Thailand transfers: How do I get from Krabi to Phi Phi Island?

Phi Phi is a key bucket list stop for many people visiting Thailand for the first time. The islands were made particularly famous for their appearance in the Leonardo Di Caprio movie, The Beach, and now Maya Bay draws thousands of visitors each year.

If you’re one of many eyeing the idyllic Phi Phi Islands, Krabi stands as a perfect launchpad for your tropical adventure. In this article, we give you the insider scoop on how to make the transfer from Thailand’s mainland to Phi Phi a breeze. Let’s jump into the essential tips for a seamless transfer from Krabi to Phi Phi’s Islands.

Krabi to Phi Phi Island transport options

Krabi offers an array of transport options to suit every traveller’s taste. Whether you prefer the leisurely pace of a ferry or the swift thrill of a speedboat, the Thai people have you covered. The ferry allows you to soak in the scenic beauty, while the speedboat offers a quicker journey. Consider your preferences and travel style to choose the option that aligns with your ideal Phi Phi experience.

phi phi speedboat

Ferry or speedboat to Phi Phi? Choosing the best mode of transport

Let’s weigh the pros and cons of each:

The ferry, with its larger capacity, is ideal for those who enjoy a relaxed voyage with breathtaking views. Travelling at a much slower pace, the ferry is also the cheapest option, so better for those on a budget.
Be aware that travel times may be advertised differently from ticket vendor to ticket vendor. While some may promise a faster ferry than others, the reality is that most will take roughly the same time (there are 5 companies offering this route)! The ferry from Krabi to Phi Phi will take you around 1hr 45 min to 2 hours.

There is an option of a Krabi to Phi Phi High Speed Ferry, which will reduce your travel time. We recommend you visit Thailand Travel Routes for an updated listed: Thailand Travel Routes Krabi to Phi Phi timetables.

On the other hand, the speedboat caters to thrill-seekers and offers a faster journey. The speedboat is also a great option for those who want to avoid the huge backpacker crowds, as there tends to be a maximum of around 30 people per speedboat.

Krabi to Phi Phi Island distance

The distance from Ko Phi Phi to Krabi is 46 km (28.5 miles), though it’s worth noting that your tour company may tell you more/less depending on which pier you’re looking to depart from.

phi phi pier

Navigating the Krabi to Phi Phi Island ferry system

The most popular departure points from Krabi to Phi Phi include Ao Nang, Klong Jilad Pier, and Krabi Town Pier. Ao Nang (Nopparat Thara Beach) is favoured for its convenient access from the popular tourist area, while Klong Jilad Pier is known for its organized and efficient operations.

We often hear stories about people worrying about booking their ferry/speedboat transfer online, finding a good price, and then making their way to the terminal. What a lot of Thailand first-timers don’t realise is that Krabi (especially Ao Nang and Railay) is littered with travel and transfer shops that will make the arrangements and give you directions to the pier.

During low season, it’s often possible to book your transfer as late as the day before you travel. In high season, we recommend planning in advance to ensure your seat.

Planning Your Krabi to Phi Phi Island Transfer: Schedules and timings

When heading to your ferry or speedboat, we recommend arriving early to secure the best seats, especially during peak seasons. It’s not uncommon to see last-minute ticket buyers scrambling for a seat on the day of departure.

During high season, the ferry and speedboat timetable from Krabi to Koh Phi Phi often follows something similar to the below scheduling:

High Speed Ferry: 09:00, 13:00, 13:30, 15:00
Speedboat: 09:15, 10:00, 10:30, 12:00, 13:30, 15:00
Standard Ferry: 09:00, 10:30, 13:30

Please note: The above times are a guide, taken by our guides from rolling seasons. We recommend that you visit an official ticket vendor for accurate timings.

Alternative connections: Phuket to Krabi Ferry and the Phi Phi Islands

For those seeking alternative routes, you many want to consider the Phuket to Phi Phi ferry. Many often forget that Krabi can be easily reached from Phuket by car/land; helpful for those who might wish to make a stop in the larger town before heading out to the islands.

While most make the above journey by water crossing, Krabi to Phuket by land gives travellers the opportunity to pass via Phang Nga province. Phang Nga offers some incredible scenery on the way, and it’s possible (with a private hire) to plan a few stops along the way, make a full day of it, and experience some of the lesser-explored waterfalls in the area.

Getting from Phuket to Phi Phi is incredibly easy. Phuket’s main departure/arrival port is Rassada Pier in Phuket Town, and the ferry from here will take you about 2 hours.

Is 1 day enough for Phi Phi Island?

In our opinion, no, not if you want to see it properly. Phi Phi is made up of 6 different islands: Ko Phi Phi Don, Ko Phi Phi Leh, Ko Yung, Ko Mai Phai, Ko Bida Nai and Ko Bida Nok. All of them are uninhabited with the exception of the largest island in the group, Phi Phi Don. For this reason, the smaller islands are a dream location for snorkelling and diving.

While a one-day trip is ideal for those who just want to tick the famous Maya Bay off their list, there’s a lot to see on Phi Phi, including its famous fire shows and Instagram-worthy viewpoint. If you have the time to spare, we recommend at least a couple of days. That being said, Phi Phi Don has become a real party island and attracts a large young backpacker crowd. If you’re looking for crystal waters without the loud groups, Koh Lanta, Railay, or Koh Lipe might be more up your street.

Looking for dreamy sunset experiences by the islands, but don’t have the time to take an overnight trip to Phi Phi from Krabi?

Hop aboard our 4 Island Sunset Cruise and sail around the dramatic coastline of Krabi while enjoying a hearty Thai buffet as the sun sinks below the skyline.

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