The Phi Phi Island Speed Boat Tour is a lot of fun
One of the most popular things to do in Phuket, Thailand is to take the Phi Phi Island Speed Boat Tour. Made famous the world over by Leonardo DiCaprio in The Beach, Phi Phi Island is one of Thailand’s most beautiful places. It’s also the destination of a popular day trip from Phuket, Thailand’s largest island.
To get to Phi Phi Island from Phuket and back in a day because of the distance, you need to take a speed boat. The Phi Phi Island Speed Boat Tour is the easiest way to do it. If you’re planning on taking the tour, though, here’s what to expect.
Where to Book the Tour – Phuket has many travel agents and small tour offices, most of which offer the the boat tour. You can check out a couple of travel agents and compare prices, but most offer the tour around the same price (approximately 2,000 baht per person, or $62) as the tours go through the same few boat companies.
Hotel Pick Up – The tour leaves for Phi Phi Island early in the morning. Pick up is between 8-8:30 am at your hotel, from where you’ll be taken, along with every other tourist on the tour, down to the marina. The boat usually departs by 10am.
What To Expect on the Phi Phi Island Speed Boat Tour – The first destination of the tour is Ao Ling, or Monkey Bay. Here, you don’t get out, but the boat stops and you can take photos of the many monkeys running along the beach as well as the fish swimming in the clear water. When I took the Phi Phi Island Speed Boat Tour, I was surprised to see how many monkeys there actually were running along the beach, some carrying babies, some casually looking out to sea. At this point, most of us jumped out of the boat and either swam close to the boat or did a little snorkeling till the driver called us back into the boat and off to the next stop.
From Monkey Bay, the boat goes to Hin Klang, where the driver anchors again and you can jump in the water and swim or snorkel. The water is unbelievably blue, clear and warm. I’m not a huge fan of swimming in the ocean as I hate to think what’s beneath my feet. Here though, because you’re anchored close to the beach, you can either stay in shallow water or, even further out, still see what’s below you because of the clear water.
By this time it’s getting close to lunch so, once the anchor is up, the boat takes off for Bamboo Island. After a few minutes relaxing on the beach, you’ll be taken to a lovely beach side restaurant where a quite large buffet lunch is served. On our trip, we had a delicious lunch plus bought glasses of wine to go with it. Be careful of the booze though. It’s incredibly hot out there and the heat can befuddle your brain even more if you’ve had too much alcohol.
After lunch and a little while to relax and let your food digest, you’ll make a stop to see the famous limestone caves then the final stop of Maya Bay – the beach made popular by The Beach and, of course, Leonardo.
Beware, there’s a fair few beach hawkers here, which can get a tad annoying when you’ve already said “No thanks, I don’t want to buy anything” but, like most Thais, they are smiling and friendly and completely non-threatening. You’ll spend about an hour here, then back on the boat and back to Phuket and your hotel. Normal arrival back is around 6pm.
What to Take on the Phi Phi Tour – Of course, your swimsuit and a towel, sunscreen, a bottle of water and enough money for any souvenir purchases you might want to make as well as a tip for the boatman. Snorkeling equipment is provided as is bottled water and, on our trip, fresh fruit and some Thai snacks. Lunch is also included in the price. You’ll just have to pay for the booze if you prefer that to the included soft drinks.