Discover the 12 best things to do in Koh Phi Phi, Thailand’s most beautiful island.
Koh Phi Phi is a small group of islands in south Thailand. The islands are known for their stunning natural beauty, crystal-clear waters, white sand beaches, and towering limestone cliffs. Whether you’re looking for adventure or relaxation, there is something for everyone on these stunning islands.
The islands can get quite crowded during peak season. However, visitors can still find quieter spots to relax and enjoy the natural beauty of the islands. Popular activities include snorkeling, diving, hiking, and taking boat tours to explore the surrounding islands and beaches.
Keep reading to learn about the 12 best things to do in Koh Phi Phi.
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12 Best Things to Do in Koh Phi Phi, Thailand
Go on a Wooden Boat Tour
Taking a wooden boat tour is one of the best things to do in Koh Phi Phi to explore all the beautiful islands and attractions. They are a great way to see Koh Phi Phi from a different perspective and explore some of the more remote and secluded spots around the islands.
These tours will typically last several hours and offer a wide variety of tour options, including stops at some of the most beautiful beaches and snorkeling spots around the islands.
One of the most popular boat tours is the Four Island Tour. This tour takes visitors to Bamboo Island, Hin Klang, Monkey Beach, and Phi Phi Leh. Along the way, you will snorkel in the clear waters, and spend some time on the pristine beaches.
Other boat tours may focus on specific activities, such as snorkeling or diving, and may take you to different locations around Koh Phi Phi depending on your interests.
You can also hire a private boat for a more personalized experience. I highly suggest hiring your own private boat if you want to see certain beaches and attractions and more at your own pace. This is a much more pricey option but it is ideal for making the most out of what you want.
Below are some boat tours you can book in advance to screen for reviews and plan ahead to avoid any delays during your stay. However, you can also book a tour from one of the many tourist stands in Phi Phi Don (the main island) – here they are much cheaper and this is what I did for my private tour!
View The Famous Maya Bay
Maya Bay is a stunning cove located on the island of Phi Phi Leh. The bay is famous for its beautiful white sand beach, crystal-clear waters, and towering limestone cliffs that rise up on either side.
It became world-renowned after it was featured in the 2000 movie “The Beach,” and the influx of tourists following the movie’s release took a toll on the delicate ecosystem of the bay, leading to its closure in 2018 for rehabilitation and conservation efforts.
It has since reopened and is as popular as ever with hundreds of people every day circling the cove on boats and enjoying the beach. Although it is reopened it is important to respect the ongoing conservation efforts and enjoy the natural beauty of the area in a sustainable way.
Visit Maya Bay is one of the most popular things to do in Koh Phi Phi and an iconic place to visit. However, it is incredibly touristy! I found it most enjoyable to admire the bay from the wooden boat from a distance and skip going on the beach. This was possible as I had a private boat tour and saw all the people and the lines and thought it would be too touristy to enjoy fully.
Go Swimming at Monkey Beach
Monkey Beach is not only one of the most beautiful beaches on Koh Phi Phi Island but in all of Thailand. The beach is known for its crystal clear waters and beautiful scenery. The added bonus? The various monkeys that call the beach home.
You have to be pretty lucky to see the monkeys most days because they like to hide and avoid the beach recently. If the monkeys are out they can be quite bold and may try to steal food or other belongings, so it’s best to keep your belongings close and avoid feeding the monkeys.
To reach Monkey Beach, you must take a longtail boat from Tonsai Pier on Koh Phi Phi Don. The boat ride takes about 20 minutes and offers stunning views of the surrounding islands. Or go as part of your wooden boat tour.
Once you arrive at Monkey Beach, you can enjoy swimming, sunbathing, and taking in the natural beauty of the area. Monkey Beach is a beautiful and unique spot that offers a glimpse into the natural beauty and wildlife of Thailand and visiting is one of the best things to do in Koh Phi Phi.
Explore Phi Phi Town (Tonsai Village)
Phi Phi Town, also known as Tonsai Village, is the main town on Phi Phi Island in Thailand. It’s a bustling hub of activity, with countless restaurants, bars, shops, and accommodations. The town is located on the island of Phi Phi Don, which is the larger of the two main islands.
Exploring Tonsai Village is one of the top things to do in Koh Phi Phi to enjoy the island’s less beachy side.
While here you can explore the narrow streets lined with shops and restaurants, relax on the beach, or take part in water activities like snorkeling or diving. There are also several viewpoints in the area that offer stunning panoramic views of the surrounding islands and coastline. This is likely where you will stay on the island if you stay in Koh Phi Phi, so get exploring!
Admire the Views at Pi Leh Lagoon
Pi Leh Lagoon, also known as Pi Leh Bay, is a stunning lagoon located on the island of Phi Phi Leh. The lagoon is surrounded by towering limestone cliffs and offers crystal-clear water that is perfect for swimming and snorkeling.
The lagoon is only accessible by boat and is best reached via a wooden boat tour. Once you arrive at Pi Leh Lagoon, you can swim in the calm waters, relax on the beach, or explore the surrounding cliffs and caves.
One of the unique features of Pi Leh Lagoon is its emerald green color, which is caused by the reflection of the surrounding cliffs in the water. This makes for a beautiful and unique atmosphere that is perfect for relaxation and taking in the natural beauty of the area.
