The impossibly handsome Ko Phi Phi archipelago is a backpacker and honeymooner’s dream. Marvel as aquamarine water laps at the shores of white-sand beaches backed by swaying palms and verdant jungle. Ride long-tail boats to secluded coves and discover a kaleidoscope of fascinating ocean life. Ko Phi Phi is a collection of six pristine islands set in the Andaman Sea. Devastated by the 2004 tsunami, the islands have since regained their moniker of being a true tropical paradise.
On the archipelago, Ko Phi Phi Don is the lively tourism center. Its compact size makes it ideal to traverse on foot. Discover postcard-perfect beaches lined with a gamut of bamboo bungalows, hotels and resorts. Among these beaches are Ao Loh Dalum, Ao Loh Bakao, Hat Yao and Laem Thong. Rent a kayak and explore isolated inlets shaded by craggy cliffs or walk to Phi Phi Viewpoint for unrivalled island views.
At the heart of the island is Ton Sai Village, a jumble of paved streets home to artisan shops, bars, restaurants and food stands. Pay homage to the fallen at the Tsunami Memorial Park. After dark Ko Phi Phi Don plays host to animated parties but effortlessly returns to its idyllic image by sunrise.
A short boat ride south is the uninhabited Ko Phi Phi Leh. Relax on magnificent Maya Bay, made famous by the 2000 movie The Beach. Spot rock paintings and nesting swifts at Phaya Naark (Viking Island).
Join organized tours or rent a long-tail boat and visit bays with superb views of colorful coral reefs, marine life and shipwrecks. Excellent snorkeling spots are Monkey Bay, Ko Mai Phai (Bamboo Island) and Ko Yung (Mosquito Island). Take a scuba-diving course and delve deep into the waters of Ko Bida Nai and Ko Bida Nok.
Get to Ko Phi Phi by catching a ferry from Ao Nang, Ko Lanta, Krabi and Phuket to Ko Phi Phi Don’s Tonsai Pier. A balmy climate makes Ko Phi Phi a year-round destination, although expect showers from May to December. Come and see why it’s one of the world’s most-loved island getaways.