Ko phi phi, Thailand: Live Weather

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Historic Temperatures for 4th March in Ko phi phi

Average High 33°C (91°F)
Record High 37°C (99°F) (1998)
Average Low 24°C (75°F)
Record Low 22°C (72°F) (2008)

The Phi Phi Islands sit off the west coast of Thailand in the Andaman Sea. The islands enjoy a tropical climate with hot temperatures year round. The year is split into two seasons: a dry season from December till April and a wet season from May till November.

Phi Phi consists of two main islands: Koh Phi Phi Don, the large island, and Koh Phi Phi Leh, which is the smaller, sister island and is uninhabited. Phi Phi was made famous by the film The Beach, starring Leonardo Di Caprio, which was shot on Koh Phi Phi Leh's Maya Bay. In December 2004 Phi Phi was partially devastated by the Indian Ocean Tsunami and this can be seen today in the towering palm trunks with no leafy heads, and the rubble that has been built on top of in many parts of the island.

Thailand Ko Phi Phi Island

Ko Phi Phi, Thailand.

Throughout the year Phi Phi, and the rest of Thailand's Andaman Islands, see average high temperatures around the low 30s. Night times very rarely see temperatures below 20°C and humidity is always high. The sea temperature is always good for swimming. The heat may seem idyllic after a while but it takes some time to acclimatise to. The risk of dehydration is high so it is important to drink lots of water, especially if you're a bit of a loon and decide to walk any distance. If staying near the beach, accommodation with just a fan is enough for budgeting backpackers due to the sea breeze, but most tourists need air-conditioning for a good night's sleep. One problem with this relentless heat, a problem throughout southeast Asia, is that the counteractive air-conditioning to be found in luxury hotels, shopping malls and up-market restaurants, can be bitterly cold. Many travellers are caught out, not expecting to require more than a sarong for their entire holiday.Rainfall is what defines Phi Phi's seasons. Rain can occur at any time of year in the tropics but storms are much less severe and much more infrequent in the dry season.

The dry season, from December till April, is the best time to visit Phi Phi in terms of the weather. Nine hours of sunshine a day are only intermittently interrupted by rain. If rain does fall it does so in the form of a short-lived torrential downpour, often with thunder and lightning. This can provide a brief relief from the heat and a touch of drama. For the most part, the dry season allows for endless sunbathing, snorkelling and other water sports. Snorkelling and scuba diving are particularly suited to this season as the calmer sea allows for higher visibility levels in which to explore Phi Phi stunning corals, though actually the diving is still good in the wet season. This is a better season for climbers who come to enjoy the bizarre and beautiful rock formations due to the drier rock and slightly cooler temperatures.

maya bay

Maya Bay.

The wet season, from May till November, is by no means out of bounds and still sees high numbers of tourists. The heat remains high, humidity increases and the rain pours down. While it is true that the majority of the rain falls in heavy bursts that clear up after not very long, this is not to be relied upon. Rain can fall for whole days and it is often quite overcast; the season sees around six hours of sunshine a day which is by no means bad, but these hours may be shared out between whole days of sun and whole days of rain. Aside from keeping you off the beach, the rain can cause other difficulties. Travel can become complicated as the sea gets rough and boats stop running. Resorts out of the main tourist area are sometimes difficult to reach without a boat as, while the island is heavily developed, some roads are rudimentary paths or just nonexistent and are affected by flooding. For instance, Long Beach is only accessible via a half hour trek through the rainforest with a very steep drop once Long Beach is reached. Doing this journey in the rain is unpleasant and a little risky. Visitors will certainly have a number of sunny, beach weather days, but it is important to be aware of the unavoidable number of days spoilt by gloomy weather. Another thing to look out for if travelling during this season is that even when overcast the UV index remains very high and protection must be worn. Typically, snorkellers forget to reapply and get painfully burnt.

Some would argue that the wet season is actually the best time to visit due to reduced crowds, cheaper everything and an added vibrancy to the area's plant life. While these plus points are true, the unrelenting popularity of Phi Phi with tourists worldwide means that the crowds are never thin and the prices never lower than in Thailand's other resorts. Phi Phi is one of the most popular tourist destinations and many believe it to be spoilt. However, it is popular for a reason: its stunning, natural beauty, which, while compromised, still remains. It is easy to go with the tourist flow on Phi Phi - the streets are crammed with travel agencies, tour and dive operators, Irish pubs: all the trappings of mass tourism. So if you're looking for an "off the beaten track" experience, this is not it. But if while on your boat tour you look beyond your fellow tourists, you are sure to relish the craggy rocks, the luminescent water in Maya Bay and the rainbow shoals about the giant fan coral.

krabi Koh Phi Phi

Krabi, Koh Phi Phi.

One thing you should search out is some real Thai food. Tucked away are some incredible restaurants, the best of which is possibly the smallest, most run-down establishment in the maze of eatery options. It's tiled floor and plastic garden chairs sit open to the street with a stall outside raising money for tsunami orphans a charity run by the owner's daughter. There is the obligatory projector screen on which to soothe you with constant, muffled Hollywood. It is, on closer inspection, rather cleaner than you might expect. The food is cheap and authentic; the owner is one of the friendliest people you could hope to meet.

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