Koh Phi Phi: Chill Out On Some Of Thailand’s Most Popular Beaches

Koh Phi Phi: Chill Out On Some Of Thailand’s Most Popular Beaches
Sarah J
Sarah J 
| 4 min read

Koh Phi Phi is a group of islands off the coast of the Thai province of Krabi. It is also sometimes spelt as Ko Phi Phi / Pee Pee. Whilst many people refer to just the main island in the group as Koh Phi Phi, this is actually Koh Phi Phi Don. It is the only Phi Phi Island that is inhabited. A lively island, it offers a number of fun things for visitors to enjoy. You can also take boat trips to explore other islands in the group. Easy to reach by regular ferry services from the mainland, here are some top things to enjoy in Koh Phi Phi:

Relax on beautiful beaches as you admire stunning scenery

koh phi phi: chill out on some of thailand’s most popular beaches | relax on beautiful beaches as you admire stunning scenery

Limestone rocks rise majestically from the shimmering blue and emerald waters, creating a spectacular seascape for you to feast your eyes on as you relax on the soft white sands. The clear waters are suitable for swimming and overhanging trees offer welcoming shade. You can rent sun beds and parasols on many of the beaches on Koh Phi Phi Don, although there are fewer facilities on the smaller uninhabited islands.

A popular tourist destination, don’t expect to find many secluded beaches. During the high season (November to April), the beaches can be exceptionally busy. It is, however, possible to find spots that aren’t quite as busy as others, especially during the low season. Between May and October, whilst the beaches are likely to be pretty quiet, you can expect a fair amount of heavy rain.

Some of the most popular beaches on the main island include the lively Ton Sai Bay (Ao Ton Sai) with its abundance of bars, restaurants, accommodation options, and shops close to the beach, the busy Yao Beach where you can admire great views and enjoy snorkeling and diving, Lanti Beach, Ao Toh Ko where, if you’re lucky, you may be able to swim and snorkel with dolphins, Ao Lo Dalam, and the quieter Laem Tong.

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See the monkeys on Monkey Beach

koh phi phi: chill out on some of thailand’s most popular beaches | see the monkeys on monkey beach

Monkey Beach, as the name suggests, is home to a colony of monkeys, or, more specifically, macaques. Whilst it is possible to walk to this beach, a lovely way to arrive is by renting a kayak on Ao Lo Dalam and paddling there yourself. Kayaks cost around 300 THB (approximately 8.40 USD) to hire, or you could charter a long-tail boat. The price of a long-tail boat will depend largely on the season and your negotiating skills!

You’ll probably notice the furry critters as you get close to the shore, and if they spy food, they are not afraid to swim over to boats. Visitors are warned to maintain some distance between themselves and the monkeys as it’s really no fun spending your vacation getting rabies shots if you are bitten!

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Take a boat trip around some of the smaller islands

koh phi phi: chill out on some of thailand’s most popular beaches | take a boat trip around some of the smaller islands

A number of operators run island boat trips, with prices varying between companies. You can easily arrange these on Koh Phi Phi Don. Whether you fancy taking to the open seas in a speedboat or exploring in a quaint long tail boat, you’ll be sure to find a trip that suits you. Some trips include activities such as snorkelling or fishing, and some include lunch onboard the boat.

Common islands to visit include Koh Mai Phai (Bamboo Island) and Koh Yung (Mosquito Island).

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Visit the famous Maya Bay

koh phi phi: chill out on some of thailand’s most popular beaches | visit the famous maya bay

Made popular in hit movie, The Beach, the striking Maya Bay can be found on Koh Phi Phi Leh. If you are expecting a remote and secluded beach, you may be disappointed – many people want to follow in Leonardo DiCaprio’s footsteps all throughout the year and it can be really packed. The crowds don’t detract much from the bay’s beauty though, and you can pass a pleasant few hours basking on the soft white sands, admiring the views, swimming in the sea, and wandering through the jungles behind the beach.

A stop at Maya Bay is included in most organised boat trips. Alternatively, you could charter your own boat for the day to give you more time at leisure on the beach. Visitors are charged 100 THB (approximately 2.80 USD) to visit Koh Phi Phi Leh, but this is generally included in the overall price of arranged trips. Independent visitors will need to pay the fee.

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Climb to Phi Phi Viewpoint

climb to phi phi viewpoint

Many steps lead up to the high Phi Phi Viewpoint. Try and visit early in the morning or in the late afternoon to avoid climbing during the hottest part of the day. It isn’t such a long walk, about 15 to 20 minutes, but it is quite steep.

At the top, you will be rewarded by incredible views of the curved bays of Koh Phi Phi Don, with just a thin stretch of sand connecting the main parts of the island, as well as the lush green forested areas and hills. Spend some time wandering around at the top and exploring small walking trails, and find a quiet spot to sit for a while and soak up the views.

It costs 30 THB (approximately 0.85 USD) to visit the Viewpoint.

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Other things to do in Koh Phi Phi

Koh Phi Phi was badly affected by the devastating Boxing Day Tsunami of 2004 and there is a peaceful Tsunami Memorial Garden to remember those who tragically lost their lives in the natural disaster.

Climbing and cycling are amongst the activities on offer, and you can enjoy picturesque walking trails through the main island’s interior. Cooking classes and yoga sessions can be an ideal way to relax, and you’ll see many places where you can treat yourself to a traditional Thai massage or a reflexology foot massage.

You can spend your evenings partying on the beach or chilling out in a laid-back bar; Koh Phi Phi Don caters to pretty much all tastes when it comes to nightlife. The night time fire shows on the beach are rather amazing to see. Watch as people twirl long ropes with lit wicks on the end, known as poi, to make the fire cut through the darkness quite spectacularly. The fire seems to dance, creating a bright glow on the beach. The kill and dexterity of the performers is incredible. Some performers use a range of other fire toys too, and you may see people leaping over a flaming skipping rope. It is quite common for members of the audience to be invited to have a go. It’s entirely up to you whether you want to brave it, but just remember that lots of alcohol and blazing ropes usually don’t mix well together!

Book your trip to Koh Phi Phi and see why so many people flock to these gorgeous islands year after year.

Any must-sees we missed? Tell us about them in the comments section or write a post here to help out fellow travelers!
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Originally from the UK, Sarah has been mostly based in her second home of Thailand for the past five years. As well as exploring new places, learning about different cultures, and sampling lots of...Read more

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