I am struggling to work out the best area to stay on Phi Phi to suit our requirements - 4 friends (2 couples) for a few days in late October; growing out of backpacking and into flashpacking. Having read all the info around including the Travelfish guide I am still confused about which parts of the island should be avoided if we don't want a full on party place. Is it that if we avoid the Ton Sai village part and stay further towards Long Beach around the Andaman Beach Resort, Bayvew, Viking etc area things will be a bit quieter but not dead? We like a few drinks but are a bit past raving into the early hours; we're not really into romantic dinners so want a bit of life in a few bars and restaurants that we can ideally walk to. How quiet/busy is Long Beach? As we will be there at the end of October maybe there is not too much to worry about anyway? Oh and this may be a daft statement for Phi Phi but a beautiful beach is a must! Apologies if I am asking for info that is already here but I can't see it for looking! Thanks
Couple of points -
Phi Phi aint that great a place to stay. Resorts are overpriced and the nightlife is very try hard.
Ton Sai looks like hell on earth.
Long Beach is the best option but it aint that long.
There's good snorkelling at Phi Phi, but apart from that it's fairly disappointing.
#2 travelrock has been a member since 19/4/2008. Posts: 209
Agree about Phi Phi not being that great. Altho we were only there for a short time it wasnt quite the 'paradise' people have said it was. Just looked like another Thai island to me (Ive seen a few)
Krabi is a nice place in the low season and Koh Pang Nang is hectic in the south at full moon but quiet in the north.
Thanks both for the advice. Just doesn't seem like there are many Phi Phi fans out there anymore! We already also intend to spend a few days in Krabi (was thinking Railay Beach West) but maybe we should spend the whole time there now.
The back beaches (on the east coast of the island) are the best in my opinion. It means you're a boat ride from Ao Ton Sai, but that's no great loss as Ton Sai is a festering pit. I wouldn't write the place off, but likewise I wouldn't expect an unspoilt paradise.
I spent a week last August on Long Beach - I reckon it answers your wants pretty well. Not too crowded but not dead, close enough to town for easy access and places discounted nicely from high season.
One point is that the sea was often not the glassy flatness of high season - a big advantage of the laid back east coast in low season where I also spent time. Got some pix etc in the link below of both areas. One point abt the east coast - access to town can be expensive.
We are not planning on staying on Ko Phi Phi but would it be worth a day trip? If we were staying on Ko Lanta and instead of taking the ferry straight to Krabi when we left to fly out, we took a morning ferry from Ko Lanta to Ko Phi Phi and the afternoon ferry from Ko Phi Phi to Krabi , would it be worth it to hike to the view point, have some lunch and see the beaches? Would it be hard to find a trustworthy to leave our bags for a few hours? Are the ferries in general in this area a scenic/ pleasant experience?
#8 maliamaui has been a member since 1/8/2008. Posts: 17
It's a popular spot for day trippers as they mostly take you to Phi Phi Leh (where parts of The Beach was filmed) and then do some snorkelling, and perhaps climb the view point. I'd lean towards doing a tour rather than by regular ferries, though I'm not sure if tours run from Lanta.
Thank you for your replies. We would actually be there mid-January (after the 13th). We are planning on staying on Koh Lipe for three nights and then taking the ferry to Ko Lanta or another island near Ko Lanta for two nights. On another post people suggested just staying on Koh Lipe or another island like Ko Libong for the entire time but my husband really wants to take the ferry and I have to admit we are fast travelers who aren't looking to spend a whole lot of time sitting on the beach. Is the ferry ride (from Koh Lipe to Koh Lanta) scenic at all or are you stuck inside with engine noise?
We aren't particularly attached to staying on Koh Lanta but it seemed like some of the islands around it cater mostly to package tours and we like the convenience and cost of flying out of Krabi. Any suggestions on where to stay?
The only reason we were thinking of going to go to Phi Phi on our own is because the flight that we were gonna buy leaves at night so we thought we'd take the morning boat from Ko Lanta to Phi Phi, drop our bags somewhere (we travel light), explore and then catch the (2:00?) boat from Phi Phi to Krabi?
#11 maliamaui has been a member since 1/8/2008. Posts: 17
There isnt much to explore on Phi Phi itself. The main reason for going there is the snorkelling.
From Ko Lanta you coul do one of those multi island tours which go to the trang islands of Kradan, Muk, Ngai etc.
Or you could stay at say Muk itself. You dont need to book a package to stay there or any of the other trang islands.
Otherwise go to Krabi and do tours from there like Phi Phi, Hong, Kayaking etc.
If you arent intestered in beaches not sure why you want to go in the first place though. Laying on the beaches and snorkellin are the main reasons to go :-)
If you are more interested in activities and exploring Krabi would be a better place to stay.
5 nights seems a bit rushed to me. 7 nights would be better - 3 lipe, 2 lanta or muk, 2 krabi.
#12 travelrock has been a member since 19/4/2008. Posts: 209
If you do stay on Lanta, Kantiang Bay is the best place.
#13 travelrock has been a member since 19/4/2008. Posts: 209
Thank travelrock! That helps a lot. Unfortunately we only have 5 nights so we'll have to choose where to spend the last 2. It's not that we wouldn't love to be staying on a nice beach its just that since we live on Maui and hang out on the beach here, we are looking for other activities like island hopping, kayaking, and hiking. We basically just like to explore. Kantiang bay looks nice but expensive-- we atleast have to stay under $50/ night-- the only one I saw in that range is Kantiang bay view resort. Further south there is Bamboo Bay resort? Otherwise, any suggestions for where to stay on Muk? Is the emerald cave worth going to? Thanks again.
#14 maliamaui has been a member since 1/8/2008. Posts: 17
"island hopping, kayaking, and hiking. We basically just like to explore. Kantiang bay looks nice but expensive-- we atleast have to stay under $50/ night-- the only one I saw in that range is Kantiang bay view resort. Further south there is Bamboo Bay resort? Otherwise, any suggestions for where to stay on Muk? Is the emerald cave worth going to? Thanks again."
Islanfd hopping is best done via a day tour which you can book from Muk or Lanta.
Kantiang Bay Resort has aircon rooms for about $50 in high season i think. Bamboo Bay resort is a bit crumby from what I saw but havent stayed there.
Kayaking - good kayaking tours can be booked from Krabi . The best spot is Bor Thor where you can explore caves and rock art. You can also do kayaking at Ko Hong.
Hiking - You could try Phanom Bencha NP not far from Krabi town. There's a resort there too - http://www.phanombenchamountainresort.com/
maybe you could cut lipe to 2n
#15 travelrock has been a member since 19/4/2008. Posts: 209
emerald cave is good i hear, i havent done it
#16 travelrock has been a member since 19/4/2008. Posts: 209
Travelrock~ I'll look into those options. Thanks again for all your help!
One more general question for whoever may know-- for around Jan 13-18 should I book rooms on Koh Lipe, Lanta, and around before I arrive in Thailand, a few days before, or just try my luck?
#17 maliamaui has been a member since 1/8/2008. Posts: 17
jan is peak season so booking ahead is a good idea if you are sure where you want to stay. but if you are a little uncertain and dont mind staying at other resorts then you could just wing it. lanta has plenty of resorts so no trouble finding alternate places there but lipe is a lot smaller so probably best to pre-book that one.
on your last day if you stayed at lanta you could take the morning boat to ao nang, go to a travel shop and book an afternoon tour. leave your big bags with them and you'll get back around 5pm. as long as your flight was around 8pm or later you'd have plenty of time.
#18 travelrock has been a member since 19/4/2008. Posts: 209