How to Choose a Private Boat Tour to The Phi Phi Islands

How to Choose a Private Boat Tour to The Phi Phi Islands

Last Updated on December 29, 2023

Imagine the serenity and awe-inspiring beauty of sailing through crystal-clear turquoise waters, surrounded by the majestic limestone cliffs of the Phi Phi islets. These cliffs, draped in lush greenery, create a striking contrast against the sun-kissed beaches. As you look below, the vibrant coral reefs teem with a kaleidoscope of marine life. Stepping onto the pristine sand, you’re greeted by the pristine, untouched beauty of the island — the footprints in the sand are yours alone. This is not just a trip; it’s an immersion into the enchantment of a private boat tour in Phi Phi, an experience tailor-made for the perfect island getaway.

Yet, the path to this paradise is paved with choices. With a plethora of options available, selecting the right boat and tour operator can seem like a daunting task. This comprehensive guide is crafted to assist you in navigating these choices, providing you with essential tips and in-depth information to create your dream Phi Phi Island tour from Phuket.

What to Expect on a Private Boat Tour in Phi Phi

A private boat tour in Phi Phi presents an opportunity to craft a personalized experience. Whether you’re drawn to the adrenaline rush of speedboats, the traditional charm of longtail boats, or the luxury of catamarans with their spacious decks and modern amenities, the choice is yours to make.

Your tour is yours to command. Explore hidden bays that are off-limits to larger vessels, soak in the sun on secluded beaches, or snorkel in the midst of vibrant coral reefs. In the capable hands of your captain, an expert on the islands, you’ll discover not just the beauty, but also the stories and secrets of the islets.

Choosing the Best Tour Operator: A Detailed Guide

Selecting the right tour operator is crucial for an unforgettable Phi Phi experience. Here’s a more detailed approach to what you should consider:

Reputation and Reviews: Delve into online forums, travel blogs, and websites to gather feedback from previous customers. Look for consistency in positive experiences. One company who stands out here is Five Star Thailand Tours, who operate private tours to Phi Phi Island, from Phuket.

Experience and Local Knowledge of the Crew: A knowledgeable captain can transform a good trip into a great one. They should be adept at navigating through different weather conditions and familiar with local maritime regulations.

Customization Options: A good operator should offer flexibility in tailoring the tour to suit your preferences. Whether it’s adding a specific destination or adjusting the duration at each stop, customization is key.

Transparency in Pricing and Policies: Look for operators who are upfront about their pricing, what’s included in the tour package, and their cancellation policies.

Booking Your Tour: Timing is Everything

To ensure you get your preferred date, boat, and operator, timing your booking is crucial. In the peak season, which runs from November to April, it’s recommended to book your tour at least 2-3 months in advance. However, if you are looking to travel during the shoulder seasons (May-June and September-October), you might benefit from last-minute deals, although options could be limited.

Best Time of Year to Visit Koh Phi Phi

While the Phi Phi Islands are a year-round destination, each season offers a different experience. The dry season, from November to April, is characterized by sunny, dry weather, making it ideal for water activities. However, this is also the busiest season, with larger crowds and higher prices. The shoulder seasons offer a balance between weather and crowd size, often with more affordable options. The monsoon season, from May to October, brings rain but also lush, vibrant landscapes and fewer tourists.

Crafting Your Itinerary

Planning your tour is more than selecting destinations; it’s about creating experiences. Here are some additional locations and activities to consider:

Viking Cave: Delve deeper into the history behind the prehistoric paintings and the cave’s role in local bird’s nest harvesting.

Shark Watching: For the adventurous, some tours offer early morning trips to spots where you can safely observe Black tip reef sharks in their natural habitat.

Cultural Immersion: Include a visit to a local village on the islands to learn about the community’s way of life, fishing techniques, and traditional crafts.

Responsible Tourism: Beyond the Basics

Embracing eco-friendly practices is crucial in preserving the pristine beauty of the Phi Phi Islands. Here are additional ways to practice responsible tourism:

Choose Eco-Friendly Tour Operators: Support those committed to sustainable practices and minimizing environmental impact. Such as Five Star Thailand Tours.

Respect Marine Life: Avoid feeding or touching the coral and dispose of waste properly.

Use Reef-Safe Sunscreen: Opt for mineral-based, biodegradable sunscreen to protect the coral reefs.

Minimize Plastic Waste: Bring reusable water bottles and shopping bags.

Support Local Communities: Purchase handicrafts from local artisans and dine at restaurants using locally-sourced ingredients.

Enhancing Your Experience

Local Cuisine: Explore the diverse flavors of Thai cuisine, from spicy curries to fresh seafood dishes. Many tours offer the option to include meals; opt for those that feature local culinary delights.

Night Tours: Some operators offer night tours, providing a unique perspective of the islands under the stars and an opportunity to night swim with the bioluminescent plankton.

Photography Tips: Invest time in learning some basic photography skills before your trip. The natural beauty of the islands provides a perfect backdrop for stunning photographs.


Embarking on a private boat trip to the Phi Phi Islands is an adventure of a lifetime. It’s an opportunity to create lasting memories in one of the most breathtaking destinations in the world. By choosing the right tour operator, planning with care, and traveling responsibly, you are set to experience the Phi Phi Islands in a way that’s both personal and respectful to the natural beauty and local culture of this enchanting paradise.

About Maria Kennedy

Maria Kennedy is the managing editor at Travel for Food Hub. Maria is on a full-tilt mission to share local food and travel inspiration. When she is not writing about food and travel, startups or social media, she is enjoying her time with her boys in sunny Spain.

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One comment

  1. Wow, there is a lot of helpful details here. Thanks for sharing – Shark Watching in the Phi Phi Islands is literally my dream!

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