Thailand owns the picturesque Phi Phi archipelago of 6 islands, the largest of which are Phi Phi Lei and Phi Phi Don. When talking about a holiday in Phi Phi, it means Phi Phi Don, because this island is the only one inhabited in the archipelago.
The total area of the island, which the inhabitants of Thailand call only Pi-Pi-Don, is 28 km². It consists of two limestone monoliths that are connected to each other by a sandy isthmus. Its length is about 1 km, and the width in some places does not exceed 150 m.
It is the narrow isthmus area that is the most populated and densely populated territory on Pi-Pi-Don. This small piece of land stretching between Tonsai and Lo Dalam bays is called Ton Sai Village. Here, close to each other, there are buildings with restaurants, bars, shops, hotels of different price categories, travel agencies and other objects of tourist infrastructure located in them. There is also a market offering vegetables, fruits, as well as fresh fish.
The vast majority of tourists visiting this island in Thailand are American and European youth. There are few tourists from China and Russian-speaking travelers, mainly only those who came as part of an excursion from other resorts in Thailand. Families with children are also few.
Beaches of Pi-Pi-Don Island
The island of Phi Phi Don is known as a resort with bounty beaches washed by the Andaman Sea. The most popular beaches will be discussed further.
Important! When choosing a place of rest in Phi Phi, you need to see the ebb-tide chart. So it turns out to choose a beach where you can swim, and not just sunbathe!
Tonsai Beach is located in the bay of the same name on the south side of the sandy isthmus, and it is far from the best on Pee Pee Don. There is a wide sandy strip, making it convenient to walk along the sea coast, but the conditions are not very good for swimming. The sea is too shallow, in addition, at low tide, the water goes tens of meters; it’s impossible to swim at all.
On Tonsai there is no rental of umbrellas and deck chairs, and to sit on the sand, you need to take your own towel.
Conventionally, the territory of Tonsai beach is divided into central, western and eastern parts.
The central part of Tonsai is at the same time the center of the island. There is a pier and ship’s pier, where ferries from different settlements of Thailand come, as well as a boat station where you can go to remote beaches and other nearby islands. The entrance to the sea is so cluttered with water transport that swimming is not even accepted here.
On the western part of Tonsai Beach (if you face the sea, then it is located on the right) the coast is quite wide, covered with clean grayish-white sand. At a sufficient distance from the water – lush tropical vegetation, allowing vacationers to take refuge in the shade. The boats here are much smaller than in the center, and they do not interfere with swimming.
On the left side of the pier, behind the low cliffs, originates the eastern section of Tonsai Beach. You can go there along the path laid from the pier parallel to the sea – immediately after a slight rise there will be a beach. In the east, Tonsai is not as attractive as in the west, but it is much cleaner and there are almost no boats. A beach strip with white, heavily compacted sand, medium width – there is enough space to accommodate in the sun or under trees. The conditions are quite suitable for swimming, and there are not too many people.
On the island of Pi-Pi-Don in Thailand, in the bay of Loh Dalum, which is located on the north side of the sandy isthmus, is the beach of Lo Dalam. You can get to it by going along one of the many paths through the malls.
Due to the fact that the sea is shallow and the bay is closed from the winds by high picturesque cliffs, the water here is always calm and very warm. The sea is a bright azure-turquoise color, especially where the bottom is covered with white sand and there is no admixture of clay.
The sand here is not soft and fluffy, but hard, heavily tamped. In the center it is snow-white and clean, with an admixture of yellow sand, and on the right side is a bit dirty, with stones and boulders. There are a lot of boats and boats in the coastal waters, but bathing places are surrounded by special fences.
The beach strip is rather narrow, and the entrance to the sea is gentle. The shallow sea, to swim normally, it takes a long time to go. In general, it is good to rest in Lo Dalam only at high tides, and at low tide it is completely impossible to swim, since the water goes almost to the center of the bay.
There is no restroom and soul on this Phi Phi Dona beach; nobody rents sun loungers and umbrellas. But along the entire beach strip there are many bars and cafes, in each of which you can take a drink and sit with him on a soft pillow or mattress on the beach.
In addition to relaxing in the sand, you can go for a ride on a rented kayak (150 baht per hour, 700 in 8 hours).
Lo Dalam Beach, which is about 1 km long, is always crowded. In the afternoon crowds of tourists from Phuket and Ao Nang gather here, and at night it becomes the center of parties of the youth who are having a rest at the resort. Although the beach is regularly cleaned and garbage is not noticeable, you need to understand that the whole youth party here not only eats and drinks, but also goes to the toilet at sea.
