Visiting Koh Phi Phi Islands
Located in the crystal-clear waters of the Andaman Sea, the Phi Phi Islands are a tropical paradise that has been capturing the hearts of travellers from around the world. Located off the southwestern coast of Thailand, this stunning archipelago consists of six islands, with Phi Phi Don and Phi Phi Leh being the most famous. In this article, we will share helpful information for your day trip to Ko Phi Phi, immersing you in everything you need to know when exploring this breathtaking destination.
The Phi Phi Islands have a rich and storied history that predates their rise to international fame. Initially inhabited by sea gipsies, these islands played a significant role as a trading post between the bustling ports of Phuket, Krabi, and mainland Thailand. They gained global attention in the late 20th century when featured in the 2000 Hollywood blockbuster “The Beach,” starring Leonardo DiCaprio. Since then, they have become a magnet for adventure seekers, nature lovers, and beach bums worldwide.
Best Time to Visit Phi Phi Islands
Before embarking on your day trip to the Phi Phi Islands, it’s crucial to plan your visit during the optimal time. The best time to explore these islands is during the dry season, typically from November to April. During these months, you can expect to find pleasant weather with mild temperatures and minimal rainfall, ensuring you can enjoy all the activities the islands offer.
Things to do In Ko Phi Phi
Snorkeling and Diving
The Phi Phi Islands are known for their vibrant coral reefs and diverse marine life. Bring your snorkel gear or take a diving excursion to witness the kaleidoscope of colours beneath the surface. Spots like Shark Point and Anemone Reef offer thrilling encounters with marine creatures like reef sharks and leopard sharks.
Made famous by “The Beach,” Maya Bay on Phi Phi Leh is a must-visit destination. Although it was closed for restoration due to environmental concerns in 2018, it has since reopened with strict regulations (boats are not allowed at the bay and swimming is prohibited). While you can no longer spend the night on the beach, day trips are available, which allows you to soak in the stunning scenery and deep in your feet in azure waters.
Hiking and Viewpoints
Phi Phi Don, the largest island, offers several hiking opportunities. Don’t miss the chance to trek to the Phi Phi Viewpoint, where you’ll be rewarded with panoramic vistas of the islands and the surrounding ocean. It’s especially enchanting during sunrise and sunset.
Explore the entire archipelago by hopping from one island to another. Each island has its unique charm, from the tranquil Bamboo Island to the snorkeler’s paradise of Bida Nok and Bida Nai.
How to get from Phuket to Phi Phi Islands?
When travelling from Phuket to the Phi Phi Islands, there’s a wide variety of options to suit your preferences and budget. Whether you seek convenience, speed, or adventure, there’s always a mode of transportation that will cater to your needs. Here are the different ways to get to the Phi Phi Islands from Phuket:
Ferry from Phuket to Phi Phi
- Standard Ferry:
The most common way to reach the Phi Phi Islands is by taking a standard ferry from Phuket’s Rassada Pier to Tonsai Pier on Phi Phi Don. This budget-friendly option offers a scenic journey and is favoured by backpackers and budget-conscious travellers. The ferry ride takes around two hours.
- High-Speed Ferry:
High-speed ferries are available if you prefer a quicker and more comfortable ride. They reduce travel time to approximately 90 minutes, making them a popular choice for tourists who want to maximize their time on the islands.
Ferries operate daily, with multiple departures throughout the day. However, booking your tickets in advance, especially during the high season (November to April), is advisable to secure your seat.
Private Speedboat or Longtail Boat:
Chartering a speedboat or longtail boat is an option for those looking for a more personalized and private experience. This choice is ideal for small groups or travellers seeking flexible schedules. You can negotiate the price with local operators, but it tends to be more expensive than the standard ferry. We highly recommend getting the longtail boat for a more romantic, private and personal experience.
Day Tours and Package Deals:
Many tour operators in Phuket offer day tours to the Phi Phi Islands as part of package deals. These tours often include hotel transfers, guided activities like snorkelling and sightseeing, and lunch. While they can be convenient, be prepared for a more structured itinerary and the presence of other tourists.
How much does it cost to go from Phuket to Ko Phi Phi?
Regarding boat trips and visiting Maya Bay, prices can vary depending on the experience you seek. As of my last knowledge update in September 2023, here’s a rough estimate of what you can expect:
- Boat Tours: A day trip by speedboat to explore the Phi Phi Islands can cost anywhere from 2,000 to 4,000 Thai Baht (approximately $60 to $120) per person. Prices may include snorkelling gear, lunch, and hotel transfers.
- Maya Bay Visit: If you want to visit Maya Bay, the cost typically ranges from 400 to 600 Thai Baht (approximately $12 to $18) per person. Remember that this fee may be subject to change, and you should check current prices before planning your trip.
Regardless of your transportation mode, keep in mind that schedules and availability can vary depending on different factors like the season, weather conditions, and local regulations. It’s a good idea to check with local travel agencies or websites for up-to-date information and bookings. Additionally, make sure to respect the environment and follow any security guidelines to ensure a smooth and enjoyable journey to the Phi Phi Islands from Phuket.
A Slice of Thai Paradise
A day trip to the Phi Phi Islands is a journey into a tropical paradise that seamlessly blends history, natural beauty, and adventure. Whether you’re snorkelling in the clear waters, hiking to breathtaking viewpoints, or gazing in awe at the iconic Maya Bay, this archipelago promises unforgettable experiences. Plan your visit during the dry season, and be sure to respect the environment and local regulations to help preserve this pristine slice of heaven for generations to come. Embrace the local approach, and you’ll discover that the Phi Phi Islands are not just a destination but a captivating and soul-stirring experience.