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Toby Keps

Travelled to 12 countries / regions

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I backpacked across Thailand in winter 2019

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Asia > Thailand > Koh Phi Phi > Useful Info
Submitted on Jan 15, 2020 Useful Info

How to get around Koh Phi Phi islands in Thailand

  • Koh Phi Phi is made up of a bunch of islands:
  • The main one with all the hotels and where all visitors stay at is called Koh Phi Phi Don (this one). This is the one that most people are referring to when they say "Koh Phi Phi". The island is pretty small, measuring 7.6km tall from the southern tip of the island to the northern tip of the island and 3.6km wide from the western tip of the island to the eastern tip of the island
  • The second largest island is called Koh Phi Phi Leh (this one) and is where Maya Bay is located. It's about 4km south of Koh Phi Phi Don. There are no hotels or other accommodations on this island. This one is also pretty small, measuring 3km tall and 1km wide
  • Other than the two aforementioned two main islands, there are a bunch of tiny islands. There are no hotels or any forms of accommodations on these islands
  • In summary: There are no cars, tuk tuks, or other motorized land transportation on any of the Koh Phi Phi islands, including the main island Koh Phi Phi Don and the smaller islands including Koh Phi Phi Leh. In fact, there are only 2 ways to get around Koh Phi Phi:
  1. On foot (walking and hiking): the best and only way to get around the main village area on the main island
  2. By boat (water taxi and private boats): the best and only way to island hop as well as to access northern and western part of the main island


  • Option 1) Get around Koh Phi Phi on foot
  • Walking is the best way to get around the downtown/village area on the main island (Koh Phi Phi Don) around Ao Tonsai Pier/Tonsai Bay area, which is where all the ferries from the mainland (Phuket/Krabi/etc.) drop passengers off at

  • Most of the hotels and resorts on Koh Phi Phi are located in this Tonsai Bay downtown/village area, no more than 5-15 minutes away walking from Ao Tonsai Pier. In fact, most of the restaurants, bars, tour agencies, gift shops, and other businesses in Koh Phi Phi are also located here, so this is where I would recommend staying on Koh Phi Phi if you're looking to do lots of activities, since it's walking distance to all the amenities
  • Within the downtown/village, everything is accessible on foot in 5-15 minutes. This is what a typical street here looks like:User submitted photo of Koh Phi Phi
  • Beyond the downtown area, you can't easily walk to the northern part of the main island (Loh Ba Kao Bay, Nui Beach, Laem Tong Beach, etc.) from Ao Tonsai Pier. It's separated by a jungle, with an unpaved dirt mountain path that's only really suitable for hikers and not designed for transportation (especially if you have luggage). You can read more about this path here. You also cannot walk to Monkey Beach which isn't actually too far from Ao Tonsai Pier but is separated by a jungle and steep cliffs. To get to these areas you must take a boat (which I will talk about below), but once you get there you can walk amongst the various beaches and resorts in the northern part of Koh Phi Phi Don island as there are paved paths connecting them
  • On other islands like Koh Phi Phi Leh, it's also not possible to walk around the islands on foot because they're all made up of thick jungles and steep rocks. You can at most walk around the beach areas (like the giant beach at Maya Bay, which is by the way closed until mid-2021), but you can't really explore any of them on foot


  • Option 2) Get around Koh Phi Phi by boat
  • Outside of the main Tonsai Bay village area on Koh Phi Phi Don island, you will need to take a long-tail boat (water taxi) to get around:User submitted photo of Koh Phi Phi
  • So you must take a boat if you want to go to:
  • The northern part of the Koh Phi Phi Don, like Loh Ba Kao Bay, Nui Beach, Laem Tong Beach, etc.
  • The western part of Koh Phi Phi Don like Monkey Beach
  • Other islands like Koh Phi Phi Leh/Maya Bay, Moskito Island, Bamboo Island, etc.
  • How to get a long-tail boat in Koh Phi Phi:
  • There are lots of these long-tail boats available for hire. They're mostly located at Tonsai Bay on the beach around Ao Tonsai Pier. If you just walk around Tonsai Beach you will see lots of them between 6:30am and 10pm
  • Prices:
  • These long-tail boats are usually chartered, meaning you pay for the entire boat (rather than by seat) for a chunk of time. You need to negotiate the fare with the driver, but it usually works out to about 400-500 baht per hour ($13.25-$16.5USD /hour). You can get the lower end of this range if you book for the entire day. Within this time, the boat can take you to whatever beach/island you want to go, and the driver will let you know if it's possible to check out all the places you want to go within the hours you've booked
  • One-way trips can be booked if you just want to get from Ao Tonsai Pier to the northern part of Koh Phi Phi Don island and vice versa, this will cost you about 200 baht ($6.7USD) per person in each direction. If you're going to your resort in the northern part of the island (like Phi Phi Island Village Beach Resort, Villa 360, Phi Phi Phu Chalet) from Ao Tonsai Pier, the hotel will usually arrange the long tail boat for you
  • Fare for the long tail boats are paid by cash to the driver directly, so be sure to have sufficient amount of cash Thai baht with you. You can book for these boats online through websites like Klook and Viator, but they will cost you a lot more than if you just go find a driver at the beach
  • Each long tail boat can fit up to 10 people, but you probably don't want to have more than 6 people per boat to not make it feel too crowded
  • Other than long tail boats, some visitors also book speedboats. These are much more expensive than long tail boats, costing around 3,000-4,000 baht per hour ($100-$135USD), but they do seat 15-20 people so if you have a large group this may be the way to go. You can book these boats online through websites like Klook and Viator, or in person at one of the travel agencies in the village around Ao Tonsai PierUser submitted photo of Koh Phi Phi