Like many of the islands in Thailand, Koh Phi Phi has suffered by becoming famous and it’s not what it once used to be in terms of the crowds, the rubbish, and the noise. Unfortunately this seems to apply to both islands that make up Koh Phi Phi (Don and Leh) equally, although in slightly different ways. Nevertheless, if you’re smart you’ll still be able to enjoy the beauty that it ones was and still is.
Ko Phi Phi Don
Koh Phi Phi Don is where all the action is, and you will find all the classic Thai island adventures here, like a nightlife scene, live music, and reasonable sea and sand. Koh Phi Phi Don is known for being a party island so if you want some nightlife, drinking on the beach, and fire performances and dance shows on the sand, then this is the place to come. That said, don’t expect it to be the tropical paradise it would have been years ago. In parts, Koh Phi Phi can be stunning, but you also need to take into account the raised prices and commercialization of almost everything. Still, if you want a party atmosphere with some laid back day trips like boating to the neighboring islands then this is definitely a solid place to come.
Koh Phi Phi Leh
Ko Phi Phi Leh is uninhabited and unspoilt in that you can only visit for a day trip on a boat tour and there is no accommodation or way of staying here legally overnight. This may make it sound like the more appealing of the two if you want to get away from it all, but this is actually now such a popular choice for groups escaping from Koh Phi Phi Don that it can get pretty crowded with people and tour boats, thus defeating the entire purpose of going there in the first place. Incidentally, Koh Phi Phi Leh is where the film ‘The Beach’ was filmed which explains the crowds.
Koh Phi Phi is still beautiful, just not as it once would have been, and if you come here looking for ‘The Beach’ experience then you are probably going to be very disappointed. Parts of the islands are incredibly beautiful, but it is not as isolated, secluded, or small as many of the other islands in Thailand that are further afield, so if you want beauty without the crowds and the noise then you would be better heading somewhere else.