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The Phi Phi Islands, Thailand: A Complete Guide

  • Post last modified:October 25, 2023
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There is something truly magical about the island life in southern Thailand, that truly left me craving more. After a visit to the Phi Phi Islands, Thailand, I was hooked, and despite experiencing many other places throughout the country, I decided that this was in fact my favorite part of my trip.

With its fun party vibes, turquoise waters, and stunning viewpoints, it's impossible now to find a reason to love the Phi Phi Islands in Thailand.

In this guide I'm going to share everything you need to know for visiting, from how to get there, to the best things to do in Koh Phi Phi, for the perfect stay. Let's start the fun!

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Where are the Phi Phi Islands in Thailand?

This small island is part of a group of islands called the Phi Phi islands, which are located in the south of Thailand. Floating in the middle of the Andaman Sea, the Phi Phi Islands between the two most touristy destinations in the area, Phuket and Krabi

where is Koh Phi Phi

Koh Phi Phi is in the middle of the Andaman Sea.

How to Get to the Phi Phi Islands, Thailand

In order to get to Koh Phi Phi (the most popular of the Phi Phi Islands in Thailand), you will only be able to travel by boat. The two main areas that have ferries to Koh Phi Phi are Krabi and Phuket. You can either take the ferry, or the high speed boats.

Traveling to the Phi Phi Islands, Thailand from Krabi

Tickets to Koh Phi Phi from Krabi cost 400 Baht, and the ferries go from Krabi Town, Railay Beach, and Ao Nang. We departed from Ao Nang, and the ferry departed at 9:30, and arrived in Koh Phi Phi at 11:30. Getting tickets are super easy, and you can find them sold at almost any tourist shop.

boat ride to the Phi Phi Islands, Thailand
boat ride to the Phi Phi Islands, Thailand
boat ride to the Phi Phi Islands, Thailand

The boat ride to Koh Phi Phi from Krabi has beautiful views.

Want to book your tickets in advance instead? You can book below:

Traveling to the Phi Phi Islands, Thailand from Phuket

Traveling from Phuket there is a trip at 9 am, that arrives in Koh Phi Phi at 11 am. We actually did the opposite, as we went from Koh Phi Phi to Phuket. Leaving there are a ton more departures, pretty much every hour or even half hour. You can get a speed boat that takes an hour for 800, or you can take the ferry that takes two hours and is a bit cheaper.

Note: The waters can get SUPER rough, and getting the speed boat isn't advised for those that get sea sick.

Want to prebook your ferry? Just check the link below:

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Entry Requirements for Thailand

If you're looking to travel to the Phi Phi Islands in Thailand, you'll need to keep in mind the requirements to enter the courtly. Here's everything you need to know for entering this country.

Thailand flag

Visa Requirements for Thailand

First thing's first- let's make sure you can enter Thailand without any problems due to visa restrictions. Currently Thailand offers visa free visits up to 30 days for 64 different passports, and allows 18 others to receive their visa upon arrival.

If you would like to extend your stay in the country to 60 or 90 days, you can simply apply at your local embassy, or do so once you are in Thailand for $30. Another option to keep in mind is that you can leave the country and visit a neighboring one. Then once you return you can restart your 30 days in the country.

If you'd like a bit more detailed info on the visa process, or to see if you personally need one, you can just check the official website.

Covid Entry Requirements for Thailand

Thailand, as well as several other Asian countries have been quite conservative when it comes to restarting tourism. As of this year though, Thailand is back open to tourists who are either fully vaccinated, or obtain a negative Covid test result within 72 hours of their flight.

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Koh Phi Phi Pin
Koh Phi Phi Pin
Koh Phi Phi Pin

Local Adjustments

Whenever traveling somewhere new, there are some things that you may forget about, that may be different from where you are coming from. Here are a few of the local adjustments to keep in mind when traveling to the Phi Phi Islands, Thailand.


The official language on the island of Koh Phi Phi is Thai. If you're from a western country, then it definitely won't be that easy to pick up. The good news is though that the Phi Phi Islands in Thailand are a very touristy archipelago, so most people speak enough English to be able to communicate.


The currency used in Thailand is the Thai Baht. Currently (October 2023) every 1 USD or 1 Euro is equal to 36.21 Thai Baht.

