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One Complete Day at the Phi Phi Islands

by ElenaSergeeva

When it comes to places to visit in Thailand, I have to say that the Phi Phi Islands are some of the most beautiful that I have visited. Not only do they feature naturally stunning destinations, such as Pileh Lagoon and Ko Phi Phi Don, but they also include the mesmerizing Maya Bay.

This is home to one of Leonardo DiCaprio’s classic movies “The Beach“, which was filmed on its shores. As a Leonardo fan myself, I have to say that this was an alluring factor for a visit. I am glad I went to Maya Bay because its clear turquoise waters are a spectacle by themselves.

Besides this memorable bay, I also went to multiple other destinations on the tour which I took with my travel friends. These were all a lot of fun, and we would do it again when the time is right.

In this detailed review post and guide, I will cover my experience every step of the way, from the wild and whacky monkeys at Monkey Bay to the various snorkeling opportunities you will get while touring.

Are you ready? 

Okay, let’s go!

One Complete Day at the Phi Phi Islands – Why You Have to Come Here!


How to Get to the Phi Phi Islands?

When is the Best Time to Visit Phi Phi Islands?

Bamboo Beach

Monkey Bay

Phi Phi Don

Viking Cave and Pileh Lagoon

Maya Bay

How To Book a Group Tour for Phi Phi Islands



How to Get to the Phi Phi Islands?

The only way you can travel to and around the islands is by boat. 

This is by either speedboat or ferries that operate from Phuket and Krabi province. However, I would highly advise booking a tour of the Phi Phi islands

In this way, you can see everything that you need to see in the right amount of time. 

The tour we took was entirely organized for us, and we were able to see everything the islands had to offer in a single day. 

It is worth mentioning that it did take around 9 hours. However, this is very normal for most Phi Phi Islands tours.

If you don’t want to do a tour, you can always buy ferry tickets to different destinations on the islands. Tickets to Koh Phi Phi Leh and Koh Phi Phi Don are very affordable, and there is plenty to do on both of them.

Ferry travel is also perfect if you want to spend a longer amount of time in each of the places that you are visiting.

When is the Best Time to Visit Phi Phi Islands?

I would personally say during the high season in South Thailand. 

This is from November until April, and you can expect minimal rain while it still being cool and pleasant. We went for our islands tour in November, and the weather was honestly perfect without it being too hot. 

However, if you are a big fan of hot weather it might be better for you to go from April to May. Expect the weather to be at its warmest and sunniest during these months.

Just don’t forget to pack suncream, you will need it!

Bamboo Beach

Bamboo Beach was the first destination, and the first stop during our Phi Phi Islands tour. 

It is on Koh Lanta Yai Island, and located close to the southernmost coastal point of the island known as Mu Ko Lanta National Park. Although this is a small beach, I was honestly so impressed with the remarkable scenery which surrounds its sands.

One of the best activities to do at Bamboo Beach is snorkeling, and we knew it would be a shame if we didn’t try it out.  I didn’t see an enormous amount of fish here, but there was nothing quite like the experience of taking a dip in the beach’s crystal-clear waters.

Pretty fascinating!

After I enjoyed some snorkeling in the Andaman waters facing the beach, I enjoyed some sunbathing and had an overall fun time with my friends taking in all of the scenery.

I would also like to mention that it is possible to see monkeys at Bamboo Beach. Even though we didn’t see any on our visit, I have heard that they do go there every once in a while.

Monkey Bay

After soaking up everything that Bamboo Beach had to offer, it was time to move to our second stop known as Monkey Bay.

As you might have guessed, this beach was given its name for a reason. You are guaranteed to see monkeys here, so I would prepare your camera to get as many videos and photos as you want!

Our guide told us that the monkeys here are known as crab-eating macaques. Surprisingly, these monkeys don’t eat crabs but are instead omnivores eating both fruits and meat.

I saw a gang of these monkeys upon arriving on the boat, and they were climbing on the side of the beach’s rock formations. 

This was a strong indicator that I was in for a wild ride!

After making it onto the beach, we had fun watching our tour guide feed the monkeys an array of fruits. Of course, these were quickly snatched away for personal consumption.

Seeing the monkeys indeed is one of the main highlights of coming to Monkey Bay. For this reason, we spent most of our time watching them and taking photos.

I would also recommend not getting too close to them, especially if they are showing aggression. We were lucky to have experienced tour guides, who ensured us safety from being bitten.

Overall, Monkey Bay is memorable and a key part of the Phi Phi Islands experience.

