The Koh Tao to Koh Phi Phi Guide | Ferries and Buses

Are you planning your journey from Koh Tao to Koh Phi Phi?

In this guide you’ll find everything you need to know about traveling between these 2 popular islands in Thailand. Getting to Phi Phi island from Koh Tao is a bit of a stretch because these islands are located on opposite sides of the country. Koh Tao is located in the Gulf sea in east Thailand while Koh Phi Phi is some 300 km away in the Andaman sea in the west.

The journey involves taking a ferry from Koh Tao to mainland Thailand. From here you’ll need to go overland to one of the ports in Krabi and take a speedboat or high-speed ferry to Phi-Phi island.

Koh Tao to Koh Phi Phi. Going for the ferry from Koh Tao
Best Way

If you can’t wait to dip your toes in the sand at Maya bay and you’re excited to plan your trip to Phi Phi island from Koh Tao, the easiest, most hassle free way and also affordable option is to book a bus+ferry all inclusive ticket.

How to get from Koh Tao to Koh Phi Phi

Koh Phi Phi is a tiny and mountainous island and has no airport. The only way to get there is by ferry or speedboat from Krabi. To get from Koh Tao to Krabi in order to get the ferry to Phi Phi you have 2 options.

The most common route is to ferry from Koh Tao to Surat Thani. From here travel by bus, minivan or private transfer to Krabi. The other option is to take the ferry or catamaran to Koh Samui and then fly to Krabi. However, considering you need to be at the airport at least 2 hours ahead of departure and any extra waiting time involved, flying to Krabi isn’t always going to be the fastest option. Flights are also quite expensive too.

Therefore the best option is Koh Tao → Surat Thani (bus, minivan, transfer) → Krabi. You can plan the journey independently. But you will need to book 2 ferries and land transport separately and then handle all transfers to and from the ports which will cost money and also add extra travel time.

Powered by 12Go system

Koh Tao to Koh Phi Phi

With that said, the best way to get to Phi Phi island from Koh Tao is to reserve a spot by booking an all-inclusive ferry+bus combo ticket. These tickets cover all the transport costs and transfers. In short, you’ll board a ferry in Koh Tao and all connections to the bus and the next ferry are handled by the company offering this service.

There are a few Koh tao to Koh Phi Phi combo tickets which offer different levels of comfort and different travel times.

Fastest option

The fastest option has a travel time of 7 hours 30 minutes and the land journey is done via minivan. However minivans aren’t that comfortable as you’ll be traveling in a small van with everyone’s luggage inside which make the space rather tight. A more comfortable option would be to book the combo ticket where the land journey is done by bus and the luggage is stored in the bus compartment. This journey takes slightly longer at 8 hours 30 minutes but the comfort definitely compensates for the extra travel time.

For both above trips, the journey from Koh Tao to the mainland (Surat Thani) is done by speedboat with a travel time of 3 hours. Then a 2 hour minivan ride or 3 hour bus ride to Jilad pier in Krabi. And finally another speed boat to Koh Phi Phi with a travel time of around 1 hour. check availability and book seats

Cheapest options

If you’re on a budget the alternative is to book the cheaper bus+ferry combo tickets. These tickets are the same as the option mentioned above. However the difference is the travel methods used as instead of via speedboat, the sea transport is done by a bigger ferry.

This journey will be much slower as the initial ferry from Koh Tao to Surat Thani has a travel time of around 8 hours. This will be reflected in the total travel time which will be around 14 hours. However you have the options where the first ferry departs at night and is a sleeper boat. This is good as you can sleep throughout the journey and save 1 night accommodation. Also you won’t be wasting time traveling during the day. check availability and book seats

About the journey from Koh Tao to Koh Phi Phi

Now that you know your options, here is some useful insight about the journey and your day of travel. Further down you’ll find some detailed information for your arrival in Phi Phi island such as how to get to your hotel and what are the best places to stay in Phi Phi.

On your day of travel

After booking your online bus+ferry combo tickets, the process is similar to that of taking a flight. On your day of travel you need to be at the meeting point 1 hour ahead of departure and do the check-in process. You will receive your bus and ferry tickets and tags for your luggage.

The meeting point will be at Maehaad pier in Koh Tao. This is the main pier on the island and is close to the popular Sairee beach.

Make sure to keep all your valuables such as cash, bank cards, passport, jewelry and electronics with you inside your carry on. Also, pack some water and snacks since it’s going to be a relatively long journey. And if you suffer from motion sickness, make sure to pack some tablets. There are 2 pharmacies right next to the pier in Koh Tao.

The first part of the journey is the ferry/speedboat to Surat Thani and will be anywhere from 2.5 hours to as much as 8 hours for the cheaper, yet much slower ferries. From Surat Thani to Krabi all options take between 3 hours to 4 hours. From Krabi to Phi Phi you once again have the option to take a speedboat with a travel time of around 30 minutes or one of the ferries which can take take up to 3 hours.

