Loh Bagao (pronounced and often spelled Loh Bakao) is a 800-metre wide bay located on the northeastern coast of Phi Phi Don Island. Famous for hosting one of the most popular hotels in Phi Phi – Phi Phi Island Village Beach Resort – Bagao Bay is far more than a stunning, white, powdery sand beach running along a picturesque coconut grove sheltering the beautiful Thai-style bungalows of the resort.
The southern end of Loh Bagao Beach features another high-end accommodation choice – Villa 360 Resort & Spa Phi Phi, which somehow disturbs the natural beauty of this natural area with its futuristic design. It is at the northern end of Loh Bagao that you could discover one of the last secrets of Phi Phi Island.
Loh Bagao has been for a very long time pretty difficult to reach by anything other than long-tail boat. It is not the case anymore as a proper path links Loh Bagao to Laem Thong Beach (to the north), Lana Bay and Nui Beach (to the west), and for the hardcore hikers, to Loh Dalum (to the south).
The latter trail is not that easy as it goes through hills covered with lush vegetation; the walk from Loh Dalum to Loh Bagao takes a good two-hours and it’s best to find a local guide and to bring along water and snacks if you decide to try the challenge.
There’s a small river at the northern end of Loh Bagao. If you follow this river on a few hundred metres, you’ll come upon a mangrove forest and a small village featuring a cool choice of bars, restaurants, shops, and bungalow resorts. This small village really has a strong character: grown in the middle of nowhere, between the beach and the mangrove, most of the businesses here are typical bamboo-and-thatch constructions with names such as Oasis Bar & Restaurant, Red Tuna Restaurant, and the excellent Aroy Kaffeine Café & Guesthouse which occupies an enviable location at the foot of the main landmark in this area, the ‘Golden Gate Bridge’ of Phi Phi Island.
This bridge allows everyone to pass over the river and mangrove to reach the north of Phi Phi Don. Its shape has something of the world-famous bridge of San Francisco. Once passed the bridge, you can find 200m away a local viewpoint offering a splendid vista over the cliffs standing behind Phi Phi Island Village Resort.
Summing up, a day trip to Loh Bagao permits you to discover an interesting and rather unknown area of Phi Phi Don Island. You can get there by long-tail boat from Tonsai Bay, a four-hour round trip will cost you about 2,000 baht. Hint: ask your pilot to drop you at Loh Bagao in the morning, then to pick you up at Loh Lana in the early afternoon; this way you’ll see both sides of Phi Phi Don Island in one trip.