About Ao Nang
Koh Phi Phi is made up of a number of idyllic islands that jut out of the dazzling blue Indian Ocean off the coast of Thailand. Hillsides covered with verdant tropical jungles slope down to the sea, where gentle waves lap white sands. By night, young crowds gather at candle-lit beachside bars for cocktails and local Thai dishes. You can explore the smaller, uninhabited islands by spending the day on-board a typical longtail boat.
Much like the island itself, Koh Phi Phi hostels have a lively atmosphere, with bars perched right on the soft sands of Ao Lo Dalam beach. Stay in a seafront bamboo hut or bungalow in the heart of the nightlife scene, or in a Koh Phi Phi hostel nestled in the hills for a more tranquil experience. In some hostels, there are handy extras like free breakfasts, happy hours and swimming pools. You'll also find some hostels in Koh Phi Phi that play live music until late – ideal to get into the spirit of revelry. Many have free Wi-Fi, as well as air conditioning. Check out some of the best hostels in Koh Phi Phi here.
Of the six islands, you can only stay on the largest – Koh Phi Phi Don. Its busy centre, between Tonsai Bay and Loh Dalum beaches, has four neighbourhoods: Tonsai West, Tonsai Village, Loh Dalum and Tonsai East. All are buzzing with bars serving iced local beers until (very) late, but Tonsai West has more of a laid-back vibe. For more peace and quiet, head to the eastern shoreline, which is dotted with quiet coves.
Many activities here are based around the surrounding turquoise sea, such as snorkelling off the secluded Laem Tong beach. Feed your adventurous spirit with a boat trip to undeveloped Koh Phi Phi Leh island, where rugged cliffs tower over lagoons rich with marine life and coral gardens. Up in the luscious hills of Koh Phi Phi Don, retreats offer spa treatments, and the area's a favourite with rock climbers. Looking for a bargain? You can test your bartering skills in the colourful shops of Tonsai Village.
The only way to reach these small islands is via ferry or speedboat. From Phuket, the ferry leaves from Rassada Pier and takes around two hours – the port's a 60-minute drive from the city's airport. If you're travelling from Krabi, hop on a boat from Klong Jirad Pier for a 90-minute trip. This is the main pier and is south of Krabi Town, about 30 minutes from the airport. From Koh Lanta, the ferry also takes 90 minutes.