The first-class Long Beach, which is about 800 m long, is covered with soft white sand. The water here is impeccably clean, but the descent into the sea is somewhat harsh and great depth begins close to the shore. You can rent a sunbed and umbrella here for 100 baht, and for 10 use a shower and rinse off with sea salt.
In Thailand and beyond, Long Beach is known as the best Pee Pee Don vacation spot for couples with children.
Thanks to the coral reef on this beach you can go diving and snorkeling. Particularly excellent conditions are found on the rocky plateau Hin Phae, next to which harmless reef sharks of meter length live. There are so many sharks that snorkeling and diving centers promise a mandatory meeting with them.
You can rent a mask and snorkeling tube:
- for 50 baht per day
- flippers for the same amount
- board for skating for 200 baht per hour.
You can also rent a kayak:
- for 1 hour – 150 baht,
- in 4 hours – 400,
- in 8 hours – 700.
You can walk to Long Beach in just 10-15 minutes from the outskirts of Tonsai, and from the center of Ton Sai Village it takes about 30 minutes.
Getting to Long Beach is also convenient by boat: with Tonsai, travel for one person will cost 100 baht, after 18:00 the amount usually increases to 150. But the boatman will not transport one person, it means that there will be 4 passengers.
Small, with a length of about 120 m, Monkey Beach is named so because there are a lot of long-tailed macaques.
Set in a secluded bay amid high cliffs, framed by lush tropical plants, Monkey Beach looks beautiful. The water here is turquoise and the sand is white. Sunset at sea is smooth, and at the same time a rather large depth allows you to swim normally.
It would seem that Monkey Beach is almost the best place for a beach holiday, not only in Phi Phi Don, but also in Thailand. But the number of tourists visiting this beach as part of mass excursions, many times exceeds its capacity. That is why it is better to visit here on your own, and in the morning, until 11:00, while there are no boats with sightseers yet.
There is no infrastructure at Manki Beach; drinking water must be taken with you. There are a lot of swings hanging on the trees near the beach strip, but it’s unlikely that you will be able to take romantic photos on the island of Phi Phi Done: if someone sits on the swing, hordes of wild monkeys rush into it instantly!
Important! While relaxing on Monkey Beach, you need to carefully monitor your belongings. From an unattended bag macaques with amazing speed get absolutely everything.
Monkey Beach, located in the west of Pi-Pi-Don, can only be reached by sea. Since the beaches of Lo Dalam and Monkey Beach are separated by no more than 1 km, from the first to the second you can swim in a rented kayak in just 25-30 minutes. If you don’t feel like sailing on your own, you can hire a boat with the boatman.
Lookouts at Phi Phi Don
On the island of Pi-Pi-Don-Don there are 3 main viewpoints located on the slopes of one mountain: View point Phi Phi No. 1, 2, 3. They can be visited alternately for one ascent.
Observation platforms are located north of Ton Sai Village, and there are two roads: a short but very steep concrete staircase, and a gentle dirt road going around, and therefore several times longer. If you go with Ton Sai Village, then there will be closer steps, if from Long Beach there is a dirt road.
On the first panoramic terrace there is a picturesque mini-park: a small pond, beautiful boulders, a well-groomed lawn, benches for relaxation, and also huge letters forming the phrase “I love Phi Phi”. But nowhere to hide from the sun. The lower viewpoint does not allow you to see the island in all its beauty, therefore, it is definitely worth understanding further down the stairs that go through the palm forest.
The observation deck View point No. 2 is filled with huge stones, climbing up which you can observe the sandy isthmus and Tonsai and Lo Dalam bays. This is the best site on the island, and the view from it is the visiting card of Pi-Pi-Don, and it is precisely it that is used when creating advertisements about opportunities for vacation in Thailand. After 9:00 there is always an incredibly large influx of tourists, which is why it is quite difficult to occupy convenient places.
Located next to the radio tower, above other sites. But due to the fact that tall trees block the view, a peculiar view opens up from here: a lot of sky, endless horizon, and instead of the sea – the jungle. The terrace is open and spacious, but there are trees that give shade. There is a cafe where they offer delicious Thai cuisine, a swing is arranged under a canopy.
Entrance to View point Phi Phi No. 1 and 2 is paid, 30 baht, 10 more – if necessary, use the toilet on the territory. There is no need to pay for entry to View point Phi Phi No. 3, since there is a viewing platform arranged on the territory of the cafe and the presence of tourists is already included in the price of drinks.
