Oh Phi Phi! The island you plan to stay just a few days but probably end up staying longer!
Koh Phi Phi (pronounced Ko PP) is an island group located in southern Thailand on the Krabi province. Koh means ‘island’ in Thai so you can say Koh Phi Phi or Phi Phi Islands, same same 😉
It’s true the area is a little touristy but the islands are breathtaking. Their turquoise waters and rock formations make them some of the most beautiful ones in SE Asia. Koh Phi Phi Don is the only one inhabited and where you can find accommodation, you can go to the other islands on tours or renting a boat during the day.
When you get there
Continuing with my solo trip around SE Asia this was the only time I wasn’t gonna be exploring ‘solo’. And don’t get me wrong, I was never alone because I met so many nice people along the way but what I mean by that is having one of my best friends from Costa Rica meeting me in Phi Phi for a few days. I was coming from Bali so I flew to Phuket Airport because it was the most convenient price for me, you can also fly to Samui or Krabi Airport (or take the bus/train depending on where you are coming from) and take a boat from the pier to Phi Phi. I think the easiest way to get there is via Phuket, take a taxi or a bus to Rassada Pier and take the ferry from there. You can check the ferry schedules in this link.
You can book your ferry tickets online or buy them when you get there as we did. If you buy the ticket at the pier I recommend you to buy just one way to Phi Phi and once you get there buy your way back depending on where you are going next, because they are gonna try to sell you both tickets and tell you they work for any island you want to go next but it’s not true. I was going to Koh Tao after Phi Phi and the ticket didn’t work so I had to buy another one there.
Here is always better to carry cash with you but if not there are ATM’s and places to exchange money. You can also find Western Union.
Phi Phi is small so no matter where you stay you can walk anywhere. We didn’t have anything booked and didn’t have a problem finding something nice once we got there. We went on august and there were plenty of places to stay, we rented like a bungalow for 800 baht a night ($25) and it was nice. If you want to book something before you can do it on airbnb, trivago or hostelworld. The accommodation in Phi Phi is inexpensive (like the rest of Thailand) with a lot of options to choose from according to your budget.
Where to eat
Phi Phi Don have a lot of nice places with good food, some small and cute, others with a great view. You can find almost everything from asian, vegan to western food. Here some of the food that I really enjoyed:
- The Mango Garden: As soon as we got to Phi Phi my friend was craving for mango sticky rice and I’m so happy she was and we passed by The Mango Garden in that moment because it was the best mango sticky rice I’ve ever had, don’t miss it! (I wish I had a photo of it but we killed it as soon as we got to the room :P)
- Breakers Bar & Grill: It didn’t get my attention at first because it looked like it was just sports bar food but one day it started raining so I went in and ordered the chicken & cashew nut stir-fry and it was really good. The service wasn’t the best but I really liked that dish. Breakfast menu was good too.
- Cosmic Restaurant: Here what I really liked was the pineapple fried rice… omg! I love fried rice and ate it almost every day while I was in Asia and I can say this one was so good, didn’t try much of the other food but I would definitely go back for that pineapple!
- Papaya Restaurant: Very tasty food, I had the spring rolls and the papaya salad, they both were really good. I didn’t try it but I heard the massaman curry is amazing there. The service was great too.
- Arboreal: This is a restaurant with an amazing view on the way up to the view point. I didn’t have anything to eat just a couple of smoothies but is so worth it for the view. It’s open all day everyday.
Things to do
- Phi Phi Viewpoint: It’s a stunning view of the island, you can’t leave Phi Phi without going. It’s not difficult to get to the top, is like 20-25 minutes walk. They charge a very small fee (like $1) and they sell beverages on top but make sure you bring your bottle of water before you start because there’s a little walk before you can buy anything to drink and don’t forget your sunscreen. It’s open everyday.
- Maya Bay: You might heard of it or recognize it from Di Caprio’s famous movie ‘The Beach’. It’s located in the island of Phi Phi Ley. It gets crowded but it’s so beautiful and you’d probably regret if you miss it. There’re plenty of tours offered around the island, you can take either one of those (including other islands) or you can rent a boat and only go to Maya Bay. They charge a fee to get in, is around 300-400 baht ($11). They don’t have much food for sell there so you can bring some snacks, they do have drinks for sell but you can bring your own as well. We went there during the day but you can go for sunset or sunrise, we didn’t know that before but I heard is amazing. Definitely doing that next time I go!
- Monkey Beach: It’s a beach full of monkeys, what else I have to say! I loved it, they’re literally everywhere. You can take a tour (including other islands) or rent a boat. It’s super fun being around the monkeys and playing with them, just be careful with your belongings because they are gonna take anything they can, even your phone.
- Snorkeling and Diving: Phi Phi has plenty of spots for snorkeling and diving. There’re a lot of tour operators around the island. We went snorkeling to Loh Sama, it was included in our islands tour.
- Get a Bamboo Tattoo: Phi Phi has tattoo shops all over the place, maybe more than bars. I didn’t get one but many people do when visit the island. The shops are supposed to be very professional and provide great quality. Maybe next time I go I’ll get mine!
- Chase the sunsets: Always chase the sunsets!
Phi Phi has a great night life, it might be even just as fun as the full moon party, at least I felt it that way. Since the afternoon they have little stands everywhere with the famous buckets and you can make them/mix them with whatever you like the most (make sure what they put in your bucket is what you ask for and it comes right out of a closed bottle). Some cool spots to start the night are:
- Komsiang Live Bar: The atmosphere is great. There’s live music almost every night and everybody would be singing and dancing. The nights I went there the singer and the band sounded really good. It’s a great spot to start the night and then continue to the beach parties.
- Bucket Stand: There’s a stand right in front of Komsiang Bar that sells the best bucket daiquiris, I tried a lot of buckets and this one was my favorite and also my friend’s favorite, they were so good! So if you want to get a bucket, go here, they are the best ones!
- Reggae Bar: It’s very different from the regular bars here. A place where there are Muay Thai kickboxing matches but the fun thing is anybody can go up to the ring and fight for free buckets. In some occasions they have fights with known professionals but is usually regular people who wants to go up and fight for free booze.
- Banana Rooftop Bar: Is located on top of the Sombrero Mexican Restaurant. It has a great view, perfect for sunsets. Some nights they have movie nights which is really cool because the rooftop is perfect for that. Check the movie schedules with them.
- Check the parties by the beach: There’re a lot of beach bars and parties by the beach, usually after midnight everybody goes to the beach to dance the night away! (and for more buckets).
Make sure to check the holidays in Thailand before you go because sometimes the bars/restaurants don’t open depending on the holiday (for example the queen’s birthday).
I hope this travel guide helps you if you want to go to Phi Phi soon. I’d say you should go if you are in Thailand, I’m sure you’d have a great time!
Thanks for reading and I would love to read your comments!
Have a great week and happy adventures 😀