Phi Phi is an amazing place to visit and an amazing place to stay, as long as you stay on Long Beach! When you arrive in Phi Phi, the boat from Krabi drops you off at Tonsai pier - this place is hectic - loads of touts advertising to take you here or there and loads of people, and if you have no knowledge of the island or where anything is (like us), you could get it horribly wrong...luckily we got it right and opted for Long Beach, not Tonsai village/Phi Phi town.
We'd seen long beach from the boat as we were approaching Phi Phi and both my boyfriend and I immediately said 'that's where I want to stay'. It looks so perfect: a large expanse of white sand, turquoise sea and minimal people (at least there were minimal people in April), sheltered by a huge forest-covered hill behind. There seemed to be quite a few places to stay on Long Beach - all variations on a theme - either tree house-type bungalows up the hill, or beach bungalows of varying price and standard literally on the beach. We knew we wanted to be on the beach and we weren't looking for luxury - just somewhere comfy and clean to shower and sleep when we weren't eating, swimming, drinking or snorkelling! However, we're not quite backpackers (or students!) anymore, so the dorm room/tiny hut with shared bathroom option (~700 baht) wasn't for us, instead we opted for the en suite double bungalow with A/C (1600 baht). This was pretty pricey for Thailand standards (we'd just stayed in a pretty-much identical one in Ao Nang for 1000 baht, and heard tales of much cheaper on the less touristy islands, such as Ko Lanta) but when you look at the view you wake up to everyday, I'd say that's still a pretty good deal! (It includes breakfast too).
The bungalow was clean and comfortable, with a big double bed (why are beds so big in Thailand?!) and a good mozzie net. The A/C was super powerful and there was a big wardrobe for storing stuff in. The bathroom was ok, not great, as the window seemed to let a lot of mozzies in. The shower was hot (well, warm) but only really came out as a trickle when you had it on hot - no good for washing long hair! But we were pretty sunburned most of the time, so a cold shower was nice :). There are little porch bits at the front of the bungalows too, with comfy chairs - perfect for watching the waves with a Chang at sunset. We slept ok, but had to put ear-plugs in a few nights; firstly, as there is a bar just a few 100 metres along the beach which was mostly quiet, but one night really loud for some reason; and the second night, there was a cheeky little rat scrabbling in the roof! We shone a torch up there the next morning and saw his little face peering at us! He couldn't get in the bungalow or anything, but he definitely let us know he was there! Also, the frogs near the bungalows are loud at dusk and dawn - I didn't really mind this, but if you want complete silence, then splash the cash and stay at one of the posher places along the beach.
The food was ok at Long Beach, nothing to write home about although I didn't eat any real Thai here - we mostly just ate breakfast and the odd sandwich and went into the town for our evening meals.
The best bit about the bungalow though, was that it looked straight out onto Long Beach - a 10 second walk and you're dipping your toes in the sea! There are quite a lot of longtail boats around in the area, but there's an area just outside the bungalows that is cordoned off which the boats can't get in. You could also walk just a little bit further along the beach and there are way fewer boats..my other half swam all the way out from Long Beach to Shark point to swim with the reef sharks. Anyway, you're thankful for all the longtails when you want to go and get some food and drinks in Phi Phi town and you realise it's about a 45 minute-1 hour CLIMB to get there! We walked it once and it's pretty treacherous in places, especially in flip-flops..at night..when the lamps lighting the path aren't working.
Overall, I'd say stay in these apartments if you just want a no-frills place that's close to the beach, don't stay in them if you want luxury/an amazing bathroom! Also, stay on Long Beach in general if you like your accommodation a bit more peaceful - we're not over the hill yet (!) and still went into the town most nights (by Longtail) but were glad to get back to long beach at midnight and to be able to hear the sea and the frogs, not the loud music and drunken antics!
- Also Known As:
- Phi Phi Long Beach Bungalow Hotel Ko Phi Phi Don
- Phi Long Beach Hotel