This is my second post after my trip to Thailand (2013). Koh Phi Phi is one place which is very well known for its beauty and has now become a favored tourist spot. Though argument continues on whether this island be kept as it is to preserve its natural beauty or make it a tourist spot; there is hardly any tourist/traveller visiting Phuket and giving Koh Phi Phi a pass. In my opinion, it would be sinful to give it a pass. So, here i am sharing my experience and few different travel suggestions for your trip to Phi Phi Islands.
I will begin with a brief description about the island. You might have read it earlier but i will repeat as its necessary to have this knowledge to plan your visit to Phi Phi islands. Basically, there are 2 parts of phi phi islands where tourism has flourished. These are : Tonsai Bay & Laemtong Bay (Refer Map Below).
Following table can best describe the difference between 2 bays and help you shortlist which part of phi phi you should stay in.
|S.No.||Category||Tonsai Bay||Laemtong Bay|
|6||Luxury Hotels/Resorts||Less||More & Superior Quality|
|7||Travel Time (Phuket)||Less||More|
I stayed at Laemtong Bay and will be describing that in detail as i had experienced it. You can reach phi phi islands by ferry leaving at various times of the day. You can book online or visit local offices in phuket. Most of the ferries start from Rassada Pier in phuket which is a 45 minutes drive from Patong beach. There might be an option of speed boat transfer but i am not aware of it. When you book a ferry to laemtong bay, your first stop will be at tonsai pier for 15 minutes and then the 2nd stop is at laemtong bay. The laemtong bay booking is done for the following resorts only:
- PP Erawan Palms Resort
- Phi Phi Natural Resort
- Holiday Inn Resort Phi.
You can stay at any of the above resorts. I stayed at Holiday Inn and it was fabulous. The respective hotel staff picks you up from the ferry and transfer to the resort via a longtail boat. This service was free of charge. One tip i would like to share is to place your luggage smartly in the ferry. There is utter chaos when people drop off at tonsai bay and look for their luggage. Another tip would be to carry mosquito/insect repellents. Make sure you get your bed linen changed everyday to avoid bed bugs.
Laemtong bay and beach are on the secluded part of phi phi. There are 4 resorts, 2 restaurants & 1 daily needs shop. Being an isolated part of phi-phi; it is very expensive. The basic/daily needs items are quite costly. For example, cost of water bottle is around 70 baht and the same bottle costs 14 baht in phuket. I would suggest to carry your water bottles in ferry luggage to save money. You can carry other snacks and quick bites as well. There are 2 dining options besides the hotel restaurants. I tried “Sawasdee” restaurant and was proud of my choice. The rates are a bit high as compared to phuket but not exorbitant at all. The restaurant has events like Thai Boxing/Music/Traditional Thai Cultural Show around the dining tables. Most of the crowd prefers tables on the beach as the view is stunning.
There are plenty of activities you can opt for during your stay at laemtong bay. These include fishing/cycling/snorkelling/kay-kay. The resorts offer plenty of entertainment options; some of them being pool sports/DVD collections. Trying the evening corn snack and visiting Sunset Bar are must. There is an old man who visits these resorts every evening around 5 and sells sweet corn. It is amazing and reasonable. Post this, you should head to “Sunset Bar” in holiday inn. Though it is a part of the resort; outsiders are allowed as well. It operates between 16:00-19:00. The sunset view is stunning and certainly not to be missed.
The nights are quite silent at laemtong bay. It’s a different experience altogether and very unique with the resorts setup in the wild and amid nature. I went to tonsai bay for lunch on my way back and would not recommend staying at tonsai bay. The laemtong bay experience is totally unique and certainly worth it. All the best.