How to choose your hotel on Phi Phi
Where to stay on Phi Phi
The beautiful tropical paradise of the Phi Phi Islands is an integral part of most holidays in Phuket. Being just a short boat ride away, they combine pristine beaches, crystal clear waters, Castaway-esque lands and the famous Thailand nightlife. It is also generally a lot cheaper than other similar locations around the world.
Only the largest of the six Phi Phi Islands is actually inhabited - Phi Phi Don. There are a number of small beaches around it, which play host to one or two resorts. The majority of the population (and, therefore, the accommodation and nightlife) is split between the two main villages on either side of the island - Laem Thong and Ton Sai.
So, how do you choose the right place for you? Well, put simply, it depends on what exactly you want out of your holiday. Do you want to relax on a quiet and secluded beach, you would want to live it up in Thailand's famous nightlife or do you want a bit of both?
Ton Sai Bay
Ton Sai Bay is conveniently close to the ferry port, at the southern end of the island. It is extremely popular with tourists, which means there is a far greater range of hotels and guesthouses to choose from and room rates are low. The nightlife here is at its best, which is another double-edged sword - perfect if you like to party, but not if you need to sleep. The beach here is also pretty busy, but long-tail boats are conveniently available to take you to a quieter one if you want to spend the day relaxing.
Laem Thong is the mirror opposite of Laem Thong. Found at the very north of Phi Phi Don, this part of the island is a considerable distance from the ferry port which, when you realise that there is no motorised transport available, means a long walk or a short boat ride to get there. This inconvenience is a double-edged sword; it makes it tougher to reach, which means that fewer people go there. Few people creates a quieter, more exclusive location, ideal for people who want to bask in the lap of luxury and enjoy a peaceful escape.
Hat Yao (Long Beach)
Close to Ton Sai, Yao Beach is blessed with beautiful natural surroundings, but is cursed by its own success. A lovely place for snorkelling, diving and walking, it has been heavily developed, meaning that there are also plenty (arguably, too many) guesthouses and hotels to choose from. You can walk from Yao Beach to Ton Sai, so it something of a halfway point between the relaxation available in Laem Thong and the partying available in Ton Sai.
As they say in Thailand: "Same same, but different." Lanti Beach has a lot in common with Yao Beach. It, too, is walking distance from Ton Sai and has many of the natural assets of Laem Thong. It could be said that Lanti is more Laem Thong than Ton Sai, it being a longer walk away from the ferry port.