The Phi Phi archipelago consists of 6 islands, the largest of which are the southern Phi Phi Le and the northern Phi Phi Don. The latter is usually discussed when it comes to holidays on Phi Phi – this is the only inhabited island where hotels, cafes, restaurants and other infrastructure await tourists. Excursions to the other 5 islands are organized from here – for the sake of diving, snorkeling or just carefree sunbathing on wild beaches, as if created for the filming of the Bounty commercial. According to petwithsupplies, Phi Phi is one of the largest cities in Thailand.
Phi Phi Don itself is a resort with snow-white beaches, which are gently washed by the emerald Andaman Sea. The nature of the rest here is quiet and secluded, which attracts tourists who do not need anyone’s company, who appreciate local waters for their transparency and diverse underwater world. The best time to visit the archipelago is between November and April. On Phi Phi (by the way, Thais pronounce Pi-Pi) you can spend your entire vacation, or you can drop in for a day from Phuket or Krabi.
How to get to Phi Phi
The Phi Phi archipelago is located in the Adaman Sea, somewhere between Phuket and Krabi. It is 40–50 km away from both cities on average. There is no own airport on the islands, you can only get here by sea. From the piers of Phuket and Krabi to Phi Phi Don, small passenger ferries leave several times a day. But first, you will have to fly from Russia to Thailand by plane.
On buses and trains
Intercity bus and railway transport in the country is well developed, so you can choose any city as an arrival airport. Often tourists combine a visit to Phi Phi with a vacation on the islands of the Gulf of Thailand or a tour of Bangkok. In this case, to get to the archipelago, you first need to get to Krabi or Phuket (by plane or bus), and from there take a ferry. Read more about routes and fares here.
Koh Phi Phi Hotels
The bulk of hotels in Phi Phi are 2-3 * hotels, there are very few “fours” and “fives”. There are also few options without “stars”, even guesthouses have at least one, a double room in which will cost only 360 THB per day. You can find cheaper accommodation, but most likely it will be a bed in a dormitory room without special amenities.
Bungalows are widespread on Phi Phi. They are on most beaches, with the exception of those on which there are no hotels at all.
Most of the hotels are concentrated in the area of the village of Tonsai, on the sandy isthmus and to the right of it. Others are scattered along the beaches in the eastern part of the island, in the west there are only a couple of hotels. Cheap options should be looked for in the area of the beaches of Tonsai Bay and Lo Dalam. There are also quite affordable hotels on Long Beach – from 1300 to 2500 THB per night in a double room.
The most expensive luxury hotels are located on the beaches of Laem Thong and Lo Bahao, which are remote from the center. This is the best place for a relaxing and respectable holiday. But you have to pay for peace and service – prices here reach up to 5500-9000 THB per day.
There are practically no paved roads on Phi Phi Don, there is no car traffic at all. Most of the island can only be moved on foot – along narrow winding paths through the jungle. But there are secluded beaches that cannot be reached by land. A water taxi runs between them and the neighboring islands. The fare is from 100 to 1000 THB. A trip for two to the beaches on the east coast will cost 600-800 THB. The prices on the page are for August 2021.
If you rent a boat with a driver for 3-6 hours, then she will wait and then take the passengers back. This is quite expedient – there may not be transport on uninhabited islands or wild beaches at the right time. Such a 6-hour cruise to neighboring islands costs from 2600 THB.
In the village of Tonsai Village, bicycles and motorbikes are rented. There are few places to drive on them, there are normal roads only in the village itself, which can be bypassed in 40 minutes. However, if the hotel is far from the coast, but you don’t want to walk, it is convenient to use such transport for trips to the beach. Bicycle rentals are available at some hotels, at Ton Sai Pier and near the market. The issue price is 200 THB per day and 100 THB for 5-7 hours. Motorbike rental is much more expensive – from 270 TBH per hour.