Go Kayaking Around the Coast
Kayaking is one of the top things to do in Koh Phi Phi. This is the best way to explore the stunning coastline and crystal-clear waters at your own pace.
There are several places on the island where you can rent a kayak, including in the main town of Tonsai and at various beach locations around the island. Once you have your kayak, you can explore the surrounding bays and beaches!
Kayaking is a great way to get up close to the beautiful limestone cliffs and rock formations that surround the island, as well as to explore the many hidden coves and beaches that are only accessible by water. Many visitors also enjoy snorkeling while kayaking, as it allows you to easily stop and explore the underwater world at your leisure.
Visit the Viking Cave
The Viking Cave is a popular tourist destination located on the island of Phi Phi Leh. The cave is named after the Viking-like longtail boats that are used by local fishermen in the area. This cave can only be accessed by boat and many visitors choose to take a day trip from nearby Phi Phi Don to explore the area.
Once you arrive at Viking Cave, you can explore the cave and its impressive rock formations, as well as take in the stunning views of the surrounding coastline.
Viking Cave is home to ancient paintings that are believed to have been created by sea gypsies who once inhabited the area and used the cave for shelter. Today, the cave is still used by local fishermen. Visiting here is one of the best things to do in Koh Phi Phi.
Enjoy a Beach Day at Long Beach
Long Beach is a beautiful and popular beach on Koh Phi Phi island, known for its soft white sand, crystal-clear turquoise waters, and stunning views of the surrounding limestone cliffs. It is a great spot for swimming, snorkeling, sunbathing, and relaxing. The beach is long and spacious, so even on busy days, there is plenty of room for everyone to spread out and enjoy the scenery.
There are also several bars and restaurants along the beach, where visitors can grab a drink or a bite to eat while taking in the ocean views. Long Beach is accessible by foot, or visitors can take a longtail boat from Tonsai Bay or Loh Dalum Bay to get there. Having a beach day here is one of the best things to do in Koh Phi Phi.
Eat Thai Food
Eating traditional Thai dishes is one of the best things to do in Koh Phi Phi. there are several cooking classes available on Koh Phi Phi island. Thai food is a delicious and diverse cuisine that is known for its use of fresh herbs and spices, bold flavors, and vibrant colors. Some popular dishes in Thai cuisine include Pad Thai, Tom Yum Soup, Green Curry, Papaya Salad, and more!
Watch a Fire Show on the Beach
Fire shows are a popular form of entertainment in Koh Phi Phi. You can typically find fire shows on the beach, where performers use fire poi, fire staffs, and other fiery props to create dazzling displays. You can find the shows at various bars and restaurants along the beach every night on the island. Watching one is one of the top things to do in Koh Phi Phi for visitors of all ages and interests.
Hike to the Top of the Phi Phi Viewpoint
Hiking to the top of Phi Phi Viewpoint is one of the top things to do in Koh Phi Phi. The viewpoint offers a stunning panoramic view of the island and its surrounding waters, making it a must-visit spot for many travelers.
To reach the viewpoint, you must climb a steep trail that begins near the center of the island. The trail is well-maintained, but it can be challenging, so be sure to wear sturdy shoes and bring plenty of water. Once you reach the top of the trail, you’ll be rewarded with a breathtaking view of Koh Phi Phi.
Phi Phi Viewpoint is particularly popular at sunrise and sunset when the sky is colored with stunning hues of pink and orange.
NOTE: There is a small fee to enter the viewpoint, and it’s open from early morning until sunset. If you plan to visit during peak tourist season, be prepared for crowds and consider visiting during off-peak hours for a quieter experience.
Enjoy Delicious Mango Sticky Rice
If you’re looking to enjoy Mango Sticky Rice while in Koh Phi Phi, there are plenty of places to try this delicious Thai dessert. Many restaurants and street food vendors on the island offer Mango Sticky Rice, often made with fresh, locally grown mangoes. The best place to eat unique mango sticky rice is The Mango Garden in Tonsai Village.
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Where to Stay in Koh Phi Phi
Koh Phi Phi is a small island, so no matter where you stay, you will have easy access to the island’s stunning beaches and lively nightlife. However, the island does have a few distinct areas, each with its own vibe and attractions. Some of the best areas to stay in Koh Phi Phi are:
- Tonsai Bay: Tonsai Bay is the main arrival point on the island and the heart of the action, with a bustling beach, plenty of bars and restaurants, and a lively nightlife scene. If you want to be in the center of it all, this is the place to stay.
- Loh Dalum Bay: Loh Dalum Bay is a slightly quieter alternative to Tonsai Bay, with beautiful beaches and a more relaxed atmosphere. This area is still within easy walking distance of the bars and restaurants in Tonsai Bay.
- Long Beach: Long Beach is located on the eastern side of the island and is known for its peaceful atmosphere and beautiful sunsets. This area is a bit removed from the party scene, making it a good choice for those seeking a quieter stay.
- Laem Thong: Laem Thong is a secluded and peaceful area located on the northern end of the island, away from the crowds. This area is perfect for those seeking a more luxurious and tranquil stay, with several high-end resorts and beautiful beaches.
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