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The Essential Guide to Phi Phi

The Phi Phi islands are located about 45 Km southeast from Phuket, 42 km south of Krabi Town and 40 km from Ao Nang Beach. They can be reached in between 1 to 3 hours depending on the type of boat you choose. Boats leave from Phuket, Ao Nang and the Chao Fa Pier in Krabi Town on a daily basis.

The name "Phi Phi" is derived from Malay, and the original was Pulao Pi ah Pi, where in pulao is the Malay word for island , and Pi, pronounced with a soft "p" sound, was very close in pronunciation to the English word "bee"; the ah was dropped, so the name was said something like Bee Bee.

Later the p was pronounced with a stronger aspiration and the name became the Phi Phi (Pee Pee) we know today. The name originally referred to the mangrove wood found there.

There are 6 islands in the Phi Phi group; Phi Phi Don, Phi Phi Ley, Bida Nok, Bida Nai, Koh Yung, and Koh Phai; total land area is 42 square kilometers. The islands were declared a National Park in 1983, and development is limited to Koh Phi Phi Don only. All other islands are uninhabited.

Yung Island lies to the north of Phi Phi Don. there is a rocky beach on the east side, and a smaller strand of sand in a fold of the hill. Many beautiful and various corals are found there. Good for shallow snorkeling.

Phai Island lies also to the north of Phi Phi Don, not far from Koh Yung . Sandy beaches are on the north and east sides of the island. Broad coral reefs stretch away into the south.

Phi Phi Don Island covers a total area of 28 square kilometers: 8 km in length and 3.5 km at its broadest point. At the north end is Cape Laem Tohng, where there is a Chao Ley, or sea gipsy village. These sea gipsies emigrated from Koh Lipeh in Tarutao National Park, near the border with Malaysia and lived on the islands long before tourism arrived. There are two long beaches next to the main town - the two curving bays of Ton Sai and Loh Dalam. The town was hit hard by the tsunami on December 26th 2004, and rebuilding is still in progress in many areas.

Phi Phi Ley Island is 6.6 square kilometers in total area: 3 km in length and 1 km at its broadest point. The island is entirely limestone and steep cliffs rising from the sea very nearly ring it. surrounding waters average about 20 meters in depth, reaching 34 meters at the deepest point off the island's southern tip. Phi Phi Ley has several beautiful bays: Piley, Maya, and Loh Samah. Maya Bay is one of Phi Phi's number one tourist attractions, being that is was the setting for the film "The Beach" starring Leo DiCaprio.

On Phi Phi Ley's northeast is the famous Viking Cave. It is a place much revered by the local people who still come there to collect the swift's nests used to make Bird' nest Soup, a Chinese delicacy.

On the eastern and southern walls of the cave are coloured drawings dating from historic times. There are pictures of elephants and also of various boats : European, Arab, and Chinese sailing ships; barques, motorboats and steamships. It is theorized that these were drawn by pirates who paused in their travels from west to east, sheltering in the cave to escape the monsoon winds, transfer cargo, or make repairs.

Climate in Phi Phi
The weather in Phi Phi is typically warm and tropical, very similar to that of Phuket. The high season from November - early May has the best weather. The summer months can be great, but you can expect some rain and windy days. Temperatures are typically 30C, but can be in the high 30's in March and April.

 The Phi Phi Islands are by far the main attraction to Krabi, and are widely considered to be amongst the most beautiful places in the world.

There are six islands altogether: Phi Phi Don, Phi Phi Ley, Bida Nok, Bida Nai, Yung, and Phai; each of which offers some of the most unique topography on this planet. Of these six islands, Phi Phi Don and Phi Phi Ley are the largest, and most well known.


Phi Phi Don
This is the largest of the Phi Phi islands, and offers some of the most arresting scenery available anywhere in the world. Phi Phi Don is comprised of two main sections, peculiarly connected by a narrow strip of glittering white sand. It was here, in the center, where the first settlement of Ton Sai was established.

Since that time, Phi Phi Don has earned a reputation as one of the most alluring sights in the region, offering spectacular beaches, gleaming, turquoise seas, and remarkable landscapes. This reputation, however, has not come without a cost.


