Thailand – Phi Phi Island Viewpoint Hike – Guide

The Phi Phi Island Viewpoint hike is a must do when spending time on Koh Phi Phi Don.  Koh Phi Phi Don is one of the two Phi Phi Islands and the only one you can stay on.  If you are staying in the main town, the trail is relatively easy to find however there are two trails one short and one long.


Phi Phi Island Viewpoint Hike – There are Two Trails?  What’s the Difference?

The Short Trail

The short trail is roughly 20 minutes to the viewpoint, from PP Princess Hotel, and only about 13 to 15 minutes from the viewpoint back to PP Princess Hotel.  This trail is mainly made up of stairs from the base to the viewpoint and is quite pleasant.  Like any popular tourist activity, locals have found an opportunity to monetize it.  Along the stairs, there are plenty of shops where locals are selling everything from souvenirs to fruit smoothies.  There are even a few restaurants right off the trail if you want to take a break and enjoy the views.

Phi Phi Island Viewpoint Hike Start of the Stairs
Start of the stairs at the trailhead.  Grab a water on the way up, it does get hot rather quickly!
Thailand Phi Phi Island Viewpoint Hike Trail near the top
A garden along the trail on the way to the viewpoint.

There is also a viewpoint halfway up the trail that offers cute benches overlooking Tonsai Beach.  This is a good place to rest if you are tired and need a break!

Thailand Phi Phi Island Viewpoint hike - view from the halfway point on the short trail.
View from the halfway point on the short trail.

The Long Trail

The long trail is almost three times the distance and will take roughly 35 to 40 minutes to get to the viewpoint from the town.  Instead of shops, restaurants, and concrete stairs, this trail is made up of a road that turns into a rocky dirt path through the forest.  This is more of a traditional hiking path compared to the short trail.  If you want to see what the countryside of Koh Phi Phi Don is like we recommend going this way.  We saw several animals on this trail such as monkeys, geese and we were able to see how locals live who do not reside in the town.

Our Recommendation

We personally recommend the short trail over the long trail to the Phi Phi viewpoint.  It will save you a lot of time and the views are much better along this trail.  Also on the short trail you can get away with sandals or flip-flops (slippers for the Hawaiians)!  On the long trail we definitely recommend wearing sneakers or hiking shoes as this trail can get muddy and slippery if it has recently rained.  The long trail is also not the cleanest trail, so you do not want to risk getting a cut or infecting an already open wound.

Phi Phi Island Viewpoint Hike Looking down the stairs
Taylor heading back down the short trail.  There are a lot of stairs!

How do I know if I’m on the right Trail?

If you want to do the short trail to the Phi Phi Viewpoint here’s what to look out for.

Head east along Ban Thai Road, one of the main streets that cuts through town, and look out for Charlie’s Bar and The Grande PP Arcade.  Charlie’s Bar and The Grand PP Arcade are located right next to each other.  If these two restaurants are on your left then you are heading in the right direction.  When you get to a fork in the road stay left, do not go right.

Thailand Phi Phi Island Viewpoint Hike Fork in Road
Phi Phi Viewpoint hike fork in road.

This was our mistake and why we took the long Phi Phi Viewpoint trail that is almost triple the distance!  If you see a row of small huts or start to feel like you are leaving the hustle and bustle of the town then this is your queue to turn around and turn around fast!  If you continue this way you will find yourself on the long trail to the Phi Phi Viewpoint.

 Phi Phi Island Viewpoint Hike – Hiking Trail Map

Phi Phi Island ViewPoint Hike - Hiking Trail Map
Phi Phi Island ViewPoint Hike – Hiking Trail Map  (“the green trail is the short one” – Captain Obvious)

Positive’s of the Long Trail to the Phi Phi Viewpoint

If you would prefer to take the long trail up, down, or even both ways, here are some positives that we found along this route.

  • Longer Distance = More of a workout.  We completed the hike before breakfast so we burned a lot of calories before consuming more at our hotel’s buffet breakfast!
  • Nature Hike – Although there’s still a road, in the beginning, this trail is more natural as it lies within the Phi Phi forest.
  • Wild Animals – We saw monkeys hanging out in the trees and almost got attacked by a wild Thai male goose protecting its family.
  • Less Crowded – You will not be following people along this trail.  We had the whole trail to ourselves and actually didn’t see anyone else until we arrived at the viewpoint.

Best time of the day to hike the Phi Phi Viewpoint Trail

We recommend hiking to Phi Phi Viewpoint early in the day for multiple reasons.

  1. It’s cooler in the morning since the sun is still rising and it is not as hot at the viewpoint.  There is no shade at the viewpoint so if you go on a sunny day make sure to bring sunblock and sunglasses!

  2. Better Photographs!

    • Since the sun rises in the east and the viewpoint is on the eastern side facing west, the sun will be at your back. What does this mean?  It means the sun will light up the island and the mountains in your view.  Also the colors of the water will look amazing in this lighting!
    • If you go later than noon the sun will be in front of you and will affect your pictures.  This will over or underexpose the sky or the foreground depending on where your focal point is.
Phi Phi Viewpoint Hike - Thailand
Sun rising and casting light on the mountains.
  1. Less crowded!

    • We were at the top of the trail by 6:45 AM and there were only three other individuals with us (that’s mainly because half the island is hungover!).  Lucky for us, the other hikers did not stay long and we had the place to ourselves!  The later you go the more crowded it gets which will also affect your photographs.
Phi Phi Viewpoint Hike Thailand
We had the place to ourselves at 6:45 am. Yes it was hot as @#$&!!! Sorry for the sweaty selfie!

Be Aware of the Entrance Fee!

There is an entrance fee of 30 baht per person, roughly $1.00 US dollar, that is required to enter the viewpoint.  The Phi Phi Viewpoint is located on private property and relatively clean so we were happy to spend two dollars to enjoy it and help with the upkeep of this area.

Summary:

Comparison Short Trail Long Trail
Distance 0.64 Miles (1.04 KM) 1.61 Miles (2.6 KM)
Duration 20 Minutes Up | 13-15 Minutes Down 40 Minutes Up | 35-40 Minutes Down
Incline Steep (Mainly Stairs) Relatively Steep (No Stairs)
Trail Type Concrete Concrete | Dirt/Mud
Shops Yes, plenty of rest areas and a few restaurants. None, watch out for scooters before you get to the dirt path.
Recommend? Yes No – unless you want more of a workout, but only one way, not both up and down.

If you have any questions or comments let us know below!

Phi Phi Viewpoint Thailand
Phi Phi Viewpoint

 

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About The Author

Kevin Mathers

A washed-up hockey player, surfer, and husband currently working towards financial freedom and showing you how we do it as a couple. I started this blog initially as a personal finance blog but after getting married, Taylor (my wife and best friend) and I decided to switch gears into the travel world sharing our experiences with you along the way.

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