Phi Phi Don, which is the habitable of the Phi Phi Islands, is a common stop for most visitors to Thailand. In fact, there hasn’t been a trip I’ve taken to Thailand where I haven’t made a stop here, even if just for a couple days. Most recently we went to Koh Phi Phi from Krabi, where Cody and I met our friend Chris from when we all lived in China.
One of the most popular things to do in Koh Phi Phi was take a boat to visit Maya Bay on Koh Phi Phi Lee, which is where they filmed The Beach with Leonardo DiCaprio. Sadly, but also for a great reason, this beach is now off limits to allow the island to have time to restore itself without humans or boats destroying things.
Without further ado, here are 5 fun things to do In Koh Phi Phi:
The Koh Phi Phi viewpoint offers a great vista looking over the island of koh phi phi don, and from this point you can actually see just how narrow the isthmus is that connects the east and west mountains. This is actually what gives the island its famous H shape. From the base the hike is only about a half hour, and it is mainly stairs for the first half. Once you reach the paid area (30 Baht) you can enter the viewpoint section 1 and 2. The walk up to the best viewpoint is just a dirt road, and you are constantly greeted with an amazing view whenever you turn your head left.
At the top there is a wooden platform along with tons of boulders in which to take pictures. There is also a small shop selling drinks so you can replenish your water. After all, it’s usually hot and you don’t want to get dehydrated.
There are actually a few different “monkey beaches” on Koh Phi Phi Don, and if you do any sort of excursion you’ll most likely stop at one. However the best one in my opinion is one you can get to by yourself with a kayak. You’ll have to be a little bit in shape, but it only takes 20 minutes to get there, so it is not that difficult. You can rent the kayaks from vendors all along Loh Dalum Beach (opposite Ton Sai Pier where you probably got off the boat) and the prices are around 200 baht per hour, however everything is negotiable. We got a 3 person kayak and paid 500 baht for three hours, which seemed fair to us.
Once you reach monkey beach, there is an area on the kayak that you can put your belongings and seal it up. This is supposed to prevent the monkeys from stealing your stuff. That being said, the monkeys know how to open this hatch, so be extra vigilant. They are mostly looking for water and food, but they will pretty much steal anything. We even saw a girl get her phone stolen! The monkey ran up a tree with it and proceeded to break it in half. As Mad-Eye Moody says in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, CONSTANT VIGILANCE.
If partying isn’t for you, then you can skip this entry, but for the majority of travelers to Koh Phi Phi they like to party. I’m somewhere in between. I can enjoy a good night out every now and again, but I make sure to get my hotel decently enough away from the party areas so I can sleep soundly. When I do decide to go out, I go to Slinky. This is probably the most famous beach bar on Koh Phi Phi Don, and for good reason. They do fire shows, temporary tattoos, glow in the dark body paint, limbo dances, wet t-shirt contests, and tons of free shots. In fact, Cody nor I have ever paid for drinks here (how does this place make money?) we just keep getting handed stuff from the staff all night long.
This is not what you would consider a “classy” party, but it is extremely fun, and a good way to meet other tourists to the island.
This popular bar has one of the best rooftops on the island. It sort of has a treehouse vibe which is awesome, and they serve decent Mexican food. Well, decent as far as you’ll find in Asia. Every night they play a movie on a giant projected screen, so you can watch a film, enjoy some food, and even smoke a joint. Yes, we saw people lighting up like it was not an issue at all. Don’t have your own stuff? Buy a “cigarette” from the bartender.
As any visitor to Koh Phi Phi Don will tell you, there are no shortage of scuba schools on the island. It seems like they are every few shops. Mostly filled with foreigners who wanted to make this island home for a bit, they offer classes for any level, and in your language. Whether you just want to go snorkel in some off the beaten track beach, take a beginner lesson, get your PADI certificate, or just take some awesome dives, there is something for everyone. Asia is one of the cheapest places to get PADI certified, so if that’s something you want to do, here isn’t a bad option. It’ll be a bit more expensive than other places in Thailand, but way less than what it is in Europe or America.