It is important to note that it is very rare to be able to use a credit card in Thailand. Unless you are staying at a big hotel or dining at a fancy restaurant, cash is normally the only method of payment that is accepted. (There is also a transfer option, but this pertains only to those that have a Thai bank account).


Thailand is actually great for many people when it comes to outlets, because they can serve both American and European appliances. The plug types that are accepted include types A, B, & C. The standard voltage in Thailand is 230 V and the standard frequency is 50 Hz.

This is important to know if you have appliances from the Americas. This is because although the plug may fit, the energy may not be the same. In this case, you'll have to get an energy converter so you don't blow out your electronic devices.

Water Potability

The water in the Phi Phi Islands, Thailand is not potable, and some say you shouldn't even brush your teeth with it. We highly recommend sticking to bottled water. Our personal suggestion is to buy a large jug from a super market, and continue to fill up a reusable water bottle.

Tipping Culture

The tipping culture in Thailand is not really one that's set in stone. Tipping in Thailand isn't super typical. However, the fancier the establishment, the more likely you'll find others tipping a bit (up to 10%). For street food, taxis, and services such as salons, it isn't necessary at all.

However, if you're dining at a 5-star establishment (which chances are you won't be in Koh Phi Phi), then you could considering leaving something a little extra.

Phi Phi islands, Thailand

Things to Do in the Phi Phi Islands, Thailand

The island of Koh Phi Phi may be small, but you can definitely pack a day or two with fun activities. Here are our top picks for must-do things in the Phi Phi Islands, Thailand (mainly Koh Phi Phi).

Explore the Beaches

Of course the number one thing to do on an island is to go to the beaches! The Phi Phi Islands in Thailand are surrounded by gorgeous ones, so you really can't go wrong. They're almost all walking distance, and some can be reached by boat as well.

beaches of the Phi Phi Islands, Thailand

Koh Phi Phi is full of great beaches.

Sail to Pileh Lagoon

Pileh Lagoon may just be one of the most stunning places I've ever seen. This lagoon has super turquoise waters, and is surrounded by striking rock formations. It is located on the neighboring island of Koh Phi Phi Lee, and can be visited by boat. Tours usually stop here an hour so that you can get out and enjoy the gorgeous waters.

Note: The lagoon is a protected park, and therefore has a charge to enter. It is monitored by police, and drones are also not allowed.

Pileh Lagoon, Phi Phi Islands, Thailand
Pileh Lagoon, Phi Phi Islands, Thailand
Pileh Lagoon, Phi Phi Islands, Thailand

Pileh Lagoon is one of the most stunning places in Thailand.

Want to join a tour that visits Pileh Lagoon? Here are a few options you can book in advance:

Visit May Bay

Maya Bay just be one of the most popular beaches in Thailand, and in the world! A bucket list item for the Phi Phi Islands in Thailand, I was so bummed I couldn't visit here. Closed down for a few years, it briefly opened in 2022 for tourists to enjoy again. Unluckily for me, it closed down again days before I arrived in August, and they didn't have a date for when it would reopen.

Basically what had happened was there was such a high influx of tourists here, that the reefs were getting destroyed. Thats' why it's important to wear reef safe sunscreen, and to respect the marine life. If you get a chance to go here, we highly suggest it, but just remember to be a responsible tourist.

Want to book a boat tour that includes Maya Bay? Here are a few that we've found:

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Stop by Monkey Beach

Another place that we have to mention ethical tourism is Monkey Beach. This beach is tucked away so that only boats or kayaks can get to it, and is home to a bunch of adorable monkeys. This is a popular spot for boats to stop on tours, and I truly had a love-hate relationship with it.

monkey beach, Phi Phi Islands, Thailand
monkey beach, Phi Phi Islands, Thailand

The monkeys are so adorable, and are great to witness from a distance. But there are so many uneducated tourists that try to go and touch or feed the monkeys, or even taunt them. I ended up freaking out on this man that was smoking right in one of the monkey's faces!

monkey beach, Phi Phi Islands, Thailand

Please make sure to keep a safe distance from the monkeys! (Grace is further back than she appears).

