Travelling, Backpacking & Gap Years in Koh Phi Phi
Koh Phi Phi is one of the most popular and famous islands in Thailand and it is easy to see why. There are beautiful beaches, accommodation for all budgets and lots of amazing excursions. Find inspiration and travel ideas for the best things to do if you would like to take a gap year, travel or go backpacking to Koh Phi Phi.
Activities, Tours & Things to Do in Koh Phi Phi
Travel to Phi Phi
View our guide to Phi Phi which includes top rated trips, packages, recommendations for cheap and free things do and how you can save money and visit on a budget.
Since the 2001 Tsunami Phi Phi has lost its off the beaten track cool backpacker vibe and it is now very touristy but still worth visiting especially if you have never travelled to Thailand before. When you arrive in Phi Phi local people will greet you with 'taxi, taxi, boat cheap cheap cheap' instead of 'hi' which might not seem a very warm welcome.
If you are expecting some remote tropical paradise then its best to travel to somewhere like Indonesia, Malaysia or the Philippines where it is less touristy. But Koh Phi Phi is a lot of fun, there are no cars on the island and its very small compared to other places like Koh Lanta and Koh Chang.
How to Get to Phi Phi
Phi Phi is probably the most famous island in Thailand and it is very easy to get to. You can catch a boat taxi to Koh Phi Phi from the mainland and other islands. Its cheap to go to Phi Phi from Ao Nang which is a 20 min boat ride from Railey which is like a main port for the Krabi province. The affects of the Tsunami on Phi Phi can still be seen, every map on the island has evacuation and safety spots, there are evacuation routes marked everywhere.
Best Things to See & Do in Phi Phi
Koh Phi Phi has a lot of attractions on the island and nearby. Phi Phi is a lively island and there is a lot of night time entertainment like Thai boxing, beach clubs, bars and beach attractions like fire shows (where tourists often are the showmen). You can buy drinks and famous Thai buckets and just chill out on the beach which can be a really relaxing experience. Going to watch sunrise or sunset in Phi Phi is recommended, you can climb up around 350 steps and see a great view of Koh Phi Phi which is really pretty, you can see the green trees and beaches.
There are lots of boat trips where you can go swimming, snorkelling or feed sharks - one of the main attractions of Phi Phi is a visit to Maya Bay when the Leonardo Di Caprio film the Beach was filmed. Numerous boat tours are available to Maya beach and also Monkey beach and shop around for the best prices, some also don't include actually stepping food on Maya bay. If you do get to Maya Bay you will also have to pay a fee, which is usually 200 Bhat for the entry for an hour which is quite expensive considering there is nothing there apart from lot of tourists that you can see everywhere for free.
Monkey island might seem a bit surreal, here you will find spoilt monkeys who couldn't care less about what was happening around them, they have got so used to being fed by humans and human contact.
Transport & Getting Around
One of the best things about Phi Phi is there are no cars or vehicles on the island, there is no need as there are no roads! You can walk everywhere which means you will save money and also keep fit. There is the option to hire a boat or go on an organised day excursion. Shop around on arrival for the best deals or book in advance to secure a space.
Accommodation in Phi Phi generally costs a lot more than the other Thai islands and can get booked up in advance especially during summer. You can expect to pay top prices for bungalows and hotels rooms here. Viking Nature Resort on Phi Phi is quite difficult to find and a bit away from the tourist trail but this is cheap and a relaxing place to stay. A dorm bed in Phi Phi generally costs around £8-£10 ($12 - $15) per night which is a lot more expensive than other places in Thailand. A private room / bungalow costs around £15 - £20 ($25) per night. For more information view our guide to where to stay in Phi Phi.
Food and Drink
Phi Phi is very developed with bars, restaurants and cafes all selling Western food like burgers and pizzas which might be a bit of a disappointment. Food generally costs around £1 - £2 ($4) but it depends where you eat and what you eat. Simple food like Thai meals with rice are a lot cheaper than burger and chips for example. There is even an Irish bar in Phi Phi! If you drink a lot everyday this can soon eat away at your budget and can end up costing more than accommodation.
Phi Phi Sightseeing Tours
There are lots of trips and packages available to book with local and international travel operators where you can experience the highlights of Phi Phi and the surrrounding areas in a group.