Thinking of heading to the Phi Phi islands with your family? Then you’re in for a treat! Boasting an array of outdoor activities, stunning beaches and plenty of opportunities to explore, these islands offer something for everyone. From kayaking and rock climbing to swimming and snorkeling, your entire family can have an unforgettable experience on the Phi Phi islands. In this blog post, we’ll take a comprehensive look at what makes the islands so great for families and provide you with all the insider information you need for the ultimate family-friendly vacation.
Everything You Need to Know About Visiting Phi Phi Islands With Kids
@mrsblinks This is the part of our Thailand trip I’ve been looking forward to the most!!! We are staying on Koh Phi Phi Don and are hoping we have enough time to explore all the islands #travelwithkids #phiphiisland #longervideos ♬ Au Revoir – Sweet After Tears
Getting to Phi Phi Islands with Kids
Getting to Phi Phi Islands is an adventure in itself. The islands are located in the Andaman Sea, about 45 kilometers southeast of Phuket in Thailand. While there are no direct flights to the islands, there are several options for reaching this tropical paradise.
One of the most popular ways to get to Phi Phi Islands is by ferry. Ferries cost around 400 baht and depart regularly from Phuket, Krabi, and Ao Nang. The trip usually takes around 1-2 hours, depending on the departure point, and offers breathtaking views of the surrounding islands and crystal-clear waters.
When you make the transfer, make sure your ticket includes pick up from your hotel and is a round-trip fare. Any hotel or tour counter in Phuket can arrange this for you.
If you prefer a quicker option, speedboats are available for hire. These are fast and efficient and can get you to Phi Phi Islands in just 30-45 minutes, so you can start your family adventure sooner.
Note: These waters can sometimes get rough, therefore speed boats can be very bumpy and uncomfortable for children or those that get sea sick easily.
Book your Premium Speed Boat Tour HERE
Book your Phi Phi Islands Day Tour HERE
Choosing a Day Trip vs Staying Overnight
There are pros and cons to both staying on Phi Phi island overnight and just taking a day trip from Phuket or Krabi. Here are some things you should consider before which way you visit Phi Phi with kids.
Reasons to stay overnight:
- The ferry to Phi Phi is fairly inexpensive
- You can find accommodations for less than $100/night
- You can find better deals on tours and negotiate right with the owners
- You avoid the crowds by either going out super early or later in the day
- Watching the fire shows on the beach at night is worth the stay
- Your kids will love exploring the different islands on a private boat tour!
- Private tour also means you can customize the day to fit your needs
- It’s an easy stopover if you are looking to spend time in Phuket and Krabi
- A full day tour can be really hectic with super early wake ups and a jam-packed itinerary
Reasons to take a day trip:
- There isn’t a lot to do for kids on the island other than the boat tours, beaches and fire shows
- It’s not the most kid-friendly island, as there are lots of bars and nightlife for the party crowd
- When it gets late, the island turns into one big party and not conducive for kids
- If you are only in Thailand for a short trip, doing a day trip might be best
- Many of the accommodations on the island are geared to budget travelers
- The nicer hotels typically do not have the space for bigger families
- If you enjoy things being planned and just moving with a big group
Where to Eat in Phi Phi Islands with Kids
This eatery serves both Thai and global dishes, as well as breakfast. The seafood items and stunning sunset sights from the terrace are both hugely popular. Probably our favorite restaurant on Phi Phi.
Note: Get there as soon as they open in the evenings to avoid standing in a long line. You will also need to remember to bring cash, as they still do not accept credit cards.
The Coffee Club
This coffee shop is set in a traditional Thai-style building, provides an eclectic mix of food and drinks, from fresh-made sandwiches to homemade coffees. It also serves a mix of both Western and Thai favorites. Along with its coffee and food, the café also offers DVD rentals and board games.
Note: They serve a small version of a caffeine free cappuccino for kids, called a Kiddiccino. They also serve an Espresso Matcha Latte that was amazing!
McDonald’s (a little taste of home)
Traditional McDonald’s with a Thai twist and some special offerings. Located conveniently at the entrance of the Ton Sai Pier. Out front, Ronald McDonald performs a wai, the traditional Thai greeting consisting of a slight bow with the palms pressed together in a prayer-like fashion.
This was the girls preferred boat snack:
The Pirate House
The Pirates House is located in center of the island and serves up “Indian-Continental-Thai”. It’s a fun and playful atmosphere, great for families with lots of menu choices for kids like pizza, chips, cheese toasties and more.
ACQUA is a very cool and relaxed restaurant with outdoor seating on an attractive bungalow porch. Serving classic Thai and European dishes, but also western favorites as well. Very friendly staff and accommodating for kids and families.
Only Noodles is one of the best noodle places in all of Thailand. More for fast food takeaway, but perfect for those days or evenings after lots of snorkeling! Very affordable and the kids will love it!
Note: We’ve heard that it is the Best Pad Thai people have ever tried.
