Laem Tong Beach (also spelled Laem Thong, Golden Bay in Thai) is located on the northeastern side of Koh Phi Phi Don. It is an ideal spot for a relaxing and quiet holiday which is only accessible by boat. This means that you have almost total seclusion here. The atmosphere is quite the opposite of buzzing Tonsai Village, as the soothing sound of the waves lapping up to the almost one-kilometre-long beach is only perturbed by the noise of long-tail and speed boats making the transfers to Tonsai Village or Bamboo Island.
Laem Tong has been for long-time only occupied by sea gypsies who established a village on the thin land forming the northern tip of Koh Phi Phi Don. This village is still here yet has been joined by a fair deal of resorts since the end of the eighties. The most notable accommodation options in Laem Tong are the famous Holiday Inn Phi Phi Resort and the luxuriously Bohemian Zeavola Resort. A handful of smaller resorts also stand on Laem Tong beachfront.
Right in front of the beach, although too far to swim to, are Bamboo Island, Mosquito Island and Hin Klang. They are three of the best spots for snorkelling in Phi Phi. Far in the distance you can see Railay Beach and Koh Lanta. All along Laem Tong, the seafloor is a uniform depth for at least a hundred metres out until the coral begins, shortly after there is a drop off that descends to the depths.
There aren't any beach chairs or sun loungers for rent on Laem Tong, however the hotels have them for their guests. Hammocks can be found as well under the shade of coconut palms in front of the Holiday Inn.
Laem Tong Beach Activities
Laem Tong Beach is a serene spot, however there are activities offered by the hotels to get the pulse going. Such activities include water sports (snorkelling, kayaking, and scuba diving) as well as beach volley, football, badmington, Thai cooking, and more. Swim out to the drop off and you'll find excellent snorkelling. At the northern end of the beach you don't have to swim so far to see the coral in front of Phi Phi Natural Resort. Long-tail boats can take you out to see Bamboo or Mosquito Island, the beaches are stunning and the snorkelling amazing, just remember to arrange a time to be picked up!
For those interested in diving there are at least two dive centres that offer dive courses and day trips; they can handle all your dive-related requirements. As the sun drops you might find some of the locals, hotel staff members and guests playing football or volleyball on the beach; feel free to join in.
A path has been built along the hills between Laem Tong Beach and Loh Bagao Bay. It offers a pleasant 30 minutes’ stroll to visit Phi Phi Island Village Beach Resort and the satellite businesses that opened in the past five years right behind it in Lanah Bay.
Laem Tong Beach Restaurants
Sawasdee Restaurant is on Laem Thong Beach, an almost stereotyped tropical beach with turquoise waters, bright white sand and gently wafting palms. Go up a short set of stairs and you’re instantly in a large, open-sided, wooden floor restaurant which is frequented by day tour groups, but to the left you’ll see a separate area where you can enjoy a good meal. Beach breezes waft by and from outside you’ll hear gentle live music sang by a musician who runs through a list of popular oldies but goldies. It’s relaxed, civil and a tranquil option to dining in the five-star hotel restaurants along this beach.
- Opening Hours: 10:00-22:00
- Location: Right on the beach at P.P. Erawan Palms Resort
Jasmin Laem Thong
Seafood prepared by genuine Sea Gypsies sounds a fanciful notion but it’s one that actually happens at Laem Thong Beach in northeastern Phi Phi Island. Beachside, and set in the Sea Gypsy village between several five-star hotels, Jasmin is immensely popular with visitors because of its simple setup, fresh seafood and – most of all – because its prices are a fraction of what the surrounding hotels charge.
Take in the views of the sea and neighbouring Mosquito Island while sipping a cold beer and take your time here; no one is in a hurry in a restaurant as relaxed as Jasmin. Serving catch of the day seafood, typical Thai dishes (think fried rice and chicken, phad thai etc), all genuinely spicy, this is the real stuff, there’s no doubt about it.
- Location: Right on the beach at Laem Tong Sea Gipsy village, next to Sawasdee Restaurant
Laem Tong Beach After Dark
If you are looking for a relaxing drink in the late afternoon, the Holiday Inn's Sunset Satay Bar is really something, and only a 10 minutes stroll up a hill from the beach. The walkway is well-made and well-lit for the way back down. It's a bit like a pub's beer garden (only more expensive) with a spectacular view to the west enlightened by the sunset.
Getting to Laem Tong Beach
The best way to get to Laem Tong is by long-tail boat to/from Tonsai Village (more expensive at night). It takes about an hour. Some of the ferries coming from Phuket and Krabi make a stop at Laem Tong.