Phi Phi is a group of stunningly beautiful islands between Phuket to the west and Krabi to the east. Phi Phi Don is the largest island and the only inhabited, and Phi Phi Leh is the one that put Krabi on the map since The Beach featuring Leonardo Dicaprio was filmed here in 1999.
The islands can be reached by boat from both Phuket and Krabi in an hour and a half to two hours. We have previously traveled to Phi Phi from Phuket, and most recently we took a ferry from Krabi Town. Ferry crossings from Krabi Town to Phi Phi Don operates four times per day at 09:00, 10:30, 13:30, 15:00 and costs 200 baht if you purchase the ticket by the pier.
We stayed one night at Phi Phi Don as our main goal was to visit Phi Phi Leh and Maya Bay early in the morning to avoid the crowds. Below is our Phi Phi journey in pictures.
We took the ferry at 10:30 from Klong Jilad Pier near a mangrove forest in Krabi Town.
The ferry to Phi Phi packed with suitcases and backpacks.
The first time we visited the Phi Phi islands, we went with a speedboat from Phuket, but the ferry ride from Krabi Town was so much more comfortable.
We arrived at the pier at Phi Phi Don’s Tonsai Bay around 12:30. Phi Phi Don is basically two islands connected by a narrow stretch of land forming the two bays of Tonsai and Loh Dalum.
I met this playful girl at Loh Dalum Bay where a longtail boat took us to our bungalow not too far away.
View over Loh Dalum Bay from our bungalow balcony.
A drone shot of Loh Dalum Bay.
After a meal at a nearby restaurant, we decided to go up to Phi Phi Viewpoint easy reachable from this side of the island. Just before reaching the summit we laid our eyes on this beautiful tropical-looking spot.
We reached the viewpoint at the worst time of the day from a picture-taking point of view; in the afternoon with the strong sun straight ahead of us while the beautiful water retreated on the island’s north-facing beach (Loh Dalum Bay). While still gorgeous, I suggest coming here around 10:00 – 11:00 as the sun will be behind you.
A GoPro selfie with the entire west half of Phi Phi Don in the background and Phi Phi Leh visible in the distance to the left.
A monkey seemed to enjoy the view as well.
It’s not just the view that is beautiful up here; the place itself is like a park with flowers and trees. There is also a kiosk up here selling ice cream, drinks, etc.
White Leelawadee flowers.
Back down to our bungalow we took a shower and went out for a walk and grabbed something to eat. Our private longtail boat was going to pick us up at 07:30 the next morning going to Maya Bay, so we hit the sack pretty early.
Phi Phi Don is a party island, and you will see young people running around with buckets of alcohol. We could hear loud music from the town until late night, so I’m glad we just stayed here one night. Am I getting old?
Phi Phi Leh’s Maya Bay (The Beach) early morning captured with my drone. You’re not allowed to fly a drone at the bay, so I took it up quickly from a distance, snapped a shot and then flew back down to our boat. The ride from Phi Phi Don to Phi Phi Leh takes 30 minutes.
As the sun rose, the shadow gradually disappeared which brought out the turquoise-colored water of Maya Bay. Incredibly beautiful! I was surprised to see so many people this early, but apparently, 08:00 was too late.
A beautiful limestone cliff at Loh Samah Bay right behind Maya Bay.
The lagoon of Phi Phi Leh which is separated from Maya Bay by a sheer limestone cliff. The water here is incredibly clear!
The Viking Cave, or Tham Phaya Nak in Thai, is a cave on the eastern side of Phi Phi Leh with wall paintings of elephants as well as various boats including Viking boats. The cave is also a collection point for valuable swifts’ nests.
Back to Phi Phi Don to eat breakfast, pack our bags and catch the boat back to Krabi Town. The Phi Phi islands are truly one of the most beautiful places in Thailand, but unfortunately, it has become overdeveloped with hotels everywhere.
Please note that Maya Bay will be closed during a four-month period this year from 1 June to 30 September.