How to reach Phi Phi island from Phuket and Krabi?

The Best Ways To Reach Phi Phi Island

Phi Phi Island is a tropical gem nestled in Southern Thailand that beckons thousands of eager visitors daily. With accessibility from both the vibrant Phuket and the picturesque Krabi, the Koh Phi Phi Islands promise an adventure like no other. 

This article unfolds a comprehensive guide, delving into the diverse means of transport available to reach Phi Phi Islands. Packed with tips and insights, our discussion is your compass to seamless planning, ensuring you choose the most fitting way to make your Phi Phi experience truly unforgettable.

Different Ways To Reach Koh Phi Phi Don Island

Where to Buy the Tickets?

When seeking transportation options in Phuket, look at the reception of your accommodation, where you’ll likely find informative pamphlets. For the most budget-friendly choice, consider a ferry or speedboat ticket directly from the hostel you’re staying at, which is a significantly cheaper option based on our findings. Note that this favorable rate is exclusive to hostel residents, and outsiders may incur a doubled cost.

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If your accommodation is a hotel or homestay, the most competitive prices are typically available online through platforms like 12AsiaGo (recommended) and BookAWay, closely followed by tour agencies at the port. Keep in mind that third-party tour agencies often impose higher charges.

Twin’s Tip

From what we observed, the tour agencies charge extra, more than the price of the ferry for the hotel pickup. Alternatively, you can book a Grab, the equivalent of Uber in Thailand, and reach the departure pier yourself. This simple trick would save you close to 90% for the transfer service. The same applies while booking the speedboat or day tour (option #3 below).

Which Class to Choose?

The standard class or passenger deck is air-conditioned and comfortable. We recommend you book the standard or passenger ticket only.

Some of the ferries have first class and premium class, for which the tickets can be purchased. You can also upgrade by paying extra even after you board. They come with additional facilities like push-back seats or sofa seats, television, etc.

Boarding a Ferry/ Speed Boat

Passenger check-in counter for phi phi island ferry

The best practice is to arrive at least thirty minutes before the departure time. Look out for the ferry company where the bookings have been made. The gate numbers are mentioned on the display at the departure counter. Different cruise companies would have put up a counter to verify the passengers’ tickets. Once you’ve been verified, they will place a company sticker on your clothes. For example, Phi Phi Cruiser. You are allowed to board the ferry fifteen minutes before the departure. 

Food Availability Onboard

Beer, water, fresh drinks, and snacks are sold on the ferry and speedboats. They are not overpriced, and the pricing is similar to the shops on the land. You can find a restroom, but it gets dirty as time passes. 

Departure and Arrival Pier

Rassada harbor at Phuket - departure terminal

Phuket’s ferry and speedboat services depart from Rassada Harbour and arrive at Ton Sai or Phi Phi Pier.  All the ferry and speedboat services depart from Rassada Harbour from Phuket and arrive at Ton Sai Pier or Phi Phi Pier. 

The ferries at Krabi set sail from Klong Jilad Pier or Nopparat Thara Pier (Ao Nang) and dock at Ton Sai Pier or Phi Phi Pier. On the other hand, the speedboats chart their course from various points, including the Krabi River Marina, Railay East, Ao Nam Mao Pier, Chaofar Pier, and Klong Jilad Pier.

Luggage

The bigger backpacks and suitcases are usually asked to be kept at the front or the end of the ferries. The workers will help you with the luggage. They are generally placed on top of each other, so it is better to have valuables and electronics, like laptops, cameras, etc., on you. In a speed boat, you must keep your luggage underneath your seat.

Different Ways to Reach the Koh Phi Phi Don Island

While planning your trip to Phi Phi Island, you should consider several factors, such as comfort, travel time, and budget, to choose the best transportation option. We also advise that the accommodations and tickets be booked in advance and that you check the weather conditions as they affect your experience.

1. Ferry Ride from Phuket & Krabi

Ferry ride from Phuket and Krabi to Phi Phi island

The easiest and most cost-effective way to reach Phi Phi Island is to take the ferry. Perfect for those traveling with family, children, or those prone to seasickness. The ferry can accommodate at least 300-500 people on a single trip. The duration to reach Phuket and Krabi is about 2 hours long. The ferry usually has an open deck at the top level, and the front area is accessible to standard-class people as well.

We took the one-way journey from Phuket to Phi Phi Island and explored the place for a couple of days. It is your choice if you wish to return the same day.

Life jackets are placed on the seats or in the overhead bins. However, wearing a life jacket while on board is not mandatory.

Cost

The standard class costs approximately 400 THB to 550 THB from Phuket and Krabi. The price difference depends on where you book the tickets from. If the tour operators quote a price beyond that, check for the additional facilities, or it is a no-no. This usually means he is trying to charge commission on the rides, and it is most likely they’ll not reduce more than a couple hundred THBs even if you bargain.