Phi Phi Ley
The second largest of the Phi Phi Island chain, Phi Phi Ley is extremely beautiful, and pristine.

Day trips to Phi Phi Ley are available, and one of the biggest attractions is Phaya Naak Cave, or Viking Cave, which has some bonafide prehistoric carvings.

Another attraction to Phi Phi Ley are the nests of the edible-nest swiftlet, which fetch up to US $2000 per kilogram. Armed guards stand watch over these nests, to protect them against poachers. Overnight stays on Phi Phi Ley are forbidden.    

 

Yao Beach, Phi Phi Don
This beach, also known as Long Beach, is one of the most famous on the island. Not only does it offer a broad, sweeping beach and unbelievable scenery, it also is home to some of the best coral reefs in the area.
Snorkeling and Scuba diving top the long list of things to do here, and accommodation is plentiful. The only complaint might be a little too much development. Hat Yao can be reached on foot or by longtail boat from the pier at Ton Sai.

Lanti Beach: Phi Phi Don
This beach is in close proximity to Hat Yao, and is equal to it in nearly all respects. Once underdeveloped, Hat Lanti has only recently given way to commercialism, and remains quite beautiful. Offshore coral reefs provide for some great snorkeling, and accommodation is cheap and decent.
Hat Lanti is accessible on foot via the viewpoint trail. Boats to Hat Lanti are difficult to find, because bungalow owners refuse to pay commissions, but boats can be arranged from Hat Lanti quite easily.


Hin Khao Beach, Phi Phi Don
This is one of the more isolated beaches on Phi Phi Don, accessible only on foot. This beach offers good views, and peace and quiet.

Ao Ton Sai, Phi Phi Don
This is the oldest developed beach area on Phi Phi Don, and the most congested. Still, Ton Sai offers some rather good views of the surrounding territory, and although lacking beauty, it is the most accessible and convenient place on the island.

Laem Tong, Phi Phi Don This is one of the nicest beaches on Phi Phi Don, offering spectacular views and a nice stretch of marvelous beach.

Hat Laem Tong has its own pier, and therefore is accessible. However, it is targeted at the high-budget tourist.


Yung Island
lies to the north of Phi Phi Don. There is a rocky beach on the east side, and a smaller strand of sand in a fold of the hill. Many beautiful and various corals are found there.

Pai Island
lies also to the north of Phi Phi Don, not far from Koh Yung. Sandy beaches are on the north and east sides of the island. Broad coral reefs stretch away into the south.

Phi Phi Ferry Details


PHUKET TO PHI PHI PHI PHI TO PHUKET

Departs Arrives Departs Arrives
Andaman Wavemaster 8:30 10:15 9:00 10:30      

13:30 15:30 14:30 16:30
Sea Angel Ferry Co. 8:30 10:30 14:30 16:30      
Chao Koh Group 8:30 10:30 9:00 11:00      

11:00 12:30 13:30 15:30

14:30 16:00 14:30 16:30
Phi Phi Family 8:30 10:30 9:00 10:30  

14:30 16:00 14:30 16:30

KRABI TO PHI PHI PHI PHI TO KRABI
Andaman Wavemaster 9:00 11:00 10:30 12:30

13.30 15:30 15:30 17:00
Chao Koh Group 9:30 11:30 9:00 11:00

14:30 16:30 14:00 16:00
Phi Phi Family 9:30 11:30 9:00 11:00

14:30 16:30 14:00 16:00

AO NANG TO PHI PHI PHI PHI TO AO NANG
Ao Nang Travel & Tour 9:00 11:00 15:30 16:30







LANTA TO PHI PHI PHI PHI TO LANTA
Chao Koh Group 8:00 9:00 11:30 12:30

13:00 14:00 14:00 15:00
Lanta Phetpailin 8:00 9:00 11:30 12:30

13:00 14:00 15:00 16:00

* Times vary by 15 minutes each way

** It is recommended you board at least 30 minutes before departure




CLICK HERE for Phi Phi Ferry Timetable.

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