Ko Phi Phi don Island and maya beach in a glimpse
The named islands are:
Most of the development of Phi Phi Don is situated in or around Ton Sai village, which is on the low, sandy isthmus that joins the two hilly spurs that comprise the rest of the island. There are also other, quieter resorts on Long Beach, Laem Thong, and at other less accessible areas of the island.
Ko Phi Phi was devastated by the Indian Ocean tsunami of December 2004, when nearly all of the island's infrastructure was wiped out. Redevelopment has, however, been swift, and services are back with building regulations in place to limit the height of new buildings to preserve the island's stunning views.
It should be noted that, while very laid back, many of the local islanders are Muslim. You will lose considerable respect if you walk around town in your skimpies (this applies to Buddhist areas of Thailand too!). While many tourists do in fact parade down Main Street in their Speedos or thong bikinis, to avoid offending your hosts, it's usually best just to throw on a pair of shorts or a sarong; similarly, topless on the beaches, while grudgingly tolerated by most locals, is also probably best avoided.
Weather in the region is tropical - there are only two seasons: the hot season from January to April, and the rainy season from May to December. Temperatures during the year average 25ºC to 32ºC (77ºF to 89.6ºF) and the yearly rainfall averages 2569 mm. Unlike in say, Europe, the rain in this region comes down heavily over short periods.
From archaeological discoveries, it is believed that the area was one of the oldest communities in Thailand dating back to the prehistoric period. It is believed that this province may have taken its name after the meaning of Krabi, which means sword. This may have stemmed from a legend that an ancient sword was unearthed prior to the city’s founding.
The name Phi Phi (pronounced ‘pee pee’) originates from Malay, the original name for the islands was "Pulao Pi ah Pi". The name refers to the mangrove wood found there.
Ko Phi Phi is considered to be one of the most naturally beautiful islands in the world (in fact, there are six islands in Phi Phi). They lie 50 km southeast of Phuket and are part of Had Nopparattara-Ko Phi Phi National Park which is home to an abundance of corals and amazing marine life. There are limestone mountains with cliffs, caves and long white sandy beaches. The national park covers a total area of 242,437 rai, that's about 387,899,200 square meters
Phi Phi Don and Phi Phi Leh are the largest and most well-known islands.
There are two villages on Ko Phi Phi under the administration of the Ao Nang Sub-district, Muang District, Krabi Province.
Ko Phi Phi comprises 6 islands, 2 of them main – Phi Phi Don and Phi Phi Le. The islands are surrounded by the Andaman Sea.
Krabi is a melting pot of Buddhists, Thai-Chinese, Muslims and even sea gypsies. The majority of the population in the rural areas is Muslim. Krabi however, does not suffer from any religious tension and the folk live in peace and harmony. Outside of the provincial town, the rural folk speak with a thick southern dialect which is difficult for even other Thais to understand.
With this kind of mixture, Krabi is always celebrating something be it part of Thai Buddhist, Thai-Chinese, or Thai-Islamic tradition. Visitors can also enjoy the annual boat-launching ceremonies of the sea gypsies and various longtail boat races.
The art of batik is practiced by the locals. There are also a lot of Krabi handicrafts, such as pineapple paper.
Tourism on Ko Phi Phi, like the rest of Krabi province, has exploded only very recently. In the early 1990s only the most adventurous travelers visited the island, staying in only the most basic accommodation costing the likes of 50-100 baht a night. Nowadays, however, the place has turned into one of the major destinations for visitors to Thailand. The development however, is still nothing on a par with the likes of Phuket or Ko Samui.
However, presently, budget backpackers can still get a cheap room away from the beach, up the hill a bit.
Ko Phi Phi has plenty of night life, but if that isn't your cup of tea, then there are lots of really quiet places to chill out and take it easy.
Phi Phi officially has no motorised transport, though there are a few motorcycles with truck side-cars, usually used for goods and construction material transport. Transport on land is by foot or bicycle, but in the populated areas of Ton Sai, nowhere is more than about ten minutes' walk from anywhere else. Long-tail taxi-boats ply between all beaches; on Phi Phi Don, you can also walk to any beach. From Ton Sai to Long Beach, expect to pay 40 baht/person in the afternoon, at least 80 baht at night. To have a complete boat to yourself, expect to pay at least 100 baht.
Wheelbarrows are used to transport goods, including your luggage if you like. Expect free "transport" from the pier to your room, but not necessarily in the opposite direction.
The most common ways to get around on Ko Phi Phi are by foot and by long-tail boat. As with most everything in an area like this, the price for long-tail boats is a negotiation. Hint: Take some foam earplugs for the long-tail boat rides... it's a fun ride but the engines are loud and after 45 minutes it can get to you. The negotiation for longtail boats is usually done according to where you want to go and how many hours you want the trip to last. As an example, 1200 baht for a 6-hour outing to Ko Phi Phi Le and Tonsai Bay from the Holiday Inn Resort.
Ferries leave from Phuket and Krabi daily (from Krabi two ferries a day at 09:00 and 14:30 and from Phuket at 09:00, 11:00, and 14:30 several times a day (11:00 during high-season only). Tickets can be purchased on-line or on the dock, from tourist offices, most local guest houses and hotels. There is a 20 baht per person fee required on the pier for "keeping Ko Phi Phi clean". Unfortunately, there is still plenty of rubbish on the beaches.
Other tour vessels visit the island from several Phuket-based resorts, usually on day trips, the price for a speedboat from Rawai Beach was quoted at 15,000 baht return(or one way) for up to 6 people(Dec 6 2007). There are many speedboats operating directly from the beach but it may be best to book the day before as most seem to be on away on trips during the day. Speedboats can also be chartered from other nearby locations, but at a very high price.
By all-inclusive tour
Agencies selling all-inclusive day trips from Phuket are all over Patong town, and most everywhere else on Phuket Island. Circa late January 2011 - booked a lengthier "half day" hour tour via speedboat negotiated to 1,400 baht/person (from the pamphlet printed price of 3,000 baht). The tour included 6 different stops, a free buffet lunch on Phi Phi Don, snorkel usage, and minibus transport to and from the Patong Beach hotel. This set-up seems incredibly common, and one should be able to find similar deals sold anywhere on Phuket that tourists frequent.
Things to keep in mind: