Phi-Phi Island is famous for its spectacular beaches, turquoise waters and remarkable landscape with white sand and jungle-capped limestone cliffs jutting vertically from the waters. The originate name of Phi-Phi comes from Malay and were called ‘Pulao Pi ah Pi’. When I first mentioned its name, I called it something else, but it actually pronounced as ‘pee pee’. Its name refers to the mangrove wood where was found here.
Once I arrived at this island, I saw everything seems to be back to normal after the tsunami had devastated the island on 26 December 2004. It was not long before a massive Thai and international operation took place to rebuild the island and the lives of the people to regain paradise. There are some bungalows and small hotels still under construction or restoration.
The inhabited main island of Phi Phi Don, Tonsai Village contains the center of activity for accommodation, restaurants, nightlife and beach activities. It is on the low, sandy isthmus that joins the two hilly spurs that comprise the rest of the island.
The islands are popular for its underwater beauty and are renowned as a leading worldwide scuba diving destination. For those who are fond of heights, there are also rock-climbing courses available. Snorkeling and sunset tours to nearby islands including Phi Phi Ley and Bamboo Island are available daily from everywhere on the island.
Maya Bay is a beautiful bay near to Phi-Phi that sheltered by 100 meter high cliffs on three sides, has several beaches, most are small and some only exist at low tide. The main bay is around 200 meters long with silky soft white sand, underwater colorful coral and exotic fish.
This bay has become the main tourist attraction of Phi-Phi since The Beach was filmed here by Alex Garland in 1999. It has always been very popular before the film but travelers around the world who have not heard of Phi Phi have surely heard of this place.
Unfortunately for me who travel in September, my day trip turned up to be an overnight trip due to high waves and heavy rain. The cruise can’t make its way back to Phuket, therefore I have to spend a night on Phi-Phi Island.
The place is so well known that it attracts thousands of snorkelers and sightseers daily. It will expect more than 30 speedboats and longtail boats on the beach. Try to visit early in the morning or after 5 pm to avoid a large crowd.
Boats depart daily from just outside Krabi town or Ratsada pier in Phuket.
There are longtails and speedboats available for rent from Phi Phi Don. Tour operators from Phuket and Krabi also offer boat tours to Maya Bay combined with other sites, using speedboats and ferry boats.
- The most suitable time to travel here is between November and April when the seas are calm and access to the bay is easy. The monsoon season will be from May to October and may hinder access due to bad weather.
- Forget what you see in advertisements, social media and magazines about how isolated it is in Phi-Phi Island and its surrounding. This is the expectation, but in reality the area will be overcrowded in the afternoon.