Ferry Timings

The timetable for the ferries that you see at a shop might be different from the one you notice at the hostel or a tour agency. The first ferry operates at 8:00 AM and the last at 3:00 PM.

2. Speedboat from Phuket and Krabi

Speed Boat rides

The time for the speedboat to cover Phuket to Phi Phi island is an hour, whereas the journey takes between 30-50 minutes from Krabi, depending on the pier it departs from. The speedboats come with life jackets and refreshments. It has a toilet facility onboard, but it is not air-conditioned. 

The best views are right in the front deck at the bow, past the drivers. 

The ride will be bumpy when crossing the tides. Therefore, if you have seasickness, we would not recommend a speedboat. The same applies to older people and children as well. A speedboat can accommodate only 20-30 people.

Cost

The cost ranges between 500 THB and 850 THB from Phuket and 900 THB from Krabi. Some speedboats charge more than 1000 THB for the facilities they offer onboard.

Speedboat Timings

The speedboats to Phi Phi Island from Phuket are operated from morning until noon. The first ferry starts at 8:30 AM and the last at 2 PM.

3. Day Trips to Phi Phi Island

For those on a schedule, the day trip option is much preferred. They travel to Koh Phi Phi Island as a day trip from Phuket or Krabi. The itinerary is planned as a whole, and an English-speaking guide will accompany you to explain all the details. The tourists from hostels and agencies are picked up from different locations and assembled at the departure pier.

The package usually includes breakfast (speedboat passengers) and a buffet lunch. The itineraries are for reference only. The timings, costs, and places may vary slightly depending on your chosen tour operator. The prices are negotiable.

From Phuket by Ferry

Passenger deck or standard class in ferry

Here’s a sample itinerary by ferry for Koh Phi Phi Don and Koh Phi Phi Leh Islands, a one-day trip from Phuket. It costs 2200 THB for adults and 1800 THB for children between 4-11 years.

  • 7:15 AM – Pickup from the hotel
  • 8:00 AM – Check-in at Rassada Harbour
  • 8:30 AM – Depart to Phi Phi island
  • 10:30 AM – Sightseeing for Phi Phi Leh, Maya Bay, Loh Samah Bay, and Viking Cave
  • 11:00 AM – Arrive at Ton Sai Bay (Phi Phi Pier)
  • 11:05 AM – change to snorkeling boat at Ton Sai Pier. Enjoy snorkeling at Coral Bay.
  • 12:30 AM – Lunch and free time to explore Phi Phi Island.
  • 2:00 PM – Check-in on the ferry at Ton Sai Pier
  • 2:30 PM – Depart to Phuket
  • 4:30 PM – Arrive at Rasada Pier. Transfer service to the hotel.

From Phuket by Speedboat

Below’s a sample itinerary by speedboat for Koh Phi Phi Don, Koh Phi Phi Leh, and Khai Island from Phuket. It costs 3800 THB for adults and 2200 for children between 4-11 years old.

  • 7:15 AM – pickup from the hotel
  • 9:30 AM – Check-in at Rassada Harbour. Enjoy a complimentary breakfast with tea, toast, and some snacks.
  • 10:00 AM – Depart to Phi Phi Island, sightseeing at Maya Bay and Loh Samah Bay, enjoy swimming, a clear kayak, and a paddle boat at Pileh Lagoon, and visit Viking Cave, snorkel near the cave.
  • 12:45 AM – Lunch at Chao Koh Restaurant at Koh Phi Phi Don.
  • 2:00 AM – enjoy snorkeling and swimming near Phi Phi Don.
  • 2:30 AM – Monkey beach
  • 3:20 PM – Head to Khai Islands. Relax on the white sand beach, swimming and snorkeling
  • 4:30 PM – Depart to Phuket
  • 5:00 PM – Arrive at the Pier. Transfer service to the hotel.

Similar itineraries are offered from Krabi as well.

4. Private Charter

Private charter boats can be arranged from various locations for a truly personalized and delightful adventure, allowing travelers to explore the islands at their leisure. This option, however, stands as the most expensive choice of all.

Koh Phi Phi Island doesn’t have an airport or helipad since it is such a small island, and the possibility of building one in the future is low.

Which is the best option and why?

Top deck for passengers at the ferry

Opting for a day trip to explore Phi Phi Island might provide a fleeting glimpse, missing out on the best activities on Koh Phi Phi Don Island. While day trips cover essential sightseeing spots and offer a decent array of activities, this choice is recommended solely for those with limited time and a constrained budget.

For a more immersive experience, we strongly advise purchasing a one-way ticket from Krabi or Phuket via ferry or speedboat and extending your stay on Poh Phi Phi Don Island for a couple of days. As a vibrant party island, the night vibe is an experience not to be missed. Our recommendation stems from firsthand experience, as we went on an early morning half-day tour from Koh Phi Phi Don Island to explore Koh Phi Phi Ley and Maya Bay. Dive into our story to discover how it unfolded.

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