A BEGINNER’S GUIDE TO KO PHI PHI ISLAND:

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Phi Phi is quite literally an island of my dreams – and somewhere I have wanderlusted over ever since I watched cult movie The Beach (and fell in love with Leonardo DeCaprio, heh). Recently being here for a girls trip was so so much fun, and I am sure it is a place to visit on every twenty-something’s wanderlist!

ABOUT PHI PHI

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Phi Phi is a tiny little island with one main, easily navigable street – don’t worry about getting lost here! The main street begins at the ferry terminal (Ton Sai Bay) and follows through the most of the island, with hotels/restaurants/bars/shops scattered throughout. The island is partay central: be prepared for raging beach events and buckets galore! A twenty-somethings dream!

HOW TO GET HERE:

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The easiest way to get to Phi Phi is to get a ferry from Phuket. Of course there are multiple destinations you could catch a boat to Phi Phi from, but Phuket is by far the easiest and most cost effective way of getting here. A return ferry ticket costs   $40AUD (including pick up and drop off services) and will get you there in around an hour and a half. Tickets are super easy to book – either book online or in one of Thailand’s various travel offices. PS: It costs 20 Baht to enter the island – don’t forget to bring cash upon arriving!

WHERE TO STAY?

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You could stay anywhere on this island – to walk from the end of the main street to the ferry pier would take a maximum of 15 minutes, location is not a problem here! Do NOT stay in the north of the island though – this is where a lot of families stay – way, way away from the parties. I don’t think you’ll have a problem though, just make sure you look on a map before you book your hotel!  We enjoyed our stay at The Beacha Club ( a fitting description as the hotel is literally on the beach) who also hosted a huge beach party every night. So fun!

Friends also recommended PP Princess, PP Charlies and Ibiza Club as good places to stay, especially for the social and party vibe. Wherever you stay, make sure it is somewhere with aircon though – island life can get a bit hot! Prices can range anywhere from $20 – $60 AUD per night.

WHERE TO EAT:

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Even though we only stayed on the island a couple of days, I feel like we tried nearly every restaurant here! Oops! Blog research, I swear! There is a good mix of western and traditional Thai food available here, something for everyone.

Charlies and Pirates offer really good western food, and ‘So Good’ really is so good haha – they have amazing Thai food! It was in Phi Phi that I fell in love with thai pancakes – basically it is roti fried in oil and then covered in whatever you want – I got nutella and banana and it was amaze! They are only 50 baht too, good for people on a budget and acceptable for breakfast, lunch and dinner. And dessert. And a midnight snack.

THINGS TO DO?
PARTY

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Phi Phi is well known for being a party island, so it is not surprising they have multiple drinking activities on offer! The island has two main clubs, Dojo and Stockholm Syndrome, conveniently located right opposite each other. These outdoor clubs offer all night beer pong, beer bongs (funnels) and heaps and heaps of FUN! Most hotels have their own private clubs and parties as well.

If you are an excessive drinker and want to drink day AND night – Phi Phi has your back, brah. Try Bob’s Booze Cruise – an island hopping boat trip with unlimited alcohol and food! Always drink responsibility though, you alcos.

Alcohol is available everywhere, at any time – always be careful when buying alcohol, make sure you check the bottle before you buy (to make sure it’s sealed), you don’t want any nasty home brews.

ISLAND HOPPING DAY TRIP

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There are countless boat excursions departing from Phi Phi – whether you want to do a full blown day trip finishing with a sunset to a half-day escapade, Phi Phi’s got it all. The typical route is to visit Monkey Beach – literally just naughty (but cute) monkeys on a beach, followed by a spot of snorkelling just around the corner. You are then usually taken to Pileh Lagoon, a FAVOURITE spot of mine, where you could spend hours and hours jumping overboard into the picturesque ocean surrounds! If you’re lucky, your tour will arrange some kayaks for you to go and explore around Maya Bay – before actually setting foot on Maya Bay – where  The Beach   was filmed. (Unfortunately I did not set foot on Maya Bay as it cost 400 baht ($16) to go ashore, and I am too cheap, but I will come back when I am rich and do it!) These tours looked super fun and a good way to relax and meet new people, and cost anywhere from $400 – $900 baht for the day. Not bad, not bad!

HIRE A PRIVATE BOAT

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As it was my friend’s birthday (Hi, Christal!) we decided to hire out a private long tail boat, driver, and do it all ourselves. We essentially did the regular ‘Phi Phi tour’ but also asked to explore more of Phi Phi, where we discovered Loh Moo Dee beach – another favourite!

Hiring your own boat is definitely more expensive, at around 2500 baht for 4 hours (all inclusive) but picture this: blasting your favourite music, drinks and food flowing, your own place to stretch out and tan, and spending quality time with your favourite people – to me, it was so worth it! If you have enough people, by the time you divide it you end up paying the same price you would for a tour – why would you not get your own boat?!

PHI PHI VIEWPOINT

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Google wasn’t lying when it said it was a steep climb to the top. Basically walk vertically up some stairs for 10 minutes, pay 30 baht to get in, climb a further 10 minutes – and you are rewarded with a stellar view of the island. Seriously stellar. The walkway is super easy to find from the main street too – just follow the signs! If you can, hike up here to watch the sunset – apparently it is amazing!


 

I hope by reading this beginner’s guide you at least get some of an idea of what to expect when you arrive on Ko Phi Phi! The island is truly as beautiful as the pictures (if not better) and you are guaranteed a good time, I promise! I would love to hear any of your stories or adventures in Phi Phi in the comments below!

 

 

Hayley Elder

Hayley created Travel in Your Twenties in 2016 as an information hub for young twenty-somethings who want to travel the world: whether it be through studying, working, volunteering abroad - or for travellers just wanting to have an adventure! She spent last year studying in both Italy and Canada, before returning back to her home of New Zealand. Where next?! Who knows! Come join the adventure!

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