LOOKING FOR THE BEST THINGS TO DO IN KOH PHI PHI ISLAND?
The Phi Phi (pronounced pee-pee) Islands are arguably the most famous Thai islands and boast some of the most spectacular scenery in Southeast Asia. Tourists from around the globe come to experience the natural beauty and fine sandy beaches of the Phi Phi Islands.
In 2014, I decided to move to Thailand to become an English teacher. During the week, I was busy molding the minds of my students and on the weekend, I spent my time traveling to different Thailand destinations.
The Thai islands were at the top of my travel bucket list. And visiting Koh Phi Phi was my first priority.
Koh Phi Phi is full of adventure whether you’re looking for water activities, epic hikes, or rowdy beach parties. If you’re planning a holiday to these incredible islands, use this guide to discover the best things to do in Koh Phi Phi Island.
21 Things To Do In Koh Phi Phi Island
As a tourist, you’ll spend the majority of your time exploring and staying in Koh Phi Phi Don; this is the largest and only inhabited island of the two Phi Phi Islands.
The majority of adventures in Koh Phi Phi are water-related, but you’ll also find some amazing land activities on this list, too.
1. Visit Maya Bay
From 2018 to 2022, Maya Bay was closed to tourists. It has since reopened but with a renewed vision and approach. This closure was vital not only for the restoration of its fragile ecosystem but also to rethink the way tourists were interacting with this land. For decades, Maya Bay was a tourist hot spot near Koh Phi Phi island in Southern Thailand which ultimately led to its degradation.
The popularity of Koh Phi Phi exploded after Leonardo Dicaprio’s film “The Beach” was released in 2000. The movie’s depiction of a hidden paradise enthralled the imaginations of travelers worldwide. Personally, it was one of my top priorities when visiting Thailand and certainly one of the best things to do in Koh Phi Phi.
Upon arrival, I was stunned.
This was one of the most beautiful places I had ever seen in my life. Unfortunately, the bay was completely overtaken by hundreds of boats carrying thousands of tourists. In my experience, Maya Bay was gorgeous and devastating all at the same time.
In an effort to preserve this delicate area, the Thai government has shut down tourism to Maya Beach. I applaud the Thai government for its efforts. If only more people around the world took nature preservation more seriously.
2. Go Snorkeling
My favorite part about snorkeling is that it takes very little skill. I’m not the best swimmer and diving deep intimidates me. But snorkeling is all-inclusive; it’s an activity for everyone.
Snorkeling in Koh Phi Phi is one of the best things to do on the island because there are so many spots to explore.
So, whether you’re taking a day tour around Mosquito and Bamboo Island or renting your own snorkel gear and scouring the coast of Koh Phi Phi Don, you’re sure to be amazed by the underwater beauty.
3. Trek To Koh Phi Phi Viewpoint
As an avid hiker, it’s no wonder that one of my favorite things to do on Phi Phi Island is hiking up to the viewpoint. The hike isn’t very strenuous and can be accomplished by people of all fitness levels.
Since the Phi Phi Viewpoint is one of the most popular places on the island, I highly recommend visiting when there are bound to be fewer people there. This could mean pulling yourself out of bed at 5 o’clock in the morning to watch the sunrise or hiking up in the stifling heat at midday.
Pro-tip: The Koh Phi Phi Viewpoint is an epic spot to watch the sunset. Just know that if you go to the viewpoint for sunset, you’ll be swamped by the crowds. Is it worth it, though? Definitely.
4. Watch The Sunset
I’ve been many places in my life and I’ve seen the sunset in destinations all over the world. And yet, watching the sunset in Koh Phi Phi was one of the best shows I’ve ever seen.
So choose from one of the many attractive locations on the island and sit in solace as the sun dips below the horizon. Watch as the sky is painted a magnificent purple and orange; it’s reflection glowing off the Andaman Sea.
5. Kayak To Loh Lana Bay + Phak Nam Bay
Rent your kayak on the shores of Loh Dalum Bay and set out on a day-long adventure around Phi Phi’s northern and eastern coast.
Along the way, make a stop at Loh Lana Bay. Enjoy the serenity and peace of a nearly-abandoned, private beach. This was my favorite memory while staying in Koh Phi Phi; being able to escape the crowds for a little while was a pleasant surprise.
After docking your kayak and swimming in Loh Lana Bay, move onto an even more hidden beach, Phak Nam Bay. I highly recommend bringing your snorkel gear for this kayaking trip because the snorkeling spots along the northern coast are plentiful.
