Once a small, well-kept secret of the Andaman sea, Koh Phi Phi burst onto the tourist trail in the early 00’s with its appearance on the Leonardo DiCaprio film The Beach. Since then, it has become one of the busiest, wildest, and most developed islands in Thailand, regularly attracting visitors by the thousands.
As you arrive in the larger island of Phi Phi Don, you are welcomed by a bustling crowd of backpackers, adventurers, party animals, families, and honeymooners. Many of the sights have been marked by aggressive development and the central beaches no longer feel very unspoiled. However, this area comes into its own at night, with one of the most hedonistic party scenes in Thailand (which is, of course, saying something).
But, if you take the time to explore the islands further, you will find the breathtaking island scenes you are looking for. Many beaches remain stunning and peaceful, from tiny super-secret alcoves to larger bays lined with high-end luxury resorts. These are usually secluded from the party life, accessible only by long-tail boat or demanding jungle hike, giving you a sense of absolute peace.
Koh Phi Phi is a small place, so there is no specifically gay nightlife. However, the island’s party atmosphere welcomes all with equal enthusiasm, so you may not even miss the gay bars. It may not be Thailand’s gayest destination, but it remains one of its most iconic, so don’t miss out.
Koh Phi Phi is known as a huge party island. The nightlife here is some of the wildest in Thailand, so you are guaranteed a good time every night of the week. There is not a direct gay scene in Koh Phi Phi, overall the nightlife is backpacker-centric. The areas of Tonsai Village and Loh Dalum are filled with bars, pubs, and beach clubs of all types, and the vibe is young, fun, and pleasantly unsleazy.
Your main question should be where to stay on the island. Accommodation near Ton Sai is perfect if you’re looking to party. Outside of Ton Sai, the island has no roads or taxis, so you better stay within walking distance. However, if you want to avoid the nightlife then check out some of the options outside of Ton Sai. The remote beaches are the more relaxing option, with plenty of lovely hotels and bungalows to choose from. These spots tend to be very secluded, and only accessible by boat, which means no popping down to the central bars for a few drinks.
Ultimately, your choice will depend on whether you are in Koh Phi Phi to enjoy the majestic natural beauty or the endless supply of vodka buckets. If, like many visitors, you sit somewhere in between, your best choice is to book more than one hotel during your time on the island. For instance, you could spend a couple of sleepless nights partying in Ton Sai village and then move on to a restful and regenerative stay at one of the beautiful high-end resorts.
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