Koh Phi Phi, Thailand
Duration: 3 days, 2 nights
Destination: Koh Phi Phi, Thailand
Currency: Thai Baht
Even in the dead of winter, as many people hunker down for the long cold remaining months of winter, the island life in southern Thailand is in perpetual swing. With bright sun, temperatures (forever) in the mid to upper 30’s c (mid 90’s f), bright sand beaches, the scent of coconut oil waifing across the sea breeze, and tropical DJ spins playing nightly, Koh Phi Phi is a tropical winter paradise.
Getting to the island is a joyful two and a half hour ferry cruise from Phuket to Koh Phi Phi pier. Once on the island, most of modernity is scarce or all together non-existent. There are no cars on the island, no roads (just walking streets), no towering glass corporate monoliths. There are ATM’s, convenient marts, and more than plenty of market shops, dive shops, restaurants serving fresh grilled seafood, and beach bars all along the beach.
It is a beautiful retreat which caters to every range of traveler – by budget; from backpacker hostels to 5-star white robe resorts, and style; families, couples, groups, and soloists. It feel like no one is left behind here.
We had a great (but extremely short) three day stay on the island which gave us just enough time to enjoy the beach, hike to the viewpoint, and spend a day diving.
If I could do it again, I’d stay for at least three full days with a day of travel to and from bookending the trip.
- Sight Seeing 85% 85%
- Food 90% 90%
- Transportation 70% 70%
- Activities 90% 90%
With so many world class dive sites, small island coves and lagoons to visit, and island peaks to summit, Koh Phi Phi deserves at least a 3-day stay to really enjoy.
1. Phi Phi Sea Frog Diving Center – Best diving company
Sea Frog is right on the corner of what feels like the middle of the maze of walking street paths. They offered PADI certified dives, fun dives, beginner dives (diving with a guide for divers not certified), and all the compliments – breakfast, snacks between dives, lunch, drinks, and best of all – fun professional divers who knew the just where to go at each dive site for the best experience. Map
2. Maya Bay – Best nearby island day trip
From Koh Phi Phi there are dozens (or more) day trip packages to nearby islands witch are too small for permanent inhabitants. Koh Phi Phi Lee is the nearest with the most popular Maya Bay. Boats anchor off-shore where you can swim into the bay, hike to the nearby lagoon and caves, and enjoy an afternoon relaxing on the pristine beach. Map
3. Marine House – Best place to stay
In the heart of the small ribbon of sand connecting the two hilltops of the island is where you’ll find this awesome hotel. It’s nestled right along the main walking street with a balcony that runs the full front of the hotel and an airy open lobby, brightly lit from a semi-open roof design. Everything is wooden construction and aged in a way perfectly fitting the rustic beach life. Map
Open water Dives
Diving off Koh Phi Phi is a “must do” when on the island. The area is diverse with beautiful rock formations, brilliant coral gardens, and abundant sea life. Boat dives are the most common. Most outfits offer two and three dive packages with a long mid-day break (some even adding the chance to go ashore in nearby bays to enjoy a white sand beach lunch). Expect to see everything from tiny nudities branches to large sea turtles, even some shark species.
Koh Phi Phi Viewpoint
The viewpoint is well worth the climb to overlook the beautiful ribbon of beach at the center of the island. Landscape photography lovers might even choose to trek up a gigapan kit for some amazing gigapixel panoramas of the area. The hike is paved with steps and rest points along the way, a manicured garden near the top, and souvenir and refreshment stands at the top.
Loh Dalum Beach
Brilliant white sand Dalum beach is the largest and most prominent beach on the island. The full arc of the beach is visible from the viewpoint. The calm shallow water is excellent for wading knee-deep far off the shore.
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