6. Have Dinner And Drinks On The Beach
You really can’t beat the views of the limestone cliffs plunging out of the Andaman Sea, so why not enjoy it while having dinner and drinks on the beach?
You’ll quickly notice the plethora of restaurants that line the waterfront on Loh Dalum Bay.
Unfortunately, you won’t find many authentic and delicious Thai restaurants in Koh Phi Phi, so you might have to settle for western food. But the scenery will make up for it.
7. Watch A Fire Show On The Beach
After you’re done with dinner, the beach has another treat in store: the fire show. It’s a cool way to spend the evening, watching local performers play with fire. They swing and twirl flaming ropes and sticks, lighting up the night. The beat of background music adds to the vibe, making it feel like a beach party.
Grab a drink, maybe a cold beer or a local cocktail, and settle down on the sand. It’s laid-back fun, and something different to enjoy on Koh Phi Phi.
That said, this fire show is what you make of it. If you’re not content just being a spectator, there’s typically room for participation. The hosts often get the audience involved by making the evening a blend of performance and interactive fun.
Try your hand (or rather, your back) at a game of limbo under a flaming bar, or get in on the fun with another less painful contest. If you’re particularly competitive, there are contests with prizes, too (think free drinks and shots).
Important note: The crowd at these shows is typically young adults. This beach party doesn’t compare to the Full Moon Party in Koh Phangan, but it’s a good alternative if you aren’t up for a full-blown rave.
For young adults traveling solo, we recommend meeting friends at your hostel. Traveling in pairs or in a group is always advised, no matter how safe Thailand is.
8. Party On The Beach
It’s no secret that Phi Phi is a popular destination for nightlife. You’ll realize this as soon as you step off the ferry and feel the bass from nearby restaurants and hotels thumping in your chest.
If partying is your thing, there is no shortage of alcohol and dancing on the beaches of Koh Phi Phi.
Note: If partying isn’t your scene, don’t let it deter you from visiting. There are plenty of hotels and resorts situated far away from the noise of the nightlife.
9. Go Cliff Jumping
Before visiting, I didn’t know a cliff-jumping excursion was an option. I was very happy to find that there are many cliff-jumping tours in Phi Phi and that this is one of the best things to do on the island.
Unless you’re afraid of heights, how could someone turn down cliff jumping off of the beautiful limestone karsts into the vivid turquoise waters of southern Thailand?
An awesome guided cliff jumping tour in Koh Phi Phi can be found at this link.
For beginners or those a bit nervous about this idea, there are various heights that you can start from. The lowest jumps are around two meters, but if you’re one of the brave-hearted who’s looking for a real adrenaline rush, there are cliffs as high as 16 meters.
Each jump offers its own unique view and experience. Standing at the edge, you’re not only looking down into the clear waters but also out onto the vast ocean horizon, framed by jagged cliffs and lush vegetation.
What sets cliff jumping in Thailand apart is that it’s not your typical rock climbing adventure. Here, if you leap or slip, you’re falling into the ocean below.
Above all the thrill of jumping from limestone cliffs straight into the ocean is a big reason it’s one of the best things to do on Koh Phi Phi island.
10. Visit Monkey Beach
If I was writing this blog post solely for me, I would NEVER include Monkey Beach on the list of best things to do in Koh Phi Phi Island.
I HATE macaques. They are vile and I was also bitten by one when I lived in Thailand, so I just stay as far away from them as possible.
But other travelers seem to enjoy these beasts, so I won’t put a damper on the fun.
Monkey Beach is a famous stop in Koh Phi Phi; you can get here by longtail boat or by kayak, whichever is better for you.
This beach is one of the most popular stretches on Phi Phi and it’s located in Loh Dalum Bay. In this bay, you’ll find plenty of accommodation options, restaurants, and most importantly water transportation.
If you choose to visit by longtail boat, bargain for your boat in Loh Dalum Bay.
If kayaking is your style, you’ll also be able to find kayak rentals in Koh Dalum Bay, too. Monkey Beach is located on the west coast side of Loh Dalum Bay. It’s difficult to miss because of its popularity.
11. Viking Cave
The next several suggestions will involve hiring a longtail boat for the day, but these are some of the best things to do in Koh Phi Phi Island, so don’t miss out!
Start by visiting Viking Cave located amongst the limestone cliffs of Phi Phi Leh. Hiring a longtail boat not only gives you a fantastic vantage point of the cave from the water but also allows you to experience the island’s coastal beauty up close.
