Being a main tourist area and a bustling beach town, phuket has many options for the tourists and one of the options in island hopping around Phuket, Krabi, Phang Nga Provinces is via a speed boat but hiring a private speed boat for a day of island hopping around phi phi islands, krabi islands, james bond island, similan islands, khai islands, koh lanta islands and more will set you 30,000-50,000 baht for a whole day boat rental (the price is for the boat and if you are only three persons, divide this by a three and if ten person, divide by ten) depending on the route and the number of islands visited (example is phi phi island and khai island only or krabi + phi phi islands + james bond island or Phi Phi Island + Koh Lanta island, etc). the private speed boat is up to ten persons only and lunch and park entrance fees are not included, just the snorkelling equipment and free water and juices. if you want to have it cheaper, then just book a speed boat tour of the assorted islands with a big speed boat for 35 people at the many travel agencies in and around phuket and the price will be 3,000-4,500 baht per person and it includes everything like park entrances and free drinks and juices and snorkeling equipment and even the buffet lunch.
Phi Phi Don Island is the only island in the phi phi island group that have it's own pier and the pier is located at Tonsai bay part of Phi Phi Don. The pier handles the big boats that do the phi phi island tours and also the scheduled ferry services to and from Krabi province mainland and Phuket Island to and from Phi Phi Don. The pier is located at the center of Tonsai Bay and it connected to the island via a big concrete plank.
the long tail boats and the speed boats that goes to Phi Phi Don on the Phi Phi Island Tours dock at the beaches along Tonsai Bay.
Most of the Tourists Going to Phuket on a holiday not only go to the assorted Phuket Beaches like Patong, Kata or Karon but also do the various Island Hopping tours around the many Islands in the Andaman Sea and there are many island hopping options available but they all start and stop at the Chalong Pier in Chalong Bay at 8 kilometers south of Phuket Town. The different island hopping tours all have transport service to and from the hotels in the Patong and other areas to Chalong Pier and travel time is usually 40 minutes to 1 hour. Most of Phuket's speed boat, fishing boats, big tour boats, snorkeling companies and yacht charter are also located here.
If you Booked the most popular Phi Phi Islands Tours, either by Big Boat or Speed Boat, The Starting point will be one of the the company boat docks at the chalong pier.
The Ao Nang Princess is the main ferry from Phi Phi Don to Ao Nang/Rai Leh. The busiest being the 15:30, the last from Phi Phi Don. The Princess holds just under 200 passengers, has seating inside but on a nice day generally out sitting on the deck in the sun. There are toilet facilities on board and someone comes round selling drinks.
The journey takes about 2 hours with a stop in Rai Leh to drop of passengers.
We booked the return journey at our hotel and cost us 800 bahts each. This seemed quite a lot so it will probably be cheaper to buy at the pier. Timetable in the link below.
The Phi Phi Cruiser is a great way to go to Phi Phi from Phuket because you can do it without a program.
There are many tours that go to Phi Phi but we just wanted to go there direct first and check in to our hotel without a tour on the way.
With the Phi Phi cruiser you can just buy a one way ticket or a open ended return ticket without the lunch or snorkeling that the Sea Angel tour has included in their ticket price.
A one way ticket was 600 Baht and the open ended return ticket was 1200 each.
It's an hour and a half trip roughly from Phuket and you can buy your ticket from any travel place in Phuket which also includes travel to and from the pier.
I have taken the boat that depart from Phuket's port and arrives after aprx. 2 hours to the Phi Phi Island.
The way to the Island was beautiful, and lots of fun, We've been sitting (me and friends i have met on the boat) on the highest deck and enjoyed all the amazing way to Phi Phi, So many islands and the water are so beautiful.
But on the way back the weather has changed and the sea was quite wavy, we were in a close boat but it felt horrible... i still dont know how i managed to keep my self of throwing up there though many people did..... acchhhh ... So if you're sea sick then watch it, sometimes it really goes well but at some other days the sea can be high and abit rough !
Instead of joining long tail boat tour or speed boat tour, would suggest to hire a private long tail boat for THB 1,400 for 4 hours so that you can beat the crowds. You can bargain this at any of the tour desk although cheaper when you go to Loh Dalum bay area. Make sure that the boatman understand basic english. Ours doesn't but he seems to understand where we are going since the guy at the tour desk explained him in Thai where we would like to go.
It takes about one and a half hour to reach Ko Phi Phi Pier from Krabi Pier. It costs 350 THB per person and you can arrange your booking by the hotel you stay in Krabi or through agents. This will also ensure that you reach the Krabi Pier which is a little away from Krabi Town. They send a minivan to pick you up and bring to the pier.
There are no cars or motorbikes allowed on this island because it’s very small with narrow streets. Special push-carts are used instead of the vehicles for transportation of heavy material or luggages.
Despite knowing Maya Bay (Phi Phi Leh) to be a tourist trap we still wanted to take a look for ourselves and in our own time.
As soon as you're off the ferry at Phi Phi Don there are guys offering tours to Phi Phi Leh/Maya Bay. Some offer this along with a trip to Viking Cave. Unlike Krabi you cannot simply jump on a longtail whenever you like but you can convince some of the tour guys to take you over to the Bay and get them to wait a couple of hours and take you back to Phi Phi Don.
Longtail cost 500 bahts for both of us.
We took the slow (over two hours) ferry to Phi Phi Don from Phuket, but while we were on the island we were told that Destination Air were running a special on flights from Phi Phi direct to Phuket airport.
Flights go to and from Phuket to Phi Phi Island (and also to Krabi)
1,999 Thai Baht at the moment for a 20 minute ride on a Sea Plane. Worth every cent, and the most spectacular views you will ever get.
Very HIGHLY recommended.
Check their website, or ask someone at your hotel / tour desk.
Will add some photos when I return home.
Ton Sai Bay of Phi Phi Don is the place where you take ferry to/from Krabi and Phuket. I high season, there is ferry to Lanta as well.
Two daily ferry to Krabi (9am and 2pm) or to Ao Nang Bay (3:30pm) is 350 baht. One daily ferry from Ao Nang Beach via Railey Bay to Phi Phi (9am) for 390 Baht, including the hotel pick up. The boat ride is about 2 hours.
Two daily ferries from Phi Phi to Phuket is also 350 Baht for a 2 hour boat ride.
This is minivan is cramped and all the backpacks are thrown into the back of the van. When there is a big group, you may be moved around between vans and so make sure your beg follow you. Haadyai is a meeting point for backpackers from Butterworth, Malaysia or from Koh Samui/Surat Thani.
Then from Haadyai it is a 3-4 hours to Krabi. Usually the timing is such that you will catch the boat to Phi Phi. Krabi is worth spending a night or more if you have extra days.
There is regular bus service between Bangkok to Phuket. From Phuket then you take a boat to Koh Phi Phi.
Once I have taken a overnight bus for Thai tourists and it stopped with supper provided along the way. But other times, it is a bus that all the backpacker tourists are put together. And you pay more if you did not bargain your tour agent.
So shop around. Ask for specific details like the number of seats in the bus, VIP or Super VIP. For a photo of the bus. Of course, nothing is guaranteed. When a bus is out of service, everyone is moved to the next available bus.
So as long as you get there, nothing else to fret about.
There used to be regular flights from Penang to Phuket. Now you have to fly from Kuala Lumpur - so if you use budget Air Asia, you fly down south to KL and then take a connection north again to Phuket, pass over Penang again.
There are regular internal flights from Bangkok to Phuket.
Krabi has a small airport which you can take a boat to Phi Phi but I have not done that.