Koh Phi Phi

The tropical island of Koh Phi Phi lies off Thailand’s Krabi Province in a small archipelago, and is considered one of the country’s loveliest holiday destinations.

Set in a marine park with abundant sea life, it is perfect for divers and snorkelers for its crystal-clear waters and colourful reefs, and everything from relaxing days on the beach to lively nightlife is here. It is the only populated island in the archipelago, and most tourist development has taken place on the narrow isthmus separating its two halves.

Koh Phi Phi’s main attractions are the beauty of the two halves of the island and its amazing dive sites. Stunning sunset views are had from the aptly-named Viewpoint, and Monkey Beach is a must for its large colony of the cute creatures. The island’s fireshows take place regularly at several venues.

Koh Phi Phi was hit hard by the 2004 tsunami, with the beautiful Memorial Garden the perfect place for quiet contemplation. For more peace and quiet, Lanti and Hin Khao beaches are only reachable on foot.

The low-lying isthmus backing Ao Ton Sai Bay sees most of the action, with a great choice of accommodation at mid-range to budget levels in hotels, beachside resorts, guesthouses and beach huts. The village is the hub for restaurants, bars and buzzing nightlife.

On the northern tip of the island at Laem Thong are a few upscale resorts set along a beautiful bay amid glorious, tropical scenery. A romantic stay here makes for a memorable honeymoon and, for a touch of luxury, high-end villas can be rented short-term.

Ferries to the island leave from Krabi Town on the mainland and from Phuket’s Rassada Pier. Flights from Bangkok arrive at Phuket and Krabi airports several times a day, and taxi or bus travel gets you to the piers. Long-distance buses run from Bangkok’s Southern Bus Terminal, taking 12 hours to reach Krabi Town.

The tropical weather has just two seasons, with temperatures averaging 32°C, and the hot, dry season between January and April is the best time to visit.