With so many gorgeous islands dotted all around the coast of Thailand, choosing just a few to enjoy is always a challenge. The Phi Phi islands rise to that challenge with their scenery that can only be described as stunning – pristine beaches, limestone karsts, nightlife (if you want it), and quiet places to relax if that’s what you prefer. Getting to Koh Phi Phi is a lot easier than it used to be, with regular ferries from Ao Nang, on the mainland. Ao Nang itself is also worth spending some time in if you enjoy the beach life. From here, longtail boats cruise the waters to other islands or you can just stay here and make the most of the restaurants, bars and shops that line the main street in this small coastal resort town.
Options for Travel from Ao Nang to Koh Phi Phi
Going direct from Ao Nang to Koh Phi Phi the distance is about 34 kilometers (21 miles), so it’s not far at all. With no airports at either Ao Nang or on Koh Phi Phi, flying is not an option, and as Koh Phi Phi is an island, this leaves just one option for getting between these two places: by boat. There are a number of different ferry companies plying the route from Ao Nang to Koh Phi Phi, so you shouldn’t be short on choices when it comes to finding a ferry. With competition between the different operators, this helps to keep prices a little lower than they might otherwise be. Most departures go from the Ao Nang area, rather than from Ao Nang itself, so do look at the different options carefully, depending on where in Aon ang you are staying.
Ao Nang to Koh Phi Phi by Ferry
You can book ferry tickets for travel from Ao Nang to Koh Phi Phi with the main ferry companies through the travel website 12Go.asia. The advantage of booking on this website is that you can search for all of the available ferries on the date you want to travel, and then easily compare the search results. You’ll see a variety of options for different types of ferries – the ferries are definitely not all the same, so check the type if this matters to you (more on the ferry types below). You will also be able to easily compare the ferry schedules and prices, and in most cases, you can book online and get instant confirmation which is great for peace for mind when you’re traveling.
You’ll find the cheapest tickets are for the ferries, rather than speedboats, and prices can vary depending on whether you want to be picked up from your hotel, or from a point somewhere in Ao Nang. You’ll see some of the options for these types of tickets below. When booking, do look carefully at the departure points though – there are more departures from the Krabi Town area than there are from around Ao Nang itself, so make sure you’re booking the correct ferry according to where you are starting your journey.
If you want to go from Ao Nang to Koh Phi Phi, directly from Ao Nang itself, you’ll need to get a ferry from the Noppharat Thara Pier. There is a daily service with Ao Nang Princess Ferry, and it takes around 2 hours which includes a short stop near Railay Beach to pick up passengers there.
If you’re closer to Krabi than you are to Ao Nang, there are ferries from Klong Jilad Pier to Koh Phi Phi with Andaman Wave Master, Songserm, and Chaokoh Travel Center, and these crossings take between 1.5 to 2 hours. Songserm operates a high speed ferry, while Andaman Wave Master has a Standard Class ferry, and Chaokoh uses a Local ferry.
Ao Nang to Koh Phi Phi by Ferry with Bus or Taxi Pickup
If you’re staying more centrally in the Ao Nang area and you want to get picked up from your hotel, this is a good way to save yourself the extra headache of getting yourself to the ferry pier, while also saving money. You would expect hotel pickups to cost more, but in fact the ticket prices are usually exactly the same. This may sound strange, but the ferry company operates the buses that pickup from hotels, and they do it as an additional incentive to book with them – it’s a free added service to make life easier for tourists!
Pick-ups are offered from several different places with the ferry company, Songserm, including Ao Nang, Krabi Town, and Noppharat Thara Beach.
While the ferries from Ao Nang to Koh Phi Phi generally run all year round, this is very much dependent on the weather, and therefore the sea conditions. If the sea is rough, ferry crossings are likely to take longer as the ferries have to travel at slower speeds, but, if the conditions are very rough the ferries could be cancelled altogether. You should also be aware that getting seasick is not uncommon when the conditions are not so good, so do bear this in mind if you’re traveling outside of the peak season. The rainiest time for this region is between May and November, with the peak rainfall coming in August to October, which is the off or low season for travel. If you are coming to Thailand during that time, be sure to plan ahead as there could be cancellations on the ferries which could severely impact your travel plans.