The majority of people who travel to Phi Phi Island are young backpackers ready for a good party. While it’s true you will likely have some wild nights (think fire dancers, music vibrating throughout the island, and dancing on the beach until the sun begins to rise), Phi Phi is also an absolutely gorgeous little island that is best appreciated during the day with (mostly) sober vision. Besides bumming out on some lounge chairs on the beach, perfecting your tan by the pool, or aimlessly wandering – and inevitably getting lost – the alleyways filled with restaurants and shops, you hands-down need to climb up to the Phi Phi Viewpoint!
Finding your way to the viewpoint is really simple; just follow the street signs located at various points throughout the main area of the island and follow the arrows pointing towards the Phi Phi Viewpoint. As you get closer to the start of the climb up, there will also be hand-written signs on walls leading you in the right direction. If you’re looking at a map, the viewpoint is located on the East of the island.
Be prepared for the actual hiking portion, as many people I saw climbing up were just wearing flip flops. You should wear proper running shoes and bring some water, as there are quite a number of stairs you will be climbing up and the weather will likely be scorching hot (I wouldn’t recommend climbing up in the middle of the day). There’s also a little store at the top of the viewpoint where you can buy water and snacks if needed. There is also a ฿30 charge to enter the viewpoint, which I’m still unclear of what it actually goes towards.
There are two viewpoints you can visit; oddly named “Phi Phi Viewpoint 1” and “Pee Pee Viewpoint”. They offer the same view of the island, however, the second viewpoint is much higher and subsequently better.
After you’ve paid the entrance fee, you will be right at the first viewpoint. There are some benches to catch your breath and take in your first heightened look at Phi Phi Island.
Once you’re finished taking photos, you can head to the second viewpoint after a ten minute uphill walk. This is where you’ll really see some stunning views of Koh Phi Phi.
There are a bunch of rocks scattered on the edge where you can sit, a little shop to grab an ice cream or a cold drink to cool you down, and some information posted about the island (what it looked like prior to the tsunami in 2004 and when you should come up to see the sunrise/sunset). Unfortunately, given the limited time I had on the island, I wasn’t able to see either the sunrise or the sunset from the viewpoint – I went up mid-morning instead. This obviously had nothing to do with the fact that there were pool parties during the day and lots of drinking late into the night…
During my few days on Phi Phi, I got the impression when talking to other travelers that many people were here just for a good party. While I can understand wanting to have a fun night out, it would truly be a shame to not go exploring and to not take advantage of how easily accessible this viewpoint is.
Heading up to the viewpoint on Phi Phi Island was one of my favourite parts of my 10 days spent in that part of Thailand!