The Phi Phi islands are some of the most visited islands in Southeast Asia and for a good reason, because they really are paradise.
The good news is the Phi Phi Islands are easily accessible, just a boat ride from Krabi or Phuket.
We managed to visit the Islands twice; however, the first day was a total failure, and that’s why we had to visit Phi Phi the second time.
Phi Phi by Ferry
I hate guided tours, the crowd, the 30 minutes stop in a touristic location, the rush, ugh! I much more prefer the freedom of taking my time while visiting a place and concentrating on the spots that interest me.
With this thought in mind, we decided to have a one day trip to Phi Phi, taking a ferry and figuring out the activities once we get there. We booked our ferry ticket online a day before the trip and woke up excited for the day. A tuk-tuk picked us up and took us to the main port.
Departure time was at 10:30 in the morning, and even though they said it’s a 90-minute boat ride, we had a bit of a delay, and we arrived there at 1 p.m.
The ferry was packed with people, and we lost another 10 minutes in a line waiting to get out of it.
Once we got there and paid the environmental entrance fee for Phi Phi, we were told that the last ferry back to Krabi would be at 3:30 p.m., which meant we only had 2 hours left to explore the island.
And what should you do when you don’t have much time? We decided to spend those two hours on the closest beach and call it a day.
Rantee beach did not impress us at all; we had lunch and returned to the ferry.
I only recommend you take the ferry if you’re spending the night in Phi Phi as well, day trips by ferry are not worth it.
Organized tour in Phi Phi
Since the first visit to Phi Phi Don was a total disaster, we finally decided to book an organized tour for the next day.
The itinerary sounded like this:
Bamboo Island – relaxing on the wonderful white beach.
Viking Cave – photography and sightseeing to see how collecting the nests and ancient wall painting
Lohsamah Bay – enjoy the colorful fish and coral
Pileh Bay – beautiful lagoon.
Maya Bay (scene of the film “The Beach”)
Monkey Bay – Photography and sightseeing the monkey from boat.
Phi Phi Don – enjoy lunch at a restaurant on the beach and relax.
Snorkeling near Phi Phi.
Although everything was on a very tight schedule, we only “visited” certain places from the boat (Monkey Bay, Maya Bay, Viking Cave). The weather wasn’t on our side; the whole experience was really enjoyable.
I wanted to spend more time on Bamboo island. I found here the most beautiful beach I’ve seen. (we only spent an hour here)
Also, the Snorkeling experience was outstanding.
The restaurant had lots of vegetarian options, which made me happy.
The price included hotel transfer, insurance, an english speaking guide, snorkel mask and life jacket, lunch (vegetarian meals as well) and fruits.
You can watch my video comparing the two experiences below:
Let me know what you think. Do you enjoy going on organized tours?