If you do visit here please remember to enjoy them from a safe distance and let other people around you to do the same.

Take a Long-Tailed Boat Trip

If it's one thing you have to do in the Phi Phi Islands, Thailand, it is absolutely to take a long-tailed boat ride. You can get both private and shared, and there are an endless amount waiting at the pier to leave at any time. (The better deals are earlier though).

Koh Phi Phi pier, Phi Phi Islands in Thailand

You can find plenty of long tail boats right at the pier.

The past few spots that we mentioned (Maya Bay, Pileh Lagoon, and Monkey Beach) can all be visited on a boat tour for 4-5 hours. Our intention was honestly just to go to the lagoon, but we ended up on a group tour stopping at a few different spots, and finishing for sunset. Despite it not being what we were thinking, we absolutely loved it, and made a few friends along the way.

boat ride Koh Phi Phi

Our boat ride finished watching the sunset.

This is definitely a great idea if you don't have a lot of time and want to explore a lot. The tours go for 500 Baht/person, so just make sure that they don't try to charge you more (this is pretty typical in the Phi Phi Islands, Thailand).

boat tour in the Phi Phi Islands, Thailand
boat tour in the Phi Phi Islands, Thailand
boat tour in the Phi Phi Islands, Thailand

A boat trip is the best way to see a lot of the Phi Phi Islands, Thailand in a little time.

Want to prebook a long tail boat? Here are some fun excursions we've found:

Climb to the Viewpoints

Koh Phi Phi has a few viewpoints, and they are all on the same path numbered 1-5. Being that we were super hungover, it was extremely hot, and we were running short on time, we only made it to two. We have to say though, that the second viewpoint is just stunning, and it only takes around 10 minutes to get to.

viewpoint in Koh Phi Phi

There are several viewpoints along the route.

There is a small fee to take the path up, so make sure to have some cash on you! There is also a small shack that sells refreshments and snacks so you can hang out and relax a bit up there.

Koh Phi Phi Viewpoint
Koh Phi Phi Viewpoint

Viewpoint #2 is the most popular to visit.

Have an Epic Night Out

Koh Phi Phi has those awesome beach party vibes that you imagine when you think of Thailand. Imagine blasting music, chairs in the sand, fire shows, and different drinking games. We had such a fun time and we were there in the los season, so we can't even imagine how crazy it would have been in the high season.

Another thing to add to your bucket list and one of the top things to do while in the Phi Phi islands, Thailand, is to go to the full moon party! You can take a boat from Koh Phi Phi Koh Phangan and party all night long with buckets of drinks and colorful body paint. Just make sure to check your dates before booking!

Go to a Pool Party

Every Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday, Ibiza Hotel hosts the biggest pool party on the island. Starting from 1 pm, entrance is free, even for those not staying at the hotel. Located right on the beach, get ready to have a wild day party and enjoy all that Koh Phi Phi's party atmosphere has to offer.

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Food & Drink on in the Phi Phi Islands, Thailand 

One of my favorite things to do when traveling somewhere new is experiencing the food. The Phi Phi Islands in Thailand have a great mix of local and western cuisine, to feed any craving you may be having. Here are a few of our personal recommendations.

Garlic 1992 Restaurant 

Any time we met someone new, we asked for recommendations on where to eat, and this was THE spot that everyone raved about. Well, we have to say that it truly did not disappoint. This locally run spot has the tastiest Thai food, and of course has plenty or garlic (even hanging on the walls!).

Coconut Smoothies

One thing I love about Thailand is that they have fresh coconuts everywhere, and you can't walk more than 100 feet without someone who makes coconut smoothies. These are the perfect thing to keep you hydrated, and to cure that hangover from a wild night out.

Thai Pancakes

This is something you'll find all over the island, and around south Thailand in general. Thai pancakes are kind of like crepes, and are served all around the streets of Koh Phi Phi. You can have these for breakfast, lunch, or even as a snack.

Garlic 1992 Restaurant, Koh Phi Phi
Garlic 1992 Restaurant, Koh Phi Phi
Garlic 1992 Restaurant, Koh Phi Phi

Garlic 1992 Restaurant is one of the best restaurants on the island.

