In the heart of Koh Phi Phi Don Island, where the time seemed to unfold gently, we spent our days in exploration, immersing ourselves in the rhythmic dance of island activities. One among them was visiting the nearby island of Koh Phi Phi Leh, which falls under the Hat Noppharat Thara – Mu Ko Phi Phi National Park.
Koh Phi Phi Leh, located 7 Km away from Koh Phi Phi Don, can be reached via speed boats and long tail boats in just 10-15 minutes.
This article will discuss various tour agencies offer to visit Koh Phi Phi Leh Island. With the infamous Maya Bay located, this place is a must-visit, and we’ve gathered all the info about the best tour options, sightseeing places on the island, and so much more.
All About The Maya Bay Tour
Table Of Contents
- National Park Entry Fee & Timings
- National Park Rules
- Different Packages Offered by the Tour Agencies
- What Does The Tour Cover?
- How to Book the Tours?
- Things to Pack
- Sightseeing Places in Koh Phi Phi Leh Island
- Other Places Covered on the Tours
- How does the Tour Work?
- Which Tour is the Best?
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Related Posts
National Park Entry Fee & Timings
The entry fee is collected upon entering Maya Bay. The price is 40 THB for Thai adults and 20 THB for Thai children. 400 THB for foreign adults and 200 THB for foreign children.
- Timings: 7 AM – 5 PM
National Park Rules
The Hat Noppharat Thara – Mu Ko Phi Phi National Park has certain rules and regulations that you need to follow. The rules are listed below. You will be fined 5000 – 10000 THB as a part of the National Park Act upon violating any of the following rules.
- Do not remove coral, Coraline, all shells, and marine life from the national park.
- Do not use sunscreen that could be harmful to corals.
- Bringing polystyrene foam boxes into this area is prohibited.
- Littering in this area is prohibited.
- Do not feed the fish.
- Do not use drones without permission.
- Do not drop anchor on coral reefs.
- Do not swim.
Different Packages Offered by the Tour Agencies
1. Half-Day Speedboat Tours
- Early Bird tour – 1000 THB from 6:30 AM – 10:30 AM
- Sunset and Plankton tour – 1200 THB from 15:00 to 20:00
- Other Half day tours – 500 THB from either 9 AM – 13:00 or 14:00 – 19:30
2. Full-Day Speedboat Tours
- Early Bird tour – 1500 from 6:30 AM to 14:30
3. Long Boat Tours
- 2000-2500 THB for a half-day tour for 2 persons
- 3000-4000 THB for a full-day tour for 2 persons
4. Private Long Boat Tours
The long boats can carry up to six or eight passengers but can also be used for a smaller group. You can avail them as private charters. The timelines would be adjusted based on your preference. The price for this would be higher than the shared ones. The cost of the long boats varies depending on the services, timings, and the company you choose to book with.
5. Day Trips From Phuket and Krabi
You can reach the Phi Phi islands only via Phuket and Krabi. Various companies offer tour packages covering Koh Phi Phi Don and Koh Phi Phi Leh (Maya Bay). The itinerary for this has been vividly detailed in our blog. Do give that a read.
While these are common tours, others go on a similar package but on a pirate boat. People are creative to attract visitors!
What Does The Tour Cover?
A group tour is your only way to reach Koh Phi Phi Leh. Most tour agencies offer packages, including the National Park’s entry fee. If this is not mentioned in your package, we suggest you enquire once and confirm the package. The tour operators don’t show you the entry ticket, nor is it checked upon entry.
The speedboat tours that last half a day cover the sunrise at the Ton Sai Pier at Koh Phi Phi Don Island, Maya Bay, Pileh Lagoon, Viking Cave, and Monkey Beach. For breakfast, sticky rice, a potato snack, and tea/ coffee are usually provided. We were given water, a Coke can, juice, fruits, Thai doughnuts, and a lunch box while on board.
How to Book the Tours?
Several tour agencies are lined up on the walking alleys of Koh Phi Phi Don island. You can approach and register directly with them. These tours can also be booked online.
Things to Pack
- Sun block lotion
- Mosquito Spray
Sightseeing Places in Koh Phi Phi Leh Island
Like something out of a map in a fantasy book, Maya Bay forms a beach in the shape of a crescent moon surrounded by majestic cliffs and rocky hills. This hypnotic scenery greeting you with emerald waves has become a popular spot. Playing host to the Leonardo di Caprio movie “The Beach” and several huge blockbusters, Maya Bay has become one of the world’s most recognizable and picture-perfect locales.
The boats are parked at the back of Maya Bay on the Loh Samah Bay. If you climb a couple of steps from the boat parking and follow the guided path for about ten minutes, sheltered by the mangroves on both sides, you will reach Maya Bay. You can unwind for about an hour on the beach; check out the rock formations. Remember that you cannot swim or venture far into the water on the Maya Bay beach.
You can get tender coconuts from a couple of restaurants or opt for fresh smoothies and snacks. A neat and clean restroom can also be found.
Yet another beautiful lagoon beckoning you with its crystal clear waters is Pileh Lagoon, located on the other side of Maya Bay. You can find people getting off their boats and swimming around here. There are no corals or marine creatures. You are allowed up to forty minutes at Pileh Lagoon.
