Koh Phi Phi seems to be associated with one of the most beautiful islands of Thailand. In fact its name refers to 2 islands: Koh Phi Phi Don (inhabited one) and Koh Phi Phi Leh. The islands are visited by crowds of tourists every year, and many people are opting for a few nights on the island believing that a full-day excursion is not enough. Is it really like that? Actually if you really want to spend there at least 1 night it makes sense to visit the famous Maya Bay on the next day very early in the morning (starting at 5:00, you should book the boat excursion a day before) and stop by at some other nicely hidden spots/beaches of Phi Phi Leh but if you don’t have enough time to stay overnight you can choose 1-day excursion from Phuket/Krabi for 750THB / less than 20USD – the price we haggled by half – the mentioned price refers to Phuket).
Generally the prices of accommodation in Phi Phi, as expected, are definitely exorbitant. Meals in bars and restaurants are also pricey in comparison to the idyllic Koh Lipe. The main island/Phi Phi Don/ does not impress with as beautiful beaches as the paradise of Koh Lipe, and it is extremely touristy. Even Long Beach which once was so quiet and relaxing is not like that anymore, it’s not that bad there but a lot has changed. At the main beach /close to the harbour/ you can rather hear a thousand of ‘’conmen’’ who want to make you rent a canoe or a boat or spend your money on their proposed activities…
But… as mentioned before: spending there one night with the aim to go on a beach party or visit beautiful corners of Phi Phi Leh starting on the next day very early in the morning can leave you really outstanding memories from this place /you can visit Maya Bay, Monkey Beach and hidden beaches/:
In case you can only spend 1 day in Koh Phi Phi visiting the most famous places you can choose the below option:
The programme of the tour includes also: snorkelling, having a delicious dinner at the Phi Phi Hotel and the fee for the ferry including the following provided onboard: snacks (cookies, seasonal fruit), cold drinks (Coke, water ), tea and coffee. As you can see in the pictures attached above the exact itinerary is as follows:
- 7:00 – pick-up from the hotel
- 8:30 – departure by ferry from Rassada Harbour
- 10:15 – sightseeing tour on a ferry including: Maya Bay, Pileh Bay, Loh Samah Bay and the Vikings cave; swimming and snorkelling at Coral Bay in Phi Phi Don
- 12:30 – lunch at the Phi Phi Hotel + free time
- 14:30 – departure from Ton Sai Bay
- 16:30 – returning to Rassada Harbour and back to the hotel
The additional fee is: 20THB / 0,50USD for the entrance to the island + fee for snorkelling at Coral Bay 400THB / 10USD (part of its national park), the 2nd one we skipped spending that time on exploring the island by heading for the 2 viewpoints (fee paid on the main viewpoint is 30THB / 0.75 USD).
The island officially has 3 viewpoints. As we were limited for time (1h20min), we went to see the 2 most interesting viewpoints. To get to the main viewpoint you should follow the signs going from the port / town which is less than 3.5km and its half, unfortunately, is a trail which is quite steep. The advantage is that the trail is changing from the ordinary road to a nice path through a small forest, where you can meet some monkeys on the way.
When going back from the viewpoint you shouldn’t come back the same way, instead just follow the trail on the right (as opposed to the left – which was taken previously), and this way you can come back to the town very quickly and easily + have the opportunity to visit another viewpoint on the way.
Personally, we were delighted by the quality of lunch at the Phi Phi Hotel. They served us dishes with a variety of different food (crispy chicken, chicken cooked sweet & sour with onions and pineapple, spaghetti, rice and sauces, onion rings, grilled vegetables, fish soup with lemongrass) on the round table, which was regularly replenished. The waiters were filling the glasses with water and ice cubes each time they got empty, tea and coffee were also included in the price. For dessert we were served watermelons and pineapples.
After lunch we went to the beach for a short break before we got back to the harbour, on the way back we were sunbathing for 2 hours on the ferry before we got back to Phuket.
Breaking news: in 2018 there is an idea to limit the access to Maya Bay for tourists for a few months to restore the beauty of the place which has been spoilt by massive tourism. Coral reefs need to ”take a rest” and retrieve their natural ”balance”.