The Best Island Hopping from Koh Phi Phi


We promise there’s more to Koh Phi Phi than wild backpackers, booze cruises, and buckets. There are loads of ways to spend your time outside of being hungover on the beach, dripping sweat hiking up to the viewpoint, or being harassed by taxi boat drivers. How does a trip island hopping around Koh Phi Phi sound? Instead of a 9-5 workday, you get a 9-5 relaxing day island hopping, kayaking, and snorkeling. The Siam Island Hopping/Snorkeling Tour was by far one of our highlights while being on Koh Phi Phi.

Here’s the deal… There are loads of places to jump on an island hopping/snorkeling tour. You will find booths offering these tours scattered everywhere around Tonsai Village (the main part of the island). Not only are there loads of tour offices, but there are loads of the types of tour you go on to choose from as well. Full day? Half day? Big boat? Small taxi boat? Morning? Afternoon? Ahh… So many options!!

Thailand, Full Day Island Hopping and Snorkeling Tour : Koh Phi Phi
We highly recommend a full day, big boat tour! You get twice as much time island hopping for only 100-200 baht more, and are on a large boat with toilets, indoor and outdoor seating, hot tea and coffee all day, and the chance of kayaking! After browsing around the different tourist booths, we found Siam UK Tours to be the best! They not only are centrally located, with a bakery and Mango Garden right next to them for your breakfast, but they also accept credit cards—meaning you rack up points for going on this tour, and don’t have to worry about bank fees for pulling out money.

{Traveler’s Tip… There is a 3% additional charge when using a credit card, but for us that was less than it would have cost to pull out money from the bank. If you’re interested in a bank that has no foreign transaction fees, check out Charles Schwab.}







COST OF ISLAND HOPPING



 

The tour itself is 750 baht (21 USD). There’s an addition 400 baht (12 USD) charge for stepping foot on Bamboo Island and Maya Bay. “Don’t worry it’s a one-time fee… blah blah blah..” Avoid that fee!! Instead of walking the crowded beaches of both Bamboo Island and Maya Bay, take this as an opportunity to kayak around!! Trust us, the lagoon you’re in at Maya Bay is to die for! You can even kayak to your own private beach there… without paying the fee! This was the highlight of our day! It’s absolutely gorgeous, and you get to take in the beautiful scenery with nobody else around you. Ahh… I’m stuck daydreaming over here.

 

[Check out our Koh Phi Phi itinerary to see when you should actually go to Maya Bay with way less people and a way more enjoyable experience.]

 



ISLAND HOPPING OUTLINE



 

You’ll meet at the Siam UK Tour office around 9:00 in the morning. We recommend getting breakfast at Mango Garden beforehand. The first stop of the day is just off the Long Beach coast. Here you’ll snorkel for about 30-45 minutes before jumping back on the boat and heading to Bamboo Island.

 

 





The ride to Bamboo Island takes quite some time, but you’ll get to enjoy the views of the other side of Koh Phi Phi Don nearly the whole way there! It’s a great time to grab a warm cup of tea, and just sit on the deck and enjoy the view. At Bamboo Island, you can either swim or kayak up to the island, but remember you’ll be paying 400 baht to touch the Bamboo Island sand. Your other option is to take a kayak and just kayak around the island, snorkeling as you wish, and loving the fact that you didn’t just spend money to go on a super crowded beach!

 

 

After Bamboo Island, you’ll have lunch on the boat and cruise through the clear waters making a stop at Monkey Beach, and slowing creeping by Viking Cave. Theoretically, you stop a couple more times to snorkel, however, this completely depends on how your boat driver is feeling on that day.

 





Next comes our favorite part of island hopping… Maya Bay. Since you’re on a big boat, you pull up into a hidden lagoon on the back side of the island. Again, you have the choice of swimming or kayaking up to a rope net that you climb up to get onto the island. If you paid the 400-baht fee to get onto Bamboo Island, entrance to Maya Bay is included. Otherwise, just take the kayak and explore the lagoon— which we highly recommend. It’s breathtaking. Yes, there will be a few other boats around, but must people are off the boats and on Maya Bay, so you basically will have the lagoon to yourself! There’s even a private beach you can go to to relax on. Trust us on this one… It’s way better than going to the over-crowded, and way too hyped up Maya Bay.

 

[We spent the beginning of the Maya Bay time over at the bay and were just disgusted. There’s so many people, party boats playing music extremely loud, and hundreds of boats going in and out that the water is extremely murky! When we went back to kayak around, we were sad we even went over to Maya Bay in the beginning.]

 

 

After soaking in the peace and serenity the lagoon has to offer, you’re back on the boat and on your way to Koh Phi Phi. If the weather’s nice, you’ll stop to enjoy the sunset, otherwise it’s a straight shot back to the pier.

 



OUR ISLAND HOPPING TIPS



 

  • Bring your own snacks. While you do get cookies, tea, water, lunch, and an afternoon snack, we bet you’ll be hungry right about sunset time. More energy than you think is taken from you while snorkeling and being in the sun all day so load up!
  • Don’t forget your sunscreen! Even if it’s cloudy, you’ll want to lather up!!
  • Make sure your camera is fully charged and has enough storage on it for more photos/videos than you think you’ll need. If you have a waterproof camera you’re golden. If not don’t worry, they provide a large dry bag to throw your belongings in each time you head to a different beach.
  • Speaking of dry bags, we recommend bringing your own too. This way, your belongings are double secure, and you don’t have to worry about other people’s wet hands reaching into the large dry bag and getting your stuff wet. Check out the dry bags we use here.
  • Bring a towel! The breeze cruising across the ocean can get a bit cold, especially if you’re wet from snorkeling! Find our recommended travel towel here.

 


 

Don’t expect this tour to go perfectly! While it is an amazing tour, there are always things that you thought you would get, or expect to happen, and they don’t. If you focus too much on that, you won’t enjoy your time on the tour or in Thailand in general. Remember how blessed you are to experience such a beautiful place. Take time to sit back and soak it all in!

 


 

Looking for more on Koh Phi Phi?! We’ve got all the need to know info before you go to Koh Phi Phi, our recommended accommodation, ways to stretch your money further at restaurants, and a five day Koh Phi Phi itinerary just waiting for you to read.  If you’re traveling other places in Thailand… which please say you are… we have loads of other great tips that you can find on our Thailand page.

 

Happy travels!

 


Island Hopping, Koh Phi Phi, Thailand, Boat Tours

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