Here’s some of the most popular dishes to try while in Phi Phi Islands with Kids (and Thailand):
- Spicy Green Papaya Salad (Som Tam)
- Thai Style Fried Noodles (Pad Thai)
- Green Curry (Gaeng Keow Wan)
- Chicken in Coconut Soup (Tom Kha Gai)
- Thai Chicken with Coconut Soup (Tom Kha Kai )
- Spicy Shrimp Soup (Tom Yum Goong)
- Thai Fried Rice (Khao Pad)
- Mango and Sticky Rice (Kao Niew Ma Muang)
There’s also some really great street vendors selling homemade coconut ice cream, grilled corn and other local favorites. Our girls had a lot of fun stopping to sample and picking up snacks along our walks.
Where to Stay in Phi Phi Islands with Kids
Phi Phi Maiyada Resort is located behind Ton Sai Beach, only a short walk from the Ton Sai Pier. The resort is situated between Phi Phi Don and Phi Phi Leh, two of the most popular tourist destinations on this stunning island. The resort features different sized rooms, with many large enough to accommodate a small family. There’s a great swimming pool nestled against a cliff in the edge of the jungle.
Note: Be very careful walking around with food or leaving your windows open, as the local monkeys will let themselves right in. They can be very aggressive, so do your best to steer clear.
Book your stay at the Maiyada Resort HERE
Nestled on the tranquil northern coast of Phi Phi Don, Zeavola Resort & Spa is a peaceful haven for families in search of serenity. This report has villas and suites, many featuring direct beach access. Zeavola is the ideal setting for making lifelong memories. It’s laid back and relaxing, and also has kayaking and snorkeling.
Book your stay at Zeavola Resort HERE
Located on Loh Ba Gao Bay, Phi Phi Island Village Beach Resort offers a great combination of extravagance and family-oriented appeal. They have a kids’ club, swimming pools, and various restaurants that satiate different palates. The resort’s exclusive beach provides a secure enclave where you and your family can soak in the ocean’s beauty and its sea creatures. The sophisticated bungalows offer comfy lodgings for every visitor.
Book your family stay at Saii Phi Phi Island Village HERE
If you’re looking for a combination of convenience and cost-effectiveness for your family, the Phi Phi Holiday Resort is an ideal choice. Enjoy breathtakingly beautiful shoreline views and a range of fun activities for kids, like a kids’ club, multiple swimming pools, and an array of aquatic sports. This resort has spacious rooms and suites, all made with families in mind so everyone can enjoy a pleasant stay.
Book your stay at Phi Phi Holiday Resort HERE
The Phi Phi CoCo Beach Resort is only about a 20 minute walk from the Ton Sai Pier. The resort offers an amazing view and a welcoming atmosphere only 600 feet from Low Dalum Bay. The resort features cozy bungalows and guest rooms for smaller families. It’s in ideal location to reach nearby attractions like Monkey Beach and Pirate Island adventures. Their daily breakfast offers continental and buffet options and the restaurant at Phi Phi CoCo Beach serves a European cuisine.
Book your stay at Phi Phi CoCo Beach HERE
If you’re a family seeking solace from the crowds, Phi Phi Natural Resort is the ideal retreat. The resort overlooks the picturesque Andaman Sea. Because of its rustic charm and tranquil atmosphere, it makes for a great getaway for families! Although slightly removed from the hustle and bustle of downtown, the resort offers a free shuttle service for easy access to the island’s attractions.
Book your retreat at the Phi Phi Natural Resort HERE
What to Do in Phi Phi Islands with Kids
One of the top activities for families on the Phi Phi Islands is island hopping. Jump on a boat and explore the surrounding islands, each with its own unique charm and beauty. Discover hidden coves, snorkel in crystal-clear waters, and relax on pristine beaches. You can even have a picnic on one of the secluded islands, surrounded by breathtaking natural scenery.
@mrsblinks I still cant get over how beautiful it is here #phiphiislands #thailandwithkids #familytravel #longervideos ♬ Au Revoir – Sweet After Tears
The area is known for its crystal clear water and stunning scenery, and it’s home to a family of wild monkeys who often visit the beach. The beach is a popular spot for snorkeling and swimming, and for spotting the resident monkeys. There are also several restaurants and cafes located on the beach, and plenty of opportunities to explore the nearby coastline and nature. Visitors should be aware that some areas may be restricted due to the presence of the monkeys.
Maya Bay is a stunning bay well known for its sheer limestone cliffs, turquoise waters, and fine white sand beaches. It gained fame after its appearance in the Danny Boyle Hollywood movie “The Beach” with Leonardo DiCaprio. The island is part of the Phi Phi Leh National Park and can only be accessed by boat. This destination has become a popular spot for trophy pictures, snorkeling, scuba diving, canoeing, relaxing, and many more activities.
Note: Maya Bay will close each year for about two months for conservation. In 2023, Maya Bay will be closed from the 1st of August 2023 until the 1st of October 2023. These yearly closure dates can change slightly each year, as the dates are only known last minute.