On a note! There are garbage cans near each viewpoint, and a large fine is provided for violation of cleanliness. Alcohol is prohibited at all sites, there are even warning signs that you will have to pay a fine for drinking alcohol.
Observation decks are open from 5:30 to 19:00, but a morning visit to the viewpoints has several advantages. In the morning, the climb is easier due to the fact that there is no strong heat. While few people, you can take the best places for photographing. In addition, the tides on the island in the morning, so the photos of Phi Phi Don turn out to be very beautiful, with an impressive sand scythe and a bright turquoise sea in the bays on both sides. After 11:00, taking pictures is more problematic, as the sun shines in the camera’s lens. During sunset, you can always admire the colorful sky and watch the sun go down over the mountain, because all the viewpoints are on the western side of the mountain. But at the same time, you need to understand the following: from the site No. 1 after sunset, you can still have time to go down the mountain before dawn; and it will be the most difficult to return from platform No. 3 – in complete darkness. When planning a climb, you need to consider that at Pi-Pi-Don in Thailand:
- dawn in April-November from 6:00 to 6:30, in December-March from 6:30 to 7:00;
- sunset in February July from 18:00 to 18:45, in August-January from 18:00 to 18:30.
Bars, restaurants, nightlife at Pee Pee Don
People come to Phi Phi Don not so much for the sake of the “bounty” beaches (in fairness it should be noted that the main beaches on this island are far from the best in Thailand), but for the special relaxing atmosphere, fun nightlife, gatherings in bars, amazing fireworks show, new acquaintances.
In Ton Sai Village on the sandy isthmus there are many shops with a variety of souvenirs, with youth clothes. There are also diving and snorkeling centers, travel companies ready at any time to offer their services to everyone.
There are a lot of cafes and restaurants on Phi Phi Don. Some of them can be enjoyed with freshly prepared seafood and Thai dishes, but most serve European dishes.
The best bars of the island, nightclubs and massage parlors (with a standard list of services and services for those who came to Thailand for sex tourism) – all the noisy establishments designed for young, energetic and cheerful tourists are located in the center of the island and on the beach Loh Dalum. Keep this in mind when choosing a hotel.
Every evening at Lo Dalam you can choose entertainment to your taste: Thai boxing, dancing in the sand, beach discos with competitions. Prices are quite affordable, so holidays in this part of the island are very popular.
Nightlife begins with fiery, that is, a fire show. Although such entertainment is widespread in Thailand, Phi Phi Don is a kind of “highlight”. By the way, in memory of Pi-Pi-Don, you should not take a photo during a fire show, the video is much more impressive.
The best bars with a fire show are Slinky, Stone, Ibiza and Carlito’s Bar – the latter is located in Tonsai, the rest are on Lo Dalam. You can admire the fire shows while sitting in a cafe, or completely free, walking along the beach from one bar to another.
Important! In the front rows during a fire show it is better not to sit down. Firstly, it’s scary when lights fly in the face. Secondly, you need to consider that before the start of the show, the speakers take not only alcohol …
Fire shows begin around 21:00 and continue until approximately 22:00. And then on the Loh Dalum sand dances begin, which often last until dawn.
Everywhere tourists are offered buckets with alcohol: this is a set of a children’s bucket, strong alcohol (rum or vodka), cola or sprite, possibly also an energy drink. All drinks must be poured into a container and stirred, then drink through a straw. The cost of a bucket can range from 280 to 420 baht.
Food prices are on average higher than in other resorts in Thailand. You can eat for such money (prices are in local currency):
- breakfast in a cafe (coffee, toast, sausages, eggs) – 120-180;
- pizza in the cafe – 180-250;
- dishes in a Mexican restaurant – 220-300;
- fresh fruit juices on the street – 50;
- meat curry with rice in a restaurant – 70-100;
- Thai pancakes in a cafe – 50-70;
- desserts, cakes in an Italian cafe – 80-100;
- beer in a cafe – 70-100;
- alcoholic cocktails in a restaurant – 100-250;
- cappuccino in a cafe – 60-80;
- a large slice of pizza from street vendors – 80;
- burgers with meat, sandwiches – 100-120;
- drinking water in the store (1.5 l) – 28-30.
Although Phi Phi Don is small, there are many hotels here. Nevertheless, finding a free room at an adequate price, and even in the high season, is not easy.
Note! If you are planning to come to Thailand during the peak season, be sure to book a room in advance! And carefully read the reviews about the location of the hotel!
