Guide to the best things to do in Phi Phi Island

Things to do in Phi Phi Island

Phi Phi Island is one of the most popular islands in Thailand with unmissable natural resources and a vibrant tourist oriented village. The famous movie “The Beach” directed by Danny Boyle and starred by Leonardo DiCaprio in the year 2000 has been a very big success. The movie made Phi Phi Island more popular than ever which brought more and more visitors to the island each day. “The Beach” have become a blessing for Phi Phi Island as well as Thai tourism.

Located between Phuket and Krabi, Phi Phi Island may be small in size and has no cars or roads, but there is never shortage of amazing things to do in Phi Phi Island. Whether you’re visiting the islands for the exquisite nature and beaches, the top-end nightlife, or a mixture of both, we would like to help you have the best experience when visiting this gem of Thailand paradise.

The following is our list of top things to see and do in Phi Phi Island, which features the most popular places the island have to present. The natural beauty of the area is second to none and provides a great choice of tours and activities – you will be easily spoilt as for choosing things to do Phi Phi Island.


Aerial view of Phi Phi Island


Unmissable things to do in Phi Phi Island

Phi Phi Island is one of those places you should not miss when traveling to Thailand. The island, or to be frank, the islands, became very popular after incredible scenes of the movie ‘The Beach’ with Leonardo DiCaprio were shot there, but it remains a top destination in Thailand for many other reasons. Its stunning features and activities will keep you busy in your discovery. Meanwhile it still remains as a tropical, laid-back island where no cars or roads exist.

Since Phi Phi Don is the only inhabited island, it means all the other islands will be reached by boat and that is something you will definitely experience. So, one of the top things to do in Phi Phi is a boat tour!

– Phi Phi Island Boat Tours are a must

During a boat tour, you can just lie back and relax while your boat sails you to some of Thailand’s most amazing islands with a private long tail boat rental. There are many interesting activities such as swimming with tropical fish in Tonsai Bay, playing with energetic creatures on Monkey Beach, or simply enjoying a breathtaking cruise around Pihel Lagoon. With a private rental, what you have to do is to decide where you want to go.

If you’re looking for a luxurious experience with special romance, then hiring a private boat will no doubt be one of your most unforgettable experiences. An early starting is recommended (about 6:30 a.m.) to avoid the crowds and seize the spectacular sunrise views over the neighboring islands.

Boat trips can be reserved online or through your Koh Phi Phi hotel. However, you can still hire a boat and the captain last minute by enquiring one of the dozens of tail boats lining the shores of the beach. You can rent the boats by the hour, but you’d better rent at least three hours to explore all the highlights of Phi Phi Island.


Boat Trip on Phi Phi Island


– Diving in Phi Phi Islands

Well, a boat tour may not be enough for you. And you want to hunt for something more thrilling, surely you will find it. The crystal-clear waters of Phi Phi Island are really ideal for diving. The Phi Phi Marine Park has over 20 different dive sites, where you can explore deep below the warm surface of the ocean.

During your diving, it will be common for you to see sea horses, turtles, pipe fish, angelfish, and box fish nestled in between the corals. While sea life is the most active in the early morning, it’s also nice to go on a night diving, which presents a different sea world where you can see eels and barracuda by flashlight.

Experienced divers can also try out the Kled Kaew wreck site. The 165-foot Thai Navy vessel lies almost 100 feet below the ocean. In addition to navigating through the interior rooms of the ship, you’ll be able to swim with yellow snappers and scorpion fish.


Diving in Phi Phi Islands


– Phi Phi Island Viewpoint

Regarded as the best view in all of Phi Phi Island, venturing to the Koh Phi Phi Viewpoint will definitely be the highlight of your vacation. Although the viewpoint is around 600 feet above sea-level, you’ll be rewarded with a magnificent bird’s eye view of the lush island and crystal clear waters.

Phi Phi Viewpoint is one of the most popular landmarks on the island. You can easily find the viewpoint on the map. It is located to the east of the flat strip of sand and overlooks the village. An entrance fee of 30 THB will occur.