Book your Maya Bay + Bamboo Island Tour HERE
Ko Phi Phi Le
Ko Phi Phi Le is a group of islands located in the Krabi Province of southern Thailand. The islands are popular among both backpackers and luxury travelers. The largest and best-known island is Phi Phi Don, which is home to many resorts and restaurants. There is also a smaller uninhabited island, Phi Phi Leh, which is renowned for its stunning rock formations and bays.
If your family is up for more adventure, kayaking is a must-do activity. Explore the coastline, paddle through caves, and marvel at the limestone cliffs rising out of the turquoise waters. If your kids are older and are up for the challenge, they will be rewarded with some really spectacular views.
Snorkeling (and Swimming)
For water lovers, swimming and snorkeling are perfect activities. Dive into the warm waters and discover vibrant coral reefs teeming with tropical fish. Don’t forget to bring your snorkeling gear or rent some from a local shop. You and your family will be amazed at the underwater world waiting to be explored.
Note: If you take a private snorkeling tour or longboat for the day, most guides will provide snorkel equipment and often fins for the day.
Book your Phi Phi Snorkeling Tour HERE
Check out some of our snorkeling and swimming adventures:
Loh Dalum Bay + Beach Exploration
The sun-kissed shores of Loh Dalum Bay invite tourists of all ages to unwind and have fun. As the day fades, vibrant markets and street food stalls emerge, creating a unique atmosphere to savor authentic cultures. Unforgettable memories are also made when beachside bars light up the night with fire shows and entertainment. Driven by the dynamic energy, get your shopping list ready and experience the bustling heart of Phi Phi Don.
Phi Phi Viewpoint Trek
Take a pleasant and rewarding hike to the Phi Phi Viewpoints for stunning panoramic views of the surrounding islands and waters. Perfect for families, this is the chance to explore nature while admiring the brilliance of Phi Phi. Be sure to take lots of pictures and tag me on socials!
What to bring:
- 30 baht for the entrance fee
- additional cash to buy drinks at the top
- at least 1 liter of water per person
- Sunscreen and bug spray
- sturdy footwear, preferably close toed
What to See in Phi Phi Islands with Kids
Fire shows are one of the coolest and most popular activities in Phi Phi Island, and there are some great spots to catch a show. In the sunset bars on Loh Dalam Beach, you can watch an impressive fire show performed by dancers who use fire and light effects to create an amazing performance. Fire juggling and twirling by talented professionals make the show even more intense.
Some of the bars and restaurants offering fire shows include Zico’s Beach Bar, Carlitos Bar, Ibiza Beach Club, Pum Pum Bar and the one we enjoyed most was at Slinky Bar. The shows generally last around 15 minutes, and they are great for both adults and children alike.
Note: There’s plenty of seating setup on the beach to watch the shows, but be prepared to order something to do so. We ordered a couple of drinks and then some milkshakes for the kids.
Here’s some of our Fire Show experience:
Longtail Boat Tours
Longtail Boat Tours in Phi Phi island are a popular way to explore the beauty of the area. These tours offer breathtaking views of the limestone cliffs, crystal clear waters, and beautiful beaches of Phi Phi Island. The tour usually includes snorkeling and sightseeing, as well as visits to some of the area’s best attractions. You can choose to experience a private tour with your family or you can take a shared tour with other travelers. The friendly and knowledgeable tour guides provide you with insight about the local environment and culture. We really enjoyed the private tours, as it allowed us to go at our own pace and snorkel as long as possible!
Another family-friendly activity is taking a sunset cruise around the islands. Enjoy the breathtaking views as the sun sets over the horizon, painting the sky in hues of pink and orange. Some cruises even offer dinner and live entertainment, making it a truly magical experience for the whole family. There really is something special about the sunsets in Thailand!
Book your Sunset Tour of Phi Phi Islands HERE
Best Time to Visit Phi Phi Islands with Kids
While the islands are beautiful year-round, there are certain seasons that offer optimal conditions for a family vacation. We were there in the middle of June and were pleasantly surprised by the weather and were able to book things same day.
The peak tourist season in the Phi Phi Islands runs from November to April. During this time, the weather is generally sunny and dry, making it perfect for outdoor activities and beach adventures. The sea is also calm, making it safe for kids to swim and snorkel. On the other hand, this is also the busiest time of the year, and the islands can get extremely crowded with tourists.
If you’re looking for a quieter and more affordable time to visit, consider going during the shoulder seasons of May to October. While there is a higher chance of rain during these months, the islands are still relatively accessible, and you can often find great deals on accommodations. The rain showers are usually short-lived, and you’ll still have plenty of opportunities to enjoy the beaches and outdoor activities with your family.
Phi Phi, Thailand is a nice destination for families who want to make special memories together. With an array of accommodations to suit a range of budgets, families can be sure of a comfortable stay while exploring the stunning beaches and other attractions that the islands have to offer. From lounging on unspoiled beaches to discovering the wonders of the ocean, Phi Phi Island is a great choice for families, regardless of age.