Turquoise waters, tropical beaches with white soft sand and breathtaking rock formations. These are just a few of the many things that attract tourists from all over the world to Koh Phi Phi in Thailand. Celebrated in movies and full of beauty that seems too great for real life, Phi Phi island has lots to see and do, with its stunning beaches, boat tours, and other attractions. We have been there are a couple of times and now it’s the time to share with you how to get to Phi Phi Island.
With all its magnificence, travel to Koh Phi Phi is not very straightforward as it is only accessible by boat. If it is your first time in Thailand or to Koh Phi Phi you might find a bit confusing to plan your trip to the islands and book all the tickets. But don’t panic, here is a step by step guide on how to get to Phi Phi Island from anywhere in Thailand. This guide will provide you with all the routes and how to plan your trip and buy your travel tickets.
How to travel to Phi Phi Island from anywhere in Thailand
Traveling to Phi Phi island usually requires that you combine multiple travel options like getting on a plane or a bus, and then taking a ferry. While it’s possible to book these trips individually, it is most efficient to simply purchase a single ticket [also called a joint ticket] that covers the entire journey whenever possible.
The most important thing to remember is that you must do all your bookings in advance [at least a few days in advance] to ensure you can secure a space on ferries or buses. This is very important especially during the high season, from November to April, when many tourists are traveling in Thailand and especially on the islands.
How to get from Bangkok to Phi Phi Island
Bangkok is Thailand’s capital and one of the most developed cities in Asia. An enormous city with lots of people and vibrant culture, Bangkok has a lot to see and do [read our guide to Bangkok here], and after a few days, you will be craving for a relaxing break on Koh Phi Phi beaches.
You have three options to travel to Koh Phi Phi from Bangkok. The fastest of all is to travel by air. Although there are no airports on Phi Phi Island, you can take a flight from Bangkok to Phuket, which has an airport near Phi Phi island. From Phuket Airport, you will need to take a van to Rassada Pier, which is one hour away from the airport. Once there, a ferry will take you to Tonsai Pier on Phi Phi.
You can also fly from Bangkok to Krabi International Airport and from there take a van to Krabi Pier and then a boat to Phi Phi Island. Depending on the company you choose to fly with you can buy a single ticket from Bangkok to Koh Phi Phi and the company will take care of your van and ferry transportation. This is very helpful, so when booking your flight check for AirAsia, Nok Air, and TigerAir, they usually to this joint ticket to the islands.
If traveling to Koh Phi Phi by air is beyond your budget, you can take the train from Bangkok to Surat Thani station. From there you will get on a bus to Krabi and from Krabi pier a ferry to Koh Phi Phi. Joint tickets are available for the option too.
The cheapest way to travel from Bangkok to Phi Phi is by bus. There are daily buses from Bangkok to Krabi, and then you need to take a ferry to Phi Phi island. Depending on the bus company you choose to travel with you can buy the joint ticket and have everything planned and booked for you. Or you can buy tickets separated, which might be cheaper but then you need to be sure about the timetables to not miss any of the connections.
How to get from Phuket to Phi Phi Island
The island of Phuket has breathtaking mountain views, gorgeous beaches, friendly locals and lively towns. Many travelers say it’s overcrowded and touristy, we tend to say Phuket is awesome as long as you know where to stay and what to do. Before traveling to Koh Phi Phi give a try to Phuket, but make sure to read our guide of things to do in Phuket beyond Patong Beach before arriving there.
Unlike Bangkok, which is 694km far from Koh Phi Phi, Phuket is only 46km and it provides easier access options. There are two options of boats from Phuket to Phi Phi Island, you can choose between the regular ferries or speedboats. Most people take the ferry to Phi Phi island as it is more affordable.
Because of the high demand, it is very important to check the schedules and book your boat from Phuket to Phi Phi ahead of time and to arrive at least 30 minutes to an hour before the departure time to get good seats. The journey from Rassada Pier via ferry takes about two hours. If you would prefer to shorten your trip time, you can take the speedboat from Rassada Pier. The cost of Phuket to Phi Phi speedboat is more expensive than the ferry, but the speedboat arrives forty minutes earlier – making it a worthwhile expense.
How to get from Krabi to Phi Phi Island
The Krabi province is located on the west coast of Southern Thailand and is quite famous for its 200 islands that offer breathtaking scenery, limestone cliffs, and never-ending beaches. [Read our guide of what to do and where to stay in Krabi here] Like Phuket, Krabi has an airport and is pretty close to Phi Phi Island, providing ferry and speedboat options to make the connecting trip.
