Choose from 178 Fun Things to Do in Thailand
From the emerald waters of the Andaman Sea, the jungle-shrouded limestone cliffs of Thailand’s Phi Phi Islands rise majestically, giving way to white-sand beaches and lush green jungles further inland. Longtail boats putter between the islands, surrounded by the turquoise waters and colorful marine life.
Where to Go Around the Phi Phi Islands
Uninhabited Phi Phi Leh, whose beauty was brought to attention when Maya Bay starred in the 2000 film The Beach, is the smaller of the two main islands and boasts coral reefs abundant with tropical fish, making it a popular diving and swimming spot. There are no hotels on Phi Phi Leh, and camping is prohibited, meaning it’s only accessible by day trip.
Phi Phi Don is a thriving hub of activity—by day, a coastal paradise typified by bobbing longtail boats and sparkling white sand; by night, a beating, hedonistic heart with beaches that pulsate with loud music and fire parties. Ao Ton Sai, the island’s principal dock, houses a promenade lined with shops, bars, and restaurants fragrant with the aromas of Thai food. Activities such as snorkeling, rock climbing, Thai boxing, and cooking classes keep travelers entertained throughout their stay on Thailand’s Shangri-La.
How to Visit with Viator
The unbridled popularity of the Phi Phi Islands means that travelers enjoy a wide range of visiting options. Day trips are available from Phuket, Ko Lanta, and Krabi via either a speedboat or express ferry, and typically cover Phi Phi highlights such as Maya Bay, Bamboo Island, Monkey Beach, Viking Cave, and James Bond Island in Phang Nga National Park. Island tours generally include a helpful tour guide, hotel pickup and dropoff, a buffet lunch, and free time to enjoy some of Asia’s best beaches.
Best Ways to Enjoy Marine Life Around the Phi Phi Islands
Take a Phi Phi island tour by speed boat charter or cruise boat to spend time swimming and snorkeling in the crystal clear water. Island-hopping adventure tours also allow for exploring the underwater world around some of the area’s smaller islands.
- If you want to avoid Ko Phi Phi Don’s increasingly popular party scene, head to the island’s more secluded eastern coast, where white-sand beaches play host to rustic bungalows and five-star resorts away from the revelers.
- For a more immersive experience, choose to visit the Phi Phi Islands as part of a three-night sailing cruise, or on a deluxe six-island tour that also takes in Koh Khai, Koh Yao, Mosquito Island, and Bamboo Island.
The Mu Koh Lanta Marine National Park protects 15 islands in the Koh Lanta island group, including the southern tip of Koh Lanta Yai. Perhaps the most beautiful island is Koh Rok Nai, with its cliff-backed crescent bay, gorgeous beach and great reef diving.
There are limestone caves to explore at Koh Talabeng, a popular destination for sea-kayaking tours.
The Mu Koh Lanta Marine National Park surrounds the island of Koh Lanta Yai in the southern tip of Krabi province.
Ferries run from Krabi to Ban Sala Dan on the northern tip of Koh Lanta Yai, taking around 1.5 hours. Marine park excursions leave from Ban Sala Dan.
Located on Saeng Chuto Road, the main road of the city of Kanchanaburi, the cemetery is maintained by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission and contains the graves of Australian, British and Dutch POWs who were forced into labor by the Japanese, who controlled the area at the time of the Burma Railway construction.
A nearby privately funded museum, the Thailand-Burma Railway Museum, contains interactive displays describing the history of the railway and the prisoners who died building it.
- Boat trips and other tours visit the bay from several locations, including Phuket, Krabi, and the Phi Phi Islands.
- Boat, kayak, and snorkel tours are best suited for active travelers and families.
- Remember to wear suitable water-friendly footwear and bring plenty of sunscreen for boat or kayak excursions.
- Tours often provide a lunchtime meal and refreshments.
Lamai Beach vies with Chaweng for title of Koh Samui’s prettiest beach, especially along its less coral-strewn southern stretches.
Less developed than Chaweng, and therefore more tranquil and relaxed, Lamai offers year-round swimming and the interesting formations of the granite Grandmother and Grandfather rocks.
It’s a good spot to look for resort accommodation and tasty restaurants on Koh Samui.
Lamai Beach is on Koh Samui’s southern east coast, around 10 km (6 mi) south of Chaweng Beach.
Buried beneath the statue is said to be the ashes of King Chulalongkorn and outside the main shrine in the gallery are more than 50 statues of Buddha depicted by several different cultures and variations of Buddhism in the region.
Located near to the Dusit Palace, the spacious complex on Si Ayudhya Road is built on the site of an older temple and was once used as the headquarters of Thai troops fighting against the Laotian army.
Traditional market buildings perched on stilts over the water offer a refreshingly different place to shop at the Pattaya Floating Market. The thatched huts are filled with stalls selling Thai handicrafts, delicious street food, and souvenirs.
The Mud House Village and Old Market have joined the attractions here, along with a woodcarving museum, flower fair, and agricultural demonstrations.
Dance troupes dressed in traditional finery regularly perform at the floating market, along with shell dancers and sea boxers.
Traditional boats ferry visitors around the market’s canals, past boat vendors selling Thai food from around the country. It’s an especially picturesque sight at dusk.
The Floating Market is south of Pattaya in the nearby Jomtien district. Beach buses run here regularly from downtown Pattaya.
Get ready to get wet and cool off at Pattaya Water Park. Multiple giant water slides zigzag and spill into the water, and the winding whirlpool is the perfect place for a more relaxing glide through the surf.
There are tube rides for younger kids, shade huts for relaxing and a choice of swimming pools. The water park is circled by a wild roller coaster and amusement park with its plunging Tower Shot ride and Sky Shuttle.
While you’re here, take the lift to the 54th floor of the resort for fabulous views and a buffet lunch at the revolving restaurant.
Pattaya Water Park is 5 km (3 miles) south of Pattaya in Jomtien, a 10-minute trip by car, taxi or minibus.