Phi Phi Island, Thailand

Tips for choosing accommodation in Phi Phi.


Longtail boat video



Phi Phi islands have totally banned all car traffic. Thus, cyclists and carts heavily laden with baggage, fruit or ice meet at the center of the village. Everywhere else, you must use taxi-boats to get around. These bucolic boats are on every postcard of Phi Phi. These simple wooden boats are powered by gasoline engines are called "Long Tail". They have a propeller at the end of a long pole they submerge under water.

Pileh Bay, Phi Phi Leh

Photo: LongTail (Water Taxi) at Pileh Bay, Phi Phi Lee

Long tails driver is often a family affair, a job that is transmitted from father to son, no woman led the long tails. Some boats are in the family for several generations. Each owner also decorate the front of the boat with colored ribbons and flowers. It is extremely photogenic !

In "things to do in Phi Phi", we give you several spots you cannot miss, reachable only by long tail. The most famous beach of Phi Phi, Maya Bay, on the nearby island of Phi Phi Leh, is a must. Do not go there after 9 o'clock in the morning, the beach is full of tourists. Our favorite place? The small island of Koh Phai (Bamboo Island), north of Phi Phi Don.


The Long Tails Boats seem to be a well organized corporation which has agreed on prices to apply to tourists. It is therefore difficult to negotiate rates, while it is generally common in Thailand.

The rates apply to destinations (roundtrip) and slots od 3 or 6 hours. Beyond six hours, you can negotiate the price. Keep in mind that this is a very good deal for your driver who will not need to seek other customers that day, he surely will agree to reward you a nice discount.

Prices for one-way ticket to :

Ao Koh Don : 100 Baht (3 USD)
Ao Lam Hin : 100 Baht (3 USD)
Ao Maprow : 100 Baht (3 USD)
Ao Long Beach : 100 Baht (3 USD)

3 hours : 1500 Baht, approximately 46 USD
6 hours : 2800 Baht, approximately 87 USD

It includes travel to destination, time spent on site and return. It may take more than an hour to reach some remote islands. 6 hours are required, at least, to explore several spots.


To obtain a rebate, be sure to reserve your long tail at regular hours, every day or several times a week. Your regular driver will be much more inclined to let you benefit from a "loyalty reward". Some long tail drivers will give you their business card with email and phone number. Mostly, they speak English relatively easily.

If you are one or two, look for other people to come with you ... 4 persons can usually take the long tail.

Consolidate trips to beaches and remote islands on the same day. It is cheaper to spend 6 hours straight with your driver (2800 Baht, about 85 USD) than 2 x 3 hours (2x 1500 Baht). Beyond 6 hours, bargain prices.

Beware the tides. Thus, no long tail may leave Loh Dalam Bay during part of the day. The boats are just planted in the sand and wait patiently for the tide. If applicable, go to Ton Sai Bay (on the other side of the island) : Dozens of long tails drivers are waiting for you but consider your final destination, the trip could cost you. You may decide to postpone your trip and learn about the coming tide times from long tails drivers.

You want to be able to talk with your driver ? What a great idea! They are a wealth of information on the island ! Make sure he knows how to speak English before you go and test a few sentences before boarding. In general, young people are doing rather well and can be particularly talkative ... if you take the first step.


Please feel free to share your experience below!