Koh Phi Phi is one of the best places to dive in Thailand. It may not have the best or most-exciting dive sites, but it does have a lot to offer which other diving destinations can’t compete with. The diving is generally very safe and enjoyable, with something for all levels of diver to enjoy. There are enough good dive sites to spend several days diving one after the other, and none of them are too far away. There’s a great infrastructure for both diving and other tourist needs, such as a good range of accommodation, nightlife and food. If you haven’t been diving at Koh Phi Phi, you really should give it a try.
What and where is Koh Phi Phi? It’s a couple of small islands, only one of which has any accommodation or human inhabitants, and several other islets. It’s located in Thailand’s Andaman Sea, quite far south, hiding behind Phuket. The Hollywood movie ‘The Beach’ was filmed in Maya Bay on the uninhabited Phi Phi island (Koh Phi Phi Lei) in 1998. The natural cliffs and seascape of Koh Phi Phi are incredibly beautiful, causing it to become extremely popular with tourists from all over the world. Koh Phi Phi can be reached by public ferry or private speedboat from Phuket or Krabi. Travel times, distances and ticket fares are almost identical. Both Phuket and Krabi have international airports and bus terminals, but no rail links.
The most popular diving sites at Koh Phi Phi are located around the islets of Bida Nok and Bida Nai, just a short boat ride from the pier of Koh Phi Phi Don (the main island). Other dive sites are dotted around Koh Phi Phi Lei and in one or two other locations. Half way between Phi Phi and Phuket, there are at least four great diving sites, including a large wreck. Shark Point & Koh Doc Mai are very popular dive sites and Anemone Reef & King Cruiser Wreck are a ‘must visit.’ In May 2014, a brand-new wreck dive site was created nearer to Koh Phi Phi, and will become very popular as microscopic marine life claims the wreck over the coming years. It was purposely sunk by the authorities, and has already attracted plenty of visitors, including divers and some fish. At 47 metres in length and at a depth of around 20 metres, it is ideal for Advanced divers, or those taking a course.
Other than diving on and around Koh Phi Phi, there’s some excellent snorkelling, rock climbing and plenty to eat, drink and see. The small flat piece of land in between the island’s high foliage-covered cliffs is full of souvenir shops, restaurants, bars, and guest houses & resorts are easy to find at all budget levels.