Koh Phi Phi Thailand

A friend of mine asked me for advice on where to stay on Koh Phi Phi Island, near Phuket, Thailand. Here’s a bit of intel, and a crappy video I just did now with Camtasia software.

I was in Phuket last year, so I did the obligatory trip to Koh Phi Phi, which is about a 90 minute boat ride from Phuket. Most people equate Phi Phi with what they saw in the movie The Beach. But that movie featured Maya Bay, which is on the uninhabited small island of Phi Phi Lei.

You and the other 5000 backpackers will all be staying on the tiiiiiny slip of land that exists between Ton Sai Bay and Loh Dalum Bay on the island of Phi Phi Don. Here’s a map that shows an overview of the main bits of Phi Phi Don.

Phi Phi map

Phi Phi is so narrow, you can see from one beach to the other side.

I think the Ton Sai bay side is the best all around. If you go to the far left of the bay, you’ll find budget accommodation with a decent view. If you go to the far right, you’ll find higher end places (up to $100 a night, but you can make deals like crazy if it’s not peak season, so don’t book ahead). And those higher end places have amazing views.

Whatever you do, DON’T stay at the Andaman Legacy. It was awful, and it gets terrible reviews on Trip Advisor. I paid for 2 nights (STUPID!) and after 5 minutes I wanted to move…but they have a no refund policy. It also has a Minaret blasting Muslim prayers 5 times a day. Anyway, all around a crap place. But just go past there to the places at the end of the beach and you’ll love it.

For fun, Hippies is cool at night. Good music and fire shows. Or if you’re under 30 and beautiful, go to the beach raves on Loh Dalam Bay.

I was ready to leave Phi Phi after 2 nights — it’s very claustrophobic and you get tired of constant hassle from diving and other tourist touts.

While you’re there, be sure to visit Maya Bay on Phi Phi Lei. That was the location for the movie The Beach. Touristy, yes. But well worth the trip. It’s breathtakingly gorgeous. Try and get a tour that skips most of the on-the-way stuff. If you can get in a snorkel for an hour at Phi Phi Lei, that’s enough. It’s better to just spend the time relaxing at Maya Bay. Here’s a pic.

Bon Voyage!