At an altitude of 186 meters, it roughly takes between 20 and 40 minutes to arrive there on a well-chosen and paved path. Photograph lovers should choose to climb up there right before lunchtime to benefit from the best lighting (the viewpoint faces the sun in the afternoons). There’s a small store selling drinks and snacks at the top of Phi Phi Viewpoint.


Phi Phi Island Viewpoint


– What to do in Phi Phi Island for free [or low cost]

There are quite a lot free things to do on Phi Phi Island. The island is not big and filled with stores, cafes, restaurants and bars. In addition to walking around the island, you can also relax, go swimming, enjoy nice beach like Loh Dalum beach for a whole day, or at least at the best time of the day, because the beaches are only within minutes' walking distance from Dongsai wharf.

Trekking to Long Beach and forget the idea of taking a taxi. Do not hesitate. As one of the most beautiful beaches on the island, Long Beach is worth your staying there all day. If you are used to hiking and don't stop halfway, you will spend about 40 minutes from Tonsai wharf. It's easy to find and you will hardly miss it. You'll encounter some unknown empty beaches on the way. Don't wait anymore, jump into the water to replenish energy and then resume your hiking. There are some restaurants and bars there. Don't forget to bring your diving equipment, because there is a great place at the end of the beach and you can enjoy for free.

Kayaking in Ko Phi Phi is a nice, fun and almost free things to do in Phi Phi Island. You can rent your kayak on the shores of Loh Dalum Bay and set out on a day-long adventure around the island’s northern and eastern coast. Along the way, you can make a stop at Loh Lana Bay. Enjoy the serenity and peace of a nearly-abandoned beach. This may be your favorite memory while staying in Phi Phi Island and being able to escape the crowds for a little while as a real surprise. After docking your kayak and swimming in Loh Lana Bay, move on to Nui Bay and then to Monkey Beach. We highly recommend bringing your snorkel gear, snacks, enough drinking water, sunscreen, and a camera for this kayaking trip.


Colorful Kayaks at beach on Phi Phi


It’s party time! Best parties in Phi Phi Island for you to choose from

It’s no secret that Phi Phi Island is a popular destination for nightlife. You’ll realize this as soon as you get off the ferry and feel the bass from nearby restaurants and hotels thumping in your chest. If partying is your life style, you will find there is no shortage of alcohol and parties on the beaches of Phi Phi Island.

Catering to backpackers, honeymooners, and young party-lovers, Phi Phi Island is one of Thailand’s most lively and prosperous islands. It boasts vibrant beach side bars, international pubs, and live entertainment venues that keep open until the early hours of the morning. The two most famous ones occur at the hotels Ibiza House Phi Phi and PP Princess Resort, but not on the frequency of every night. You can check their websites before going. For the moment, they occur every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday, from 2 pm to 7 pm, at Ibiza House Phi Phi and occur every Friday, from 1 pm to 8 pm, at PP Princess Resort. The most charming part is that there is no entrance fee. Bravo!

Don’t forget to check out the live fire shows that take place on the beach. We recommend grabbing a few tropical cocktails, reclining on a beach side bean bag, and watching the fire dancers come to life. Although most of the bars stop the music and entertainment at 2 am, they’ll still keep open and continue serving drinks to their thirsty customers.

If the multitude of bars is too high, don’t worry! You can always grab a famous Thai bucket (literally a plastic bucket filled with a cocktail concoction of your choice) and hop from one place to another. These mouth-watering buckets may be cheap, but we recommend sharing with at least one another person. One bucket can be equal to three or four normal-sized cocktails!

We also suggest you go to the Reggae Muay Thai Bar for a try, where professionals and tourists compete with each other on the ring. There will be a lot of fun on the scene. It takes place every night, beginning between 9:30 pm and 10 pm and as long as you have some drinks there, you will enjoy free entrance. And the prize for the winners of the night: is a bucket we mentioned above!


Fire Show on Phi Phi Island


Where to stay in Phi Phi Island

Puzzled by so many hotel choices and wondering where to stay in Phi Phi Island? Don’t worry! We have traveled to Koh Phi Phi quite a few times and did good research to list the best hotels in Phi Phi, hostels and resorts on the island. From luxury to budget accommodation. 