Beyond Viking Cave, Phi Phi Leh boasts numerous other hidden gems that are best explored by boat. From secluded coves perfect for a quick swim to stunning snorkeling spots rich in marine life, a boat trip around the island promises a day full of adventures and unforgettable memories.
Pro-Tip: Ask your longtail boat driver to stop near Viking Cave so you and your gang can jump in. Although you won’t be able to swim up close to the cave, it is a beautiful spot with some of the brightest turquoise water you’ll ever see.
12. Pileh Cove
Another incredible site to visit on Phi Phi Leh is Pileh Cove, a small swimming spot swallowed up by the coral reef. Be sure to pack your swimsuit for this day trip adventure from Koh Phi Phi Don because the turquoise water in Pileh Cove is too beautiful to resist.
You might also consider taking a snorkeling tour in Pileh Cove. I can promise that you won’t be disappointed.
Pileh Cove is a natural lagoon-like setting that seems to have been crafted to represent true paradise. Honestly, the towering limestone cliffs and seclusion of Pileh Cove are what I expected out of Phuket, Thailand. This was based on what I found on the internet.
Unfortunately, we just didn’t find this kind of beauty in Phuket at all. The pictures we had seen of Phuket were incredibly deceiving, so I was thrilled to find Koh Phi Phi was the Moana-like paradise I was searching for.
Each time we visited, we felt as if we’d stumbled upon a hidden gem completely away from the bustling crowds.
13. Loh Samah Bay
During that same excursion, be sure to stop by Loh Samah Bay; another breathtaking bay nestled in Koh Phi Phi Leh.
Exploring the fjords and bays of Koh Phi Phi Leh is one of the best things to do on this small island. You might even want to take multiple day trips over to Phi Phi Leh to be sure you’ve experienced this island to the fullest.
Loh Samah Bay quickly became one of my favorite spots. It’s less crowded, giving it a quietness that’s hard to find on Koh Phi Phi island. The crystal-clear waters invite you in for a swim or snorkel, revealing an underwater world that’s just as mesmerizing as the landscapes above.
On my second visit, I discovered a small nook perfect for diving and got to see some incredible marine life up close. If you’re into diving or snorkeling, you’ll be in for a treat. While others believe that Koh Phi Phi is overrun with tourists, when you take a closer look, you’ll quickly see the beauty.
14. Bamboo Island
Although Phi Phi Don and Phi Phi Leh hog the spotlight, there are several other nearby islands that make up this archipelago.
While planning your trip to southeast Asia, I recommend adding one of the lesser-known nearby islands to your itinerary.
This island flies under the radar and is an excellent location for snorkelers and beach-goers. Hire a longtail boat to take you here for an afternoon in paradise.
Note: Bamboo Island is part of the Hat Nopparat Thara National Park, therefore you’ll need to pay to access the island.
15. Mosquito Island
Honestly, when I first heard the name Mosquito Island I wondered who in their right mind would go there? You’d think they could’ve thought of a better name.
Nonetheless, this is actually an amazing island to add to your itinerary. Hop aboard a longtail boat and spend an entire day island-hopping around the Koh Phi Phi archipelago.
In my opinion, being able to jump off that longtail boat into some of the most gorgeous bays in the world was everything I could’ve wanted from my trip to Thailand. It’s no wonder that island hopping is one of the best things to do in Koh Phi Phi Island.
16. Swim In The Lagoon
Whether you like swimming or not, this activity is non-negotiable. You can’t take a trip to Koh Phi Phi without swimming in the tempting Phi Phi lagoon.
We found that the best swimming spots on Koh Phi Phi Don were Loh Lana Bay, Phak Nam Bay, Nui Beach, and Loh Dalum Bay. You’ll be pleasantly surprised to find sandy lagoons; no need to worry about sharp rocks or coral.
17. Scuba Diving
Perhaps you visited Koh Tao before making your way over to Koh Phi Phi. The prices on PADI certification courses are insanely cheap and it’s by far the best place in the world to acquire your SCUBA certificate.
Now that you have your PADI certification, you can explore the underworld of southeast Asia. There are many dive sites worth visiting during your trip to the islands including Shark Point and Koh Bida Nok.
The waters around Koh Phi Phi are crystal clear, making visibility excellent for spotting lots of marine life. Koh Phi Phi’s dive locations are playgrounds for testing your scuba skills.
