Koh Phi Phi is one of Thailand’s most visually stunning islands, made famous as the location for the Leonardo DiCaprio movie The Beach. Koh Phi Phi’s fame has brought its fair share of problems too – the island gets very crowded during high season (November to April) and accommodation is considerably more expensive than on other islands. There’s also the issue of pollution in the water from the island’s population and the large amount of boats around. However, for many visitors, there is a definite buzz to the island and it’s also possible to find beautiful, secluded areas away from the main drag of Tonsai if you’re prepared to take a longtail boat ride to other parts of the island.
Koh Phi Phi Diving
There are numerous dive shops on the island catering mainly for backpackers and diving students which head out to the nearby Koh Bida islands and Palong Bay, along with Shark Point and the King Cruiser Wreck. There are also a handful of sites, such as Hin Dot, only known to experienced instructors on the island.
Some Phi Phi boats also occasionally go out to Hin Daeng and Hin Muang, the two must-dive ocean pinnacles in this region which are quite remote and require a fairly long (three hour plus) voyage to reach. Few Phi Phi day boats go to Southern Thailand’s other must-dive site Koh Haa as it’s too far. MV Flying Seahorse liveaboard covers all these sites including Hin Daeng and provides an affordable way to maximise diving time in the area.
If you are coming to Thailand specifically to do daytrip diving, Koh Lanta is definitely the better place to be based, offering the easiest access to Hin Daeng / Hin Muang, Koh Haa and also the popular Phi Phi sites of Koh Bida and Palong. As Koh Phi Phi and Koh Lanta are only an hour’s ferry journey apart, it’s easy to visit and dive from both.
Koh Phi Phi Liveaboards
Koh Phi Phi day trips are ideal if you just want to do a couple of days casual diving. Given that southern Thailand’s key dive sites are scattered over a wide area, a liveaboard is the most economical way both money and time wise to see all of them. MV Flying Seahorse, based on neighbouring Koh Lanta, picks customers up at Koh Phi Phi if requested. (Koh Lanta is a one hour ferry ride away if you prefer to travel to Lanta first).
Koh Phi Phi Daytrips
The Adventure Club, run by Andrew Hewett, offers scuba diving trips along with snorkelling excursions and lots of marine conservation activities too, like rehabilitiating coral and understanding what’s in the ocean. Andrew is long time resident of Koh Phi Phi with his wife and kids and was instrumental in the restoration of Phi Phi’s natural environment in the aftermath of the 2004 tsunami. He is still committed to helping teach people how to preserve Phi Phi’s environment and have fun at the same time. You can read this article – Koh Phi Phi Reborn – about Koh Phi Phi Divecamp (now disbanded), which was the organisation Andrew set up to organise thousands of volunteer divers to help clean up tons of debris from Phi Phi’s reefs.
View Thailand’s Best Diving Locations – Diving-Thailand.com in a larger map
How To Get To Koh Phi Phi
There is no airport on Koh Phi Phi. The only way to get to the island is by ferry from Phuket, Krabi or Koh Lanta. The nearest airport is Krabi Airport.
The ferry departs from Rassada Pier in the south east of Phuket in the early morning and early afternoon. 2 to 3 hours travel time
From Koh Lanta
The ferry departs from Koh Lanta’s ferry pier early in the morning. Travel time is 1 hour.
The ferry departs from Krabi’s ferry pier early in the morning and early afternoon.