50 years ago the area of Phi Phi Islands was an undiscovered paradise having only small villages of Muslim fishermen living their quiet lives here.
Everything started in the ’90s, with some curious backpackers exploring the area, but tourism really exploded after the famous movie “The Beach”.
Everyone wanted a piece of paradise, so after 2000, tourism grew here so fast and all islands were expanding exponentially for tourism. Everything was interrupted by the force of nature in 2004 when a tsunami destroyed 70% of the islands.
The place was quickly restored and became touristic once again. Everybody is allured by the tropical beaches, warm waters, and amazing places.
We really wanted to see this place, so the best way was to book a night in Phi Phi Don Island, the only inhabited island of the archipelago.
We landed in Krabi early morning and the first thing that we did was to take the ferry to Phi Phi Don.
In two hours we reached the harbor of this little island. Colorful boats awaited for its tourists, souvenir shops, Thai restaurants and all kinds of other restaurants and accommodation built the maze of the streets of the little village.
We wanted silence so this was the reason to book our accommodation at Viking Nature Resort, away from the touristic central area. To be more exact our bungalows were about 30 min away in the jungle and the price was 38 Euro per night.
The path towards our hotel was so amazingly beautiful, but because of the heat, humidity and our luggage, it wasn’t that easy to reach it.
When finally here we were amazed by the beautiful location, with a private beach, very natural soundings and comfy bungalows that exceeded our expectations.
The bungalow was simply amazing integrated with nature, having a nice balcony with an armchair and a hammock.
The first thing that we did was to take a bath in the crystalline blue water and have our lunch on the terrace.
Then with our stomach full, we thought it was time for an afternoon boat trip to see the rest of the Phi Phi Islands.
Half-day tour around Phi Phi Islands
We rented a traditional Thai longtail boat from our hotel for 2000 Baht for the next four hours.
So, soon the four of us hopped on the boat and started our adventure.
- First stop was at Viking cave to take some photos. Over there, there were some bamboo ladders, which are used for collecting bird nests.
- Next stop was at Phi Lay Lagoon for swimming or snorkeling in this amazing place surrounding by impressive limestone cliffs.
It was so much fun. This was our favorite spot of the entire tour.
- Then we stopped to another lagoon Loh Samah which was perfect for snorkeling, having warm water and so many fish to see.
- Maya Bay was next on the list. This bay is famous because of “ The Beach” movie and for good reason. It provided breathtaking landscape, cliffs plunged dramatically into the turquoise water, peaceful atmosphere and no accommodation. Well, this is how it used to be before thousands of tourists come here every day creating severe environmental damage.
At first, the Thai Government closed Maya Bay only during the rainy season from May to September, then they realized that the biosphere needs more time to recover, and closed the bay down indefinitely.
The boat brought us at the entrance of Maya Bay, at least to see it form the distance.
- The last stop was the famous Monkey Beach. Unfortunately, here we had an unpleasant experience.
On Phi Phi Don, there is a small beach of 150 long strips of white sand.
The backside of the island has lush vegetation, which is the perfect place for monkeys.
Most of the people come here to see the monkeys and most people visiting have the bad habit of feeding them.
Now the monkeys expect to get something from their visitors.
Beware of the monkeys and don’t get close to them. After all, they are wild animals and they do bite or scratch.
Unfortunately, we witnessed such an incident.
We were on our boat taking pictures from the distance, but on the beach, there was a young lady that wanted to take a close picture with one of the monkeys. In just one second the young lady was bitten by two monkeys, and immediately after, the monkey jumped to our boat and attacked us.
It was not a pleasant experience!
- At the end of our boat tour, we asked our boat guy to take us to Phi Phi Don Village.
If during day time, Phi Phi Don was perfect for relaxation, during nights the island became the fun center and was full of bars and venues with live music and karaoke, Thai Boxing matches, massages and what else you might need.
We had a nice walk around and a relaxing dinner then we walked for a half-hour through the jungle to our hotel. Where we had a relaxing night by the sea.
Next day we had an amazing morning with a perfect breakfast on the beach. It was so much fun and relaxing.
Phi Phi Don Viewpoint
In the morning we decided to have a hike to the famous Phi Phi Don Viewpoint, on the highest point of the island.
We started our hike from our hotel. There were a few signs pointing the viewpoint that we followed. It was a 60-minute hike in the jungle, in the heat and high humidity. I have to admit that was not easy, but we made it.
We reached the ViewPoint!
It was really amazing, with a perfect mixture of green and blue over the strip of sand where the Loh Dalum Bay lays.
Then we rushed back to our hotel to catch the transfer boat to Aon Nang.
Ferry transfer to Phi Phi Don from Krabi or Phuket Pier
The Phi Phi Islands don’t have an airport and they are about 46 km from Krabi and Phuket. Soo, the only way to reach there is by boat, so basically you have two options: ferry or speedboat.
Are comfortable with open top deck and lower deck with air-conditioning.
– From Phuket
Departure from Rassada Pier in Phuket town
There are many companies with different prices
Time to destination: about 2 hours
– From Krabi
Departure from Klong Jirad Pier.
There are many companies with different prices
Time to destination: about 1.5 hours
This is the most expensive way of travel but also the fastest.
The price will depend on your negotiation skills.
Accommodation Phi Phi Don
The island is very small, so the distances traveled to any point of interest are not a problem.
The accommodation options are multiple, ranging from simple beachfront cottages to luxury hotels.
Avoid the central area of the island due to the many accommodations and pubs open till late.
Basic dorms start at 10 USD/bed but most of the hostels rage form 10-20 USD/bed.
2-3 star hotel range from 15-50 USD a night per room with fan or air-conditioning. Most of the hotel has wi-fi
We booked a 3-star hotel called Viking Nature Hotel which was just amazing. Its private beach, it was everything that we needed. We paid 38 USD per room. Luxury
There are few luxury hotels on the island. Their prices are around 100 euro/room.
- Travel during shoulder season. You will save quite a lot of money basically on everything.
- Group for longboats. This way the individual price will be much lower.
- Book a hotel away from the busy village, it will make all the difference.
- Expect to pay more here than in Krabi, Ao Nang or other Thai islands.
- Phi Phi Don is actually made up of two islands separated by a narrow stretch of land. This is the touristic village.