18. Nui Beach
Finding hidden gems in places like Koh Phi Phi is difficult to do. Maybe “difficult” isn’t the right word because hidden gems are nearly IMPOSSIBLE to find in this part of southeast Asia.
But I’m going to let you in on a secret hidden gem location and this happens to be one of the best things to do in Koh Phi Phi Island: Nui Beach.
This small beach located on the east coast of Loh Dalum Beach and is perfectly isolated from the crowds that swamp Koh Phi Phi. Take a boat over to this beach for the day and relax. You are sure to escape the party scene, tourists, and persistent salespeople.
19. Shark Site Tours
Before I get too far into this unique Koh Phi Phi activity, let me preface this by saying that there are no dangerous sharks near Koh Phi Phi. You will not find the predatory sharks looming in the shallow waters and you will most certainly not be eaten by one.
Taking a shark site tour will put you in close proximity to underwater life and some beautiful (harmless) sharks.
If you’re at all interested in the wildlife that surrounds the lovely shores of Koh Phi Phi, taking a shark site tour is for you.
20. Loh Moo Dee Bay
My favorite adventures are offbeat adventures. The hidden gems. The places that no one else knows about. As I mentioned before, finding off-the-beaten-path locations in Koh Phi Phi is nearly impossible.
But Loh Moo Dee Bay is one of those isolated places.
Hire a longtail boat to bring you over to this beach for the day. You’ll likely experience very few people on this beach. Pack some snacks and beverages and make this a day trip.
After an exhausting 4 days of exploring Phi Phi Island surrounded by thousands of other people, you’ll quickly realize why visiting Loh Moo Dee Bay is one of the best things to do on the island.
21. Meditate / Yoga On The Beach
Whenever I’m in Southeast Asia, I feel a deep connection to everything around me. There’s just something about the place. Maybe it’s the familiar sounds of the local markets, the warm smiles of people, or even the quiet moments I find in nature.
If you feel the same or want to quiet the craziness around you, consider meditating on the beach. Yoga is another great option, and you can even find yoga-friendly hotels and hostels on the island, too.
Pro-tip: Consider checking the time for sunrise. Set your alarm, grab your towel, and head to the beach with a friend. Trust me, you won’t regret the early wake-up call.
How Many Days In Koh Phi Phi?
When planning your trip to Koh Phi Phi, I would give yourself at least 2 days to explore. In my opinion, the perfect amount of time to spend on these islands is 3-4 days. This gives you the opportunity to do everything you want to do without exhausting yourself.
What Is There To Do In Phi Phi Island For 3 Days?
Three days is plenty of time to enjoy these spectacular islands. Whether you want to relax on the sandy beaches, drink a bucket of booze at an evening fire show, or spend your time kayaking, swimming, or snorkeling, you’ll find it here.
Phi Phi Island Itinerary
To make your time on the islands easier, we’ve put together a small 3-day itinerary for Phi Phi Island. Of course, this itinerary is subject to change based on your preferences, but this is what we recommend for those who want to experience it all:
Koh Phi Phi Island: Day 1
– Arrive on Koh Phi Phi Don
– Check-in to hotel and drop off luggage
– Rent kayaks and visit Nui Beach
– Eat lunch
– Hike up to Koh Phi Phi Viewpoint for sunset
– Eat dinner on the beach
Koh Phi Phi Island: Day 2
– Wake up early and take a longtail boat to Koh Phi Phi Leh
– Visit Viking Cave, Pileh Cove, Maya Bay (expected to reopen), and Monkey Beach
– Eat dinner on the beach
– Stay for a fire show and a few cheap cocktails
Koh Phi Phi Island: Day 3
– Walk along the beach before the rest of the island wakes up
– Join a cliff jumping tour (if you aren’t up for that kind of adventure, opt to go island hopping instead)
– Rent snorkeling gear and explore under the sea
– Swim until the sun goes down
How To Get To Koh Phi Phi Island
The easiest way to reach Koh Phi Phi is via Phuket. Although I HIGHLY suggest avoiding Phuket during your visit to Thailand, it is relatively easy to catch a ferry from the pier in Phuket to Koh Phi Phi Island.
You can book a comfortable, air-conditioned boat transfer from Phuket to Phi Phi Island here.
You can get to Phuket by plane from Bangkok. The flight is short and the plane tickets should be quite affordable.
Another easy way to reach Koh Phi Phi is from Krabi.
