The Phi Phi islands are located about 48 Km southeast from Phuket, 42 km south from Krabi Town and 40 km from Ao Nang Beach. They can be reached in between 1 1/2 to 3 hours depending on the type of boat you choose. Boats leave from Phuket, Ao Nang and the Chao Far Pier in Krabi Town on a daily basis.
Phi Phi Islands The name is derived from Malay, and the original was Pulao Pi ah Pi, where in pulao is the Malay word for island , and pi,pronounced with only a haft p sound, was very close in pronunciation to the English word “be”; the ah was eventually dropped,so the name was said something like Bi Bi.
Later the p was pronounced with a stronger aspiration and the name became the Pi Pi we know today. The name refers to the mangrove wood found there.
Six islands are in the group; Phi Phi Don, Phi Phi Ley, Biddah Nok, Biddah Nai, Yung , and Pai; total area is 42 square kilometers,They were incorporated into the National Park in 1983. Some of the interesting places to visit include:
Yung Island lies to the north of Phi Phi Don. there is a rocky beach on the east side, and a smaller strand of sand in a fold of the hill. Many beautiful and various corals are found there.
Pai Island lies also to the north of Phi Phi Don, not far from Koh yung . Sandy beaches are on the north and east sides of the island. Broad coral reefs stretch away into the south.
Phi Phi Don Island covers a total area of 28 square kilometers: 8 kilometers in length and 3.5 at its broadest point. At the north end is Cape Laem Tohng, where there is a Chao Ley, or sea gipsy village. these sea gipsies emigrated from Koh Lipeh in tarutao National Park, near the border eith Malaysia. Diving at Laem Tohng is excellent, as it is also at Hua Rah Ket to the extreme south.
There are long beaches with rock scattered about. Two curving bays are especially beautiful: Ton Sai and Loh Dalam.
Phi Phi Ley Island is 6.6 square kilometers in total area: 3 Kilometers in length and 1 at its broadest point. The island is entirely limestone and steep cliffs rising from the sea very nearly ring it. surrounding waters average about 20 meters in depth, reaching 34 meters at the deepest point off the island’s southern tip.Phi Phi Ley has several beautiful bays: Piley, Maya, and Loh samah; Ao Piley is very nearly enclosed by the limstone walls of the island’s cliffs , so that the water appears almost to be an inland sea.
On Phi Phi Ley’s northeast is the famous Viking Cave; this was renamed by H.M. Rama IX when he visited it in 1972, Tahm Pya Nak, from the shape of a particular boulder, which resembles in shape the head of the great serpent of Buddist legend, the Naga. it is a place much revered by the local people who come there to collect the swift’s nests used to make Bird’ nest Soup, a Chinese delicacy.
On the eastern and southern walls of the cave are coloured drawings dating from historic times.
There are pictures of elephants and also of various boats : European,Arab, and Chinese sailing ships; barques, motorboats , and steamships, It is theorized that these were done by pirates who paused in their travels from west to east, sheltering in the cave to escape the monsoon winds, transfer cargo,or make repairs.
For travel to the Phi Phi Islands, Tour operators provide transport and tour packages to this popular destination. Regular boat service is available from Jao Fah pier in Krabi. For more information please Click Here
HOW TO GET THERE :
Tour agencies can arrange transport including transfer from your accommodation to the jetty, and the boat to Phi Phi. If you simply want to get there and back for an overnight stay, expect to pay around 400 Baht return. Tickets can be used for any return trip and are not tied to a specific date, so you can be flexible with your plans. Normally it is not necessary to book in advance, although during holidays, especially Christmas and January, it is advisable to be at the pier 20 minutes before departure.
Day tours cost between 500-1,200 Baht, depending on the boat, the time taken to get there, the quality and quantity of the lunch, and the options available e.g.., snorkelling side trips, or glass bottomed boat.
From Krabi Province
Boats depart from Krabi town and Ao Nang beach around 4 times daily (subject to change) The journey takes about 90 minutes depending on weather conditions. During the low season (May – October) departures may be delayed.
From International Destinations
The last boat from Phuket to Phi Phi leaves at 13.30 so you must allow time to get a taxi from the airport to the boat dock. Tickets should be booked in advance through travel agencies as it is not always possible to buy tickets on arrival. Allow around 1 hour from the airport to the ferry. As connections can be subject to delay it is advisable to stay overnight in Phuket before continuing your journey to Phi Phi. (Schedule)
Day Trips from Phuket
If you’re staying in Phuket but would like to visit Phi Phi Island for the day, there are a number of tours available. Prices vary between 500-1,200 Baht including lunch and depend on the type of boat, quality of lunch, and options offered e.g., snorkeling and glass bottomed boat. Tours normally start in the early morning around 7.00 am and usually return by about 6.00pm.
CLIMATE IN PHI PHI :
It rains the most in May and October (an average of 22 out of 30 days), as it experiences both monsoons. The temperature varies little all year round, staying between 30? c from October to February and rising up to 35?c from March onwards.
Beaches and featuresThe dump bell-shaped island of Phi Phi Don is endowed with green rolling hills, spectacular cliffs, long powdery white beaches and emerald water. An attractive beach on the southern side curves around Ton Sai Bay providing the dock for boats from Phuket and Krabi. On the northern side of the ‘handle’ just a few hundred meters away is the fine beach of Loh Dalum Bay. About 2 kilometers southeast from Ton Sai Bay, you will find Hat Yao (long beach), home to Phi Phi Don’s finest coral reefs, further north, passing the beautiful Hat Lanti whish is famous for surfing, Hat Laem Thong stands against an impressive range of cheer time stone cliffs and breathtaking scenery.
