay close to Tonsai Pier because we of course like all the entertainment. But we also like to chill and explore less touristic places. We are a huge fan of the other side of the island (Loh Bagao Bay), it is all less build up and you get more of the island-life experience without hundreds of other backpackers around. You can go to the beach without seeing anyone for a whole day. It is quite amazing. There are only resorts on this side of the island meaning it will be a bit more expensive as well.
Accommodation prices are different in low and high season. Both seasons are great to visit Koh Phi Phi. But don't forget that low season is also rain season and it could be raining now and then.
7-eleven is your best friend - Buy your alcohol and food in 7-eleven, take it down to the beach and start pre-drinking before going out to the bar.
Bargain - If you are planning on taking a long-tail boat negotiate the price up front. It is always discussable.
Long-tail experience - Try to find a group of people to share a long-tail boat with to lower your costs. It will be cheaper than going on a organized tour.
Go during low season - Low season goes from May to October. It will save you some dollars and it will be more quiet. Win-win situation!
The Truth About Koh Phi Phi Island
You never find out the truth until you visit the island yourself. Because no one ever tells the world how it really is. All the photos you see are photos of amazing white sand beaches, emerald green waters and limestone cliffs. Everyone always seems to forget to mention that you are actually sharing these mesmerizing sceneries with thousands of other travellers. That these beautiful white sand beaches are over-crowded and that a lot of travellers leave their trash behind, not thinking about the consequences. You are laying down on the beach enjoying a beautiful holiday and then notice cigarette butts all around you, glass bottles on the side of the beach and plastic bags in the ocean. Slowly killing our beautiful underwater world and destroying the environment.
Koh Phi Phi is the most popular island destination in Thailand and you can clearly see the aftermath.
It is very built up and touristic. It's overdeveloped and lost it's authenticity. BUT it truly is a beautiful place and you definitely have to visit if you have never been before and create your own experience and opinion. You will have an amazing time just like we did.