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Ko Phi Phi, or the Phi Phi Islands is a resort location that is situated between the island of Phuket and the Andaman Sea coast of Thailand. Ko Phi Phi Don is the largest of the six islands of the grouping and is the only one that is permanently inhabited. Ko Phi Phi Leh is the second largest island and attracts a large number of visitors annually.
The second largest island, Phi Phi Leh was the main site for the 2000 film, The Beach. The island is also a well-known source of bird’s nests for the Chinese delicacy bird’s nest soup – all which are extracted from Viking Cave.
Phi Phi Don was hit by a tsunami on the 26th of December in 2004. Most of the island has since recovered from the event. All the islands in the Ko Phi Phi island group are part of the Hadnopparattara-Koh Phi Phi National Park which features limestone cliffs along white shores as well as marine life and corals.
Tonsai Village is considered to represent Ko Phi Phi’s centre for activities (including shopping and dining) – there are no vehicles only pedestrian paths in the village. The village is north of Tonsai Bay and south of Loh Dalum Beach.
Types of Holiday-goers
Visitors to the Ko Ko Phi islands are made up of a varied demographic, consisting of families, singles, and retirees.
The Best Time to Visit
The climate on Ko Phi Phi is tropical. Therefore, temperatures, during the year, range from around 25 degrees Celsius to around 31 degrees Celsius. The rainy season lasts from May to December, while the hot season falls between January and April. Typically, travellers like to visit the resort location during the dry season. When it does rain, it tends to be in heavy downpours that come in short spurts.
For adventure seekers, Ko Phi Phi offers a host of activities. One of the new sports, cliff jumping, is highly popular. Leaps into the water are made from cliffs ranging from 3 metres to 20 metres in height.
Thanks to the spectacular beauty of the area and impressive marine life, both snorkelling and scuba diving are very popular sports in the area.
Fishing is an important activity in the area and going out on a fishing trip will give you an insight into how many of the locals subsist.
Rock climbing, swimming and yoga are all popular activities that can be done during your holiday here.
If you want to just relax on a sandy, tropical shore, then you won’t be disappointed by Ko Phi Phi’s beaches.
A popular beach, Loh Bagao Bay, attracts water sports enthusiasts while Laem Tong Beach is considered a good location for snorkelers and divers. Long Beach, located on the main island, is a good spot for diving as well.
Situated close to Tonsai Bay, Loh Dalum Bay provides beach-goers with a nice spot in which to relax and enjoy the scenery. Remote and more secluded shorelines include Hin Khom Beach, Runtee Beach, Loh Modee Beach, and Phak Nam Beach.
Sites and Attractions
The second largest island, or Phi Phi Leh, is a haven for the naturalist as it offers such sites and attractions as Palong Bay, Viking Cave and Pi Leh Bay (which features 100 metre cliffs and is a favourite location of snorkellers). Maya Bay, also located on the island, is a major attraction for tourists, being the location shoot for the film, The Beach. Sama Bay is a top place to swim and snorkel.
A major attraction on the big island of Phi Phi Don is Phi Phi Viewpoint. Hikers can climb to the top in about 30 minutes. Most of the route is paved and offers plenty of opportunity for trekkers to relax on the short journey. Once you reach the top of the Viewpoint, you will find plenty in the way of drinks, ice cream and snacks. You can also relax in a hammock or find a spot to rest on one of the smooth rocks. Photographers should go in early morning to take advantage of the effects of the lighting at that time.
True night owls will appreciate the nightlife entertainment provided on Loh Dalum Beach. The beach is truly a late-night venue as activities really start to fire up well after the sun goes down. Some of the most popular bars include the Beach Bar, the Ibiza Bar (where you can watch fire dancing) and the Slinky Bar.
Travellers visiting Tonsai East on Ko Phi Phi will want to stop into Bora Bora (where drinks are served free if you can produce a copy of their flyer) and Carpe Diem (well-known for its fire show which is held nightly).
Tonsai Village on Ko Phi Phi welcomes party-goers and night scene enthusiasts to such late night spots as the Apache (with its major sound system, bikini parties, and DJ entertainment) and the Banana (the only rooftop bar in Ko Phi Phi).
Ko Phi Phi restaurants specialise in seafood, so if you like this type of food, you’ll have a good selection of restaurants to choose from. Stop by Tonsai Seafood in Tonsai East for Thai and seafood selections. Or, dine at Matt’s Joint in central Tonsai, and get your fill of fish, grilled burgers, or steak.
If you prefer French cuisine, then you won’t be disappointed by the menu at Le Grand Blue, which is located on the Tonsai Main Street close to the pier. Families enjoy dining at Anna’s in central Tonsai too, which features a selection of international foods. Piazzetta, located in central Tonsai, offers 13 different kinds of pizzas on its menu as well as a full list of Italian wines.
If you are looking for budget accommodation, then look no farther than the PP Sunset Pavillion on the east side of Lo Dalam Beach. Travellers willing to spend more bahts though will like the Tropical Garden Bungalows and JJ Bungalow – beautiful village-type accommodations.
Should you want more privacy and seclusion, then you will appreciate your stay at the Tohko Beach Resort (also known as the Ao Toh Ko Bungalows). The 40 rooms of the resort are constructed mainly of bamboo and wood.
Bamboo Mountain View is another top-rated hotel featuring bamboo-style bungalows situated on a hill overlooking the Andaman Sea. Privately owned, the resort regularly welcomes visitors from all over the globe. Guests like the lush tropical scenery and panoramic view of the sea.
Another popular resort accommodation, the Phi Phi Villa Resort, is a boutique-type accommodation lying upon a white, sandy beach. Like Bamboo Mountain View, the resort provides beautiful views of the Andaman Sea. Comprised of 57 bungalows, rooms, and villas, the hotel offers accommodations to budget travellers as well as tourists who can afford to spend far more. Featuring the biggest private pool in the area of Ton Sai Bay, the resort also offers speedboat tours and is closely situated to the pier as well as shops and eateries.