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Best Beaches on the Koh Phi Phi Islands

by Sam
Longtail boats and Phi Phi Lee in the background on long beach

Last Updated on July 20, 2022 by Natalia

Koh Phi Phi is home to some of the best beaches in Thailand, with gorgeous white sand and crystal-clear turquoise waters. Many of the beaches are home to stunning scenery, with impressive karst limestone cliffs making for a true paradise. The largest of the Phi Phi Islands – Koh Phi Phi Don – is home to some brilliant beaches, yet perhaps the best beach in the area is the famous Maya Bay, located on Koh Phi Phi Lee. One of the best things to do in Koh Phi Phi is enjoy the amazing beaches, with some being easy to get to but some only accessible by boat trip. A few of the beaches also happen to be home to some of the best snorkelling spots in the Phi Phi Islands. Having spent over a month living on the island we’ve come up with this guide to the best beaches in Koh Phi Phi!

Best Beaches in Koh Phi Phi

Loh Dalum Beach

Loh Dalum Beach is one of the best beaches on Koh Phi Phi Don, and is conveniently located in the main area of the island. Situated in a large bay, this lovely white sand beach has great views of the island’s jungle and karst cliffs.

The water at Loh Dalum Beach is very shallow – so you can walk a fair way out to sea without ever being more than waist-deep. It’s still easy enough to swim if you want to though, and the water is heated by the sun to a fairly warm temperature – so you definitely won’t find the sea cold!

One of the nicest things about the beach is that its location within a bay means the sea is relatively calm and there are no real waves. Along with the gorgeous white sand, the calm sea makes it perhaps the best beach in Koh Phi Phi for sunbathing and a relaxing beach day.

The tides in Loh Dalum Bay are very noticeable – at high tide there is still a nice section of sandy beach, whilst at low tide it can be quite a walk to reach the sea. It’s quite an impressive contrast, so we recommend trying to visit the beach at both high and low tide during your stay.

If you want to explore more of the bay then you can rent kayaks at multiple points along the beach, with prices starting at 200 baht for one hour. Alternatively, you can pay for a private longtail boat trip to take you around the bay, or even to some of the other beaches on Koh Phi Phi.

As Loh Dalum Beach is such a nice spot, there are a number of bars along the beach front. Come nightfall the beach is one of the most popular drinking spots on the island, and the beach bars often have parties and impressive fire shows for you to enjoy.

There are also a number of nice hotels and resorts along the beach. We personally recommend staying at PP Princess Resort which is well-located on the beachfront, and features on our list of the best hotels and places to stay in Koh Phi Phi!

Loh Dalum beach one of the best beaches in the Koh Phi Phi Islands

Long Beach

Long Beach is another beautiful white sand beach in Koh Phi Phi, situated in a quieter spot of the island. It’s around a 40-minute walk from the island’s main town, or alterantively a one-way taxi boat from Tonsai Beach should cost 100 baht per person.

The stunning turquoise water is perfect for a refreshing swim, and the beach itself is great for sunbathing. From Long Beach you also get nice views of the nearby Koh Phi Phi Lee island, which is home to the famous Maya Bay.

As well as being a beautiful beach in its own right, Long Beach is also home to an amazing snorkelling spot – Shark Point. It’s easily one of the best snorkelling spots on Koh Phi Phi, giving you the chance to see cuttlefish, lionfish, eels, lots of blacktip reef sharks, and more! Snorkels and masks can be rented for 50 baht at The Beach Resort, with fin rental costing an additional 50 baht.

There are a number of hotels and resorts along Long Beach, which are nice places to stay if you don’t mind being a bit of a distance from the main town. The bars and restaurants in the area do tend to be a little more expensive, but it’s still well worth visiting for the beautiful beach and snorkelling!

Long beach on Koh Phi Phi with view of Phi Phi Lee, kayaks and longtail boats

Nui Beach

Nui Beach is one of the more remote beaches on Koh Phi Phi Don, but it’s well worth making the effort to visit. This secluded sandy beach is situated in a small cove, and is home to beautifully clear turquoise water.

Opposite the beach itself is the impressive Nui Rock, which can actually be seen from Loh Dalum Beach. This freestanding rock rises directly from the sea and helps to make Nui Beach one of the best and most beautiful beaches in Koh Phi Phi.

As well as being a beautiful beach in its own right, it’s also another one of the island’s best snorkelling spots. There is a decent amount of marine life to be seen here, and on our visit we were fortunate enough to get some brilliant views of a sea snake.

Nui Beach was a lot quieter than other beaches on the island on our visit, although some tours do stop off in the area for snorkelling. The beach itself though was very quiet, and there were only a handful of other people there during our trip.

To get to Nui Beach from the main area of Koh Phi Phi you will need to either kayak, take a longtail boat, or follow a trail close to the seafront and then through the jungle. Kayak rental from Loh Dalum Beach costs 200 baht per hour, so the price can go up quite a bit when you factor in journey time both ways and then enjoying the beach itself.

The cost of a longtail boat to Nui Beach varies depending on your negotiation skills, but we paid 250 baht per person for a return trip for a group of 6 people. If you choose to walk then expect it to take around an hour, and keep an eye out for snakes in the jungle – we saw one in the trees before it slithered away!

The white sand and blue sea of Nui Beach on Phi Phi Don

Maya Bay

Maya Bay is not only one of the best beaches in Koh Phi Phi, but also the whole of Thailand. It’s so beautiful that it was used as a filming location in ‘The Beach‘ starring Leonardo DiCaprio – so it’s not an exaggeration to say it looks like something straight out of a movie!