Krabi is one of our favorite beach town destinations in Thailand. If you get the chance, I recommend adding it to your itinerary. Luckily, you’ll be able to reach Koh Phi Phi from the Ton Sai Bay pier in Krabi or the Ao Nang Pier, too.
Book your boat transfer ahead of time here. The best part about this transfer is that it includes hotel pick-up, so you don’t have to worry about getting to Ton Sai Bay pier.
To get to Krabi, simply fly down to from Bangkok. You can use either Nok Air or Air Asia to reach both Krabi and Phuket.
You can also take a bus or mini bus from Bangkok to the Ton Sai Bay pier in Krabi, but keep in mind that this option will take significantly longer than flying.
Where To Stay In Koh Phi Phi
There is definitely a fine line between budget travel and luxury travel on Koh Phi Phi. There are expensive resorts with outstanding amenities for hundreds of dollars per night or there are basic budget hostels that cost just a few dollars each night; take your pick.
Best Budget-Friendly Option
For a budget-friendly accommodation option, check out The Pier 519 Hostel. Unlike other hostels on the island, The Pier 519 offers clean, air conditioned rooms and friendly staff.
For something a bit fancier, consider Phi Phi Island Village Beach Resort. This beach-front resort checks all the boxes for those looking to kick back and get pampered.
Here, you’ll be able to avoid the noisy beach parties and enjoy the serenity of island life. You’ll also be centrally located so you can experience all of the best activities.
There’s so much to know about this Thailand island paradise, so here are a few of the questions I haven’t answered yet about these islands:
Is Phi Phi Island Expensive?
Compared to the rest of Thailand, particularly Northern Thailand, Phi Phi Island is much more expensive.
On the other hand, Koh Phi Ph is still MUCH cheaper than the western world.
You can easily find guesthouses and dorm room hostels for less than $10 USD per night and dinner for less than $5 USD.
Note: Beware of the western food on Koh Phi Phi. We went to several different restaurants on the island and many of my friends splurged for western-style food. Those who ate western-style food ended up getting sick.
I’ve heard this happening to several other groups on Koh Phi Phi Island, too. Stick to Thai food!
If you want to save money while you’re on Koh Phi Phi Island, I highly recommend forgoing alcohol and participating in activities that are cheap or free.
Is It Safe To Go To Phi Phi Island?
In general, Thailand is a very safe country for tourists. Crime rate is very low and the most common occurrences consist of petty crime like pickpocketing.
Koh Phi Phi is no exception to this. The crime rate remains very low, however, this is a well-known party island meaning that there are a lot of drunk tourists in the area.
As with any location, always be aware of your surroundings and stay with a buddy. Keep your personal items close.
Remembering these easy tips will help you stay safe on Koh Phi Phi Island.
Note: There are no cars or motorbikes on the island of Koh Phi Phi. Traffic accidents are a leading cause of death in Thailand, but you won’t have to worry about that here.
Is Koh Phi Phi Island Worth It?
Overall, you should visit Koh Phi Phi Island at least once in your lifetime.
This island is absolutely beautiful and although there are a lot of tourists, you won’t regret kayaking around the lagoons or watching the sunset at Koh Phi Phi Viewpoint.
If you are on the fence about visiting Koh Phi Phi as opposed to other Thailand islands, check out our post: 17 Thailand Island Hopping Destinations to Add to Your Bucket List. With this list, you will be able to decide which islands are worth your time and which ones you should skip.
Will I get sick when I visit Thailand?
Believe it or not, I’ve been asked about getting sick in Thailand more times than I can count. As it turns out, travelers are nervous about getting “Bali Belly” or “Delhi Belly” in Thailand.
I get it. I was also freaked out about getting sick. I can say that I did get sick numerous times while teaching in Thailand, but many of my friends who were also living there did not get sick.
My recommendation is to eat fresh food. You’ll notice that throughout Thailand, many street food vendors leave their food products out in the sun all day. It’s no doubt that many of these stalls serve amazing food. But, I don’t recommend eating food that you cannot verify is fresh.
Luckily, there are many restaurants (both local and Western), that serve fresh food.
And finally, speak to your doctor before heading out to Southeast Asia. Having a pack of stomach medicine on hand saved my life more times than I can remember.
The Wrap-Up: Things To Do In Koh Phi Phi Island
One of the most visually beautiful places in all of Thailand also happens to be packed full of exciting adventures. Use this guide to pick the best things to do in Koh Phi Phi and plan your perfect itinerary.
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