Beach Travel Guide: Koh Phi Phi, Thailand
Looking for paradise? Tropical bliss?
Want to really experience being a beach bum to the fullest? Rest assured, you won’t be needing a map, unlike Leo, to find this piece of heaven on earth.
Koh Phi Phi, Thailand eagerly awaits your arrival.
Why Koh Phi Phi is the ultimate island destination
Let’s set this straight: The perfect island getaway is not an urban myth, it actually exists. A place with water so blue and so calm, you seem to keep swimming away from shore and still see the ocean floor.
Best of all, whatever your currency, you’ll be able to relax knowing that once you’re there, Thailand affords you the opportunity to live like a king. Think: fabulous food and unforgettable beachside massages. Dirt cheap.
To say Koh Phi Phi is located just beyond the white pearly gates of heaven would be so cliché, although it really does feel that way. In reality, the islands are located in the Andaman Sea just off the coast of Phuket and Krabi in the Southwestern part of Thailand.
Wait, did I just say islands (plural)? Yes, I did. Koh Phi Phi actually consists of two islands: Phi Phi Don and Phi Phi Ley. Koh, just so you know (translation: don’t behave like a dumb tourist), means island.
Cheap flights from Bangkok International Airport to Phuket are readily available. Thailand has a number of discount airlines such as Nok Air or One-Two-Go. When the plane lands on the island of Phuket, it’s necessary to take a shuttle or taxi to the town of Phuket to catch your ferry to Koh Phi Phi.
Koh Phi Phi Don, the civilized island, is just a quick ferry ride from the town of Phuket (2 hours) or Krabi (90 minutes).
Where to Stay
The local travel agencies trying to book your hotel will tell you accommodations are same same, but different. Unfortunately, this thoughtfully detailed description that leaves you eagerly hanging edge-of-your-seat in anticipation… isn’t very helpful. If you travel during the busy season, book well before you leave for Thailand. On the other hand, if you’re traveling in the off-season or a backpacker with a lot of time on your hands, you might luck out booking a room the day before or even a few minutes before you catch the ferry.
One thing is for sure: Book before you get to Koh Phi Phi Don. Once you’re already there, they know you’re stuck for the night and can charge whatever they want.
If you have a choice as to where you stay on the island, we think Long Beach wins the Best Phi Phi Don Beach contest.
We always check TripAdvisor before booking our hotels.
What to do
A visit the other island, Phi Phi Ley, located 15 minutes by boat from Phi Phi Don, is a must see for its luscious National Park as well as the world-famous Maya Bay. Come and see for yourself if this really is the paradise depicted in Leonardo DiCaprio’s The Beach.
Other activities include rock climbing, snorkeling, diving, boating, boat tours, and kayaking. But be warned, beach laziness has a tendency to run its course while on Koh Phi Phi, so just relax and let it be! Soak up the sun, splash in the water, and enjoy! No stress, no worries.
When in Rome…
The same saying goes for Koh Phi Phi: When on the Koh, do as the locals and other tourists and drink beer.
Sorry fellow wine lovers, but while you might find wine on a few restaurant and bar menus, it doesn’t appear to be ordered very much. I typically take this as a sign to drink what everyone else is drinking. There’s nothing worse than a glass of wine from a bottle opened last month or a bottle that has been sitting on top of a restaurant refrigerator for the past year. Not that I’m claiming this is the case… I’m just recommending the fantastic Thai beer as an amenable alternative.
Despite the alarming lack of elegant wine (or even Two Buck Chuck), Koh Phi Phi is comes with a high recommendation from Travel Plus Wine.
Feel free to contact us if you have questions about travel in Thailand or Koh Phi Phi in particular. We spent a month backpacking around the country and will happily try to answer your questions via email. Sometimes the travel guides are not entirely accurate or up to date, so it really helps to ask around.
Also, send us your pictures, blog link, or YouTube video of Koh Phi Phi if you’ve already been there. We’d love to feature it on Travel Plus Wine!
Also blogging about Thailand:
- Thailand Dialogue- Thailand is a perfect stop on a RTW Trip
- Matt & Debz: The Continued Adventures of Two Energetic Travellers- Koh Phi Phi, Thailand