Phi Phi Island Tour in Thailand - my review and how best to go

Famous landmark of Krabi ProvincePhi Phi Island, consists of two major islands: Phi Phi Don and Phi Phi Le. Phi Phi Don is the largest and most inhabited island in this area, and it is here that you get with any ship arriving from the mainland. On Phi Phi Don are all local hotels, all the infrastructure and this is where you will live during your check-in. And Phi Phi Le is a reserve island, it is five times smaller than Phi Phi Don, and you can only get here by boat or as part of an excursion. Here is the main attraction of the Phi Phi Islands - Maya Bay and the very beach that was lit up in the film “The Beach”, with DiCaprio.

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Phi Phi Tour

I started early in the morning at 6:30, on a private taxi boathouse. Two options of this type of transport seemed convenient to me: departure time and stopping points were at the discretion of the customer, the main thing was to keep within the paid 6 hours of the trip (which were proudly called 1-day trip for sale).

The following were included in my trip tripstops: Viking Cave, Pi Le Bay, Luo Samaya Bay, from there go down the stairs to Maya Bay, then back to Phi Phi Don, there you will see the beaches of Monkey Beach, Nui, Lana, Lo Ba Kao. After them - a half-hour swim to the island of Bamboo and return to the port of registry. The plan was good, but in fact everything turned out to be not quite rosy, although I could simply have been unlucky with the boatman. And with the weather. And with the tide.

Viking cave

Faces swollen from sleep, in anticipationexclusive beauties of the reserved Phi Phi Le, under the dawn flashes of the morning sky, we with the boatman rattled on the longtail towards our first stop - Viking Cave. Viking Cave is located in the rocky slope of Phi Phi Le, just on the way to Maya Bay and Lo Samaya Bay. If I knew that the boatman would not want to return the same way, then I would ask him to make a stop near the cave to climb there and take pictures, it would take 5-10 minutes. Therefore, you only get two shots taken in passing. By the way, after talking with several travelers, I concluded that many hope for the opportunity to return, and often do not stop at Viking Cave, because they are in a hurry to see Maya Bay.

Viking Cave on Phi Phi Le

Viking Cave on Phi Phi Le

Pi Le Bay

Bay Pi looks equally fabulous as onGoogle maps and tourist photos: shallow water no deeper than three meters, dazzling white sand at the bottom, which reflects the sun's rays and illuminates the sea water from the inside with such amazing color from which the eyes stop blinking, and you lose touch with reality. It was with such expectations that I was worried on the nose of the longtail while the boatman was taxiing around the next cape. But at the last turn I found a sad picture - it was impossible to swim in Pi Lei. Low tide. Moreover, such a low tide, that in that area of ​​the bottom it was possible to easily run the players. It was at that moment that I suspected that I had chosen the wrong time for such a wonderful tour of the Phi Phi Islands.

Bay Phi Phi Le Island

Bay Phi Phi Le Island

Bay Luo Samaya

On May Bay, we got about 7:30, and I asked the boatman not to sail immediately to the desired bay, but from the back side, where it borders on another bay - Lo Samay Bay. In Lo The most there is no beach, but here there is a stone wall on which a boarding net was thrown, as for pirates, on which you can climb up to a small patch of jungle. From there, walking through the jungle, I wanted to get to Maya Bay, to see the cinema beach as it was shown in the movie: go, walk through the bushes, and suddenly bang - sudden beauty and euphoria. The boatman meanwhile set off around the island to pick me up happy from Maya Bay beach.

Bay Luo Samay on Phi Phi Le

Bay Luo Samay on Phi Phi Le

Maya Bay

An excursion to Maya Bay is one of the mostpopular in the south of Thailand, so if you come on vacation to Phuket or Krabi, then definitely the first place you are offered to go is Phi Phi. Living in Phuket or Krabi, you can go to Phi Phi with a tour, that is, with the return on the same day. And you can give up Phi Phi Don with an overnight stay or even a few, and from there take a boat and explore all the surroundings. As you understand, the price of popularity of the islands is the usual one - the population at peak tourist hours. If you come here as part of the tour, then the people here will be like in the Moscow metro - not overcrowded. Therefore, you should swim here early in the morning, while the main stream of people has not woken up yet. I got into a good time and a bad one at the same time. There were no tourists, but there was no sea. Unfortunately, the tide on Maya Bay at this time has not yet begun. Detailed description of the beach with photos I posted a separate post.

Maya Bay on Phi Phi Le

Maya Bay on Phi Phi Le

Nung Long beaches and cave

Further, after May Bay, we headed in the opposite direction to Phi Phi Don and first of all we stopped at the lagoon with Nung Long beach on the western side of the island, it is very beautiful there.

