the POSH guide
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Phi Phi Islands

The Phi Phi islands lie near the mouth of Phang Nga bay at about an equal distance from Phuket and Krabi towns. Although technically part of a national park, the islands have been developed almost as long as Phuket. There are two main islands in the group. Only the largest, Phi Phi Don, is inhabited. The smaller island, Phi Phi Lay, is spectacular in its own right.

Phi Phi
Looking down on the main village of Koh Phi Phi Don

Phi Phi was renowned for the clearness of its water and the beauty of its corals. Unfortunately, it suffered somewhat from over development. The December 2004 tsunami wreaked havoc on the many poorly constructed cheap bungalows and small hotels that crowded the island. Development since the tsunami has seen more up-scale resorts being built, but there's still almost no control or planning being done to prevent a repeat of disaster.

When To Go

Like nearby Phuket, Phi Phi has a short dry season, which lasts from December to March. From May to October it can be rather wet, but most of the time the rains come in short bursts in the afternoon. Sometimes you can have very clear sunny mornings, with clouds gathering only in the afternoon. Of course, the dry season is also the 'high' season, when rates will be at their most expensive.

Getting To Koh Phi Phi

Phi Phi is too small, and rocky, for an airport. There have been attempts from time to time to offer seaplane services, but they've never really taken off, if you'll pardon the expression. So, the only way to get there is by boat. There is regular ferry service from Phi Phi to Phuket, Koh Lanta and Krabi town. Some, if not all, of the classier resorts offer private speed-boat transfers, using either their own boats or reliable contractors. Since most of these resorts are not near the ferry landing, getting a private transfer can be much more convenient than using the regular ferries.

How Long To Stay

Phi Phi is, really, a purely lie-in-the-sun destination. There's very little to see and do other than take a boat to some other islands for a slight change of scenery. So, the amount of time to spend here is entirely dependent on how much time you want to spend lying on the beach or by the pool, soaking up some sun, and relaxing.

Where To Stay

Despite its 'backpacker' origins, there are some decided POSH resorts on the island. Most of these are located well away from the main village, and require and additional shuttle boat ride to reach if you arrive on the regular ferries.

Getting Around

For the most part, the only vehicles on Phi Phi are a few motorcycles, and even these won't get you very far. The only way to get from one beach to another is to take a boat or walk, which sometimes involves negotiating a few mountain tracks.

What To See & Do

There really isn't much to do on Phi Phi except lie on the beach or take in the scenery. You can take a boat trip to some of the other nearby islands, and if you scuba dive, there are a number of dive operators in the main village that can take you on day trips to nearby dive spots. The diving is okay, but not as good as the sites further away, such as Hin Daeng, off Lanta.


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