October – March – Generally good weather, low rainfall and average temperatures 30-32C(90F)
April – May – Very hot and humid. Temperatures reaching 38C(95F+)
June – September – Variable. Temperatures average 30C (90F) About an 80% chance of rain in June and September, but remember, it doesn’t rain all the time! Also the rain is warm and there are some excellent value hotel rooms in this season.
is the Thai Baht (see currency converter) Denominations are 1,000, 500, 100, 50 and 20 Baht notes. Master card and Visa are well known but American Express is only accepted in the more expensive hotels and stores. There is a bank with a currency exchange in Tonsai Bay, Phi Phi, but no ATM machine. However there are plenty of ATM’s on Phuket island.
The same as the rest of Thailand – 2 pin plug with 220 volts. Adapter are available at most hardware stores and some hotel shops in Phuket. Buy one before you go to Phi Phi.
You can use the local post office for postcards and inbound mail, but if it is something important, it’s better to use the main post offices at Phuket or Krabi.
CAMERAS & FILM :
ASA100-ASA400 is available. In Tonsai Bay, a Kodak shop near the pier does standard developing. Phones There are public phones on the island. One is located at the pier. Most tour agencies will allow you to make both local and international calls for a small charge.
Satellite TV, CNN and BBC are available around the island. Some of the bars generally show important sporting events.
Internet cafes are the most reliable source to check e-mail as many of the hotels do not have available phone lines for their customers. The area around the ferry in Tonsai has a number of Internet cafes. Health and Medical Facilities
There are no hospitals on Phi Phi so any serious illness should be treated in Phuket where there are first class international facilities. There is a local health centre on Phi Phi island in Tonsai Bay. Please be insured before travelling to Thailand. Check with your insurance company which hospitals they work with. Sunburn and Sunstroke are the most common health problems so take the usual precautions – strong sunblock, wear a hat and drink plenty of fluids.
GOVERNMENT OFFICE :
On Phuket. Open 08.30 and close 17.00. Dress well.
If you overstay your visa or need an extension, you should contact the Immigration office on Phuket.
Located near the pier in Tonsai. The tourist police generally have a person who speaks English.
Phuket International Airport departure tax 500 Baht. Check if your ticket includes airport tax.
Domestic – 30 Baht (Phuket and Krabi Airports) Usually included in the price of your ticket
Good ideas and Bad ideas
Thai’s are very tolerant people, but if you want to make the most of your visit, you should be aware of some Thai customs and sensitive areas.
Always be polite and try not to lose your temper in frustrating situations. Remember the pace of life is much slower, so adjust accordingly. Losing your temper is considered a great loss of control. Be patient and you will be rewarded. Dress appropriately. On the islands, especially Phi Phi, the dress is very informal, but smart-casual is appreciated in the better quality hotel restaurants. When travelling, especially on boats, remember, you can get sunburnt very quickly!
Thais do not shake hands, they wai. The hands are placed together with the palms together in a prayer like way. Although they will often greet you in this manner, you don’t need to wai a waiter, bell boy or child, but if you’re meeting Thais socially, a wai will be appreciated. Shaking hands in the western way is also acceptable.
It is not necessary to tip a flat 10-15% on everything, and in the local restaurants for snacks and drinks, it’s not expected, although appreciated if you do.
It’s not a good idea to….
that the head is sacred and the feet are the lowest part. Try not to point at objects with your feet, or touch Thai people’s heads.
The Thai Royal family
is treated with great respect, so do not make any untoward or rude remarks.
Although you won’t be imprisoned for sunbathing nude, Thais find this offensive to their culture. While topless bathing is accepted in the tourist areas like Phi Phi, it can attract unwanted attention. It’s tolerated but not welcomed. Some hotels have notices requesting no G stings or topless bathing.
Where to Stay
Most of the tourist accommodation and services on Phi Phi Don are located around Tonsai Bay, the main ferry destination with the more exclusive and upmarket hotels around the eastern and northern side. There is nowhere to stay on Phi Phi Ley.
Accommodation varies from simple bungalows to upmarket international resorts. During the high season (October to March) it is not possible to pre-book budget and standard accommodation. Prices are subject to demand and can be changed depending on how many guests arrive at any particular time. If you want to book in advance, you can check availability on this site.
Thai Holidays & Festivals
Many Thais travel during festivals and holidays, so boats can be crowded and flights, especially from Bangkok, fully booked. Below are some of the more important festival dates to check with before making your travel plans.
January – New Year – Busy until around 6th January when it calms down!
February – Chinese New Year – varies with the calendar – around the 2nd full moon. Ferries are busy.
April 13/14/15 – Songkran Festival or Thai New Year. This is the water festival when many Thais return to their home. Don’t expect to travel easily around this time as buses, flights and ferries are very busy. This is a major holiday in Thailand.
November Loy Kratong around the 12th. A beautiful festival where floating kratongs (literally “leaf cup” with lighted candles are placed on water to take away bad luck. Not too many people travelling at this time of year.
December – Christmas – High season. Expect full flights, buses and busy boats.
DINING OUT & ENTERTAINMENT :
Resorts in Phi Phi have their won restaurants. However, there are a wide variety of restaurants and caf? to suit western palates in Ton Sai Bay area. There’s a pub and restaurant with wood table and chairs where snakes served with fruit shake and cocktail can be enjoyed in the sea breeze.The most popular nigh spots are round Phi Phi Center on Ton Sai Bay. Some of them are beach front bars providing tables and chairs on the beach, live music and fun holiday atmosphere.
Most local shops and minimarts are run by local families so they often stay open around 08.30 and close anytime between 21.00 -23.00. Most gift shops open 10.00-22.00 and dive shops usually close at 21.00. Bargain with good humour and you could get some better prices! Banks/Money