Monkey Beach

Then we visited Monkey Beach. In fact, it turned out to be the usual beach for Phi Phi, just there are a lot of wild monkeys here. I noticed that many tourists like impudent monkeys that behave like miniature gopniks: they fight, take things away from you, crawl under clothes and search and steal food directly from the packages. Tourists are touched, squeal with delight and continuously take photos. The French arrived with me and (I don't know on purpose or not) rustled with several packs of chips. The monkeys rushed headlong into their boat, took the packages, broke them, and began to eat. The French and I gave a monkey a photo shoot. Beach on Monkey Beach - with white sand, interspersed with stones at the bottom, in principle, you can swim. Detailed description of the beach with photos I posted a separate post.

Monkey Beach Phi Phi Don

Monkey Beach Phi Phi Don

Nui Beach

After that we sailed further - crossed the bayLo Dalam, reached the second half of Phi Phi Don and the boatman turned the boat into the neat Bay of Nui. We were only a little closer to Nui beach, I took a little off this beautiful, cozy place with sheer walls of rocks around the beach. Considering that at the time of our arrival there were already several boats that brought people for snorke - I concluded that there is most likely a suitable place for snorkeling. True, I looked at my watch and did not disembark and check - time was running out. Slightly more detail and more detailed description of the beach I have a separate article.

Beach Nui on Phi Phi Don

Beach Nui on Phi Phi Don

Surroundings of Lo Lana Beach

After that we sailed to Lana beach, thereparked and I walked around the area of ​​three beaches-neighbors: Nui, Lana and Lo Ba Kao. It is easier to get to Nui beach by sea, but Lo Lana is already accessible to pedestrians. Lana and Lo Ba Kao are located on different edges of a small lowland, which is half flooded with sea water and densely overgrown with mangroves. Lo Lana used to be a habitable place, with a decent bungalow resort, but in the pictures you can see what is left of it. Now it is an ordinary wild beach, with garbage, thickets of grass and bushes, although it is not deprived of the attention of tourists. About the beach Lo Lana, I wrote a separate post and took a lot of pictures, so I won’t talk about him for a long time as part of the tour description.

Beach Lo Lana on Phi Phi Don

Beach Lo Lana on Phi Phi Don

The surroundings of Lo Ba Bao beach

Literally five hundred meters from Lo Lana there is a beachLo Ba Kao. I walked across the plain, walked through the bridge there, and hit a charming tropical beach. People who want to live far away from civilization stop in this remote area, but there is also a minus in this location - they have to get to Phi Phi Town by taxi-boat, which means additional costs and inconvenience. But if you have come to have a clean rest on the beach, then you can stop fooling around with taxicabs - one time is enough to look at Phi Phi Town and return to Lo Ba Kao. There is not only a huge five-star hotel, but also several small bungalow resorts with a much smaller price tag. More details about the beach you will find. in my separate post about Lo Ba Bao.

Beach Lo Ba Kao on the island of Phi Phi Don

Beach Lo Ba Kao on the island of Phi Phi Don

Bambu Island

Then we moved to Bamboo Island, whichlocated north of Phi Phi Don. It is quite small, half overgrown with jungle, but I understand that he fell in love with everyone due to his bright white sand. My boatman moored in the southern part, where very small sections of sand of 5-10 meters, a lot of stones, and at first I was not clear, what for we came here. After talking, I found out that he gives me half an hour, so that I walked around and took pictures. I have a separate story about this island - Bambu Island near Phi Phi. In short, I will say that its main beach isin the northern part, there is very beautiful, really - bounty, but with a lot of people. The southern part of the island is less waterable and there is basically nothing to do on it. From Bamboo, we sailed back to Tong Sai Pier, which is located in Phi Phi Town. The transition time from Bamboo to Tong Sai is approximately 30 minutes.

Beach on Bambu Island near Phi Phi Dona

Beach on Bambu Island near Phi Phi Dona

Information to visit

How to get to Phi Phi from Phuket and Krabi

Travel time to Maya Bay

Peak hours when the number of tourists exceedsall reasonable limits - from 9 am to 4 pm Hell itself - at noon. If you want to stay in solitude, then you need to set off hours before 8 am, or after 16, closer to sunset.

But even in this case, if you come in a season (January-February), you are very unlikely to be able to be alone. Too popular and popular place.

Ebb and flow

Phi Phi’s beaches are shallow and waterpeak ebb comes down on some parts of the islands up to 3 meters, which means lunar landscapes instead of a tropical paradise. Look at the tide schedule in advance and record how much tide you will have at the right time in the morning. Unfortunately, ebbs and flows occur at different times, every day. Pro tide tables.


Although it would be better to write - the season. Weather changes everything: light, color of sand, sea and sky, mood and photos. In my case, the weather did not work out very well, although they promised a clear one. In fact, there was a haze, which is why all the pictures turned out gloomy, and the water is not at all of azure color.

