A day tour of Phi Phi Islands can be done either from Phuket or from Krabi. I did if from Krabi because Phuket kept me busy with several other things but in Krabi there was nothing much to do except going on island tours. Then the other choice to make between a long tail boat and a speed boat was also not difficult. Everyone said that a speed boat would be faster and more comfortable. Seats in a speed boat have proper back support whereas one cannot sit so comfortably in a long tail boat. For these reasons of speed and comfort, tours by speed boat are a bit more expensive. My one day tour of Phi Phi Islands by speed boat including two-way hotel transfers, snorkeling gear, vegetarian lunch, national park entry fee, and accident insurance cost me a mere 1000 THB which was perhaps the best price for such a tour that one can get in Krabi. This was made possible by the tour desk of my hotel in Ao Nang Krabi – Ao Nang Goodwill Hotel. I would paid more at any other travel agency. I have covered the various tour options, pricing, etc. in another article of mine – Island Tours From Krabi. Ao Nang Goodwill Hotel sold me a tour of a company called ‘Ao Nang Photo Tour’.
Phi Phi Islands Tour By ‘Ao Nang Photo Tour Company’
The tour company’s bus arrived at the hotel for pick-up at 8.30am and after doing pick up from a few other hotels reached the meeting point on Ao Nang Beach at 9.00am. There was a long wait at the beach because some of the tourists who had booked the tour arrived late. Then there was a roll call, signing of insurance papers, a round of introductions, and a briefing about the tour. We were warned not to rent a jet ski anywhere and told to wear the life vest when in the boat. After the briefing a short march began to the speed boat parking area. It was 10.00am by the time we entered the boat.
There were about 20 people in our group, those speed boats are quite big. There was another head count and once all of us had put on our life vests, the high speed boat ride began. The tour guide served chilled water bottles and gave some more briefing. It was almost 45 minutes before we reached the first island on our trip.
Some of the stops covered during the trip were Bamboo Island, Viking Cave, Maya Bay, Monkey Beach, and Phi Phi Don. I am forgetting a few others and the order in which these were covered. There was a lot of sightseeing from the boat itself. The speed boat driver took us around several rocks, & caves, etc.
There were two opportunities for snorkeling on the trip. First in deep water for those who knew how to swim. Then another opportunity was at the beach at Phi Phi Don after lunch where the water was not so deep in a part of the beach. The tour guide pointed out the areas where the water was not deep. It was for those who did not know swimming and could do snorkeling while wearing life vests. Everyone in our group spent some time in that warm crystal clear water.
The complimentary lunch was really good. When I had told the Ao Nang Goodwill Staff to mention vegetarian lunch with my booking, they said some vegetarian food was always available in the buffet. But at the restaurant at Phi Phi Don, the only vegetarian food I saw in the buffet was spaghetti, white rice, and salad.
Then my tour guide found me and told me that four special vegetarian dishes had been prepared for me. I got a separate seat where they brought a vegetarian soup with mushrooms & veggies, a potato based dish, a hot & Spicy mixed vegetable curry, and a sweet & Sour vegetable curry. I already had spaghetti and rice on my plate. It was a feast and a little too much for one person. If I had ordered that much food for myself in a restaurant, I would have perhaps ended up paying 400 THB or more. And I was getting all that within the 1000 THB tour price. The tour guide stood next to me while I was waiting for my food to be served. He left to have own lunch only after making sure that I had been served my vegetarian food. Wonderful service. Another female tourist from China had requested oriental vegetarian food (no root vegetables) and they served her everything without onion/garlic, etc. Some local desserts, ice-cream, and tea-coffee were also in the buffet. A tip for you: When booking your island tour, make sure that the agent mentions vegetarian or non-vegetarian food in the booking slip and communicates that to the tour company.
After filling up on the food, we were all set to lounge at the beach. It was time for swimming, snorkeling, taking a dip in the water, taking pictures or just relaxing. Some shops around were selling beer too.
Another fast speed boat ride began during which they served some fresh fruit, and Pepsi. Back at the beach in Ao Nang, the tour company staff had some printed and framed pictures of our day on that trip ready for sale. Very efficient people. We walked back to the meeting area and boarded the bus for the return transfer to the hotel. When I reached my hotel lobby, the front office staff there asked me how the tour was. I told them that the tour was best 1000 THB I had spent during my entire Phuket-Krabi visit. It really was.