Despite its ever growing popularity and the astronomical number of visitors it attracts every year, Phi Phi Islands still offer a fair deal of things to do off the beaten track. It is simply honest to say that some sites of this outstanding group of islands – Maya Bay, for instance – are saturated by the amount of tourists visiting them during high season yet, as every cloud has a silver lining, Phi Phi Islands still host great activities and areas mostly unknown to the masses.
Listed below are some thrilling, out of the ordinary things to discover in Phi Phi. Some of them may require a certain physical capacity but most of them could be performed by almost anybody. Check out our 5 things to do off the beaten track in Phi Phi, then your next holiday there will really be rewarding!
Loh Bagao is a bay located on the east coast of Koh Phi Phi Don. It is famous for housing the most popular hotel on the island, the superb Phi Phi Island Village Beach Resort. Not many people know that the area right behind the resort offers an outstanding field of exploration featuring a small village with shops, bars and restaurants, a mangrove forest, and trails – including a ‘Golden Gate-style’ bridge that lead to a viewpoint, as well as Laem Thong beach, and to Lana Bay on the west coast of Phi Phi. Read More...
- How to get there: Hire a long-tail boat at Tonsai Pier or Loh Dalum. The roundtrip will cost you between 2,000 and 2,500 baht.
If you like to challenge yourself while on holiday in Phi Phi, you can try to hike through the hills covered with lush vegetation between Phi Phi Viewpoint and Lana Bay. It will take you roughly two hours to get there. Navigation is the main challenge as, in the jungle, all trails look like each other. Therefore, some precautions must be taken before to start to walk: wear good sport shoes, bring enough snacks and water, and the most important, do not go alone unless you are used to these kind of activity. A mobile phone with Google Maps will also certainly help you to reach your goal. From the Lana and Bagao bay area you can hire a long tail boat which will bring you back to Tonsai Village. Read More...
Rock climbing is a very popular activity in Phi Phi which, thanks to its geological formation, host a fair choice of climbing walls and routes. The most popular walls are located on and around Tonsai Tower at the western end of Tonsai Bay yet, if you already have a bit of experience in this activity, you could try to go and climb at an outstanding site on Phi Phi Don’s west coast. Nui Beach stands just south of Lana Bay and features a notable rock climbing spot named Hua Ling. Four routes graded from 6a+ to 6c are available at this spot overlooking the sea. Read More...
- How to get there: It is best to contact one of the serious rock climbing companies established in Tonsai Village (Spidermonkey, Ibex Climbing, or Deaf Gecko Climbing, to name just a few) to professionally organise your rock climbing trip.
Go Cliff Jumping
Cliff jumping is the kind of activity demanding a strong mind. Phi Phi is well known for having hosted the final of the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series in 2013. If you are a daredevil, you’ll certainly enjoy the feeling produced by letting everything go through a short flight of up to 27 metres in the air. Both Koh Phi Phi Don and Leh feature great tombstoning spots. The most notable sites are at Maya Bay, a cliff near Viking Cave, and at Monkey Bay.
Remark: Cliff jumping is a dangerous activity. Please be aware of the risk you take.
- How to get there: Many local tours include an option of cliff jumping as part of a day trip. The maximum height to jump during these tours is about 12 metres.
Go snorkelling with the sharks
Hin Phae is the best spot to swim and snorkel with the sharks in Phi Phi Island. Located about 200 metres from the southern end of Long Beach, this snorkelling and diving spot features a splendid coral reef in shallow waters. The best way to get there is to join a tour providing all the equipment, but you can also hire a long-tail boat directly on Long Beach to get there. Once on site, the trick is to search for sharks in the distance while moving slowly and without abruptness. You’ll soon see one or two or more Black Tip Reef Sharks approaching. These small sharks – measuring from 80 to 120 centimetres – are rather timid and totally harmless. It is definitely a great experience to encounter such creatures.
- Tel: +66 (0)81 895 1334
- How to get there: Many local companies established in Tonsai Village offer this tour. One of the most notable is The Adventure Club (see their phone number above), they even offer a money-back guarantee.