Close your eyes for a few seconds and picture a tropical island. Hammocks, coconuts and white sandy beaches presumably spring to mind. Convenient transport, on the other hand, seems an ironic feature to expect. But irony be damned, because reaching Koh Phi Phi is surprisingly simple.
Year round ferry services are undoubtedly the most popular way to reach Koh Phi Phi. Roughly 50km from both Phuket and Krabi (the main ports offering direct services to Koh Phi Phi Don), additional ferries set sail from Koh Lanta during peak season (November – April). Book in advance and arrive at least 45 minutes early to secure a seat on the top deck or air-conditioned lower decks, where food and beverages are available. Each vessel can accommodate between 300-400 passengers with premiums charged for access to VIP sections.
Please note: departure times may vary so double check your ticket to avoid any dramas.
Phuket to Koh Phi Phi
After disembarking at Phuket airport, travel via bus or taxi (it’s a good idea to organise this connection beforehand) to the Rassada Pier ferry terminal. This leg of the trip should take around an hour, depending on traffic. Island hoppers can then expect a two-hour voyage on one of the morning or afternoon ferries. Most vacationers disembark at Tonsai Pier, but for a fee of around 200THB some companies (such as Andaman Wave Master) go on to stop at Laem Tong Beach in the north.
Depart: 8.30am Arrive 10.30am
Depart: 1.30pm Arrive 3.30pm
Krabi to Koh Phi Phi
The main pier (Klong Jilad Pier) is a half hour drive from Krabi Airport and hotel transfers can be arranged to meet one of two services.
Depart: 9am Arrive 10.30am
Depart: 1.30pm Arrive 3pm
Koh Lanta to Koh Phi Phi
Ferries from Koh Lanta to Koh Phi Phi run between November and April from Saladan Pier.
Depart: 8am Arrive 9am
Depart: 1pm Arrive 2pm
If cramming onto a ferry and adhering to stringent timetables don’t tickle your fancy, speedboat transfer is the next best thing. Flexible departure times and pick-up and drop-off locations are its main draw cards. As expected, higher fees accompany this form of travel, but it can in fact work out cheaper for large groups or those staying outside Tonsai. For example, tourists lodging at Loh Bagao on Phi Phi Don’s northeast would need to hire a long tail boat from Tonsai, while a speedboat could land directly at the Bay.
Rougher conditions during September and October make the use of speedboats unadvisable. Monitor the forecast before making your final decision.
Long tail boat
Feeling adventurous? It is possible to reach the archipelago on a long tail boat, but be warned; it isn’t as romantic and charming as you imagine and it will take significantly longer (3-4 hours).
There are currently no direct flights to Koh Phi Phi. The best option is to fly into airports surrounding the island and use transportation outlined in the article above to get to Phi Phi Islands.