I guess when you go to Thailand on holiday it only makes sense to spend a day doing one of the many island hopping tours. While we were there my friend and I decided to do the most popular tour of all, Phi Phi Islands. Let me just say don’t believe anything you see in the brochures. What you honestly get is overly crowded islands, tourists at every corner which makes it that little bit harder to relax and actually enjoy your surroundings. Considering that all the tours start from 10am-4pm and every hour you get moved to a different island location you really don’t get that much free time to your self. Don’t get me wrong the views are spectacular and some of the activities on the tour are a lot fun but that is as exciting as it gets.
The best places to book a tour is through the locals at any of the local bars and restaurants in order to get the best deals. If you book at the hotels then you are bound to get super ripped off. You can look at booking a tour for ฿1300 – ฿1600 per person when you book through the locals and ฿3000 – ฿3500 if you book at the hotels. The tour package includes 3 island stops, lunch, snorkelling, Vikings Cave & Monkey Beach sightseeing and scuba diving.
At 9am the tour transport collects you from the hotel to take you to the marina. Here you get to meet lots of other friendly island hoppers, once all the rules and legalities are out of the way everyone hops onto one of the many speed boats. Each tour takes about 30 guests which makes the boat slightly crowded and gross when people start to get sea sick. We are then taken to the first island stop which is Ko Phi Phi Don where we get to spend an hour swimming and having a look around but once again the island gets so crowded that relaxing is really not an option.
Once the hour is done we make our way to our next stop which is just 5 minutes away from the first, Monkey Beach. Here everyone gets to stay for 15 minutes while looking at the monkeys and if you want you can go for a short swim again. Once everyone is done taking pictures of the monkeys we get back on the boat and go see the Vikings Cave again just 5 minutes away from Monkey Beach. This time we don’t get to get off the boat so everyone just gets to look at the caves from a distance.
The next activity of the tour is snorkelling at Coral Bay here you get to discover the colourful sea wildlife for about an hour before we head to a Thai Buffet lunch at a restaurant on Phi Phi Don. Here you can also walk around the island and do some shopping before we head to our last stop on the tour and the only place with a bar Koh Khai No. Here we get to spend an hour swimming and of course enjoying some cocktails at the awesome Bob Marley Reggae Bar. The cocktails at the bar are rather pricey so make sure to pack extra cash. Once the time is over the tour guide gets everyone back on the boat and we head back to the marina completing a full day Phi Phi Island tour.
Some tips when doing the tour, pack lots of sunscreen, get a protector for your phone best to buy these at the market and not at the marina as prices there are super inflated. Make sure to take some meds if you get sea sick easily. Try get on the boat first so you can get a a good seat with a view. Enjoy it! The only way to actually get tours that aren’t as crowded is if you do private tours which are super expensive (VIP book out the whole island type of money) but otherwise be prepared to share as it gets crowded all year round. Despite the crowdedness the tours are really fun and you get to make lots of friends from all corners of the world.