From the emerald waters of the Andaman Sea, the jungle-shrouded limestone cliffs of Thailand’s Phi Phi Islands rise majestically, giving way to white-sand beaches and lush green jungles further inland. Longtail boats putter between the islands, collectively known as Koh Phi Phi or Ko Phi Phi, surrounded by turquoise waters and colorful marine life.
The unbridled popularity of the Phi Phi Islands means that travelers enjoy a wide range of visiting options and activities, such as swimming and snorkeling, rock climbing, Thai boxing, and cooking classes.
Day trips are available from Phuket, Ko Lanta, and Krabi via either a speedboat or express ferry, and typically cover Phi Phi highlights such as Maya Bay, Bamboo Island, Monkey Beach, Viking Cave, and James Bond Island in Phang Nga National Park. Island tours generally include a tour guide, hotel pickup and drop-off, a buffet lunch, and free time to enjoy some of Asia’s best beaches.
Things to Know Before You Go
- If you want to avoid Ko Phi Phi Don’s popular party scene, head to the island’s more secluded eastern coast, where beaches host rustic bungalows and five-star resorts.
- For an immersive experience, visit the Phi Phi Islands as part of a 3-night sailing cruise, or on a deluxe 6-island tour that also takes in Koh Khai, Koh Yao, Mosquito Island, and Bamboo Island.
- Marine life is abundant around the Phi Phi Islands. Take an island tour by speedboat charter or cruise boat to spend time swimming and snorkeling in the crystal clear water. Island-hopping adventure tours also allow for exploring around some of the area’s smaller islands.
How to Get There
The main port on Phi Phi Don is accessed by ferry or speedboat with routes from Phuket, Krabi, and Koh Lanta. Visit the smaller, outlying islands on a snorkeling experience, speed boat charter, or island-hopping adventure.
When to Get There
Due to cooler temperatures and sparser rain showers, peak tourist season runs from November to April. Visit during shoulder seasons to enjoy the islands at their best while avoiding the crowds.
Exploring the Islands
Uninhabited Phi Phi Leh is the smaller of the two main islands and boasts abundant coral reefs. Its Maya Bay featured prominently in the 2000 film, The Beach, and is a popular diving and swimming spot for day-trippers. Phi Phi Don hums with activity—by day, a relaxed coastal paradise and, by night, a beachfront pulsing with music and fire parties. Ao Ton Sai, the island’s principal dock, houses a promenade lined with shops, bars, and restaurants.