Most of the hotels in Phi Phi Dong are concentrated in the Ton Sai Village, near the beaches of Tonsai and Lo Dalam. But as a place to live, albeit very short-term, this area is suitable only for those who like a noisy life and parties. It is here that there are a lot of the cheapest hotels that are not impressive in their quality, as well as a large number of dorms (a room for several people), which are especially popular among foreign youth. But there are hotels of a high level, for example:
- new hotel with private pool PP Princess Resort;
- luxury pool villas PP Princess Pool Villa;
- modern rooms and dorms at Ibiza House Phi Phi, which often hosts beach parties.
In the west of Tonsai there are only a few modern hotels:
- on the edge of the beach under the cliffs of Phi Phi Cliff Beach Resort ;
- sand bungalow PP Sand Sea View Resort .
In the east of Tonsai, one can recommend:
- PP Villa Resort;
- PPAndaman Legacy Resort;
- PPAndaman Beach Resort.
In the Long Beach area, hotels are more expensive, but their quality is higher. It is not surprising that the rooms here are in high demand and are sold out very quickly. PP Long Beach Resort & Villa offers both very expensive villas and small bungalows at affordable prices. Hotel PP The Beach Resort, where you can also rent a villa or bungalow, is located on a hill, which is taken for free by car.
As for housing prices at Phi Phi Don, they are higher than in other resorts in Thailand. At the same time, as in all of Thailand, in the high season and for the Christmas holidays, prices rise 1.5-2 times. Here is the average cost of housing on Pi-Pi-Don in the high season (November-March) in local currency:
- a bed in a dorm – from 300;
- a room with a fan in a budget hotel at Ton Sai Village – 800-1200;
- air-conditioned room at the Ton Sai Village Hotel – 1000-1800;
- a hotel room on the beach – from 1800;
- a room in a hotel on Long Beach – from 2300.
How to get to Pi-Pi-Don
The main starting points from which they usually get to the island of Phi Phi Don are Phuket and mainland Krabi.
From Phuket to the island of Pee Pee Don in Thailand, ferries run from Rassada Pier. They are sent in accordance with the following schedule: 8:30, 9:00, 11:00, 12:20, 13:30, 14:30, 15:00 and 15:30. Time may vary slightly: during the season, ferries run more often, sometimes the flight is delayed for 20-30 minutes. The road takes about 2 hours.
You can get to Rassada pier on your own and get a ferry ticket to Pi-Pi-Don at the box office (600 baht one way, 1000 on both sides). From the airport, you must first go by minibus to Phuket Town (150 baht), and then transfer to tuk-tuk – the total travel time is about an hour. You can take a taxi – a trip around the city will cost up to 700 baht.
It will be more profitable to contact a travel agency. There is one oddity: tickets for a ferry to the island in travel agencies are cheaper than directly at the box office at the pier. You can buy tickets at any nearest travel agency, paying only 350-400 baht for travel to the island. At the travel agency desk right at the airport you can buy a joint ticket to Phi Phi Don for 500-800 baht – this amount includes a transfer to the pier and a ferry ride. By the way, tickets at a travel agency are not for any flight: only some ferry companies work this way. It is convenient for travel agencies to take tickets in both directions: the return will be an open date, but only for the flight of the same carrier, from which there was a ferry from Phuket.
From Phuket to Phi Phi Don you can also sail on a private boat: a fee of 1000-1500 baht per person.
Important! A visit to the Pi-Pi-Don island with a one-, two- and three-day excursion from Phuket will cost much less than an independent tour. An excursion from a travel agency costs 1500-3200 baht (set by duration and program), and this amount also includes meals.
Ferries also run from Krabi to Pi-Pi-Don, they depart from Klong Jilad pier. Schedule: 9:00, 10:30, 13:00, 15:00. In time, the journey takes 1.5 hours, a ticket at the box office costs 350 baht.
You can take a taxi for 400 baht from anywhere in the city to Klong Jilad Jetty, located in Krabi Town, and a minibus ride from the airport.
In addition, at any travel agency on Krabi Street or behind the travel agency desk at the airport, you can purchase a joint ticket at P-P-Don. In this case, not only the ferry service will be provided, but also a transfer to the pier.
Ao Nang is a popular resort in Thailand, located just 20 km from Krabi. There is no problem getting out of Ao Nang on a trip to P-P-P-Don.
Passenger ferries depart from the pier Nopparat Tara, located on the beach of the same name, in the morning, at 9:30. After 15 minutes, at 9:45, the ferry stops at West Riley, where boarding and disembarkation of passengers is carried out using longtail, and then without stops it goes to Phi Phi Don another hour and a half. Ticket price: 450 baht.
The prices and schedule on the page are current for November 2018.