The ferry from Krabi to Phi Phi is efficient and affordable, departing four times a day from the Klong Jilad pier located in the South of Krabi. The ferry takes approximately 90 minutes to reach Tonsai Pier. If you arrive at Krabi Airport, you can connect to the pier via van. There are buses from all over Krabi going to Klong Jilad Pier and taxis as well. The option to go by speedboat from Krabi to Phi Phi exists for you if your budget is flexible, and the benefit of the higher ticket price is a journey that takes less than an hour.
How to get from Ao Nang to Phi Phi Island
Ao Nang is a small resort town located in the Krabi province. The beach town is located just 20 minutes from Krabi town and has plenty of things to do like visiting Railay Beach and going on boat tours.
There are 3 different ways to get to Phi Phi Island from Ao Nang. You can choose from a ferry from Ao Nang to Phi Phi, go to Krabi and take a ferry from there, or if you are staying in Railay Beach you can also get a speedboat to Phi Phi from the beach pier.
The speedboat from Railay to Phi Phi island in 30 minutes. If you are traveling in a group or would like to save on transportation costs, you can also head back to Klong Jilad Pier for a cheaper ferry from Krabi to Phi Phi.
How to get from Koh Lanta to Phi Phi
Koh Lanta is another stunning island in Krabi province. Its beaches are beautiful and the island is famous for the Mu Ko Lanta National Park that covers multiple islands and hosts the Khlong Chak Waterfall and the Khao Mai Kaew cave network.
The easiest way to get to Koh Phi Phi from Koh Lanta is by boat. You can request to be picked up from your hotel and then whisked off to Koh Phi Phi via speedboat, or you can head to Saladan Pier on your own and join the 60-minute ferry from Koh Lanta to Phi Phi.
How to get from Koh Samui, Koh Tao, or Koh Phangan to Phi Phi Island
In the Gulf of Thailand sit some of the country’s busiest and biggest islands: Koh Samui, Koh Tao and Koh Phangan.
Teeming with life, Koh Samui is famous for its beaches, gorgeous luxury resorts, food markets, and nightlife [Read our guide to what to do and where to stay in Koh Samui here]. Koh Tao is famous for diving, a laid back vibe that mixes perfectly with its vibrant nightlife, and lush green forests. Koh Phangan also has beautiful beaches but is most famous for its monthly full moon party and yoga retreats. We have been to all three of them a couple of times and enjoyed every second of our trips.
The Gulf of Thailand is quite far from Koh Phi Phi so be prepared for a long journey across the country. The good thing is that you are going to experience both coasts and their unique beauties.
If you are willing to spend more to save time, you can take a flight from Koh Samui Airport, Surat Thani Airport or Nakhon Si Thammarat Airport to Krabi or Phuket, where you can take a connecting ferry to Phi Phi.
Flying is too costly? Don’t worry, you can save money by taking a combination of buses and ferries. We did it, we survived and had fun on the way.
Here are the routes:
To go from Koh Samui to Phi Phi you will need to get on a ferry from Nathon Pier to Donsak Pier in the mainland. From Donsak Pier, another bus will take you to Krabi town where you can take the final ferry to Phi Phi Island.
To travel from Koh Tao to Phi Phi, get a ferry from Mae Haad Pier to Donsak Pier, then you take the same route through Krabi Town.
To get to Phi Phi from Koh Phangan you must take the ferry from Thong Sala Pier to Donsak Pier and follow the same bus + ferry combination as mentioned above.
Bear in mind that not all websites selling tickets have updated information on how to get to Phi Phi Island. Also, not all of them accept international credit cards as payment. We use and recommend 12GoAsia to buy trains, buses or ferries tickets across Thailand. The online price can be a few Thai Bahts more expensive than purchasing them from a travel agency or at the bus station, but you have a piece of mind that your seat is booked in advance without the need to walk to the station. 12GoAsia website is trustworthy and they give you all the info about where to get the bus/ferry and where you will be dropped off. For us, this peace of mind is priceless.
Trust us, all the hassle to get to Phi Phi Island is worth it. If you are still in doubt about how to get to Koh Phi Phi drop us a comment or message. Misinformation and the language barrier can be a pain when booking transportation in Thailand but don’t worry, even when the buses or ferries are late, they always come and take you to paradise.
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