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Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Koh Phi Phi Transport after the nightlife

Q. Planning to stay in the north of Koh Phi Phi at Laem Tong Beach but need to party all night at the center of the island where all the bars are located near the main pier. Do long tail boats go all night long? 
A. Availability will be better in high season Nov-March but normally the answer is yes. Sounds like an excellent plan? The Holiday Inn has a fine reputation and so does the party scene in the main village.
Slinky Nightlife Party scene on Koh Phi Phi
Slinky Nightlife Party scene on Koh Phi Phi

Koh Phi Phi Longtail at night

 Longtailboat trips to Laem Tong beach at night.

To get from Loh Dalum beach to Leam Tong beach after dark is not set in stone as the longtail drivers will charge depending on the time of day. There is a day time price (pretty fixed), upto midnight (varies a little) and then a negotiated price after that. Longtails Boats usually take up to 6 peopole for night taxis.
If you are on Loh Dalum beach, the place where all the late night bars dancing on the beach are (Slinkies, Woodies etc), this is the place to get a longtail. This is the shortest way to Laem Tong but about 40% less distance.   IF the tide is out or there are no longtails, you will need to walk 10 minutes over the to the main pier and get a boat from there. This route will take you round Long Beach, Past Phi Phi Island Village at Loh Bagao beach and then on to Laem Tong.
The short way takes about 18 minutes direct from the Loh Dalum beach to Laem Tong Beach, the longer way, including the walk to the pier (Koh Phi Phi Pier ) will take 40-50 minutes.

Longtail boat route map from Koh Phi Phi Nightlife to Laem Tong
Longtail boat route map from Koh Phi Phi Nightlife to Laem Tong

Koh Phi Phi Longtail near the main pier

Koh Phi Phi Speedboats at night

Speedboats dont tend to go at night and even when they do they go pretty slow.
Longtail Boat driver near the pier

Walking to Laem Tong Beach from the main village.

If you decide you want to walk to Laem Tong it is about an hour and half, but not for the faint hearted as the trail start point keeps on getting overgrown, especially in low season. From Slinkies bar you look out to sea and then head right (east) along the shoreline and other small resorts. The beach curves round to the north and you follow the beach trail till you come to a sign for Loh Bagao, Phi Phi Island village up a simple mud track. The up and over the ridge is about 18 minutes till you reach civilization again. I wouldn't suggest this without a day time recce and a torch. From here you go over to the bridge on the creak and then you are only 2km from Laem Tong Beach and the Holiday Inn.

Map of walk from Nightlife beach to Laem Tong on Koh Phi Phi
Map of walk from Nightlife beach to Laem Tong on Koh Phi Phi

Laem Tong Beach
Koh Phi Phi Laem Tong Beach early morning
Other links: 

Phi Phi Island Transportation

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Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Pre Book Koh Phi Phi or Find accommodation on Arrival - January

Koh Phi Phi in January
Koh Phi Phi in January

I would definitely recommend to book in advance for any accommodation in January on #KohPhiPhi.

All resorts, hotels, guesthouses, dorms accommodation are thoroughly reviewed by tripsadvisor and etc and by the mechanics of 'best booked first', get taken. If you turn up and try to get a place to stay by walking around there is bound to be rooms available but you can easily end up with something that is less than perfect, in the wrong location and / or, at a higher price than your budget. If you are lucky you can get a recently completed room that hasn't got round to promoting or hasn't been picked up by social media.

Availability on Koh Phi Phi in January
Availability on Koh Phi Phi in January

If you book late for January you can be getting yourself into the same situation so book early. Most accommodation is available a good 9 months or more ahead of check in so it is possible to do your research and find your quality, budget and location in the comfort of home without lugging your luggage around in 30 degrees C looking for the best spot.

To give you an idea of Koh Phi Phi occupancy in Coco's guesthouse was 96% in Jan in 2016, 93% in Jan in 2015 and 93% in Jan 2015. Coco's is just a 1 star guesthouse so you can understand that Koh Phi Phi is very full in this period.

It does get less busy after about 20th January but it is still busy.

Koh Phi Phi main Village accommodation
Koh Phi Phi main Village accommodation

To memorable travels and to Waking up Happy!,

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Traveling to Phi Phi Island on a budget

Friday, September 30, 2016

Holiday Inn Phi Phi Island or Phi Phi Island Village Beach Resort?