You can view all the mentioned options as combo tickets which handle all the logistics and transfers. →view all options and schedules here.

Arriving by ferry in Koh Phi Phi

Ton Sai pier is the point of entry on Phi Phi island. The pier is located exactly in the middle of the 2 limestone mountains that form Koh Phi Phi Don. This is where the land joins the mountains together at the base and is the main town and tourist area.

Getting to your hotel: if you’re staying in Ton Sai, the main tourist area and port of entry, you can easily reach your hotel on foot. All the hotels and hostels are no more than 15 minutes walk. You can also hire a porter to carry your luggage.

Long beach and the east coast of Phi Phi island such as Loh Ba Gao are reachable by longtail boat. Make sure to ask your accommodation if they offer boat shuttle service from the pier in Ton Sai. Otherwise take a taxi boat to your hotel which will cost around ฿150 to ฿300.

Where to stay in Phi Phi

Koh Phi Phi is a small archipelago of 6 islands. The only island with accommodation is Koh Phi Phi Don which is also the largest. The island is formed by a pair of limestone cliffs covered in lush jungle and that sit about 1 km apart. A sandbar in the ocean connects the foot of these 2 mountains. Koh Phi Phi Don is by no means a large island but there are still various areas to stay and all offer something different.

Ton Sai (Main tourist area)

Ton Sai is the main town on the island and sits on the sandbar that connects the 2 Phi Phi mountains. It’s a pretty dramatic setting with towering cliffs covered in jungle of both sides. There’s a good choice of bars, restaurants, boutiques and cheap accommodation. The liveliest part in mainly from the centre of the sandbar all the way east. Ton Sai west is quieter.

NamePrice Rating
PP Insula Hotel$288.3/10
Phi Phi Indigo Hotel$348.2/10
ChaoKoh Phi Phi Hotel & Resort$378.4/10
Panmanee Hotel$468.5/10
Ibiza House Phi Phi$497.4/10
Phi Phi Cliff Beach Resort (West)$498.1/10
Phi Phi Harbour View Hotel$658.3/10
Mama Beach Residence – Adults Only (west)$748.5/10
Phi Phi CoCo Beach Resort (west)$1158.4/10
Prices are for standard rooms for 1 night for 2 people. Prices may change depending on seasonailty.

Long Beach

Long beach strikes the balance between seclusion and convenience. There’s a handful of accommodation and a few places to eat. Ton Sai is just 1 km north and can be reached either through a jungle trail or by walking on the beach but only at low tide. One of the best things to do here is snorkeling where you can spot black tip reef shark about 100 meters from the beach.

NamePrice Rating
Paradise Pearl Bungalow$378.4/10
Paradise Resort Phi Phi$397.9/10
HIP Seaview Resort @ Phi Phi$398.1/10
Viking Nature Resort$438.6/10
Phi Phi The Beach Resort$618.3/10
Prices are for standard rooms for 1 night for 2 people. Prices may change depending on seasonailty.

Loh Ba Kao (East Phi Phi)

Loh Ba Kao (East Phi Phi)

Along the 4 km coast in east Koh Phi Phi are a number of secluded cottages, bungalows and other places to stay that are only accessible by boat. While most of these are simple some are really gorgeous and in a way luxurious. The most populated (but by no means busy) is Loh Ba Kao. There’s a handful of accommodation on this small beach and nestled in the near jungle. Also a few simple dining options. This part of Koh Phi Phi is truly magical both during the day but mostly at night when all you’ll here is lapping of waves on the beach and the sound jungle.

NamePrice Rating
PP Red Tuna Hut$307.6/10
The Hip Resort at Phi Phi$487.8/10
Phi Phi Phu Chalet Resort$1278.7/10
SAii Phi Phi Island Village$1328.6/10
# Phi Phi Natural Resort$437.9/10
# P. P. Erawan Palms Resort$498.1/10
# Phi Phi Holiday Resort$1108.4/10
# Zeavola Resort$1858.9/10
# these properties are not in Loh Ba Kao and have their spot of paradise all by themselves.

Things to do in Phi Phi

Remember you are confined to a relatively small area, so to be honest, there isn’t a ton of things to do on the island itself. However, just enjoying the crazy views is an experience. Imagine being on a beach with towering mountains covered in jungle on both sides. This combined with swimming in the clear tropical waters and if you’re in long beach, there a good snorkeling opportunity just 200 meters from the coast where you may spot black tip reef sharks.

However, some of the best and most interesting things to do in Phi Phi island require taking a boat and are best done by tour, either private or join in. There are lots of boat tours to choose from with the most famous being those to Maya Bay. The options are either via speedboat tours or a more traditional longtail boat tour. Or snorkeling tours and early morning boat tours where you’ll catch an amazing sunset and beat a lot of the crowds. Maybe even take jungle trek tour if you’re up for a hot and rewarding challenge.

Below are a few recommendations⤵

HEY, just so you know…

Leave a Comment