Koh Phi Phi. Island in Thailand, Asia

Koh Phi Phi

Island in Thailand, Asia

Koh Phi Phi Lee - Maya Beach Photo © grzegorzmielczarek

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Koh Phi Phi

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Long-tail boat - Koh Phi Phi
Long-tail boat - Koh Phi Phi. Photo by TimOve
Koh Phi Phi is one of Thailand's premier scuba-diving destinations, with its location between the strait of Malacca and the mega hub for travelers that is Phuket - it creates a unique and mystical island that draws upwards of 150,000 visitors each year. In actuality, Koh Phi Phi makes up many separate islands. Koh Phi Phi Don being the largest, followed in close second by Koh Phi Phi Lee, then Bida Nok, Bida Noi, and Ko Mai Phai. Although the later three are very tiny and generally uninhabited. They are merely giant limestone cliffs.

The beauty of this island has attracted hundreds of thousands of visitors over the years because of the Leonardo Dicaprio film The Beach being filmed here. Although, don't come looking for the exact beach, since the beach itself had a lot of special effects added to create a closed off lagoon. This does not exist here.

Koh Phi Phi is considered to be one of Thailand's oldest communities, even considered by many to be inhabited during prehistoric times. Ironically, it is also known for it's parties, similar to Koh Phangan, flocking thousands of drunk party-goers.
There is very few motorcycles on this island and motorized transport, creating an earthly feel that one does not experience on many Thai islands.

Koh Phi Phi - Koh Phi Phi
Koh Phi Phi. Photo by Jeremy Foster


Over the decades, Koh Phi Phi was used as a place for gypsy and nomadic travelers to stop off on their travels.
Koh Phi Phi Don was originally a small fishing village inhabited by Muslims, up until it became modernized for holiday people.
In 2004, Koh Phi Phi was hit by a tsunami that destroyed nearly all of it's infrastructure. However, since 2010 and its massive repair work, it is almost impossible to tell anything had ever happened here.

Things to Do

Scuba diving - Koh Phi
Scuba diving - Koh Phi Phi. Photo by Ilse Reijs and Jan-Noud Hutten
  • Coral Reefs: The many coral reefs attract scuba divers and snorkelers, as there are many boats advertising, ‘secret dive locations’. There are also many reefs just a swimming distance away for those on a budget.
  • Scuba diving and snorkeling: With a large abundance of PADI offering schools in Koh Phi Phi, it is always wise to learn study for your diving certification on a tropical island. You can obtain your PADI certificate for as low as ฿8,000 ($248) and reach all the way to your master diver.
  • Kayaking: Only costing you around ฿200 ($6.20) for the day, one can kayak all over Koh Phi Phi and take in some of the most amazing views. (Editors tip: Do this at sunset!)
  • Cliff jumping: This is also a very busy past time, the deeper water creates a perfect hub for extreme sports. Unlike Thailand's islands in the gulf, the water in Koh Phi Phi and the Indian Ocean is extremely deep.
  • Rock Climbing: With it's large white cliffs, the Indian Ocean islands have a nitch in rock-climbing, drawing climbers from all over the world to enjoy it's world class cliffs.
  • Kite Surfing: Many schools teach kite-surfing.
  • Bird's Nest Soup: Koh Phi Phi is known for it's harvesting of the popular Thai dish, 'Birds nest soup'. Many tour groups will come through the island and show a demonstration of how one prepares this cultural dish.
  • Beach relaxation: It won't take you long to find a nice spot to nestle in on Koh Phi Phi, you're never far from a perfect beach on this tropical island chain.

Long-tailed boats on Maya Beach - Koh Phi
Long-tailed boats on Maya Beach - Koh Phi Phi. Photo by My Wave Pictures


There are a few clinics on the island, but it is better to leave the island to and travel to Krabi or Phuket for modernized hospitals.


Koh Phi Phi offers any type of accommodation one could want when traveling, from budget hostels of ฿100 ($3.10) per night to luxury villas costing ฿5,000 ($155) per night. Pick your poison.




Koh Phi
	Phi - Koh Phi Phi
Koh Phi Phi. Photo by Lou Schwartz

How to Get Around

Fauna of Koh Phi Phi - Koh
	Phi Phi
Fauna of Koh Phi Phi - Koh Phi Phi. Photo by Yehuda Cohen
As mentioned earlier, there is a lack of motor vehicles on the island. There is a strong belief in eco-tourist transport that comes with Koh Phi Phi. The easiest and most effective way of travel throughout the island is by walking, catching one of the few motorized vehicles, or long-tailed boats known as Ruea Hang Yao. These are classically portrayed in many photographs and postcards of Thailand.

Get In/Get Out

Koh Phi Phi's location provides a perfect stop-off for many other destinations. You can enter Koh Phi Phi through ferry and bus connections from anywhere else in Thailand. From as low as ฿600 ($19) from Bangkok. One of the best things about Thailand is it's incredible bus connection from anywhere else in the country. Although, be warned as to the typical travel scam of having one's things rummaged through under the bus! Keep your important items on you.
Remember, there is only one way, on and off the island, and that is boat. Prepare accordingly!
  • Phuket - Thailand's largest island. ฿300 ($9.30) - ฿400 ($12) each way.
  • Krabi - One of Thailand's main megahub islands. ฿300 ($9.30) each way.
  • Koh Lanta - Relaxing island. ฿350 ($11) each way.

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Author: ChaseHunter. Last updated: Feb 04, 2015

Pictures of Koh Phi Phi

Koh Phi Phi
Koh Phi Phi. Photo by Jeremy Jones

Maya Bay - Koh Phi Phi
Maya Bay - Koh Phi Phi. Photo by Vyacheslav Argenberg

Thailande-Koh Phi Phi  - Koh Phi Phi
Thailande-Koh Phi Phi - Photo by greg.road.trip

lana bay (Koh Phi Phi) - Koh Phi Phi
lana bay (Koh Phi Phi) - Photo by Kai Lehmann


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