Your expectations

If you want to see the real beauty of the islandsPhi Phi and Maya Bay in particular, you should definitely take into account the first 3 points. And if the exact correspondence to the ideal is not so important, and you are able to finish drawing what is missing in your imagination, then you can ignore what I wrote.

What is the best way to go to Phi Phi, with which tour


  • Get on maya bay with a minimal amountTourists can be bought on the spot on Phi Phi Done organized tour format Awoid Crowd (like avoid the crowd), at 6:30 am for Early Birds (early birds). This is an organized tour, which includes only Maya Bay. The problem is that these tours sell at every corner and there are a lot of people who want to avoid the crowds.
  • Private boat, as I did. Again, taken on the spot. You pay for the boat and ride it alone, or you can cheapen the trip, if you are a big company. I took the boat for 3000 baht per day. This position sounded like a 1-day tour 6 hour, that is, in fact, not a day, but six hours.
  • Other kind of tours (day, evening, with differentset of visited places), which are bought locally at one of the travel agencies on Phi Phi or at the hotel reception. All prices are plus or minus the same. Pay attention to the tours, when you find yourself in Maya Bay in the afternoon, there should be fewer people, although it is not a fact that you will like the light.
  • A tour with an overnight stay on the island, which makes it possible to be alone (well, or with a bunch more of the same romantics) on the beach early in the morning or just before sunset, and of course at night.
  • Take a trip to Phuket or Krabi for 1-2 days. For the price, this is the most profitable option and takes less time from you, which is important for those who came for 1-2 weeks to rest and are not ready to give Phi Phi a decent part of their vacation.

If my task was to visit Maya Bayeven if the crowd, then I would take a tour from Phuket overnight on Phi Phi Don. It includes a transfer from the hotel to Phuket to the ferry, the hotel on Phi Phi Don, and the Mayay Bay excursion itself. In total, the money is more profitable than buying it all separately.

Phi Phi Guided Tour Prices>

I specifically took a private boat tocheck the most, in my opinion, an interesting option, which in fact was not in my case. Yes, and too expensive for one, group tours are cheaper.

I myself do not like the crowd. If you are also, then in any case it is worth taking some kind of option to go not at the most popular time, that is: Awoid Crowd tour, afternoon tour, overnight tour, private boat.

The nuances of a private taxi

Specifically, in my case, the boatman was very sluggish. He is not obliged to be a tour guide, but according to people’s opinions, I expected more initiative from him, but in fact he constantly asked me where we were going next. And when we arrived at the place, he did not tell me what to do, that is, it was assumed that I had read everything initially, I knew everything, and I would say where to go. We walked along the standard route, but it seemed to me that he did everything sluggishly and reluctantly. And when I told him that I wanted to go to Bambu Island, he began to refuse, such as “far away, you can snort better, waves, wind”, while the storm was not observed, and I personally were not embarrassed by the waves. It feels like he wanted to take me somewhere to one place for five hours and then take me back.

Nor did he tell me anything about time so that Icould fit the program. Although it is initially clear that if someone takes a boat for 6 hours, he will love to visit both Maya Bay and Bamboo Island. I understand that he had to control the time and tell me how much I had of him in each place. I tried to tell him to be on the way to some beach, but he refused, perhaps due to the fact that it is not included in the money box. In short, a lot depends on the boatman himself, and it’s better to discuss such things in advance so that the travel agency does not send you a lazy seal.

Overnight on Maya Bay

If you choose a camping tour, you will be taken to Maya BayOvernight. There in the jungle there are tents and even wooden houses built along the rocks, where you can spend the night. Overnight allows you to meet the best hours of the day on Maya Bay. Theoretically, you can spend the night on a rug in a sleeping bag right on the beach itself.

What to take with you

When you buy an organized tour, thereas a rule, food is still included. In the case of taxi boath, you are left without food, and it is still good that I took nuts with me. More precisely, the boatman bought some wacky Thai sweets, offered me, but I refused. But there were very few of them there, so even if I ate it all as a breakfast, it would not be so good. Buy food with you, but something not perishable.

Sunscreen is a must. Take a snorkel and a mask with flippers - there will be several stops for snorkeling: in the bay of Lo Phi Le (at high water), in Lo Samaya and on the large reef between Phi Phi Don and Bambu Island. Take drinking water, two and a half liters. There is no unleavened soul on Bamboo Island, it will be necessary to wash your face at least after bathing. If you buy a waterproof surfer's bag, it is very convenient with a permanent landing from a boat. Swimming shoes - very useful when disembarking in Lo Samaya and Viking Cave, and in other places of the trip.

On the map

Map of Phi Phi Islands and around

Phi Phi Islands Map and Surroundings:

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