Moving Around the Phi Phi Islands in Thailand

In case you're confused- here is a bit of a breakdown. The Phi Phi Islands in Thailand are a group of islands, and Koh Phi Phi is the main one where tourists actually stay. The other islands are mostly for day trips. When it comes to getting to other islands, you'll want to take a long-tailed boat, which can be private or shared, and they leave all day long.

When it comes to getting around Koh Phi Phi Island, Moving around is as easy as it gets. There are no tuk tuks, taxis, or buses, just sandy roads to explore by foot. The island is small, so nothing takes too long to get to. The downtown area has everything within minutes walking like bars, restaurants, shops, etc. The only thing tp keep in mind is that the island does go higher in the middle, so if you want to check out those awesome viewpoints you'll need a good pair of sneakers.

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Where to Stay in Koh Phi Phi

Koh Phi Phi is a pretty small island, so you can't go too wrong with accommodation. I have to say though, the hostel I stayed was pretty epic. Ibiza Hostel is where they host the epic pool party, making it the best location. 

Ibiza Hostel, Phi Phi Islands in Thailand

Ibiza Hostel has two pools for both relaxing and party vibes.

It is a 10 minute walk to the port, and located right on the beach. The rooms themselves aren't anything luxurious, but they are spacious and have AC. There is also a second pool at the hotel that is just for guests, as well as a restaurant on site.

One good thing is that at Ibiza Hostel they will have someone waiting for you at the pier so they can cart your luggage for you! A lot of the hotels do this, so it's good to ask just in case.

Book Ibiza Hostel on Booking

Want to look for other places in Koh Phi Phi? Just check out the map below:

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Are the Phi Phi Islands in Thailand Safe?

Overall, Thailand is a pretty safe country. If you visit via cities, you should be careful with your belongings. However, island life is pretty different, and the safest of them all. We have to say that Koh Phi Phi and the other Phi Phi Islands felt extremely safe, especially since it was full of so many young tourists.

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Other Things to Know About Visiting the Phi Phi Islands, Thailand

Now you know almost all there is to know about the Phi Phi Islands in Thailand, But we have a few other things to share!

Koh Phi Phi

The Best Time to Visit the Phi Phi Islands, Thailand

When it comes to the best time to visit the Phi Phi Islands in Thailand, it truly depends on your intentions. For the biggest parties and best weather, you'll definitely want to visit in the high season. (This is also the dry season) from November to February.

I visited in August, and have to say I personally loved it. There were far less people than in the dry season, but definitely enough to have a good time (this is when a lot of Europeans travel to Thailand). The weather was very tempermental though, so if you're craving sunny skies and perfect beach days, then you may want to rethink going during the rainy season.

weather in the Phi Phi Islands, Thailand

The weather can be pretty temperamental during the rainy season.

Another important thing to note is to check your calendar. This is something that we messed up on, because we forgot to put the famous full moon party into perspective. If you're doing a trip that is a few weeks, try to align being in this area during the full moon so that you can experience the epic parties!

Pileh Lagoon, Phi Phi islands, Thailand

Thailand has two seasons, but it's always hot.

Weather & Packing

Thailand has two seasons- wet and dry. It is ALWAYS hot, especially in Koh Phi Phi, so you'll definitely want to bring light beach clothing. The streets are just sand, so ditch any other shoe than flip flops. A towel, swimsuit, and casual clothing is all you'll really need for this fun party island.

Being that the island of Koh Phi Phi is heavy on partying, we definitely suggest making sure you stay hydrated, so bring a refillable water, and anything that'll cure or prevent a hangover. 

Another thing to note is that if you decide on the speed boats from Krabi or Phuket, and are prone to getting sea sick, you'll want to be prepared. Bring dramamine, and a plastic bag in case things go a little rougher than ideal.

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So are you ready to island hop and party on the beach? The Phi Phi Islands, Thailand are an area that should definitely be added to everyone's bucket list, and to spend at least one night. We spent one and we were really hoping we could have stayed at least one more. (Just don't book too many days at it is a pretty small island).

Are you planning on traveling to other areas of Thailand? We have a few guides up about northern Thailand, and will be publishing quite a few more articles coming soon! Make sure to subscribe to our newsletter to stay in the know with our most recent guides, and special discounts on our shop.

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