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Koh Phi Phi, Bild: YURY TARANIK / shutterstock

Koh Phi Phi – More than a film set

In the Andaman Sea in the south-west of Thailand lie the Phi Phi Islands. Formerly an insider tip, today one of the most popular destinations for visitors to Thailand from all over the world. Strictly speaking, Koh Phi Phi consists of a main island (Phi Phi Don), an important side island (Phi Phi Leh) and several small islands inhabited by a small number of local fishermen.

How to reach Koh Phi Phi

Koh Phi Phi
Image: Settawat Udom / shutterstock

Koh Phi Phi is part of the Krabi region of Thailand. The journey is usually via the mainland from the direction of Krabi or from the well-known Phuket peninsula, exclusively by boat. Both Krabi and Phuket have their own airports, which are served daily by domestic flights, e.g. from Bangkok.

In the larger holiday resorts on the mainland, a wide variety of day trips are offered, allowing travellers to explore the islands comfortably and safely as part of a guided tour. If you prefer to go out on your own and spend more time in this area, you can easily rent a hotel on the main island of Phi Phi Don and stay there for a few days. A transfer to the neighboring island of Phi Phi Ley is possible at different times of the day.


Koh Phi Phi Don – The Main Island

The main island also sees itself as such and is the only inhabited island of the Phi Phi Islands. There are hotels of various price ranges, souvenir shops, shops for daily needs, a lively nightlife and several beautiful beaches. What you won’t find on the relatively small island are cars and “real” or even many roads. Life is raging in the settlement of Ton Sai. In this village with a large “arrival pier” you will find everything your heart desires as soon as you arrive. Numerous restaurants (serving Western or traditional Thai food), massage parlors, supermarkets and small stalls are the first to be found.

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Image: lkunl/shutterstock

As the first “port of call” for day trippers, the village and the beach of the same name are of course very well visited and therefore not necessarily everyone’s cup of tea. That’s not a big deal, because the island offers several, sometimes much quieter beaches, which can be reached quickly due to the short distances. You will be dazzled by the fine, light sand at Loh Dalam Beach, Had Yao Beach (Long Beach) or Phak Nam Beach, for example. Of course, in the usual Thailand manner with clear, turquoise water. If you like diving or snorkeling, Phi Phi Don is also the right place for you. The underwater world of the island is a famous and popular diving spot for amateur and professional divers. A particularly beautiful view over the sea and the bay is offered by the Koh Phi Phi Viewpoint, which is located a little inland on the island.

Koh Phi Phi Leh – Simply “The Beach”

Of course, the island became famous through the Hollywood movie “The Beach” and of course it has been very, very busy (some say crowded) since that time and yet: It is the beach of all beaches!

Already on arrival (by boat from Phi Phi Don, Krabi, Phuket or Koh Lanta), the huge rocks that surround the bay seem to “push open” in a unique way and reveal the view of the bay. After entering the bay, the engine is switched off by the speedboat or longtail boat captain and you glide towards the beach. The clear waters provide an uninterrupted view of the bottom as you head towards the white sands of Maya Bay.

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For almost everyone who arrives here for the first time, this sight burns itself into their minds.
The beach and turquoise waters are the absolute highlight of the uninhabited island, which is now a national park. Away from the bay, the island consists mainly of rocks covered by palm trees and jungle and is inaccessible to visitors. As already mentioned, the government of Thailand has designated the island as a national park and has appointed “park rangers” to make sure that the “island rules” are observed. Public toilets, a small kiosk and sufficient rubbish bins ensure a smooth process for visitors.

Koh Phi Phi – A well-known paradise

The “fame” of the Hollywood movie “The Beach” has made the islands one of the most visited attractions in Thailand. Although visitors have to be prepared to share this pearl of Southeast Asia with many more people, this place is still worth a visit. Because one thing is certain: “The Beach” looks as wonderful live, with your own eyes as in the film and is a unique experience.