But before we start, let us share with you some useful information about accommodation in Phi Phi island. On one hand, Book your hotel in Phi Phi Island in advance, especially during high season (November to April). You might find a last-minute deal, but it definitely won’t be the best deal. On the other hand, choose a place to stay in Phi Phi based on your budget and travel style. Do not dream of getting all the wishes in one single hotel.

There is definitely a fine line between budget travel and luxury travel on Phi Phi island. There are expensive resorts with outstanding amenities for hundreds of dollars per night or there are basic budget hotels that cost just a few dollars each night: take your pick.

Most of the luxurious hotels in Phi Phi are far from the island center and pier, you’ll need to add to your travel schedule and budget the boat rides to/from your hotel.

Mid-range hotels in Phi Phi offer good rooms and service but not all of them will have facilities as pool or beach views. This occurs because the center of the island and also the flat part of Phi Phi is quite small, so there isn't much space for big resorts. Budget accommodations in Phi Phi usually offer private rooms with air-conditioning and hot shower, and rooms with fans and cold showers. Check the room’s description carefully before booking.

If you want to be in the middle of the action book a hotel close to Tonsai Pier, Nice Beach or Loh Dalum Beach. If you want to relax, then find your piece of heaven in one of the secluded resorts in Phi Phi. If you are a party person, then book a room at Ibiza House Phi Phi and PP Princess Resort as they throw the best pool parties in Phi Phi.

For a budget-friendly accommodation option, check out The Pier 519 Hostel. Unlike other hostels on the island, The Pier 519 offers clean rooms and friendly staff.

For something a bit fancier, consider Phi Phi Island Village Beach Resort. Here, you’ll be able to avoid the chaos beach parties and enjoy the serenity of island life. You’ll also be centrally located so you can experience all of the best things to do in Ko Phi Phi Island.


Phi Phi Island Village Beach Resort


How to get to Phi Phi Island

With all its magnificence, travel to Koh Phi Phi is not very direct as it is only accessible by boat. Traveling to Phi Phi Island usually requires that you combine multiple travel options like getting on a plane or a bus, and then finally a ferry or a boat ride is inevitable.

While it’s possible to book these trips individually, it is most efficient to simply purchase a single ticket that covers the whole journey whenever possible.

The most important thing to keep in mind is that you must do all your bookings in advance [at least a few days in advance] to ensure you can secure a space on ferries or buses. This is very important especially during the high season, from November to April, when many tourists are traveling in Thailand.

The easiest way to reach Ko Phi Phi is via Phuket. It is relatively easy to catch a ferry from the pier in Phuket to Ko Phi Phi Island. Beforehand, you can get to Phuket by plane from Bangkok. The flight is short and the plane tickets should be quite affordable.

Another easy way to reach Ko Phi Phi is via Krabi. Krabi is one of the favorite beach town destinations in Thailand. If you get the chance, we recommend putting it into your itinerary. So, you’ll be able to reach Ko Phi Phi from the pier in Krabi, too. To get to Krabi, simply fly down to Krabi from Bangkok. You can use either Nok Air or Air Asia to reach both Krabi and Phuket.

Ferry-to-Phi Phi

Ferry to Phi Phi


The best time to visit Phi Phi Island

The Phi Phi Islands enjoy a year round hot tropical climate with a dry season from December to April and a wet season from May to November.

The best time to visit Phi Phi Island is during the hot, dry season, from December to April, when you can expect clear sunny days averaging 28ºC (82ºF), with little to no rain, and the sea is calm and war, which is suitable for all kinds of activities.

From May to October the wet monsoon brings strong westerly winds and hot overcast days with torrential rain that falls mainly in the afternoon and evening, but can last for days at a time. Travel between the islands by boat can be difficult because of the rough seas.

During the wet season, rough seas prevail on the western side of the islands. However, sea conditions remain calm along the eastern coasts, which are sheltered from the worst of the strong westerly winds by Phi Phi’s tall mountains.

Last but not least, we think we have covered all the information you need about traveling to Phi Phi Island from the aspects of activities, accommodation, and most importantly, how to get there. We are looking forward to your amazing experience on the nice island!