Sailing the Phi Phi Islands in Thailand without the crowds is not the easiest.
The beautiful Phi Phi islands are home to some of the world’s most gorgeous beaches. With silky soft white sand and stunning clear water, it’s easy to see why. Coupled with year-round warmth, tourists from around the world flock here.
Located on the Western side of Thailand, these islands came to prominence following the film ‘The Beach’ with Leonardo diCaprio. Before this, it was a group of fairly hard to reach islands but since, ferries ply the route between Koh Phi Phi and Phuket/Krabi several times the day, bringing hoards of tourists over.
However, many thousands more tourists arrive in the Phi Phi Islands as daytrippers from neighbouring islands. It is increasingly harder to find your own slice of paradise here these days. Even between my first visit in 2010 until today, the islands have got busier and busier.
Phuket Sail Tours
On my most recent trip, I knew I wanted to visit this island paradise again, but felt determined to see them without the crowds. A few hours of research and I landed upon Phuket Sail Tours. As well as amazing TripAdvisor reviews, they came highly recommended in the GirlsLOVETravel Facebook page.
The key USP of the company is that they leave super early to beat the crowds and adjust through the day accordingly, to do their best to avoid the mass crowds!
And they do a really great job of it!
We were picked up at our hotel in Panwa at 6am (hardly awake!) We then enjoyed delicious brekkie at their marina base at 7am, before boarding our speedboats by 7.45/8am.
The speedboats accomodate 25 people but the company only allows a maximum of 16-20 people on each tour. This is so important – we had oodles of space! You notice the other huge boats going by, absolutely crammed with people!
Our first stop was Bamboo Island. We were the first boat there! We enjoyed unbelievable paradise before anyone else arrived. The beach was immaculate and the sea crystal clear – a really unbelievably gorgeous spot.
We enjoyed a number of snorkelling stops, a delicious lunch (included) before heading to the famous Maya Bay. Made famous by ‘The Beach’ film, it is this very bach where mass tourism has taken over.
Amazingly, we arrived and had about 40 minutes to enjoy the beach before all the other boats arrived. Despite the sheer number of tourists that descend on this slice of paradise everyday, it is remarkably clean!
My top is to head right down to the far end of the beach. A lot less people walk down this far and you can definitely enjoy the water with less people around.
We had a wonderful day with Phuket Sail Tours. We couldn’t recommend them enough. The Phi Phi Islands, regrettably are not what they were. Whilst the beaches and the water is actually cleaner than when I went in 2010, the crowds have probably more than quadrupled.
However, they’re still paradise and we had the most fantastic time exploring them! I haven’t heard great things about staying Koh Phi Phi Island overnight, it has become more commercialised than ever so it sounds like a daytrip is still the best option!
If you’re considering a visit so South East Asia, I would still recommend visiting the Phi Phi Islands!
Also, do feel free to ask any further questions in the comments section below!
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