Tonsai Bay is a hive of activity from morning to mid afternoon. When the last ferry boat leaves, calm descends on the place and it returns to its sleepy village feel. With ATMs, a 7-Eleven and a host of cheap and cheerful Thai restaurants and food stands it's got just about everything you need in its compact area.
Getting Around Tonsai Village
In Phi Phi there are really only three modes of transport; by foot, by longtail to places that require a boat journey and by bicycle around Tonsai Village. People who work there use the bicycles and softly sound 'tring tring' when they want to overtake you. Unfortunately things are a little disorganised and accidents occur.
You can walk to most places in Tonsai Village within 10 minutes. Long Beach can be reached in about 30 minutes.
Longtails ferry passengers to and from Long Beach for 80/100 baht (day/night), and can be rented for 1,000/2,000 baht for half/full-day trips to Maya Bay, or for snorkeling etc.
Stunning Tonsai Bay has turquoise water and is a hive of boating activity. Ferries come and go, yachts anchor, dive and tour boats pick up their customers and longtails whiz back and forth carrying passengers or goods.
The bay is nearly two km long from the outer points with tall cliffs giving way to small beaches inhabited by monkeys and with coral reefs fringing the west side. The east side of the bay is shallower with large areas of coral and a series of beaches and hotels occupying the shore. At the mouth of the bay on the east side is Long Beach and Shark Point which face Phi Phi Leh.
Although the area close to the pier is taken up by boats, the far west end of the beach is very isolated. Silky soft sand, clear water and coral awaits. It's strange that it's not more popular. From afar it looks like there's nothing there but the ten-minute walk along the beach is well worth it.
You can rent deck chairs for very little from one of the small bungalow resorts or a kayak for 300 baht for two hours. Lunch, drinks and snacks are provided, and there are toilets. Snorkeling is good all along the edge of the bay and the close-by cliffs are used by climbers to test their skills. If you're looking for somewhere close to Tonsai Village that's secluded to relax at this is your spot. Read more about Tonsai West...
The pier is Phi Phi's lifeline to the outside world and acts as a hub. The atmosphere changes throughout the day with the focus on the ferry boat schedule. At certain times the area around the pier is as busy as any city railway station in rush hour, with passengers milling around whilst waiting for their boat.
New arrivals and daytrippers hover and look bemused at the hustle and bustle of this island paradise and all the while touts try to sell them accommodation. In general, time in Phi Phi is measured in boats… ferry boats.
After 14:30, when the last boat leaves, the atmosphere becomes much calmer, and the streets less crowded.