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Sunday, 11 September 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 can only reach 80% of the island by boats or trekking around thought 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

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
Loh Dalum beach of the main Phi Phi Village

Lodam 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

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 aircon rooms and a couple of superior rooms, the guesthouse tips it's hat to the basic fan rooms that were so dominant in the 80's and 90's.

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.

Useful links:
Best Luxury Bungalows on Phi Phi  
Koh Phi Phi accommodation  
 Koh Phi Phi Beach Resort 
 Phi Phi Island Guesthouses
 Where to stay on Koh Phi Phi 
 Hotels on Long Beach Phi Phi  
 Backpackers on Phi Phi Island    1 star Guesthouse on Koh Phi Phi

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Wednesday, 20 July 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, 15 July 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, 14 July 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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