Ko Phi Phi (or Koh Phi Phi) is a small archipelago in Krabi Province, Southern Thailand.
The named islands are:
- Ko Phi Phi Don, the largest and only populated island.
- Ko Phi Phi Leh (also known as Ko Phi Phi Lai), a smaller island to the south, popularised when parts of the movie "The Beach" were filmed there. Uninhabited apart from bird nest harvesters and a few Maya Bay wardens; expect plenty of tourists during daylight hours, especially in Maya Bay, the beach of the eponymous movie.
- Ko Phai ('Bamboo Island'), a small low-lying islet to the north of Phi Phi Don with several good beaches.
- Ko Yung (Yung Island) is north of Ko Phi Phi Don. The island has a stone beach in the east and small sandy beaches at the foot of the hills. It is teeming with various kinds of colourful coral reefs.
- Bida Nok and Bida Nai, two small adjacent limestone karsts to the south of Phi Phi Leh, with near-vertical cliff walls rising from the sea.
Although rapidly becoming less and less attractive due to the masses of tourists as well as the construction on the island, it remains a beautiful place to visit. Although the beaches are not the best in Thailand, the place has a good vibe and nightlife and there are 18 dive shops to choose from.
Most of the (over)development of Phi Phi Don is situated in or around Tonsai Village, which is on the low, sandy isthmus that joins the two hilly spurs that comprise the rest of the island. There are also other, quieter resorts on Long Beach, Laem Thong, and at other less accessible areas of the island.
Ko Phi Phi was devastated by the Indian Ocean tsunami of December 2004, when nearly all of the island's infrastructure was wiped out. Redevelopment has, however, been swift, and services like electricity, water, Internet access and ATMs are up and running again, but waste handling has been slower to come back online.
It should be noted that, while very laid back, many of the local islanders are Muslim. You will lose considerable respect if you walk around town in your skimpies (this applies to Buddhist areas of Thailand too!). While many tourists do in fact parade down Main Street in their Speedos or thong bikinis, to avoid offending your hosts, it's usually best just to throw on a pair of shorts or a sarong; similarly, topless on the beaches, while grudgingly tolerated by most locals, is also probably best avoided.
Climate & When to go to Koh Phi Phi
Weather in the region is tropical - there are only two seasons: the hot season from January to April, and the rainy season from May to December. Temperatures during the year average 25ºC to 32ºC (77ºF to 89.6ºF) and the yearly rainfall averages 2568.5mm. Unlike in say Europe, the rain in this region comes down heavily over short periods.