A jewel of the Andaman Sea, Phuket is home to miles of beautiful white-sanded beaches, set on a background of a tropical rainforest. The island offers a range of wonderful experiences – from beach-bumming to diving, immersion to its culture and food, or a trip to its national parks and wildlife sanctuaries.
Less than 50 kilometers southeast of Phuket is the Phi Phi Islands, comprising of six islands of Phi Phi Don and Phi Phi Leh are the major ones. Phi Phi Don is the larger of the two islands, attracting travelers to savor what the island has to offer. The tropical beaches are perfect for sunbathing and relaxing, while the turquoise blue water teems with marine life, as well as host to varying water activities. Phi Phi Leh is home to Maya Bay, made famous by Leonardo Di Caprio in The Beach. How does one travel from Phuket to Phi Phi Islands?
By ferry or boat!
Public Ferry Boat to Phi Phi
The ferry is the most popular and least expensive means to travel from Phuket to Phi Phi Island. The two-hour ferry ride starts at Phuket’s Rassada Pier and ends at Phi Phi’s Tonsai Pier. There are other ferries plying the route with its start off point at Phuket’s Sea Angel Pier and end point at Phi Phi’s Laem Thong pier. The ferry terminal is an hour’s drive away from Phuket airport.
The ferries are quite roomy and comfortable. The lower decks are air-conditioned and boasts of comfortable seats for all 300-400 passengers crossing the Andaman Sea to Phi Phi. Snacks and drinks are available on the lower decks. VIP tickets are available too at a higher price. The VIPs are seated exclusively on the middle-deck. The top deck doubles up as a sundeck and is fitted with plastic seats for those who prefer to bask the hot sun. Sometimes, mostly during afternoon runs, fresh slices of watermelon are given for free to passengers to literally “cool” them down under the hot tropical sun.
There are four departures from Phuket’s Rassada Pier: 8:30 a.m., 9:00 a.m., 11:00 a.m., 12:20 p.m., 1:30 p.m., and 3:30 p.m. Travel time can be as short as 1 hour and 30 minutes, and as long as 3 hours. A one- way ticket from Phuket to Phi Phi costs about Baht 500.
Private Speedboat to Phi Phi
For more flexible pickup and drop off points, private speedboat transfers are available too. A chartered speedboat can be one’s way private ride to explore the rest of the Phi Phi islands. Though chartering a speedboat is more expensive, it is actually more practical for larger group to rent one. It is advisable not to rent one though during the months of September to November as the sea is mostly rough at this time. Long-tail boats are usually rented for diving and snorkeling excursions off Phi Phi island.
Phi Phi island’s sandy white beaches and limestone cliffs present a spectacular backdrop for the blue clear waters of the Andaman Sea.