I had heard from MANY people that Phi Phi Island was overcrowded and not the best choice for taking my in-laws on their first trip to Thailand.
I am SO happy I didn’t listen to all of those people!
We had one of the BEST vacations we could dream of on Phi Phi Island. Although it’s a bit difficult to get to, it’s totally worth the journey.
How We Got There
We flew via Jetstar from Singapore to Phuket in about 1.5 hours, then hopped a bus to the ferry terminal (30minute commute) and finally took a 1.5 hour ferry ride to the island. This entire commute was arranged by the resort, which was a nice perk, although we had to pay a bit extra. The ferry was comfortable and we slept most of the way. Do note that there is also a public ferry available to take you to Phi Phi Island for a more reasonable rate.
Upon arrival at Phi Phi Island Village Beach Resort, we were welcomed with a delicious fresh coconut juice and cold towel. The reception staff was friendly and welcoming, but of course one cannot expect the staff to speak perfect English. I read some reviews complaining about this, although it did not bother us one bit! Do note that this hotel is very isolated and you need to take a boat to get to the other parts of the island. It is family friendly and the layout is very large, so plan to walk a bit! Every room is its own individual hut that looks as though it was built yesterday. The rooms are spacious, clean and modern and the bed/pillows are super comfy. There are a variety of hammocks and bean bag chairs for sitting beside the ocean and reveling in all its beauty.
The swimming pool is clean and ENORMOUS! It’s probably one of the biggest pools I’ve ever seen and (BONUS!) it offers a swim up pool bar with yummy drinks, delicious pool side food (both western and asian cuisines) and a large abundance of comfortable chairs.
You can even book a massage right next to the ocean for about $30USD/1 hour. Listening to the ocean waves while having my back/neck rubbed was pure bliss. The masseuse even braided my hair at the end. It was magical.
Food Food Food
We ate at every restaurant the resort had to offer and in each, the food was delicious. The Beach House Grill & Chill was our favorite because of the decor and ambiance inside. The pasta with lobster was divine.
Ruan Thai Restaurant offered up great Thai food at an affordable price-be sure to get the masaman curry. Api restaurant’s salmon and chicken over a bed of rice was delicious, as well as their beef salad.
The breakfast buffet is HUGE and offers up both western and asian cuisines, complete with an omlet station, cheese boards, endless amounts of pastries and 6 different types of fresh juices. I’m kicking myself for not getting a photo of this! I’ve never seen such an amazing spread before. Be SURE to get the breakfast buffet included in your room rate when you book, it’s definitely worth it.
There is a very small village behind the resort (about a 10 minute walk) with a few good restaurants, a souvenir shop and massages available. Pad Thai Restaurant, which had excellent green curry, pad thai, tom kha gai and pineapple chicken fried rice at about half the price of the resort, is definitely worth a visit.
Another restaurant we LOVED for local Thai food in the village behind the resort was was Aroy Kaffeine. The decor, service and drinks were exceptaional, as well as the food. The owner is especially accommodating and really friendly. Our only regret was that we didn’t have more time to go back to this restaurant. We ate the pad thai, green curry, fried spring rolls and pineapple fried rice…all of which were delicious! The desserts were OUT OF THIS WORLD delicious!
The Beach Bar was another great little bar located behind the resort. Chet, the bartender, is super friendly and offers up a lot of great info about the area.
Day Trip/Excursion/Snorkeling-MAYA BAY!
Other than just hanging by the pool bar and eating, the resort offers up a lot o awesome excursions/day trips. We decided upon the Island Exploring full day trip (about 6 hours). The cost was about $100USDpp and worth EVERY DOLLAR! This was definitely the highlight of our trip! We bounced around to many different islands and also did a lot of snorkeling (we saw Nemo!) in multiple locations. The trip included stops at:
Maya Bay (famous spot where the movie The Beach was filmed with Leonard Decaprio)-beware this area is FULL of tourist. Get your pics in and go!
Loh-Samah Bay, Pi-Leh Bay, Viking Cave, Wang Long Bay, Monkey Bay, Nui Bay, and Yoong Island.
The island hopping ends at Bamboo Island, where we had about 1.5 hours to enjoy a pre-packed lunch (prepared by the hotel) and relax in the white sand/blue water.
There is ample amount of time at each stop and the crew members of the boat were absolutely incredible with ensuring our comfort with snorkeling, snacks and music. We even jumped off the front of the boat and they took photos of us that we will cherish forever.
Day Trek to Phi Phi ViewPoint:
Phi Phi lookout point is a MUST SEE while visiting Phi Phi Island. Unfortunately, to get to the viewpoint, it is a bit of a trek from the resort. It took us over 2 hours to hike through a winding, quite hilly trail. We are in quite good shape and the hills were tough for us, so I wouldn’t recommend this trek for everyone (alternatively, you can have a long tail boat take you to Tonsai Bay and hike about 30 minutes from Tonsai up to the lookout point). Do wear tennis shoes, sunscreen, bug spray, a hat and bring water/snacks. But MAN are the lookouts worth it when you get up there! There is nothing more beautiful than those views! At the top of the lookout, there is a little restaurant with the sweetest old man who makes the freshest juice smoothies. The banana is to DIE FOR! We sipped our smoothies and reveled in the view for about 30 minutes before we hiked down the back side to Tonsai Bay (about a 30 minute trek down). Do note that there is a a shortcut portion that you must pay for (100baht each) to see another viewpoint and get to Tonsai faster. This is totally elective, as you can choose to take another free pathway, but worth paying for.
After arriving in Tonsai, we walked around the cute village and finally ended up at The Beach Bar Restaurant. The music here was perfect, the drinks were strong, the pizza was delicious and the view was pristine. We sipped drinks and hung on the beach for the remainder of the afternoon until we noticed the tide creeping out. DO NOTE that the tide will go out and you can be stuck at Tonsai if you don’t leave in time. Luckily, we were able to leave just in time and pay about 800 baht to take a long tail boat back to Loh Lana Bay and walk 15 minutes back through the small village to the resort.
Overall it was an INCREDIBLE trip and one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been to! Fee free to ask any questions/leave feedback! Thanks for stopping by and reading!
Stay tuned…next trip is to El Nido, Philippines in January! Hope you all have a happy holiday season and cheers to the new year! 🙂