So if you want to dive the Phi Phi locations, why not come and stay on the nice island itself.
The island of Phi Phi
Phi Phi Islands are located on west coast of Thailand in the Andaman Sea next to Phuket.
Phi Phi islands consists of six islands with Phi Phi Don and Phi Phi Ley as the biggest ones. The Rest of the islands are nothing more than large limestone rocks coming out of the sea.
Of the two bigger ones, Phi Phi Don is the island that is inhabited.
Phi Phi became a real famous place after Phi Phi Leh was used in the movie “The Beach”, starring Leonardo diCaprio, which attributed to its tourism increase.
Since the island is small – all can be done on foot on the island.
There is no motorized transport except for the police, hospital and some delivery services.
This makes Phi Phi a nice and quiet place to stay (if your room is not close to the party area ;))
How to get there?
You can fly into Phuket or Krabi and from there take a ferry towards Phi Phi.
This will take you about 1,5hrs to arrive on the island.
Staying on Phi Phi
Phi Phi Don has several options for staying overnight ranging from cheap dorm rooms (250THB) to exclusive hotels. Make sure that you select the correct place to stay based on your activities.
Some hotels are located on remote areas that can only be reached by boat and that could cause difficulties if you make morning appointments/activities.
Also be aware that the island has 2 price ranges: Low season prices and High Season Prices
a lot of locations almost double their prices during the high season.
If you not pre-book a room on the island you will have the best chance of finding available rooms during full moon, as many people leave the island to go to Koh Panging for the Full Moon Party
As Phi Phi, of course, is an island it means that all the supplies need to be delivered via boat, therefor a lot of products on the island tend to be more expensive than on the main land.
What to do when you are not diving?
Next to all the awesome diving in the area you will find numerous things to do on the island when you are not diving.
Beaches on Phi Phi Don
Most of the beaches of Phi Phi are accessible by foot, however you can also go to them via the water by longtail boat or kayaking. The most famous beaches are Monkey beach, on which of course monkeys are living, Lanti Beach and Hin Khao Beach.
Want to see the entire island? After a steep walk up the mountain of around 25 min, and admission fee of 20 THB, you will be amazed of the view of the island and its narrow strip between the two major parts of the island.
For the early birds: you can go snorkelling out of Long beach early morning and try to spot the blacktip reef shark population there. You need to go early morning before the snorkel tours and taxi boats are passing by there. There also are dive shops, like Adventure Club, that provides this trip including explanation about the sharks. Other shops, like Moskito Diving, include a trip to here in the Project Aware Shark Conservation Diver course.
Make sure to look out in the blue and not directly underneath you to spot the sharks. It has counted a population of around 100 sharks of and on during the years.
you can go snorkelling directly out of any of the beaches of course. Or you can book a snorkel tour at any of the tour operators. They will take you around the islands of Phi Phi Don and Phi Phi Leh for a half day trip of snorkelling. You can combine it with a sunset tour to enjoy the sunset out of your traditional Thai long tail boat
the area of Phi Phi also excellent for rock climbing with its limestone walls and rock formations.
On the island there are several shops that provide rental gear, guiding and instructing if preferred.
Diving the Phi Phi Islands
Local Marine Park
the most dived area in phi phi especially during low season when the specialised trips almost are not done at all.
probably the best dive locations of Phi Phi consisting of 2 main limestone rocks coming out of the water, Bida Nok and Bida Nai. These locations have an abundance of pretty hard and soft coral, and is home to plentiful marine life including: leopard sharks, Blacktip Reef sharks, turtles, seahorses and moray eels.
Phi Phi Ley
Phi Phi Ley has several dive sites around the island with the famous ones being:
- Malong: the Divesite with most turtle sightings in 1 dive
- Palong: the best place to see blacktip sharks swimming through the rock boulders
- Viking Cave/ Table Coral City: the Divesite where an artificial reef consisting of concrete cubes has been placed here to take the relief the pressure of the reefs.
- Phi Ley Wall: Most shops start the wall dive in the Phi Phi Ley Lagoon which is stunning and nice and shallow to start. The wall itself can reach up to 20mtr. The wall has loads of fan corals in which if you are lucky you can find a seahorse hanging in them.
Wreck diving on Phi Phi?
Wreck diving will become possible within a few months (on writing this blog latest update is sinking in Aug 2013?) in the local marine park. Make sure to follow the blogger or a newly posted blog post about the new wreck in the future
Phi Phi Don
Diving on the main islands is rare.
The main dived sites are:
- Wang long: known for its underwater cave system and is only recommended for experienced divers. The cave tunnel into a rock face in 2 places and opens up in a bigger cave in which you can surface.
- Saam haad: on tonsai bay – monkey beach. This area is used for the night dives by most dive shops. Although during the day this place would not be interested in the night it has a lot of interesting things coming out or hunting the area.
out of phi phi there are three locations that are more special trips that in general run once a week or on special requests (with enough participants)
King Cruiser Wreck
the trips to the famous King Cruiser Wreck out of Phi Phi consists of three dives: King Cruiser Wreck, Sharkpoint and Anenome reef. 3 dive sites that offer you a lot of corals, and unique sealife as seahorses, anenomefish, leopard sharks
Hin Daeng / Hin Muang
About an hour and a half away from Phi Phi by speed boat or 4,5hours with a normal boat you will find maybe the world’s most beautiful dive sites, Hin Daeng and Hin Muang.
Hin Daeng or "Red Rock" is so named because of the carpets of red anemone that cover the shallower depths of this huge pinnacle. Hin Daeng boasts one of the deepest drop-offs in Thailand, nearly 70 meters to the sea bed.
Hin Muang or "Purple Rock" has been rated one of the best dive sites in Thailand and that of the world.
Named after the forests of purple soft corals this amazing pinnacle begins at 12 meters below the surface.
at about 3 hours out of Koh Phi Phi you will find Koh Haa, a small group of 5 islands separated by deep channels, some reaching depths greater than 50 meters. The main attraction here is on the largest of the islands Koh Ha Yai.
On this island there is a huge cave that can be easily entered using one of two entries. The deepest is at 16 meters and the shallower is found at 5 meters. Once inside the cave opens up to a massive cathedral. Here the diver can surface inside the island and look up to the roof over 30 meters above. Stalactites hang down from the ceiling. Inside the cathedral is not dark and torches are not required. Light filtering through the cave entrances gives of a truly magical light show creating rather strange illusions around the diver.
On holiday, but want to extend your diving knowledge?
The main courses run on the island are Discover Scuba Diving-programs, Open Water Courses and Advanced Open Water Courses.
Of course you can also follow one of the many Specialty Dive Courses from PADI and SSI. Which specialty courses you can do at a diveshop depends on the instructors working there. So in case you want to follow a specific specialty course, make sure to ask around.
Then make you way down to South East Asia and come enjoy the island and Diving with
Snippy’s Snaps Diving.
Feel free to email or use the contact form to ask for more information.
about the author:
Snippy is the owner of DiveSnippy and Snippy's Snaps Diving. He is providing his services as a PADI Diving Instructor currently via Moskito Diving on Koh Phi Phi in Thailand - South East Asia.