The Phi Phi Islands are the most famous of the Andaman Islands in Thailand. Ko Phi Phi Don, the main and the largest island of the group, is easy reachable from Phuket and Krabi. Koh Phi Phi Leh is the second largest and it’s very famous for Maya Bay beach which was the setting for the movie The Beach, starring Leo DiCaprio. In 2004 the Phi Phi Islands were razed by the terrible tsunami which struck Thailand’s Andaman coastline.
Phi Phi is now known as the party island on the west coast of Thailand rivaling the heavily party-oriented Ko Pha Ngan on the opposite side. Hordes of party-ready backpackers and enthusiastic young travelers are disembarking all day long from ferries and cruise ships at the main pier of Phi Phi Don.
Although the islands are a bit built up and touristy, the natural scenery is still breathtakingly beautiful and spectacular as large parts of the natural park are still untouched by the mass tourism and development that has hit much of the eastern part of Phi Phi Don. For a panoramic view over the islands, it’s worth the short but steep climb to the Viewpoint. You can even get to see the smaller Ko Phi Phi Leh in the distance from Koh Phi Phi Don’s viewpoint. Don’t forget to wear a hat, apply sunscreen, take water and bring a good camera to capture the open landscape from the top. Also have 20BHT prepared for the entrance fee.
There are lots of long-tail boat day and half-day trips on offer from Ko Phi Phi Don to the surrounding islands and diving sites (Maya Beach, Monkey Island, Mosquito Island Beach, Viking Cave, etc.) The price for a full day boat trip is about 700-800BHT, including water and some snack, though maybe there are cheaper similar tours. If you wish for a more personalized experience you can opt for the more expensive liveaboard tours, booze cruises, party cruises, group charter boat trips etc. Whatever choice you make, make sure you don’t miss a swim with the glowing bioluminescent plankton in the middle of the night.
After sunset, the island transforms into one exciting night of beach partying with buckets of alcohol and thousands of drunk backpackers. If you’re staying close to the main party zone, sleeping at night is not an option and it can become tiresome even for the most hardcore party animals. Therefore, when you’ve had enough of partying and the hangover is creeping you up you should think to transfer to the more chilling and relaxing Koh Lanta.