The Phi Phi Islands are one of Thailand’s most popular resort areas for a reason—the clear blue waters, the soft sand, the breathtaking views that go on forever. You can reach Phi Phi Don—the largest of the islands and the only one permanently inhabited—on a rented kayak or by hiring a small wooden boat to take you here. Perhaps one of the most fun spots on Koh Phi Phi is Monkey Beach, where you’ll come face to face, literally, with plenty of macaques ready to steal your lunch.
Long Beach is another nice spot on the island; while not a secluded place where you can hope for privacy, it’s great for watching the sunset. If you’re lucky and the tide is out, it’s a beautiful walk back towards the main part of the island. Tour operators offer packages for snorkeling and diving trips to the islands, as well as excursions to the famous Maya Bay, where the Leonardo DiCaprio movie The Beach was filmed. Because Koh Phi Phi draws so many tourists, there are plenty of tour companies arranging tickets to other beach destinations, such as Phuket, Koh Chang, and Koh Lanta.
Phi Phi Don was one of the areas hit hard by the 2004 tsunami—but since then, guesthouses, restaurants, and markets have been rebuilt, and crowds still come in droves to the resort island. There is a small, somber memorial park to honor those who died in the tragedy, but the resort areas are otherwise revived and looking as beautiful as ever.