Tips to plan your visit to Phi Phi Island, Thailand

Phi Phi is a small island in the andaman sea between Phuket and Krabi in Thailand. Tourists who visit these two cities often visit Phi Phi because of its natural charm. I spent a night here duing my Phuket visit in August. If you're visiting Phuket/Krabi and are thinking of a hop to Phi Phi, this post provides all the key details you should know before planning your visit to Phi Phi.

1. Decide how long you'd like to spend in Phi Phi Island & how!
There're multiple ways you can visit Phi Phi. Depending on time available, priorities you can select one of these:
Option 1: Day visit from Phuket/Krabi
Easiest thing to do, involves a day visit- morning to evening from Phuket or Krabi to Phi Phi island and few beaches/rocks around it. You won’t get time to explore the island (like hike to view point etc), most of the time will be spent in boat and little time at Maya Bay, snorkeling etc. Cheaper n convenient but I don't personally recommend this, unless you’re on a very tight schedule or don't prefer to lug your bags around. Spend at least a night in Phi Phi. (Option 2 and 3)

Option 2: Overnight stay in Phi Phi
This is what I did- took a one way boat to Phi Phi, spent a night there, did a half day tour around Phi Phi on Day 2 morning and returned to Phuket on day 2 afternoon.
If possible spend 2 nights or more, so that you get one full day for a day trip.
Note the boat timings for your onward/return journey while planning your itinerary

Option 3: Stopover stay and proceed to Krabi
If you’re planning to visit both Phuket and Krabi, then you can fly in into one of the two cities- say Phuket, explore Phuket, then take a boat to Krabi, spend a night or two, then proceed to Krabi and fly out of Krabi or proceed further. (or the opposite). This way you will avoid the 200kms road journey between Phuket and Krabi and make the most of Phi Phi island in between.


2. Activities to try at Phi Phi Don island
  • Half day/full day boat trips to Maya Bay and other attractions nearby. I have a separate post planned on the places visited during the half day tour I took.
  • Scuba Diving- around 2000 baht onwards, you can book your dive the previous night from any of the stops.
  • Swimming/Snorkeling
  • Kayaking- 200 THB for 1 hour, 100 THB for every additional hour. Single, double seater kayaks are available.
  • Phi Phi View Point trek: Couple of kms from pier, two different routes exist- one free but longer, other shorter but chargeable (through a private property)
  • Play with Pets- I found lots and lots of friendly pet cats and few dogs in Phi Phi. Almost all of them are very friendly and adorable.
3. Planning a stay in Phi Phi
Phi Phi has few luxury resorts and several budget hostels, starting as low as 200-250 THB per night (hostels). Almost all are walkable from pier. You can check and book using below widget. I stayed in Paradise dorm hostel.

Booking.com
4. Note the boat timings
Last boat to Phuket/Krabi usually leave by 4 PM. Boat service is subject to weather- may be suspended in case of storm warning. If you’re planning to proceed to Phuket/Krabi in the evening take note of last boat, buy a ticket in the morning and take only half day activities so that you will be back in time for your boat.
If you have a flight to catch, it is advisable to return to mainland the previous night, just to be safe- particularly in monsoon, where bad weather can disrupt boat services.

5. Other things you should know about Phi Phi
  •  No taxis available in Phi Phi, hand karts available. 
  •  Do not miss to try Coconut icecream
  •  Indian restaurants available, but hard to find in the maze of complicated street network
  •  Some boat rides may not be suitable for elders- they go to Maya bay on the opposite side and require guests to climb a rope ladder. Book a speed boat instead if you need more comfort.
  • Beware of high and low tide timings, if you're planning a swim or kayaking.
  • Catching ferry/speed boat to Phi Phi will be closer n cheaper if you're staying in Phuket old town area. From Patong factor extra time and money.
  • Carry your medicines and other essentials. Not everything may be available. Basic medicare available- check this EV ambulance...
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