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A weekend at the beautiful Koh Phi Phi Island Is it still worth a visit?

Just a 45-minute speedboat ride or a 90-minute ferry ride from Phuket or Krabi lies the beautiful Phi Phi islands. The islands are picture-perfect which would make you want to just click your time away. Turquoise blue waters, diverse marine life, colorful coral reefs, and sandy beaches topped with a blue sky. Planning an island holiday to Koh Phi Phi? Here is our Koh Phi Phi island travel guide blog includes all the exciting things to do with the calm relaxation you’d expect from a pristine tropical island paradise

Maya Bay Koh Phi Phi

Ko Phi Phi is one of the most popular tourist islands in Thailand. From beautiful Maya Bay which was made famous by the Leonardo DiCaprio movie: The Beach to the monkeys on “Monkey Beach” to the diving, nightlife, and resorts, Phi Phi is one of the biggest destinations in Thailand.

Phi Phi Island Thailand Day Tour Packages

First of all, if you’re on a tight schedule or want to skip the extra steps involved in arranging your own trip to Phi Phi island, Viator has prearranged day trips to Phi Phi from Phuket or similar day trips from Krabi, complete with hotel transfers, boat tickets, island tour, lunch, and same day return.

These day tours visit all of the top sights in the Koh Phi Phi islands, including Maya Bay, Pileh Lagoon, and Monkey Bay.

We’ve used Viator for lots of days tours and activities around the world, and they’re great! Highly recommended.


Destroyed by the tsunami in 2004, the island has been rebuilt and developed to an even greater extent than before. Unfortunately, Ko Phi Phi has suffered from over-tourism in the worst way, with over 5,000 people visiting Maya Bay per day, polluting the area with countless speedboats and trash. The Thai government closed the area for almost 4 years, and it has only recently reopened to tourism, with some restrictions to save the underwater world from over-tourism.

Maya bay

The main area of the island is very overdeveloped and overpriced. Most people come here only to party. We visited when Thailand just reopened after the lockdown and we loved the empty beaches, no sound of Longtail boats no sound of party people until 4 at night, it was just so peaceful. The downside of that was nobody cleaned the beaches anymore and most shops were closed or broken.

Phi Phi Lagoon

At the end of 2022, we visited again and tourists were back, and also the noise was back, so in this blog, I will recommend some hotels you can stay without the noise but still within a few minutes at the center of Phi Phi

If you do visit, this travel guide to Ko Phi Phi can help you plan your trip, save money, and make the most of your time here!

Longtail boat in Koh Phi Phi Thailand

The Phi Phi Islands consist of two islands: Koh Phi Phi Don and Koh Phi Phi Leh. Koh Phi Phi Don is the only inhabited island, and it’s home to all the accommodations and amenities of the Phi Phi Islands. If you’re staying overnight on Koh Phi Phi, you’re staying on Koh Phi Phi Don. It’s a vehicle-free island and some hotel workers move luggage by dragging carts behind them. Koh Phi Phi Leh is an uninhabited island to the south, home to the famed Maya Bay, and Pileh Lagoon.

Koh Phi Phi Thailand during sunset

Koh Phi Phi was enormously damaged in the 2004 tsunami, where approximately 4,000 people on the island lost their lives. Roughly 70% of the island’s infrastructure was destroyed. Looking at the shape of the island, where most of the development takes place on a narrow isthmus, it’s no surprise.

Maya Bay Koh Phi Phi Thailand

Phi Phi Islands are located in the middle of the Andaman sea, 42 km away from Amphoe Mueang. It is a part of Nopharat Thara Beach – Phi Phi Islands national park which contains 2 big islands – Koh Phi Phi Don and Koh Phi Phi Le, and 4 smaller islands nearby – Koh Yung, Koh Mai Phai, Koh Pida Nok, and Koh Pida Nai.

Koh Phi Phi also features a vibrant nightlife before the covid pandemic nowadays November 2021 when we visit only restaurants are open and the rest of the islands was broken and many people left the Island.