Laem Tong Beach in front of  Phi Phi Holiday Inn Resort
Laem Tong Beach in front of  Phi Phi Holiday Inn Resort

Distance between Holiday Inn Phi Phi Island & Phi Phi Island Village Beach Resort

The geography and transport are the key to this question. The Loh Bagao and Laem Tong beaches are unconnected by roads so there are no cars (although there is a flat jeep track between the 2 beaches which is about a 35 minute walk)). Its all about the speedboats or longtail boats times between  Laem Tong Beach and . These resorts are about 3 km apart.

Both these Koh Phi Phi resorts are good as they say in their websites and on reviewing websites like TripAdvisor and In fact they are in the top 4 resorts on an island with over 100 different accommodations, resorts down to dormatory.

Distance from the main village to Loh Bagao and Laem Tong Beaches

It takes about 20 minutes from the main village and pier for a longtail boat to PP Island Village and about 25 minutes to PP Holiday Inn at Laem Tong beach. Speedboat difference is about 2-3 minutes so there isn't really a massive difference between the 2 beaches.

Longtail Boats Thailand
Longtail Boats Koh Phi Phi

Cost of Longtail boat and speedboat to Loh Bagao and Laem Tong Beaches.

The courtesy longtail boats from both resorts leave from both resort at around 08.00 and 13.00 in time for the ferries.

In 2016 a one way Longtail from the main village to Phi Phi Island Village Beach Resort costs 1,000THB (£22, $28, E 25) and the same to Holiday Inn Phi Phi Island is 1,300THB (£28, $37, E 33) . This private longtail will take 3 people + luggage. A private small speedboat for 1-5 people to the resorts is 4,500THB (£100, $129, E115). These prices were taken from the travel agency Siam UK Travel and Tours, 70 from the pier. Note these prices will go up and down depending on the time of the quote but serve as as a good ball park.
Speedboat on Koh Phi Phi
Speedboat on Koh Phi Phi

Koh Phi Phi luxury

Holiday Inn Phi Phi Island    1 star Guesthouse on Koh Phi Phi
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Sunday, September 11, 2016

Best Place to stay on Koh Phi Phi, Thailand

Staying on #KohPhiPhi all depends on your style of travelling and your wish list.

The main Phi Phi Phi Phi Village

If you want to be near the #PPdiving boating, snorkeling and tour operations to see the rest of the islands, the main village by the pier has it all. (There are no cars on Koh Phi Phi so you reach 80% of the island by boats or trekking around through the jungle. It also has a great selection of budget accommodation and a great variety of eateries and the market.)

The main Phi Phi Village from viewpoint

Nui Bay Cliffs in the back ground.
The main village arriving on the ferry.

Most people end up here in the main village, as, although the party scene can dominate on the north beach (Loh Dalum), the place has everything, a great day time beach  (Loh Dalum), a great variation of restaurants, easy access to the boats to Maya Bay, travel agencies to get things done, banks etc. The main, all tide swimming beach in the village is in front of PP Cabana Hotel. This is where, with deep water, the open water divers train for their PADI, SSSI etc.
Day time brilliant, night time the party scene
Loh Dalum beach of the main Phi Phi Village

Loh Dalum Beach at Phi Phi Village

If you want to party and at the same time have access to Phi Phi Don Village, this is the place for you. Phi Phi Don Village is also called  Tonsai on some websites. Some of the main hotels on Phi Phi Don Village are PP Cabana Hotel 4*, PP Hotel 3* , PP Princess 4*, PP Palmtree 3*.

The Quieter end of the village

If you want quieter than the main village but easy access to it, you should stay 5-10 minutes walk along the beach on the south side of the Phi Phi Don island but to the east of Phi Phi Don Village near Phi Phi Andaman Legacy Resort 3*,- Phi Phi Villa 3*,  PP Andaman Resort 3*, Arayaburi Resort 3*. This is the quietest area away from the beach party scene.

PP Andaman Resort 3*

Phi Phi Long Beach

If you want to be away from the village but be able to take a 10 minute boat ride in, stay on Phi Phi Long Beach. There is a Coral reef just off the beach here and you get great views of Phi Phi Ley and Tonsai Cliffs. Phi Phi The Beach 4*, Phi Phi Paradise Pearl 2-3 *, Phi Phi The Hill 2*. You can organize diving and boat trips here. The choice of eating is alot more confined than the main village but it is a simple 100THB + 10 minute longtail boat taxi ride away.

