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Koh Phi Phi – Guide to Touring Thailand’s Most Famous Island

Thailand is blessed with dense forests, beautiful islands, and beaches with clear turquoise blue waters. Koh Phi Phi (pronounced as “Pee Pee”) is one of them and the most stunning, if we subtract the over tourism side of it. Let’s dive into my guide to touring Thailand’s most famous island – Koh Phi Phi.

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About Phi Phi

The inhabited Phi Phi Don and uninhabited Phi Phi Ley comprise the Phi Phi islands of the Krabi province. These islands became famous after the movie ‘The Beach’ starring Leonardo Di Caprio at the Maya Bay in 2000. The island is vehicle free and its overall size is 12.25 sq. km. The island is densely populated with 100+ hotels and eateries.

Maya Bay

The 2004 Tsunami had taken more than 4000 lives in the Phi Phi islands and it is said that the development at the island has increased more than how it was then. The Maya Bay in Phi Phi Ley was closed in 2018 due to over tourism. The government cleaned the area, planted around 10,000 coral reefs and has brought it back to its original state. Tourism to the Maya Bay was opened in 2022.

How to reach Phi Phi?

You can either reach the islands from Phuket or from Krabi. I personally travelled from Krabi. There are speed boats, ferries and even private boats available for the travel. I personally felt booking tickets after reaching Krabi or Phuket was better than pre-booking online due to the additional charges applied while paying online.

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Where to stay?

There are backpacker hostels, hotels, and high-end resorts available for stay. I chose to stay at Phi Phi Hotel which was few meters away from Tonsai Pier.

How many days to spend in Phi Phi?

This completely depends on what you would like to do in Phi Phi. In my case, I spent 3 days. First day, I decided to roam around the island and in the evening, we went to enjoy the nightlife at Phi Phi. On the second day, we went for an island tour and on the third day, we went for scuba diving near Phi Phi Ley. 

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Note: There are half day and full day group tours available in Phi Phi. You can rent a private long tail boat as well, on a 3, 4 and 6 hour basis.

The 3 different group tours are as below

Click here to read about my scuba diving experience at Phi Phi Ley.

Walk around the island

Phi Phi is a vehicle free island but loaded with humans and human establishments. There are hotels, restaurants, bars, bakeries, diving schools, Tonsai daily market, travel agencies, mobile phone stores, laundromats, tattoo shops, fashion jewellery, clothing and swim wear shops, super markets (7eleven), fast food and ice cream parlours.

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It was a treat to watch the island bustling with busy tourists buying so many different things. Every other shop had a pet cat, and the cats were tourist friendly.

Note: You can buy bottled water at 7 eleven in Phi Phi instead of carrying them from Krabi or Phuket.

If you want to visit Phi Phi on a day trip click here.

Nightlife at Phi Phi

If you like to party then Phi Phi should be one of your go to places in Thailand. You get drinks in buckets at TBH 40 and you will find 1+1 beer offers on many days. Drinks are not cheap in India, especially cocktails. I was surprised to see cocktail buckets at TBH 40 in Phi Phi where generally everything else is expensive.

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There were fire shows and tourists were also taking part in them.

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Phi Phi View Point

One of the most beautiful views I had in Thailand was at Phi Phi Viewpoint 2. It was a private resort so we had to pay money to reach the view point.

Ticket cost: THB 30

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Phi Phi is one of the most gorgeous islands that I have visited. Though I thoroughly enjoyed the Phi Phi islands I know that many despise it due to over tourism. Many tourists would look for quaint and serene places to rejuvenate. If you are one of them then Phi Phi would not be your cup of tea.

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Click here to read my other posts from Thailand.

Aarthy Chinnaiya

Hola, you travel-prying soul! Welcome to my blog and thanks for stopping by! My name is Aarthy Chinnaiya, exploring new places, food and people gets me excited. I focus on budget travel and exploring places to the fullest in limited number of days (being a Software Engineer I don't get much leaves you see :P). Follow me for a constant dose of my travel stories, experiences, tips and much more.

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