Phi Phi Island Tours & Island Hopping Tours in Phuket
One of the most popular activities in Phuket is visiting Islands in the Andaman Sea. There are a number of islands located on both sides of Phuket. The most popular tours in Phuket are Phi Phi Island Tours, Similan Island Tours and James Bond Island Tours.
Most tour operators include a number of other smaller islands as a part of the day tours where travellers can enjoy swimming, snorkelling, kayaking and diving.
Various types of tours are available to the islands including single engine boat charters, shared 3-engine speed boat tour and cruise boat tours. It can take up to 1.5 hours one way travel time on the three engine speed boat to various Islands. Therefore, if you just want to enjoy snorkelling and relaxing on the island you can also book a single engine private boat for Coral Island or a number of other Islands located very close to Phuket. Most people prefer to explore James Bond Island and Phi Phi Islands because of the popularity of these destinations. Four to eleven islands can be covered in tours offered by various operators.
Tours with 9 to11 Islands only give enough time to the visitors to take quick photographs, as it is not practically possible to visit all islands in one day trip. If you have more time for yourself, you can book a night at Phi Phi Island and explore the island at leisure. There is a number of mid-range resorts located on Phi Phi Don Island.
A three-engine speedboat tour to Coral Island and Racha (Raya) island is a great alternative if you do not want to spend too much time travelling to Phi Phi or Similan Islands.
As a part of the tour, maximum stopping time of any of these islands is approximately half an hour. Phi Phi Don Island stopover is normally for lunch with stopping time of 1.5 hours.
For some travellers, it might seem a hectic exercise. Here is a breakup of travel time for a typical Island Hopping tour to Phi Phi Islands:
All tour should be booked a day in advance
Tour includes pickup and drop-off to hotel and lunch
You must carry
Waterproof cover for your phone
Slippers for protective shoes for walking on the beach
Phi Phi Island Cruise Tour
Phi Phi island cruise is one of the easiest and quickest way to explore the Islands. The cruise liners drop the passengers at Phi Phi Don Island on the way to Krabi. The cruise can take over 100 passengers and usually takes around 45 minutes to Phi Phi Don Island. You can either book a transit Cruise or a who day trip cruise to Phi Phi Islands.
The drawback with cruise tour is that you will not be able to get off on any of the islands and mostly the cruises will take you close to the island for photographs. Chilling out on the cruise deck is a great way to relax and enjoy the scenic destinations.
Cost of the cruise to Phi Phi Island from Phuket is approximately 1050 BHAT
Phi Phi Island 4 Island Speed Boat Tour
Speedboat tour is an alternative option to explore the islands and enjoy activities like kayaking and snorkelling. 3-engine speedboat is a good option to travel as the group size is 45 and the travel time is quite less because the boat travels at fast speed, as compared to smaller single-engine boats.
A typical tour starts with pickup from the hotel around 8 am and the group assembles at the jetty near Old Phuket Town as the east side of the island has the easiest access to the most islands. Different tour operators manage the speedboat tours. Our experience with V R Family Tours was really great because the staff is trained and very professional. You can pick and choose your tour operators while booking online or through a local vendor in Patong or area where you are staying. There are hundreds of street site vendors offering the same tours at different prices. Therefore, your skill to negotiate will come in handy. Made sure you book your tour a day in advance and obtain the ticket from the booking agent.
The tour starts with a brief orientation to all the groups who arrive from various hotels and resorts. The tour guide is required to brief all participants about the tour and any possible risks and safety measures.
It is recommended to buy safety shoes (costing 900BHAT) to be worn on the island and during snorkelling to protect your feet from sea urchins, coral shells or rocks on the beach. Make sure you are carrying sunscreen and swimming costume and a hat in addition to a waterproof bag to protect your document and money. Carry around 1000 BHAT for expenses like drinks etc on the Island.
Activities on the tour
Once the passengers board the speedboat the first stop is near Koh Maiton which is a private island. There is no access to the Island but boats anchor near the island for snorkelling.
Speedboats to Phi Phi Islands
The life vest and snorkelling equipment are provided by the tour operators. You can snorkel even if you do not know how to swim as the life jackets keep you afloat. Besides the tour operators provide you with soft drinks an plenty of water onboard.
Snorkelling near Maiton Islands
Lunch at Phi Phi Island
The next destination is Phi Phi Don Island where lunch is organized in a large restaurant. This is normally a halal buffet type lunch.
A buffet lunch at Phi Phi Don Island
The arrangement is quite clean and impressive. You can walk around the waterfront and take pictures. The white sand and blue waters offer great views for selfies and memorable photos.
Tour to Monkey Island and Maya Bay
After the lunch break, the tour continues on the Monkey Island and Maya Bay. Depending on the time of the year you might not be allowed to visit the islands.
Normally a fee of 400 Bhat (National Park Fee) is charged for visiting these locations during peak season. The boat is taken close to these locations and people can take photographs of the monkeys and beautiful Maya Bay.
One the way back to beautiful Khai Noi Island the boats are docked in the deeper water to enjoy snorkelling once again.
Khai Nai Island
Sometimes dolphins can be spotted in the ocean between Phi Phi and Khai Noi Island.
Dolphin Sighting on the way to Khai Noi Island
Khai Noi is a beautiful sand island with a couple of shacks to relax and shallow water to swim. It is a great spot to stop if you have a chartered boat as this island is ideal for a day trip.
Ride back to Phuket Jetty
Return ride is good fun as the sun is setting and the operators skim the waves at very fast speed. Most passengers are exhausted by the trip and sleep on the way back to Phuket Island.
Catching up on the sleep on the way back from the islands
You can see plenty of cruise liners and speedboats heading back to Phuket along the same route.
The tour to Phi Phi Island is a must if you are planning to travel to Phuket. Book in advance online to save the hassle of bargaining with local operators. Advance booking with large groups can save plenty of money as peak seasons can be double of what you pay in October and November.
A tour in December or January can cost around 2500 Bhat