Snorkeling at Long Beach

Loving the longtail boats
View from Long beach with Phi Phi Ley in the background

Remote Ao Phak Nam

For remote, try Phi Phi Relax 2* + on Ao Phak Nam Beach. Here you can really get away from it with views of the Krabi shoreline in the distance. This resort has an amazing moon rise location.

Stylish Loh Bagao

For smart and luxury accommodation, try the quiet Phi Phi Village resort 4* which is popular with honey moon couples on Loh Bagao. This resort covers a wide area and the bungalows are nicely spaced to give a good deal of privacy.

Laem Tong Beach

Laem Tong Beach has the 5 star Zeavola Villas which are all you would expect of a well run resort. The PP Holiday Inn 4* offers great accommodation for those who want to know what they are getting.

Laem Tong Beach on Koh Phi Phi Don

Budget Accommodation

Most of the budget Accommodation is in the main Phi Phi village. I work for PP Coco's  so obviously I think you should take a look at this 1 star guesthouse if you are interested in the old and traditional accommodation for travelers. Although Coco's has comfortable budget ensuite aircon rooms and a half a dozen superior rooms, the guesthouse tips it's hat to the basic fan rooms that were so dominant in the 80's and 90's.

PP Cocos, Koh Phi Phi.

Traditional fan rooms at PP Coco's
Coco's is under the mountains at the start of the Viewpoint walk close enough to the beach to make it a pleasant stroll but far enough away to not hear the beach bars.

Coco's Ensuite Fan Room

Superior AC room with hot water and TV

Standard AC room with hot water shower

Standard AC room corridor

Guests and staff

Useful links:

Enjoying Songkran


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Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Book Koh Phi Phi in advance in December?

Question; Book Koh Phi Phi in advance in December?

I'm an experienced traveler so I'm all up for arriving and haggling for a room once on Koh Phi Phi but I know that December is peak season . Should I book accommodation in advance or will I find a room? I don't want to risk a disaster.

Accommodation on Koh Phi Phi
Accommodation on Koh Phi Phi

Answer to; should I Book Koh Phi Phi in advance in December? 

It can be very busy in December so it is best to book to get the kind of accommodation that suits. The best rated accommodation gets booked up first and on an island of simple accommodation quality this can be significant. You can be left with the lesser room quality/ higher price or be forced onto a beach that doesn't suit. Similarly if you want beach front this can get snapped up as early as the previous season but often by July.

1st -to around the 10th December is normally the standard high season and some years the island can be extremely busy, the next year just "full". The last few years it's been 75-95% full.

From 11th December-19th December there is definitely a lull in the number of tourist that come to the island. Many tourists visit Chiang Mai for treking and then head to the beach for Xmas. You could easily pick up a deal in this period. The last few years it's been 60-80% full.

I would recommend you book in peak season 20th December -20th January. The last few years it's been 90-98% full.

BTW. Haggling on the island isn't as free and easy as the mainland so just take it even slower than you are used to for the best results. Read this article on haggling from 24 years working with Koh Phi Phi people.

A typical Koh Phi Phi Guesthouse, PP Coco's
A typical Koh Phi Phi Guesthouse, PP Coco's

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Friday, July 15, 2016

Koh Phi Phi Don or Koh Phi Phi Ley? ...where to stay

A common question runs along the lines: Should I stay on Phi Phi Don or Phi Phi Ley for a night stay. and whats the difference in both places?

Phi Phi Ley
Phi Phi Ley

Answer; to Koh Phi Phi Don v Koh Phi Phi Ley
Basically, there is NO accommodation on Phi Phi Ley. To be clear, Phi Phi Ley is a National Park with no accommodation whatsoever. The only people who stay on the island are the National Park wardens and the local people who guard and farm the caves where the birds for the Phi Phi birds nest soup  are found.

Phi Phi Don Village from Viewpoint
Phi Phi Don Village from Viewpoint

Phi Phi Accommodation

There are an incredible variety of places to stay on Phi Phi Don from elegant 5 star resorts to Phi Phi guesthouses , & dorm rooms, so the choice is very eclectic.
All the action is in the main village which is great if you want a choice of restaurants/ nightlife and the buzz of the village. If you want quiet, look at Long Beach or the remote Laem Tong beach and these locations cater to those who want more exclusivity.

Phi Phi Ley one day tours

To get out to Maya Bay on Phi Phi Ley, try or hook up with travel agents like Siam UK travel and Tours down by the pier. They provide longtail boat, speedboat and converted large fishing boat options for getting out to Phi Phi Ley.

Speedboat Tour from Phi Phi Don
Speedboat Tour from Phi Phi Don

Phuket Phi Phi Ley one day tours.

