Explore the Spectacular Ko Phi Phi Leh

Updated 2022!

ko phi phi signpost pointing towards the beach

Considering all the amazing places to visit in Thailand, we always get asked what puts Ko Phi Phi Leh at the top of most people’s lists.

Put simply, Ko Phi Phi Leh is a place of immense beautiful. The island hideaway is surrounded by clear, crystal waters, golden sand and jagged cliff-face views. Such is its beauty, it was used as the location for the Hollywood blockbuster, The Beach.

The movie is told from the perspective of Richard (played by Leonardo DiCaprio) who is in search of paradise and finds himself joining a secret civilization living in a location untapped by tourism. That the Phi Phi Islands was chosen as the location suitable to represent this ‘undiscovered paradise, says it all really.

Ko Phi Phi Leh offers more than just a place of natural beauty for those fortunate to visit. There are plenty of things to do here for those looking for an adventure. Therefore, to help readers decide, we’ll now provide our list of the top 8 things to do while visiting the Koh Phi Phi region.

What are the best things to see at Ko Phi Phi Leh?

  1. Step into Phi Phi Leh National Park
  2. Witness the Viking Caves
  3. Trek to the Ao Lo Dalam viewpoint
  4. Snorkel in the crystal clear waters
  5. Rock Climbing the Limestone Cliffs
  6. Journey to Mosquito Island
  7. Dive at Bida Islands
  8. Kayak around the island


1.  Step into Phi Phi Leh National Park

aerial view of the crystal clear waters of ko phi phi lee

There is very good reason that the Ko Phi Phi Leh region was chosen for The Beach, and nothing gives a clearer indication of this than the Phi Phi National Park. The scenery is unrivaled in its beauty, and lush cliff-faces disappear into the crystal clear water below. The serenity is evident thanks to the lack of hotels, hostels, or any form of accommodation in the area.

Laze on the beach and scan your eyes around the seascape and you’ll bare witness to a range of boats anchored in the waters, silently bobbing up and down.

Visiting the region on a Phi Phi Island sunrise boat tour is perhaps the best way to experience the scenery as you’ll be afforded privacy and comfort – all in a setting that has to be seen to be believed.

2. Witness the Viking Caves

viking caves located near phi phi lee

The magnificent Viking caves at Koh Phi Phi are a must-see. Located at the North-Eastern side of the island the caves possess evidence of great history. Inscribed within the caves are colored chalk drawings thought to be the work of pirates over one thousand years ago. Much wildlife can be witnessed when touring the area and there are an abundance of swiftlets nesting within the caves.

The area can be discovered as part of a Simba Phi Phi Island tour and is the 5th stop on the comprehensive tour.

3. Trek to the Ao Lo Dalam viewpoint

ao lo dalam from the ocean looking up towards the view point

While the beach is the obvious attraction, many tourists make sure to undertake a hike to the Southern point of Ao Lo Dalam. This 30 minute walk is quite comfortable and achievable for most visitors. The viewpoint is the perfect place for rest and relaxation and while you regain your breath, you are afforded a sensational view.

The Ao Lo Dalam region itself is considerably more quiet than Maya Bay, and possesses a curved sandy beach with calm crystal clear blue waters. The ideal place to soak in the Phi Phi surrounds.

4. Snorkel in the crystal clear waters

A woman snorkeling amongst a wide array of colourful fish at phi phi leh

You simply can’t get the most out of a trip to Ko Phi Phi Leh without slipping on some snorkeling gear and dipping your head into the water. The perfectly clear water makes for absolutely ideal snorkeling conditions.

There are a number of outstanding places to slip into the snorkeling gear including at Maya Bay and Hat Yao. The warm water temperature adds extra encouragement.

Don’t be surprised if you have company on your snorkel as there are many clown fish, black-tip reef sharks, eels and many other fish that will often come and say a friendly hello.

5. Rock Climbing the Limestone Cliffs

a white woman rock climbing at phi phi

The cliffs that surround Koh Phi Phi Leh are simply stunning and afford adventurers the opportunity to test their rock climbing skills. Most of the climbs are advanced so they might be a little unconquerable for the complete novice.

There are well-rated companies that offer all the equipment and guidance to complete the activity and you’ll find their knowledge of the area will hold you in great stead. In the heat of summer the rock surface can get quite hot so it is highly advisable to wait until late in the day to undertake a climb.

For those, not confident enough to tackle the cliffs with hand and foot, most boat tours will take you close enough to the cliffs that you can at least get close enough to vicariously live through others that are hanging off the cliffs.

6. Journey to Mosquito Island

mosquito island as seen from a tour boat on approach

It might sound like a place to avoid thanks to the name, but this could not be further from the truth. Mosquito Island is one of the most interesting places in the ko phi phi leh region. The site is renowned for many famous shipwrecks that litter the region and provide the perfect diving opportunities.

Perhaps the most famous is the King Cruiser wreck that is over 85 metres in length and affords divers with hours of exploration opportunity.

With that said Mosquito island is named as such for a reason. So we highly recommend that if you travel to the island that you make sure to pack some bug spray!

7. Dive at Bida Islands

a man snorkeling amongst the fish at bida islands

While the beaches may be few and far between at Bida Islands, this ko phi phi leh location is the perfect place to dive. Bida Islands is made up of a series of smaller islands all home to a wide range of coral.

For the expert divers, the aptly named fantasy reef is the perfect place to dive. For the less-advanced the Bida Nok area with its shallow waters are ideal.

8. Kayak around the island

kayaks sitting on the beach awaiting kayak users at phi phi islands

Why not take advantage of the glorious calm waters of the Phi Phi islands with a relaxing kayak around the ocean waterways? Always a fun activity, kayaking phi phi is made even more enjoyable thanks to the glorious scenery that encompasses the entire region.

A kayak hire will cost approximately 700 Bhat for day hire and can be organized through most mainland resorts. If kayaking seems a bit slower paced then consider a waterskiing trip of the area, also available from most seaside resorts at a much lower cost.

Experience Ko Phi Phi and saviour the experience

It’s hard to beat a trip to Ko Phi Phi. With so much to do and see, and with a seaside view that is unsurpassed anywhere around the world, Maya Bay and the surrounding areas should be top of your Thailand wish list.

If you have ample time we suggest partaking in all the activities listed above but if you are hard-pressed for time then a visit to ko phi phi leh with Simba Sea Trips offers all the enjoyment, in the absence of the large crowds that usually frequent the region. Book a tour with us today!