Your Guide to Ferry to Phi Phi

by Guest

Koh Phi Phi is one of the most beautiful islands in Thailand. Located to the west of the mainland in the Andaman Sea, it’s arguably most famous as the filming location of the movie ‘The Beach’. The island if picture perfect. Towering limestone karsts jut out of the turquoise sea, and white sandy beaches are adorned with colourful long-tailed boats backed by coconut groves and the interior jungle. Though Koh Phi Phi is seeing a huge amount of tourism development with hotels and resorts popping up throughout the island, it still holds on to some of its charm. This won’t stay like this forever, so if you want to visit an unspoiled Koh Phi Phi, it’s best to do it sooner rather than later. There are several ferry services taking passengers from other islands and the mainland to Koh Phi Phi including one from Phuket Island and Ao Nang, Krabi Town , Koh Lanta and Railay Bay.

longtail-boats-koh-phi-phi-don

Longtail boats in Koh Phi Phi. Photo by Kevin Tao

Ferry service from Ao Nang to Koh Phi Phi

Many people spend a day or two in the beautiful beach town of Ao Nang in Krabi province before heading over to Koh Phi Phi. Throughout the high season between November and April, the daily ferry service departs from Nopparat Thara Pier each morning at 9.00 a.m. There ferry service provides a free shuttle service from Ao Nang beach making it easy to reach the pier on time. The ferry is comfortable enough for the journey, through be warned that the sea can sometimes get a little choppy. It stops in Railay Wes beach shortly after departing to pick up more passengers. Half transportation service, half tour, the ferry service stops en route to Koh Phi Phi at Koh Phai (Bamboo Island) giving passengers the opportunity to snorkel in at this wonderful site. This means the ferry is a little slower (though more interesting), than the other services and takes around 2 and a half hours. The cost for a one way ticket is US $12 and it does get full, so be sure to book your tickets well in advance. It’s no recommended to try and fly into Krabi on an early flight and take the boat as the connection is tight and any delays will result in you losing your ticket and having to stay overnight anyway. Here are some attractions and things to do in Krabi .

Ferry service from Krabi Town to Koh Phi Phi

There are two comfortable daily ferry services running from Krabi Town and Koh Phi Phi. This is a much better link to take should you be flying into Krabi Airport on the same day. The ferry leaves at 10 a.m. and 15.00 p.m. each day throughout the high season between November and April. The rest of the year, the sea is simply too rough to take passengers. The boats depart from Krabi Pier located on Tharua Road in Krabi Town and can easily be reached by taxi or shuttle bus from the airport or the town centre. Tickets can be brought from the kiosk at the pier when you arrive, but it is a good idea to get them in advance if it falls on a public holiday or in the peak of high season in January and February. The cost of the tickets are around US $12 one way and double that for a return. The journey takes around an hour and a half to reach Koh Phi Phi.

Ferry service from Phuket to Koh Phi Phi

The larger ferry from Phuket Island to Koh Phi Phi is another popular service and joins to off Thailand’s most popular islands. The ferries are large, carrying dozens of people to Koh Phi Phi. They leave twice a day throughout the dry season between November and April, at 8.30 a.m. and 13.00 p.m. To take the ferry, head to Rassada Pier located just outside of Phuket Town and purchase your ticket at the kiosk. It costs around US $11 and takes one and a half hours to reach Koh Phi Phi. It’s always worth purchasing your tickets in advance if it falls on a public holiday.

Ferry service from Koh Lanta to Koh Phi Phi

If you are travelling back from Koh Lanta to Krabi to catch your onward flight, you can stop along the way on Koh Phi Phi. The ferry leaves each day at 8.00 a.m. and 13 p.m. throughout the high season between November and April. It’s comfortable and fast, taking around 1 and a half hours to reach the island. Tickets can be bought from any of the travel agencies in Koh Lanta, the hotel tour desk or ta the Saladan Pier where the ferries depart from. Tickets from Koh Lanta cost around US $10 one way.

All the ferries arrive at Ton Sai Pier in Koh Phi Phi. Here, your luggage will be offloaded and you will need to make your own way to the hotel or beach bungalow. There are no roads or cars on Koh Phi Phi, just sandy tracks. You have two choices to each your accommodation. The hotels are usually not far so you can either walk, though this can be challenging with lots of luggage in the midday Thai heat or you can take one of the long tailed boats which ply their trade down on the beach The cost is inexpensive and it makes for a nice way to travel around the island. The ferry services, of course, also leave Koh Phi Phi back to Phuket, Ao Nang, Krabi Town and Koh Lanta. It’s worth checking these times when you arrive as they have been known to change. Tickets can be booked from any of the tour agencies on Koh Phi Phi or from the hotel reception. The prices are the same for returning. If you are travelling on the fringes of the high season, check when the ferry services close down for the low season. If you miss the last ferry, you will need to pay for a private speedboat which can be expensive.

Ferry to Koh Phi Phi. Photo by Roberto Faccenda

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