Tonsai Beach contains dozens of beach bars and restaurants and a lively Village consisting of a maze of shops, bars, and restaurants. Smaller beaches around the island are alternatively ideal for honeymooners, families, those on a budget, and those looking for the ultimate luxury resort retreat.

Koh Phi Phi Thailand

Phi Phi Le was featured in the Hollywood blockbuster movie The Beach, a story about the ultimate secluded island beach. Maya Bay was a suitable choice as it epitomizes the stunning beauty of these islands: a bay of pellucid aquamarine water surrounded by towering limestone cliffs that harbors an arcing, white sand beach. The waters surrounding the Phi Phi Islands are filled with exotic marine life, including docile leopard sharks, and Snorkelling and diving day trip rival lounging on the beach as top activities on Koh Phi Phi.

sunset at PPPrinces resort

Getting to Koh Phi Phi by Boat

You can reach Koh Phi Phi by boat from several departure points:

  • Krabi (along with Ao Nang and Railay): 1:45-2 hour journey

  • Phuket: 1 to 2-hour journey

  • Koh Lanta: 1-hour journey

These are ferries with enough room for your luggage or you can take a speedboat which is faster — no longtail boats necessary (unless you depart from Railay, where everyone arrives and departs by longtail boat)

We took the speedboat from Phuket Ratsada pier which we booked online for 650 Bath The ride will take about 1 hour to reach Phi Phi from Phuket and also from Krabi, it's about an hour. From Phuket, you can also book a ferry which is cheaper but it will take 1 hour longer. You can book in advance with 12goAsia as all operators support the booking site

Visiting Phi Phi Island – Tourist Fees

There are two tourist fees you have to pay when you arrive in the Phi Phi islands.

At Phi Phi Don island, there’s a cash fee of 20 baht per person, which is paid when you first land at the harbor. They collect this from everyone, and it helps pay for daily rubbish removal from the islands. This fee is one-time only (not a daily fee).

At the national park areas, there’s a cash fee of 400 baht for foreigners and 40 Bath for Thai per person, which is collected when you disembark at either Maya Bay or Bamboo Island. On the backside of the ticket, it says it's valid for 5 days.

Some Phi Phi tours may already include these fees in the price, but usually, you pay them separately in cash when you get off the boat.

Maya Bay Koh Phi Phi Thailand

Transport: How To Get Around The Phi Phi Islands

There are no cars or motorbike rentals in the Phi Phi islands, and they’re not needed at all — if you’re staying on Phi Phi Don island, the whole town is small enough to be easily walkable on foot. Bicycles can also be rented.

You can hire a longtail boat in Phi Phi Don to take you to nearby islands like Phi Phi Leh and Bamboo Island. The longtails are smaller boats, but they have room for up to 8 passengers, so you can share a boat with friends or other travelers to make it more cost-effective. For a tour to Maya Bay, Pileh Lagoon, Monkey Beach, and Viking cave you will pay around 1500 Bath per boat.

Another option is kayaking at Phi Phi Don. This is cheaper than a boat rental, and you can use kayaks to reach some of the hidden beaches on Phi Phi Don, like Nui Bay and Monkey Beach.

Koh Phi Phi Thailand

On the walking street of Phi Phi, you can find many breakfasts, lunch, and dinner options, when we dare November 2021 just after the reopening of Thailand 95% of the shops were broken but the good restaurants survived the pandemic so don't worry there are a lot of options there and even the nightlife starts a little bit to reopen. During our last visit in November 2022, everything was back to normal and they finished the street works, imagine when we first visit this Island there was only a sand path now they have streets and an MC Donald


The best way to explore Maya bay which will be reopened in January 2022 is to rent a longtail boat at the beach it will cost you around 1500 baths for half a day or you book a tour which is cheaper but with other people. We booked the longtail boat in the early morning so we can take photos in the morning light. Also, the afternoon is beautiful the water will glow and you can make beautiful pictures at Phi Phi Lagoon.

viewpoint 3 Koh Phi Phi

Another great thing to do is to watch the sunrise or sunset from the many viewpoints on the Island, we walked to viewpoint 3 in the afternoon it's about a 1-hour walk and there is a restaurant where you can buy drinks.

