Though the island itself may be quite small, there are actually lots of things to do on Phi Phi Island to make the most of your time there. From activities during the day involving the sun and sand, to nighttime adventures involving fire shows and dancing on the beach, Phi Phi Island has something for everyone. After staying here for three days, and instantly regretting not spending more time on the island, I’ve compiled a list of the top 10 things to do in Phi Phi Island!
1. Lazing By The Beach
Since you are on an island surrounded by water and a beautiful beach, you should obviously take advantage of that by spending at least half a day soaking up the sun on the beach. There are tonnes of comfy beach chairs scattered along the beach; though they all belong to the restaurant/bar behind them, not all of these places will make you buy a drink to use their chairs (at least that was what I saw when we were there). Whether you’re nursing a hangover or are just wanting to relax and get a tan, spending some time on the beach is sure to make your day a little brighter!
2. Drinks, Drinks, and More Drinks
On Phi Phi Island, it doesn’t matter what time of the day it is, no one will judge you or think twice if you have a drink in your hand. So whether you’re on the beach sipping a fancy frozen daiquiri at 11:00 am or you’re dancing up a “sand”storm (I’m too clever, I know) and sloshing your beer all over yourself at 3:00 am, there’s never a bad time to have a drink!
3. Climbing Up To The Phi Phi Viewpoint
If you’ve read my earlier post on the viewpoint, you’ll know just how much I loved it. This was one of my favourite things I did on the island and I highly recommend you check it out. I’ve heard it’s best to either go up for the sunset or the sunrise, but unfortunately due to time constraints (more like partying constraints..), I couldn’t make it to either. Regardless, the views are worth every drop of sweat it takes to climb up!
4. Watch A Muay Thai Fight
Though I’ve been to Thailand before, I never managed to see a Muay Thai fight. Thankfully, I was in luck on Phi Phi! On one of the main little roads, tucked away in the corner, we spotted a “Reggae” bar with boxing paraphernalia all outside and when we peered our heads in to get a better look, there was an actual boxing ring in the middle.
They hold fights every night after 8:00 pm or so. The place gets pretty busy, so it’s smart to get there right on time. At first, there are two young boys (and I mean, young-young. Like, probably not legal in most other places in the world) who fight. Regardless of the fact that it is clearly staged, it was mildly uncomfortable watching what looks like two 12 year-olds “fighting”. After their fight is over, it’s the audience’s turn! They ask two people from the audience to step into the ring and fight each other: the winner gets a free bucket of alcohol. Not the most enticing offer, but people did get up there. First we watched two guys fight and then two girls. I’m sure as the night goes on and peoples blood alcohol content rise, there are more volunteers and more dramatic matches.
5. Get Lost Wandering The Walkways
‘Cause this one is bound to happen. In the middle of Phi Phi Island, there seems to be hundreds of intersecting walkways with little shops, restaurants, and bars lining both sides, making it an interesting yet confusing experience to try to navigate your way from one place to the next. I suggest you set aside an hour or so and just get lost wandering all of the paths and try not to stay solely on the main ones – there are lots of hidden alleyways that house unexpected shops and little cafes.
6. Get Wet & Wild At A Pool Party
Pool parties are good fun. Period. And the pool party we went to at our hotel, Ibiza House, was just that and then some. Unlike Koh Phangan where the pool parties are during the night, Phi Phi has their pool parties during the day from 2:00 – 6:00 pm. Their pool party had amazing music from a DJ, delicious drinks and drinking games, tonnes of people, and best of all, it was absolutely free (though before we left the island I did see a sign for the next pool party being advertised for ฿200 with a free drink, so I’m not sure if the pricing has changed).
7. Go On An Island Hopping Tour
With plenty of options for island hopping tours on Phi Phi, you’re sure to find one that suits your needs and your budget. The majority of the tours begin in the afternoon and go until the sun sets. You’ll stop at places like Monkey Beach, Maya Bay (made famous by Leonardo DiCaprio in the movie The Beach), head into surreal lagoons, face your fear of heights by cliff jumping, swim with the fishes while snorkeling, and much more. You can read my last post on my Phi Phi Island Hopping Tour for more information.
8. Eat Lots Of Local Food
This is pretty much a common theme of mine when I’m on holidays. I’m a huge food-lover (just check out my Instagram) and I love trying new foods, especially at local restaurants where the food is usually guaranteed to be delicious, authentic, and cheap! Though Phi Phi is far from the cheapest and most authentic place I’ve traveled to in terms of food, there are quite a few spots around the island where you can get some tasty cheap eats.
9. Start Your Night With A Fire Show
Before the late night partying begins, you can chill out on the beach in a lounge cushion, drink in hand, while you watch a fire show. These fire shows are immensely popular throughout Thailand, so if you’ve done a bit of traveling already, it’s highly likely you’ve already seen a fire show (or five). Regardless, it’s a good way to start your night on the beach before the beats take over. Just don’t sit too close – you don’t want to accidentally become part of the show when the entertainer slips up…
10. Dance & Party ‘Till The Sun Comes Up
This is exactly what most people come here for, so you might as well join in! Personally, I found Koh Phi Phi to be a less crazy version of Koh Phangan, which I really liked. This island has the perfect mix of serene beauty and western partying. I didn’t find anything got too out of hand at night (unlike Koh Phangan) and there are quite a few different party options, depending on what you’re interested in. Dancing on the beach is where most people end up, but there are also numerous bars, clubs (if you would venture to call them that), live music venues, and rooftop hangouts to enjoy. In general, you can’t go too wrong on your nights out on Phi Phi Island.
For more things to do, check out I Like Local!