Having spent the last few months on the island paradise of Phi Phi I’ve explored it a lot and sampled most of the things this beautiful part of the world has to offer. So to help you out or to tempt you even more to visit it yourself I’ve put together a Phi Phi Island Mini Guide so you can make the most of your time and money backpacking in the kind of location you’d only expect on a luxury holiday!
Obviously the thing you’re most worried about when arriving in a new place is somewhere to crash. Unfortunately for backpackers there’s very little in the way of pre booking options before arriving on the island, so here’s some great places to head to once you arrive.
Tara Inn – situated just off the centre of the island this place is great if you fancy a bit more comfort. With a choice between air con or fan rooms, double, twin or triples its a great option for most people. A quick walk to the bars, beach and everything else and inc free wifi it’s good value from 1000baht for double air con or 500 for fan.
Tea Tree House – if you’re on a budget this is the place to head, it’s pretty simple but a comfy nights sleep
Phi Phi Island Cabana – if you have a good wad of cash to play with or simply want a couple nights of luxury then head here!
Matts Joint –
Look around – If you’re based in Phi Phi for a month or so there’s some great bargains to be had. My pad was ocean front, 2 mins walk from the pier and came it at 14,000baht for a double room – including air con, wifi and HOT shower en suite! BARGAIN once you split it 2 ways!
Phi Phi like the rest of the country caters to every budget, whether you want Thai or Western, however during my time I found myself at the same places, simply for the quality and price they offer, here’s my top pick;
Paddys – a great Irish owned restaurant and bar this is bar far my favourite place to eat, the food quality is incredible. It does come at a price through with a western main being around 200baht. I definitely recommend the chicken cordon blue, and if you’re drinking make sure you sink a strawberry daiquiri!
Matts Joint – if you want a huge variety to choose from Matts Joint has a pretty epic selection. However the main attraction here is the all you an eat BBQ buffet. So if you’re super hungry shell out 300baht and stuff your face!
The Thai Market – for those on more of a budget or wanting some authentic Thai food the market in the centre of the island is the place to go. You can grab a Phad Thai for around 60baht.
Cheap Chicken – possibly the dish I ate most on Phi Phi. Opposite “Thank You Restaurant” near the pier they have 3 main dishes you’ll want to eat; steamed chicken, steamed duck or fried chicken. Each comes with rice, a variety of sauces, soup and ice cold water…a steal at 50baht!
Unknown….! – super close to the pier I’m putting this on the list simply for the Massaman Curry they offer, it’s the best I’ve eaten in Thailand. At 150 baht its a good mid range eat and comes with steamed rice. It also has free wifi too which is always a bonus!
If you’re backpacking Thailand the chances are you like to party! And Phi Phi is a good place to let your hair down! It’s less chaotic than its east coast cousin Koh Phangan, but if you want to get messed up and make some bad decision here’s some places to check out!
Deco Bar – chances are if you dive, are doing a dive course or want to mingle with people working on the island you’ll end up in Deco, just above Phi Phi Scuba. It’s a nice mellow bar and a great place to start the night.
Carlitos Bar – on the Tonsai Bay side of the island Carlitos is a great open air place to enjoy a cocktail or cold beer, either on the sofa or on the beach. It also boasts the best fire show on Phi Phi every night which is well worth checking out.
Banana Bar – Phi Phis only rooftop open air bar. This place is a great setting to watch the sun go down and get some serious drinking on the go, it serves great food too! The eclectic mix of bean bags, bar stools and rooftop balconies make it an awesome venue to get your pre drink on and some dancing…and for those of you wanting to get a little higher than the rooftop (wink wink nudge nudge!) the bar menu has some extras that you might be interested in!
Sports Bar – I’ve included this for any sports fans not wanting to miss out on their games whilst backpacking. It’s a great Alsace to hang out anyway but it’s main attraction is the screening of a variety of sports (both live and replay) throughout the day and night.
Deaf Gecko Bar – on the west end of Tonsai Bay is a small beach shack bar called the Deaf Gecko. It’s a great place to grab a quiet beer overlooking the beach.
Slinkys – easily the most infamous place to to party on the islands and the beach bar pretty much everyone will accidentally get sucked into! This place gets mental at night and you’ll easily find yourself dancing like a drunken idiot until 5am here!
The Street – yup if you wana get your pre drink on the streets of Phi Phi are lined with people selling buckets! A hip flask of rum, mixer or choice, Thai redbull and ice in a sandcastle bucket for 200 baht?! Oh go on then!
Stuff to Do
When you’re not nursing a hangover or you simply want a distraction from it Phi Phi actually has quite a few things to keep you busy, so why not check out these during your time here;
Diving – this is the backbone of Phi Phi life and there’s over 16 dive shops to choose from. Unfortunately for backpackers though they have collaborated on a price agreement so it’s a set price throughout, which sucks a bit as the price is a lot higher than many other dive islands like Tao. The diving is superb here though so head to Barakuda Scuba for 2 fun dives at 2500baht, a discover scuba course at 3400baht or a full PADI open water at XXXX
The View Point – want a nice hike and a postcard perfect view for your photo album? Then head to the view point. It’s a bit of a steep climb, but well worth it on a sunny day or for sunset
Long Beach – at the far south of the island is Long Beach, a beautiful stretch of sand that’s great for escaping the crowds and relaxing. It’s about a 40min walk from the main town but a great way to spend a lazy day.
Island Hopping by Longtail – this is by far my favourite day trip on Phi Phi. Checking out the various bays and Islam surrounding the main Island, and at 600baht for a full day including lunch it’s great value too. With heaps of snorkelling, a visit to monkey beach, bamboo island and the set of the film “The Beach” in Maya Bay it’ll fill your camera with awesome island luxury!
Rock Climbing – for those wanting something different Phi Phi has some awesome rock climbing too. Head to the west end of Tonsai bay and speak to the guys at Deaf Gecko Climbing for a trip to suit any ability.