The Phi Phi Islands are an archipelago of 6 islands, located in the south west of Thailand in the Andaman sea, between the large island of Phuket and the city of Krabi. In total, the islands occupy 12.25 square kilometers (4.73 square miles).
Koh Phi Phi Don is the largest (9.73km2 ; 3.76 square miles) and the only populated island of the group, the 5 other ones are part of the Haad Noparath Thara Mu Koh Phi Phi National Park. This is where all the hotels, restaurants, shops and bars are located. The island's main village, Ton Sai (which means « Banyan Tree » in Thai), is built on a sandy isthmus between the island's two long & tall limestone ridges. On both sides of Ton Sai are semicircular bays (Tonsai Bay et Loh Dahlum Bay) lined with beaches.
The second largest island, Koh Phi Phi Ley (2km2 ; 1.2 square miles), is home to gorgeous beaches, stunning coral reefs and crystal clear lagoons, along with the "Viking Cave", where there is a thriving industry harvesting edible bird's nests. But it has become famous worldwide in 2000 after one of its beaches (Maya Beach) was used as a location for the British-American movie « The Beach », starring Leonardo Di Caprio.
The 4 other islands of the archipelago are Bamboo Island (popular for its white sand and clear water), Mosquito Island (currently closed to restaure the coral), and finally Bida Nai and Bida Nok which are not much more than large limestone rocks jutting out of the sea, but are extremely beautiful scuba diving locations.
Koh Phi Phi is reachable by ferry or speedboat from either Krabi, Phuket, Koh Lanta and small surroundings islands (only in high season). It takes approximately 1.5 hour from Krabi, and 2 hours from Phuket. You can easily buy your tickets and secure your spots
here : Your transportation options to Phi Phi Islands. You will have access to all combos to reach Koh Phi Phi from everywhere in Thailand and even South East Asia : Airport transfer, mini van, hotel pick-up, ferry, plane, buses and more !
Once you get there, no need to get a taxi or a tuk-tuk to your hotel. Indeed, since the re-building of the island after the tsunami, paved roads now cover the vast majority of Koh Phi Phi Don. All roads are for pedestrian use only with push carts used to transport goods and bags. The only permitted motor vehicles are reserved for emergency services (police, ambulance…). Bicycles used to be the most popular form of transport in Ton Sai village for a while, until they got banned in 2013 as the number of push bikes started to get out of control and dangerous during rush hour. So get ready to walk around quite a bit - some good exercise to look forward to!
If your hotel is located outside Tonsai Village you will have to take a taxi boat to reach the secluded beaches of Laem Thong, Long Beach, Rantee Bay, Tokho Beach and Loh Bah Gao (Phi Phi Island Village Hotel).
Phi Phi Island weather follows 2 seasons with a tropical climate as the rest of Thailand.
High Season : November to April
This is the season where you will get the chance to enjoy the best weather, as it hardly ever rains. November to January are the “coolest” months, April and May are the hottest ones.
Green Season : May to October
Some people call it the rainy season but it’s absolutely not a non-stop rain period like monsoon in India. It would only rain for a couple of hours, and then the sun would come back quickly.
Please note that due to actual climate changes, the characteristics and dates of each season are not as accurate as they used to be.
If you book a tour with Phi Phi Travel and Tours, be aware that if the tour is cancelled due to poor weather conditions, we will offer you to postpone your tour or offer a full refund (minus online payment fees).
Where to stay in Phi Phi Islands ?
Depending on your budget and your expectations, there is a vast range of options for you to look into. From cheap dorm rooms to crazy party hostels, from chilled guest houses to luxury family resorts, everyone can find a place which will suit their taste.
If you want to be closer to all the activities, best restaurants, bars and nightlife, we highly recommend you to stay around Tonsai Village area (where all the ferries from Phuket, Krabi and Koh Lanta arrive).
If you want to seclude yourself a bit and enjoy the quiet and paradise side of the Phi Phi Islands, you will appreciate staying on the North-East beaches of Phi Phi : Loh Bah Gao Beach (Phi Phi Island Village), Rantee Bay, Laem-Thong or Tokho Beach. Please note that these beaches are only accessible by longtail taxi boat as there is no roads/cars/motorbikes on Phi Phi. Everytime you would like to reach the main village for any activity you will have to take a longtail boat ride of minimum 30-45 min. For the most adventurous people, there is many paths through the jungle of Phi Phi reaching all beaches to the main village. You have to count minimum 1,5hours to 2 hours from the North-East beaches to Tonsai Village.
Long Beach is a good compromise between the rush of Tonsai Village and the seclusion of the North-East beaches, as it’s only located at 30min walk or 10min taxi-boat ride from Tonsai, and you can still find nice & quiet resorts framed by one of the most beautiful and swimming-friendly beaches of Phi Phi Don Island.
Have a look below to check out the best places and book yourself in advance to get the best deals : Our Hotels Selections in Koh Phi Phi
You won't be bored on Phi Phi Island ! Here is an idea of the activities that you could enjoy during your stay : ONE OF OUR TOURS for sure ;), beach time, Phi Phi viewpoints hiking (do it with our trek to see all of them), cooking class, tasty restaurants, shopping, fire show, party, Phi Phi island nightlife...
To fully enjoy Phi Phi Islands, we recommend to stay minimum 3 days / 2 nights, so you will have enough time to do a boat trip around the archipelago, and also enjoy Phi Phi Don main island. The must-do’s in Phi Phi are a boat trip + a trek to the main viewpoint for an unforgettable view of our amazing island ! If you have a bit more time, we highly recommend to join our afternoon trek with our experienced guide to watch the 4 viewpoints of Phi Phi (some of them are quite hard to find by yourself) These are our favourite bars : - Enjoy a cocktail on the famous Banana Bar rooftop - Fancy a wonderful sunset with your favourite drink at The Only Bar - It's time for party ! Go enjoy the craziness of Blanco Beach Bar games and music on Loh Dahlum Bay (the main beach of Phi Phi Don). These are our favourite restaurants : - Unni’s Koh Phi Phi for western or thai food ; they have the best pasta of the island ! - Acqua Restaurant for a fancy meal ; as soon as you book a tour with us you will receive a 10% discount voucher ! - You will discover tasty thai food restaurant at every corner of Phi Phi. Try the local thai market, you surely will discover a wonderful thai dish that you’ve never tried before (cheap and spicy guaranteed !)
Koh Phi Phi Don used to be populated by Muslim fishermen during the late 1940s, and later became a coconut plantation. Tourism slowly started in the 1990s, until it boomed in 2000 after the movie « The Beach ». The resident Thai population of Koh Phi Phi Don remains more than 80% Muslim, however the actual population— if counting workers, who mostly come from other parts of Thailand —is more Buddhist than Muslim. The resident population is between 2,000 and 3,000 people.
Unfortunately, Koh Phi Phi was devastated by the Indian Ocean tsunami on the 26th December 2004, and 70% of the island's infrastructure was destroyed. The total number of fatalities is unlikely to be known. Local tour guides give the figure 4,000. After this natural disaster, both local and international organizations have put their strength together to help clean the island, remove the debris from the bays and coral reef, and start rebuilding it. By the end of July 2005, 23,000 tonnes of debris had been removed, of which 7,000 tonnes had been cleared by hand. As of 6 December 2005 (so not even a year after the natural disaster), nearly 1,500 hotel rooms were open, and a tsunami early-warning alarm system had been installed by the Thai government with the help of volunteers.