Phi Phi islands boat tours are the main tourist attraction in Southern Thailand. The archipelago is a must see destination when you are visiting Phuket Island, Krabi, Koh Lanta and Khao Lak. It is 45 – 48 km from Phuket.
Koh Pi Phi are world-famous with their rich marine life, corals and dramatic limestone walls. They are considered a natural tropical paradise. The top places to see are Maya Bay on Phi Phi Leh, Tonsai Bay and Monkey beach on Phi Phi Don, and the Shark point. This exotic chain of six islets is available from Phuket by ferry or speedboat.
Phuket – Phi Phi Islands Ferry Boats
The ferry transfer from Phuket is the cheapest option. The one way ticket costs about 19 US dollars per person. The trip is longer than the speedboat journey. In fact, it will take between one hour and a half and 3 hours. A downside of this transport is the fact that you have to fit into a fixed schedule.
Ferry boats leave from Rasada Pier in Phuket town and the last stop is Phi Phi Don Pier.
From Krabi to Phi Phi Islands by Ferry
One of the cheapest but certainly not fastest ways to get to the Phi Phi Islands is by ferry. Since we were staying at Railey Beach during the first part of our trip to Thailand in 2017, our only option to get a ferry to the islands was from Krabi. We booked tickets online via the website of the company that operates the route – Andaman Wave Master. We did it before our trip in Thailand and they emailed us vouchers for the services.
We booked in advance all the tickets for our trip from Krabi Klong Jilad Pier – Phi Phi Tonsai pier (on the southern coast of Koh Phi Phi Don) – Phi Phi Laemtong pier (on the north coast of the island) – Phuket. The ferry ticket from Krabi Klong Jilad Pier to Phi Phi Tonsai cost THB 450 (14 USD) per person. The shuttle boat from Tonsai Pier to Laemtong Beach cost THB 200 (6 USD) per adult. We opted for one night on Phuket island because we had an early flight from the Phuket international airport to Europe the next day. The total price of our trip from Krabi – Phi Phi Tonsai – Laemtong – Phuket was THB 1400 (44 USD) per person.
On the day of the first transfer – to Koh Phi Phi we were required to hire a long tail boat at 7am from Railey West in order to catch the early ferry at 9am. We negotiated a price of 1200 THB (38 USD) for a private boat for three persons to Krabi Klong Jilad Pier.
What struck us a bit was how the long tail boat left us at a highly inconvenient place at the pier where we could barely get off the boat without falling in to the water let alone lift our two heavy suitcases and carry them on some really decrepit stairs. The organization of boarding the ferry was fairly good and we managed to get a hold of good seats. However, there was a delay due to the people not being able to board as quick.
There was a sundeck where one could sit and enjoy the ride from outside. However, there were no chairs as the ferry was relatively small compared to the one that took us from Phi Phi to Phuket. What struck us was the organization for leaving the boat. When we arrived at the Phi Phi Tonsai pier we found ourselves in a situation where a huge group of people are waiting to take their luggage and leave the ship. However, the problem was that the staff had merely stacked all of the luggage one on top of the other with no order and people could not even get to their belongings. This caused distress and frustration among the passengers including us as we just couldn’t get through the crowd and get our things. The whole process took about 30 minutes until staff members finally realized how disorganized the system was and began to unload the luggage outside so the passengers could exit the boat and look for it there and unblock the path for the others inside.
Overall, the journey was okay but it’s a bit too frustrating and stressful especially if you’re in a hurry. The big benefit of this type of boat ride is that one cannot feel the waves which are somewhat big in the open sea as the craft is medium-sized. This is a boon to seasick passengers.
On our arrival to the main Phi Phi Don pier we had to wait until our shuttle boat departure time. Our resort was on the north coast of the island. It was an interesting fact that the resort was managed by the same company that operated the ferry services – Andaman Wave master.
Two days later we were on our way to Phuket. We contacted the hotel staff to take us to the ferry. Our luggage and we were transported by a sea tractor to Laemtong peer. It took us 4-5 minutes to get there.
This time the ferryboat was bigger. The journey started from Laemtong, then stopped at Tonsai and followed the route to Phuket. The organization was chaotic from the very beginning. The ferry looked overloaded with hundreds of passengers.
When we finally got off the ferry boat we needed to find the person responsible for our land transfer to Holliday Inn Mai Khao hotel. There were several sections on the Rasada ferry pier in Phuket. We found our driver on the area named “Airport” probably because our final destination was very close to the Phuket international airport. The price of the private van for three persons was 900 TBH (28 USD).
Phi Phi Islands Private Speed Boat Tours from Phuket
Phi Phi Islands boat tours can be organized by a local tourist company or you can arrange a private transfer. To get a 4 seat boat you have to pay $300 ($53 dollars each). If you choose a 6-speed boat, the price is almost the same – $320. Bigger vessels are more cost-effective – for example if you hire a boat for 18 passengers it will cost only $40 US dollars per person.
Boat tours are definitely a comfortable way to travel to Phi Phi islands. In good weather conditions it will take only 45 minutes from Phuket island to Koh Phi Phi by speed boat. If it is stormy or windy, ferry is more comfortable transportation.
Phi Phi islands Boat Tours
There are organized cruises to the main islands of Koh Phi Phi archipelago. Most of the one-day excursions include snorkeling and swimming around Khai Nui Island, Maya Bay on Phi Phi Le, Bamboo Island, Yao Yai Island, Koh Yung, Phi Phi Don Island and its Monkey Beach, as well as the Shark point where you can swim close to leopard sharks.
Bamboo Island is an inhabited place with soft white sand, incredibly crystal green waters and beautiful coral gardens. It is one of the best diving destinations around Phuket. There you have enough time to walk or just relax on the beach. From the shore, you can feed exotic fish and take amazing photos. As a comparison, the time on the beach of Maya Bay is always restricted to 20 minutes or half an hour. That could be very frustrating for those who want to explore this magnificent place.
Organized excursions start at 8.00 a.m. All-inclusive sightseeing tours include transportation from your hotel to Port Island Hopper, lunch, refreshments, snorkeling equipment. The price for an adult tourist is around 90-100 US dollars. For a child you have to pay $50. It is possible to negotiate lower prices.