We took the kayak to explore nearby beaches

When to visit

·When is the peak season for Koh Phi Phi? Starting from mid-November to early May is the high season for Koh Phi Phi. The super peak season is December to the end of January when world travelers are flocking to Phi Phi islands for the best sunshine and island gateway!

When is the best time to visit Koh Phi Phi? The best time to visit Koh Phi Phi is as the weather is perfect on this beautiful island on the Andaman sea. It is very ideal for beach activities, such as swimming, snorkeling, diving, and boating.

How many days do you need at Phi Phi Island? You need two or three days on Phi Phi Island to take in the fabulous scenery and enjoy the sparkling clear blue waters and sandy beach.

The best time to visit Koh Phi Phi is between December and April when the weather is more temperate and the rains are less frequent. Many say November is also good but during our last visits in the last years, November brought a lot of rainy days too.

Where to stay

In the low season, visitors can expect discounted room rates. In the peak season, it is recommended that you book your room in advance or you will end up sleeping on the beach.

During our last visit in November, all hotels were fully booked

In case you’re after recommendations for beachfront accommodation near the center but away from the noise of party people, here is our best pick:

ChaoKoh Phi Phi Hotel and Resort

ChaoKoh Phi Phi Hotel and Resort is easily one of the best stays in Phi Phi Don. A nice resort design with a great pool welcomes you that has most of what you’ll need for a relaxing, comfortable stay. Very close to the beach with only 3 minute's walk. Definitely one of the nicest hotels on Phi Phi Island. At Chaokoh Phi Phi Hotel & Resort you’ll be within a short 5-minute stroll of Tonsai Pier and Loh Dalum Beach. Highlights at this beachfront hotel include a restaurant, an outdoor swimming pool, and a beach bar. Book Now

Viking Nature resort

Another worth recommendation is the Viking Nature Resort. The resort offers classically furnished rooms adorned with simple interiors made with natural materials. It’s authentic with a private beach and close to nature stay on the island. Amazing peaceful stay with friendly staff but a little bit farther away from the center Book Now

Mama Beach residence

Mama Beach Residence is a unique 24-room hotel located at the western end of Tonsai Bay on Phi Phi Don Island with No Bikes, No Cars, and No noise. Monkeys at 200 Meters. The market and the Pier at 700 Meters Book Now

SAii Phi Phi Island Village

SAii Phi Phi Island Village is still the unbeatable luxury hotel in the most gorgeous setting on Phi Phi Island. The location of the resort is astonishing and situated along Lo Ba Goa Bay with a great sea view. It offers spacious accommodation and features a private beach and infinity pool equipped with a pool bar. The rooms come with a thatched roof and solid wood furnishings. Staying here to enjoy the exclusive gorgeous beach of the most beautiful island, with amazing professional service. A peaceful hideaway on Phi Phi island. Book Now

Best Things To Do In Phi Phi Island Thailand

  • Maya Bay

The white sand beach at Maya Bay is one of the most famous and photogenic places in Thailand, and it was the main thing responsible for bringing tourism to the Koh Phi Phi islands. In fact, it’s now one of the most famous beaches in the world!

The entire beach is surrounded by tall limestone cliffs. The water is clear turquoise with baby sharks swimming around, and the sand is white as snow. Everything about it looks perfect. Yep, this is paradise!

Of course, the beauty of Maya Bay has attracted the tourist hordes, just like any of the amazing places in the world, but if you time your visit right you can still enjoy the beach without too many people.

Maya Bay

  • Pileh Lagoon

This surreal turquoise lagoon surrounded by giant rock walls is one of the best things to see on Phi Phi island in Thailand.

The lagoon is only accessible by boat. Most Koh Phi Phi tours include a stop here, and the smaller boats can float into the lagoon and circle it, giving you up-close views of the impressive limestone karsts.