Sunshine, booze and tattoos: Koh Phi Phi Island

Krabi, the Andaman Sea. Stunning scenery. Limestone cliffs dotting the turquoise seas and hundred of islands with beautiful white-sand beaches.

One of the most popular destination in Krabi is Koh Phi Phi Island – a “hedonistic paradise” (Lonely Planet) or “Thailand’s most dangerous island”(Nomadic Matt).

Actually Koh Phi Phi is a group of islands, with Maya Bay being the most famous – the place of the movie “The Beach” starring Leonardo di Caprio. Now Maya Bay is closed for tourists to allow the ecosystem to recover from overtourism.

Let’s go to Koh Phi Phi Island!

Doing my research and planing online, I must mistakenly thought Phi Phi is a remote place, a lonely paradise island… But the reality is a little different. There is indeed a wild, undeveloped island, Phi Phi Leh – only accessible for day trips, and Phi Phi Don – the “hedonistic paradise”, with all the hotels and bars.

December is a very expensive time to go to these places. I and Sasi decided to go anyway and spend five days in Koh Phi Phi and five days in Ao Nang.

From Bangkok Don Mueang airport we flight to Krabi with Thai Lion Air.

Thai Lion Air

Krabi aerial view

From Krabi we took a boat to Koh Phi Phi.

Boat to Koh Phi Phi Island

Sailing in the Andaman Sea

Koh Phi Phi islands

Arriving in Koh Phi Phi, the porters from different hotels were waiting for their clients.

Koh Phi Phi porters

Koh Phi Phi View Point

Our accommodation was at the Arboreal Resort, atop a hill with panoramic views of the sea and the tropical forest. There are no cars on the island, and the porters transport the luggage with a cart and on their back or head when climbing the many stairs up to the Arboreal Resort.

Beautiful views from the room. First morning we got a visit from an angry family of monkeys arguing on our balcony and jumping from one place to another.

From the Arboreal Resort you can climb up to the View Point. The views from here are breathtaking!

Koh Phi Phi

Koh Phi Phi

Koh Phi Phi

Koh Phi Phi

Rontee New Beach

From the View Point is a trekking path to the other side of the hill. Not well-marked and steep. And mosquitoes. A lot! By wearing shorts and t-shirts we were easy prey for these blood suckers. If you stop, dozens of mosquitoes will stick on your legs, hence the terrifying look of Sasi.

Mosquitoes in the jungle

Under attack from mosquitoes

Out of the jungle in a small fishing village. The fishermen were surprised: “Why did you go through the jungle? There are poisonous snakes!”. Good to know after the fact. Beautiful and quiet beaches in this area. If you are staying too late here, the sea level rises pretty fast in the afternoon and you will get stranded. So we continued our trekking along the shore until we reached Long Beach.

Koh Phi Phi

Long tail boat

Beach stones

Boy with coconut

Koh Phi Phi

Koh Phi Phi Don

The tongue of land between Ton Sai Bay and Loh Dalum Bay is where the action takes place at night. Crowded with guesthouses, bars and tattoos parlors, no wonder that “danger” can be found in a bottle of booze. Everybody seems to have a tattoo, proudly displayed for the world to see. A backpackers paradise!

Koh Phi Phi Don

Koh Phi Phi Don

Thai boxing

Thai boxing. “Do you want to get beat up here?” No. You will get beat up very hard!

Koh Phi Phi Don

Boat Tours

From Koh Phi Phi Don we took a half day trip with a long tail boat to Bamboo Beach.

Other places of interest: Pileh Bay (snorkeling), Maya Bay (view from the boat only), Monkey Beach (lot of monkeys!), Viking Cave.

Best Food

Paradise Resort, Long Beach

Long Island restaurant

Stir fried crab with yellow curry

Stir fried crab with yellow curry

For drinks, try the Long Island cocktail: tequila, vodka, triple sec, white rum, gin, lemon juice, syrup, cola.

Mon Café, Koh Phi Phi

Pineapple flambe ice cream, Mon Café

Pineapple flambe ice cream, Mon Café

Koh Phi Phi Night Market

Tonsai Village

Koh Phi Phi night market


Phi Phi Islands Map