Koh Phi Phi | Thailand: A Piece of Paradise

Following stints in Bangkok, Chiang Mai and Phuket, we were anxious to get a taste of remote island life. Sure, Phuket is technically an island, but the attitude and characteristics you find there are not quite those associated with a laid back island personality you might find in Koh Phi Phi for example. Phuket is a tourist mecca, but Koh Phi Phi doesn’t even allow motorized vehicles. Sound cool? We thought so, thus we purchased tickets for 600 baht/person to take us to Phi Phi. This is the first time we started to truly embrace the many tourist agencies you can find at every street corner in Thailand. Prices we have found are competitive, and services are provided as promised.

Phi Phi Viewpoint

Our ferry arrived in Koh Phi Phi Don, the north island, in the early afternoon, leaving plenty of time to find accommodation. Pulling into the pier, we actually stepped down into a foot of water off of the ferry platform. For whatever reason, they decided not to use the pier to let us disembark. The crystal clear waters, and the blue hue it wore so beautifully put smiles on our faces, as we realized we were truly living in the post cards we have seen all our lives.

Phi Phi Street @ Night

The first thing you notice on Koh Phi Phi is that no motorized vehicles are permitted. Transport is restricted to your own two feet, and carts are used to haul baggage, and supplies. Everything on the island, is within a 20-30 minute walking distance, and paved paths guide your way.

Phi Phi Street @ Night

Reasonable accommodations and great restaurants can be found along any street. We love a particular restaurant, Khun Va, and ate there several times. Their red curry is amazing.

Bamboo Island

There are quite a few options for activities in Koh Phi Phi, if you are in the mood. We opted for a day tour visiting the most popular areas in the surrounding islands. Taking the afternoon trip, we were ferried via a longtail boat from 11:00 to 6:30 to Bamboo Island, Monkey Beach and Maya Bay among other sites. The trip also included lunch, and snorkeling equipment. Stopping several times, we had opportunities for off the boat snorkeling and had plenty of time at each location. The trip was a great value at 450 baht/person.

Manali + Terry on Bamboo Island

Bamboo Island was our first stop on the tour, and it was absolutely beautiful. Unspoiled by tourists and locals alike, as no one lives there, it is a great place to pick a spot on the beach and imagine it as your own private island. You can actually arrange to camp in the island.

Phi Phi Lae

If you’ve ever watched the movie The Beach, then you’ve seen Koh Phi Phi Lae, the south island. No one lives on the island, and it holds Maya Bay, among its beauties. Maya Bay is a beautiful beach hugged on either side by encroaching mountains, creating a bay of protection and solitude.

Phi Phi Longtail Boat

The longtail boat in Thailand is the quintessential water vehicle of Thailand, especially among the islands.

Phi Phi Lae Caves

Phi Phi Lae Bay

Our trip included several stops for snorkeling. Each location gave us about 45 minutes to an hour to dive in and take in the natural beauty. The water was beautiful and clear, offering views of the coral and fish even from the perch of the boat.

Phi Phi Lae Snorkeling

Maya Bay

Since a movie was filmed here, we couldn’t help memorializing our visit with a little extra creativity.

Manali + Terry in Maya Bay

Probably the most hysterically funny thing we’ve experienced in the last couple of weeks was during our visit to Monkey Beach. The monkey’s pretty much take over the beach, meeting visitors to accept their share of bananas and other goodies. The funny started when some Japanese tourists fell victim to the harassment of the beach monkey gang. Probably one of those had to be there moments, but you can get an idea from the video above.

Monkey on Monkey Beach

We were fortunate enough to meet up with Ritu and Sahir, friends of friends, who happened to be in Koh Phi Phi at the same time. They were great and we had a lot of fun with them the couple of days we were in Phi Phi. Ritu was able to celebrate her birthday in style with some fire limbo and Sahir schooled on the elegance of bidet’s and the lifestyle a good Toto can provide.

Ritu and Sahir

Fire Dancer

Fire Limbo

Manali Patel Bettendorf
Manali Patel Bettendorf
Manali+Terry are world travelers with a passion for exploration, learning new things and connecting with people of different cultures.


    • Thanks Aaron! Yes, we didn't do the camping thing on Bamboo, but we made sure to visit and it was beautiful! I think Bamboo will stick with me as the quintessential Island Paradise…small, secluded, white sand, blue waters and if those longtails weren't so damn expensive we would have spent more time. Ah, the never ending dilemma of destination trade off! Thanks again for the info, and hope you and Georgie are doing well!

  1. The pics are amazing – and I'm sure they don't even do it justice. I've told so many people about your blog – they're all amazed!


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