We have been fortunate enough to travel around the world, seeing countless beaches in the process, and Maya Beach is undoubtedly one of the most stunning beaches we’ve ever seen. The white sand is some of the softest sand we’ve ever felt, the water is an incredible emerald-blue colour, and the scenery is outstanding with karst cliffs enclosing the beach.

As of 2022, there is an entrance fee of 400 baht for foreigners to visit Maya Bay Beach. To protect the area’s nature swimming is not permitted and boats are not allowed to anchor themselves in the bay itself. Although it does feel a bit of a shame that you can’t swim in this amazing spot, it’s understandable given the desire to protect its natural beauty for years to come.

In 2018 Maya Bay was closed due to overtourism to allow for ecological recovery. The area remained closed for nearly 3 years, eventually reopening on 1st January 2022, with new restrictions in place to prevent damaging the nature.

There is now a limit of 300 people on Maya Bay at any one time, which is in stark contrast to how it used to be. Natalia visited in 2014 and it was packed with tourists, and boats parked in the bay, which partly ruined the area’s beauty. It’s for this reason that boats can no longer park in the bay and that swimming is no longer allowed.

It’s easy to arrange a trip to Maya Bay Beach from Koh Phi Phi Don, either by group tour or private boat. Group tours cost around 600 baht per person, whereas a private longtail boat around Koh Phi Phi Lee starts from around 1800 baht for 2 people for 3 hours.

Prices go up for private tours depending on the number in your group, but we managed to arrange a trip for a total of 2000 baht for 5 people, which works out at better value than the group tours and you get to go at your own pace!

Just take a look at the picture below and you’ll instantly see why this is widely considered the best beach on the Koh Phi Phi Islands.

Maya Bay and Loh Sameh Bay will be closed to tourists between 1st August and 30th September 2022 as part of an annual plan to allow nature to cover from tourism.

One of the best beaches in the Phi Phi Islands, Maya bay with white sand and blue sea

Tonsai Beach

Tonsai Beach is located in the main area of Koh Phi Phi Don, on the opposite side of the island to Loh Dalum Bay. Some parts of the beach are mainly used for parking longtail boats, but there is a section of beach on one side which has beautiful karst cliff views.

Despite being near the busiest area of Koh Phi Phi, this section of beach is surprisingly quiet. It’s a lovely white sand beach, with beautiful turquoise water that will make you want to jump right in for a swim! The beach runs up close to the towering cliffs, which makes it a scenic spot to relax.

Sunbeds are available for rent on the beach for 200 baht, but the sand is soft enough to lay out a towel and sunbathe if you’d prefer. Kayaks are also available to rent starting from 200 baht for an hour, allowing you to explore the smaller beaches tucked into the cliffs. One of the nearby beaches you may want to visit is Monkey Beach – although be careful as the monkeys can be quite aggressive.

The best section of Tonsai Beach is a short walk from Tonsai Pier in the direction of Phi Phi Cliff Beach Resort. It’s a nice little walk along a promenade, and you can enjoy the crystal clear sea and often see trumpet fish near the surface as you walk by.

Tonsai beach with limestone cliffs in the background, near Koh Phi Phi don pier

Bamboo Island

Bamboo Island is undeniably one of the best beaches in the Phi Phi Islands, but it’s also one of the furthest away from the main island of Koh Phi Phi Don. It’s almost the picture-perfect tropical island, with a stunning white sand beach and beautiful turquoise sea surrounding it.

The beach is located in the Hat Noppharat Thara–Mu Ko Phi Phi National Park, so there is a 400 baht fee for foreigners visiting the beach. It’s possible to visit the island and just swim nearby if you don’t want to pay the fee, but considering it’s one of the best beaches in Koh Phi Phi then it’s probably worth paying!

Like a number of other beaches on this list, Bamboo Island is also a great place for snorkelling. The coral reef is teeming with marine life – and we saw more fish here than at any other spot we visited in the Phi Phi National Park. Expect to see a variety of different fish from clownfish to jellyfish to puffer fish and much much more!

The only way to get to Bamboo Island from Koh Phi Phi Don is to take a longtail boat or a speedboat. A private longtail boat trip for 2 people should start from around 1800 baht for 3 hours, with prices increasing if you want a longer trip or to go with a bigger group of people.

Bamboo island beach which is one of the best beaches on Koh Phi Phi

Island Hopping and Koh Phi Phi Beach Tours

One of the best ways to see the beaches in Koh Phi Phi is on an island hopping tour. There are a variety of both group tours and private boats available on the island itself, but if you want to book online in advance then Get Your Guide offer some great tours too!

A good-value option is to book their full-day sunset longtail boat group tour, which includes stops at Bamboo Island and Maya Bay, as well as Monkey Beach and Long Beach’s Shark Point. The tour lasts approximately 8 hours, giving you chance to both enjoy stunning beaches and snorkel amongst some amazing marine life. Group tours start from 1,000 baht per person, but if you want to book for a group then often a private tour is only slightly more expensive!

Click here to book an awesome island hopping tour through Get Your Guide!

Another great option if you’re looking for a private tour of the islands and beaches in Koh Phi Phi is also available through Get Your Guide. This tour follows a slightly different itinerary, including stops at Bamboo Island, Nui Beach, Maya Bay and more!

Click here to book an amazing private day trip through Get Your Guide!

Not all tours will include the national park fees, so it’s best to clarify if these costs are included before booking. If they aren’t included then you need to make sure to bring some cash along on the day so that you can enjoy the wonderful beaches of Koh Phi Phi at spots like Maya Bay and Bamboo Island!

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