Known as Tham Phaya Nak in the Thai language, the Viking Cave owes its name to the paintings found on the South Eastern walls of the cave: they represent various types of boats, including Chinese Junkers that resemble Scandinavian Drakkar. These paintings are quite old and were discovered by sailors taking shelter in the cave during the storms.
Viking Cave is also home to one of Phi Phi Island’s most profitable local industries: the hunting and harvesting of swiftlet birds’ nests. Particularly prized in Chinese culture, these edible nests are believed to promote good health and good skin.
Tourists are not allowed into the Viking Cave, although the boats stop allowing the tourists to take pictures from the boat.
The best place in Koh Phi Phi Leh to snorkel is Coral City. Boats are parked 100 meters away, not disturbing marine life. As we opted for the early bird tour, we saw many baby sharks and Nemo fishes among many colorful creatures. There is a beach at the end where you can rest for a while. The guide calls out for everyone when he spots a shark. Seeing the baby sharks for the first time is the highlight of our trip.
The waves are huge, and it is recommended to wear a life jacket if you don’t know how to swim. You’ll be given 40 minutes for snorkeling here.
Other Places Covered on the Tours
The boats would make a pit stop at Monkey Beach on Koh Phi Phi Don Island for half an hour. You can find several of the Macaques roaming around here. Be warned that these creatures are notoriously known for stealing your bags and belongings, so it’s better if everything is kept on the boat. You can admire them from afar, as they are also known for biting. When we went here, the guides fed pineapples to the monkeys, and a huge crowd appeared out of nowhere.
While the half-day tours usually end here, the following two places are covered in the full-day tours.
The Bamboo Island, or the Koh Mai Phai, is located off the north of Koh Phi Phi Don and is a small reef island. With crystal clear beaches, ivory sand, glistening shores, and a tiny bar, Bamboo Island is as fun as it sounds and is especially popular among snorkelers. You would be provided lunch in a box and could relax for a couple of hours on the island. You can also find restroom facilities and snack shops on the island.
It is common to see people preferring this island over Maya Bay, as it is way less crowded, and you can take a quick dip here.
A popular diving spot located on Koh Phi Phi Don Island and accessible only by boat is Nui Bay or Bui Beach. Standing true to Thailand’s revered beaches, this island boasts clear waters, colorful corals, and fishes. You can snorkel here for about 40 minutes among the stunning rock formations. You can find people who opt for private tours, taking a canoe to Nui Beach from Loh Dalum Bay, or even staying overnight on a yacht nearby.
How does the Tour Work?
If you are wondering how the different tours work on Phi Phi Island after coming across all the shops selling the same tours, let us explain. The following does not apply to private tours.
Irrespective of the company you’ve booked your tickets with, all the tour operators gather tourists and assemble them at the specified timings at McDonald’s. After you confirm the payment details, you will be asked to register with your name and signature. A colored band (Red, Blue, Green, Yellow, Violet, etc) will be offered to you, which needs to be tied to your wrist. The people are grouped by color and take a boat.
Breakfast is served at the Tonsai Pier while watching the sunrise (only for early bird tours). Their colors will refer to everyone. Drop your footwear in the bag provided to you and step off the boat. We suggest you occupy the front seats on the front open deck, even before the sailor, for the best views in the speed boat! The seating is done on a first-come, first-serve basis, although people change seats after a certain time.
You can carry anything liquid to consume, and fruits are distributed after the swim at Piley Lagoon. Once the tour is completed and you land at Ton Sai Pier again, a tip box will be kept for the guide and sailor for donations.
After landing, your footwear will be returned, and you can leave and enjoy the rest of the day.
Which Tour is the Best?
While early bird tours are often marketed as “avoid the crowds” experiences, the reality may not align with the name. The only crowds you’ll truly sidestep are those departing from Krabi and Phuket.
Regardless of your chosen package or timing, expect sizable crowds. Opting for a private long boat tour won’t guarantee exclusivity, so it’s not the ideal recommendation.
During Atchaya’s half-day early bird tour on a speedboat, the highlight was spotting baby sharks and Nemo fishes at Coral City while snorkeling, an experience that might be missed on day tours. If your priority is witnessing planktons, opt for sunset tours. For budget considerations, day trips are a suitable choice.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I stay overnight at Maya Bay?
While you can’t stay directly on Maya Bay, consider a stay-aboard cruise nearby for a luxurious experience. Priced at 3000 THB per person, this option offers attractive amenities, engaging activities, and diverse food choices. Note that camping on Maya Bay beach is not permitted.
Is Maya Bay closed?
Maya Bay has been open for visiting since 2023. It was closed from 2018 to 2022 for the conservation of the ecosystem and to restore mass tourism in previous years and COVID-19.
What is the best time to visit Maya Bay?
The optimal time to explore Maya Bay and Phi Phi Islands is from November to April, during the dry months. This period offers ideal conditions for engaging in water sports and various activities. It is advisable to avoid visiting during the rainy season, which occurs from May to October.
We hope you enjoy the journey and beauty of Phi Phi Island.
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