Phi Phi Don

Unlike the other destinations mentioned above, Phi Phi Don is essentially its own island with an abundance of attractions to visit. This isn’t limited to the multiple stunning viewpoints that are plentiful on the island, but you will also find some pretty epic beaches here too.

One of my favorite beaches at Phi Phi Don is Loh Ba Kao Bay. This has both gorgeous white sands and gigantic palm trees to marvel at while you swim in its turquoise waters.

If you want to experience more of what Phi Phi Don has to offer, I would highly advise booking a hotel here for a day or two. This is because there are a lot of tasty restaurants and fun hiking spots that are worth your time.

During our island tour, me and my friends stopped at a restaurant on the beach for lunch. The local Thai food here was honestly mouth-watering, and we made sure to eat everything on our plates before setting off to the next destination.

Viking Cave and Pileh Lagoon

Although Viking Cave is a fascinating place to see, this was only a short stop consisting of 10 minutes on our tour. What I found fascinating about this cave were the giant limestone cliffs that are visible from the outside.

Many of these miniature cliffs have different colors, ranging from brown, black and green.

What is most surprising about Viking Cave is the actual reason why it is famous. Our guide told us this wasn’t actually because of the cave itself, but instead, because of the bird egg industry.

The birds that live at Viking Cave produce some of the most expensive eggs in the world. 

This is because they are tasty cuisine and high in nutritional value.

After marveling at the sights and spotting the odd tropical bird at Viking Cave, it was time to see what Pileh Lagoon offered. We spent a total of 40 minutes at Pileh Lagoon, which was considerably longer than the short 10 minutes at Viking Cave.

This gave us more than enough time to enjoy some snorkeling and swimming, all while gazing at some of the bluest water I’ve ever seen on my travels!

Pileh Lagoon is surrounded by some truly outstanding beauty that is one-of-a-kind. Limestone caves follow you everywhere you go, and the lagoon’s formation gives you a natural sense of privacy, and that you have it all to yourself while exploring.

Maya Bay

The last but possibly most significant tourist attraction of the entire tour was at Maya Bay. Especially if you are a Leonardo DiCaprio fan!

Maya Bay gained its world-renowned fame in the year 2000, after the movie “The Beach” was filmed on its shores. The film was originally met with some criticism, as some experts felt it didn’t live up to expectations.

However, there is no doubt that this movie is now seen as a classic Leo movie, and it is for good reason that millions of tourists come to Maya Bay every year.

Okay, so now I have talked about why it is famous, you might be wondering what else makes this beach special.

Well, when my friends and I arrived here, we were completely breath taken by the spaciousness and openness of the bay here. The huge limestone cliffs were stunning along with the overall tropical elements which gave it a unique vibe, to say the least.

Above all though, just knowing Leonardo DiCaprio filmed an iconic movie here makes it more than worth seeing!

How to Book Our Group Tour at Phi Phi Islands

There are plenty of effective websites and apps that offer tours of Phi Phi Islands.

I would personally recommend taking the tour we did, which is with Get Your Guide. I recommend this touring company because they have always helped meet my needs while traveling. 

If you are interested in taking the tour that I have described in this post, you can find it on Get Your Guide here.


1. What is the Best Tourist Attraction at Phi Phi Islands?

Of course, this is completely down to personal opinion. However, in terms of its famously distinguished identity, I have to say Maya Bay.

Leonardo DiCaprio is one of the most famous actors in the world, so it makes sense that millions of people are going to visit one of his early film destinations. In addition to this, Maya Bay is both phenomenal and a natural wonder in my opinion.

2. Is a Tour of Phi Phi Islands Worth the Price?

Yes, definitely in my opinion.

For just less than $100, we saw everything that we needed to see and ticked it off our bucket list. Our tours was not only 9-10 hours long, but it included a buffet lunch, accident insurance, hotel pickup, and plenty of other perks which made it unmissable when we compared it with the others on offer. 

That is great value, so you can be assured of getting a good bang for your buck from most tours. 


So there you have it. 

This is my complete guide to the Phi Phi Islands and all of the best places to visit there in my experience. From the abundance of fabulous beaches to the animals such as monkeys and exotic birds that you can spot, Phi Phi Islands are certainly a place you don’t want to miss!

If you are interested in checking out more island trips around Thailand, don’t forget to read my guide post on James Bond Island which you will find below!

One Marvellous Day on James Bond Island – A Guide to Khao Phing Kan

Finally, remember to bookmark this page to ensure your trip is the best it can be.

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