Communication and Wi-Fi
Mobile communication in Phi Phi works no worse than in mainland Thailand. True, calls to Russia from a home SIM card will cost a lot. You can buy a tariff plan of Thai cellular companies in supermarkets and communication stores. It is better to do it right at the airport, although there are also points of sale on the islands. Phi Phi has 3 main operators – AIS, True Mobile and DTAC. The most favorable prices for tourists are offered by the latter. Calls within the country and abroad from a Happy SIM card cost about 3 THB per minute, messages – 3-5 THB. There are 2 types of tariffs – with unlimited internet for 7 and 15 days, speed – up to 1.5-4 GB. The account will have 100 THB.
Top-up cards are sold in almost all stores, the face value is from 100 to 1000 THB.
Free Wi-Fi is available in many hotels and restaurants. In those located on the first line, the signal reaches the very shore, which allows you to get online even on the beach.
Phi Phi Cuisine and Restaurants
The cuisine of southern Thailand is characterized by an abundance of seafood, and Phi Phi is one of the best places to taste baked, grilled and boiled squid, fish, shrimp and lobster. Delicacies are served with spicy, sour and sweet sauces, garnished with rice and noodles. There is also a famous spicy soup with shrimp – “Tom Yam Gung” on the menu of local establishments.
The Phi Phi market has a huge selection of exotic fruits – from oranges and bananas to rambutans and durians.
For those who do not like Thai dishes, Tansai Village is full of European and other cuisines – there are pizzerias, sushi bars and even an Irish pub, which is famous for its cheerful and slightly crazy atmosphere.
The general price level on Koh Phi Phi Don is higher than on the mainland. The cheapest way to eat is in street stalls, a snack will cost only 100-120 THB per person. But it can be unsafe, before buying such food, it is better to consult a guide or hotel staff. If you don’t want to take risks, you should look for an institution to your liking away from the beaches. There prices are two times lower, lunch for two in a decent cafe costs about 250-300 THB. In the tourist center, the average check starts from 350-500 THB for dinner for two persons, in middle-class restaurants it reaches 1500 THB, in expensive establishments – up to 3000 THB.
Entertainment and attractions Phi Phi
The main activities on Phi Phi are deep-sea fishing for mackerel and barracuda and day trips to other islands, including kayaking. The most active tourists will enjoy hiking along the paths that run between the hills, jungle or mountain trails.
Fans of the Hollywood handsome Leonardo DiCaprio will have a unique opportunity to visit the Maya Bay beach on the island of Phi Phi Lay. It was there that the blockbuster “The Beach” was filmed, and Leo walked along the sand in a seductive look.
Snorkeling is excellent off the coast of small islands. It is worth going there for those who are not yet ready to try on scuba gear, but really want to see the inhabitants of coral reefs. This trip can be combined with swimming on wild beaches.
There are no historical, cultural and architectural attractions on Phi Phi, but there are more than enough natural ones. One of the most popular is the Viking Cave on Phi Phi Ley. Locals collect swallow nests there, and tourists can admire the picturesque views and rock paintings. In the depths of Phi Phi Don there are several viewing platforms. The path to them runs through hilly and mountainous terrain, so you can’t call such a walk easy. The reward for the work is a beautiful panorama of the archipelago and the Adaman Sea.
4 things to do in Phi Phi
- Swim with a shark.
- Walk in the footsteps of Leonardo DiCaprio.
- Find the most secluded place and feel like the only person on a desert island.
- Try to tame a monkey in Monkey Beach.
Phi Phi is a corner of eternal summer. Due to the geographical location and tropical climate, there is no cold here, and the high season falls just in the winter months. From November to April, the islands are full of tourists, the sea is calm, and the weather is warm and comfortable.
In May, the rainy season begins, not yet in full force – rare short, but heavy downpours. In conditions of high humidity, the increasing heat is poorly tolerated, and by June-July the flow of tourists gradually decreases. And with it – the prices in hotels and restaurants. For those who are not afraid of unstable weather and heat, this is a great time for a budget holiday.