The PhuketPhiPhi tours get you to the island with the primary task of getting you on Maya Bay. These are wonderful sightseeing trips with some snorkeling.

The tour from Phuket to Phi Phi Ley starts at 6.30-7.00 am from your Phuket Hotel and starts with a transfer to Rassada Pier by 08.30. The ferry takes 1 hour 20 each way.  This is is a great way to see Phuket island and cross the jungle covered Phuket Highlands. It is a long day. Try if you want that option.

One day tour to Phi Phi Ley on the large cruise boat
One day tour to Phi Phi Ley on the large cruise boat

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Travelling Phi Phi in the wet season

I m going to Thailand in June. Im then wanting to fly from Chiang Mai to Krabi. After this Im heading to Phi Phi for 2 nights before going to Koh Phangan, Does anyone knows what ferries are usually like in June. I am aware it is the rainy season? 

The answer to Travelling to Phi Phi in rainy season 
The first part of June is the rainy season and ferries from Phuket are large so the crossing is fine. ferries go through out the year and there should be no problems. Try Sea Angel for the ferry to Phi Phi from Rassada Pier Phuket. Most of these ferries have a pick up service from the Phuket hotel if you ask.

Boat trips go out through out the year,
Boat trips go out through out the year,

Amazing June storm weather-a short afternoon rain cloud

The delight of low season is that it is a lot quieter and only if you are unlucky the weather will be bad all the time. In my experience over 24 years, there will be perfect weather windows followed by showers followed by great weather. After you get there the local divers will know the rhythm of the weather so you can get out to the beaches. 

Typical June weather

Travellers tip in rainy season

One last key point is that all the cliffs are in between you and the prevailing westerly wind so it is always pretty calm in Tonsai Village. It also means that diving & snorkeling tours like the Full Day Speedboat Tour of Phi Phi Island go out every day from Phi Phi so it makes for a very interesting time.
Also rain in Thailand is cold. The temperature can drop 5-8 C in seconds so it is worth thinking about taking a towel or extra shirt to change into
Very good links;

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Monday, July 11, 2016

Where should I stay on Koh Phi Phi and how long is needed?

I'm travelling to Thailand in December for three weeks with my partner.
I'm looking for advice on how long to stay in Phi Phi for and what the best area to stay in would be as Google is giving me some very conflicting information.
Time wise, we can spend anywhere from 1-5 nights here but I'd rather not stay longer than needed as I'd rather dedicate more time to Phuket.
We would like to be near the bars and nightlife if possible.
Any recommendations would be great on time/areas!

Answer to; Where should I stay on Koh Phi Phi

If you want the nightlife I would recommend 2 locations. Tonsai village has most of the islands accommodations and the best nightlife (nightlife around Reggae Bar / Dojo in the main village early evening and the moves over  to Loh Dalum Beach 200m away, still in the main village)

The other location is Long beach which is 10 minutes longtail boat away or a 40 minute walk along the shore. Longtails run all night but at a premium after 12pm.

I work for PP Cocos in the main vilalge just under the mountains , 4 minutes from the nightlife beach so obviously big that guesthouse up.. LOL.

Useful links

Phi Phi Island cheap accommodation

Dramatic scenery at Tonsai Village the main village of Koh Phi Phi
Dramatic scenery at Tonsai Village the main village of Koh Phi Phi

Viewpoint picture of Tonsai Village the main village of Koh Phi Phi
Viewpoint picture of Tonsai Village the main village of Koh Phi Phi
Long Beach 10 min from the main pier
Long Beach 10 min from the main pier

Answer to: how long is needed on Koh Phi Phi?

How long is a piece of string? If you like water sports and nightlife you can get into a fun mix of party and then do an afternoon sunset adventure. Many people find the fact that they can walk every where is charming and addictive. The number of times I have heard, ' I just came for a few days and I am still coming hear after all these years'. I did the same 24 years ago!

I think you have got to stay 4 days to do the island justice. I would do a dive, snorkel with the sharks, a booze cruise, and kayak. I would want to visit Maya Bay, Bamboo Island and Viewpoint. The list goes on.

Check out these useful links.

Best of Phi Phi Island

Shark watch snorkeling on Long Beach, Koh Phi Phi
Shark watch snorkeling on Long Beach, Koh Phi Phi

Longtail with Phi Phi Ley in the background
Longtail with Phi Phi Ley in the background

Bamboo island

Cliff jumping
Maya Bay

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