Lying offshore from southern Thailand, the most well-known of the Phi Phi islands are the travellers’ favourites of Koh Phi Phi Don and its uninhabited sister, Koh Phi Phi Leh. Laid-back Koh Phi Phi Don is beautiful, with its dramatic limestone cliffs and lush jungle leading down to soft white sands. It’s deservedly popular, but the island has somewhat become a victim of its own attractiveness and it has become increasingly busy over years.
Ton Sai – a narrow sandy isthmus that joins the two hillier parts of the island – is the main hub of activity. If you’re arriving on a ferry from Phuket or Krabi, this is where you’ll be dropped off, and there’s a range of vibrant restaurants, bars, dive outlets and market stalls to discover. There’s also some great beach parties to be found in this enchanting part of the country. Quieter areas can be easily found around the island, with Long Beach to the east and Laem Tong to the north two of the picture-perfect favourites.
Koh Phi Phi Leh is so breathtaking it borders on otherworldly. Due to its protected national park status, visitors are only permitted here during daylight hours, and highlights include the hidden pale green lagoon of Pileh, home to hundreds of colourful fish and turtles; Viking Cave where swifts make their nests; and Maya Bay (closed indefinitely until further notice for coral conservation) – enclosed on three sides by vertical limestone cliffs and just as remarkable in real life as it appears in the film.
GMT +7 hours
Thai, although English is widely spoken at beach resorts.
Maya Bay is closed indefinitely until further notice for coral conservation.