A Guide to Koh Phi Phi, Thailand

Iona Proebst

In search of the quintessential Thai beach escape? Look no further, our handy guide to the idyllic island oasis of Koh Phi Phi will give you an overview of this world-famous island. Party all night long, snorkel the azure waters or simply relax on crescent white sand beaches – your ticket to paradise awaits.

Koh Phi Phi (pronounced “pee-pee”) is actually a small island archipelago comprised of six islands; two main islands Koh Phi Phi Don and Ko Phi Phi Leh, and smaller islands – many of which are just limestone rocks jutting out of the ocean. Koh Phi Phi is located roughly 38 kilometres southwest of Krabi in the Andaman sea and is part of the Hat Nopparat Thara-Ko Phi Phi National Park.

It is believed that the area is one of the oldest communities in Thailand which, according to archaeological findings, dates back to the prehistoric period. Koh Phi Phi Don, the largest island of the group, was inhabited in the late 1940s by Muslim fishermen, and to this day the island’s Thai population is primarily Muslim. Laborers and migrant workers from Thailand’s northeast and Myanmar, as well as Chinese-Thai and sea gypsies, contribute to the diverse cultural make-up of the islands.

The azure waters of Koh Phi Phi

Koh Phi Phi skyrocketed in popularity after the film The Beach was shot on Koh Phi Phi Leh. The limestone islands boast turquoise crystal-clear waters which are home to some of the most stunning marine life on the planet. The main islands are surrounded by beautiful beaches while the interior has lush tropical jungle with impressive flora and fauna. During the Boxing Day Tsunami in 2004, Koh Phi Phi was destroyed with much of the island’s infrastructure damaged. It took years to rebuild and one can still see impacts of the tsunami today.

Koh Phi Phi is easily reached by speedboat or long tail boat from Phuket and Krabi and is the perfect place for an exotic beach holiday. You won’t be short on things to do as Koh Phi Phi has plenty of activities on offer, from diving, snorkelling, rock climbing and kayaking. For those who prefer to relax, there are several amazing spas that offer a range of pampering and revitalizing packages. Bird watching and sailing are also popular activities, or why not simply relax on the islands picture-perfect beaches.

Stunning marine life, Koh Phi Phi

Food options are plentiful on Koh Phi Phi, from luxurious fine dining options to cheap and cheerful local eateries. Try some of the local specialities, including delicious fresh seafood, or enjoy creature comforts from all around the world. For those on a budget why not try Tuk’s BBQ, a local street vendor close to the Reggae Bar that services up tasty barbecue dishes for 30 baht ($0.90 USD). The local beach bars serve fresh cocktails, local beers and include energetic fire dance shows. Check out the Reggae Bar for a guaranteed fun night out. Koh Phi Phi has an array of different accommodation options to suit all types of travellers, from thatch dorm rooms to lavish high-end resorts. Whether you’re backpacking with friends, travelling with family or on a romantic getaway, there is something for everyone.

Culture Trip Summer Sale

Save up to $1,395 on our unique small-group trips! Limited spots.

Edit article