A guide to the beaches in Ko Phi Phi

The beaches are the main reason most people visit Phi Phi - and there are plenty of them to go around. Fine stretches of white sand can be found around almost every corner of Phi Phi Don island; while the mainly rocky Ko Phi Phi Leh has some interesting small coves, lagoons and, of course the famous Maya Bay - the stunning strip of sand used in the film 'The Beach'.

Bamboo Island (Koh Phai)Other islands in the Phi Phi group, such as Bamboo Island (Ko Mai Phai) and Mosquito Island (Ko Yung) also have some terrific places to soak up the sun and do a spot of swimming or snorkelling.

The abundance of shallow coral reefs around the coast in Phi Phi makes this ideal territory for snorkelling. Good snorkelling beaches include Long Beach (Hat Yao), just next to the main village of Ton Sai and Monkey Bay, on the other side of the island, past Lohdalum Bay. Many people also stay on the northern beaches of Loh Bagao and Laem Tong as it is possible to snorkel directly from the beach - only a handful of places in Krabi actually offer this opportunity.

To get from beach to beach, charter your own longtail boat for the day, or, if you are feeling fit, rent a kayak. This is an especially good way to cover short distances, for example from Loh Dalum to Monkey Bay, but is not practical to go from island to island.

Loh Mudee BayBest for playing castway
If you want to get away from the crowds of Maya Bay, try heading to one of the less popular beaches on the main island, Phi Phi Don: Loh Muh Dee, Ao Runtee, Loh Bagao, Loh Lanna.

Best for kids
Loh Dalum beach with its soft white sand is ideal for children. It has a very shallow incline (you can walk out for several hundred metres at low tide) and the crescent bay has cliffs on either side which protect it from waves year round. Older children and teenagers may like to try the banana boat and paragliding activities on offer here as well.

Best for snorkelling
Long Beach - shark point is located about 200 metres out from the beach and at dawn, rare blacktip reef sharks congregate here. Monkey Beach is a favourite stop-off point for the one day tours, as there are excellent reefs a few hundred metres out from the shore with very clear water. Bamboo Island has a lot of shallow reefs with colourful fish and is a good place to go with children.

Beaches that are not good for snorkelling include Maya Bay - the boat traffic has all but destroyed the reefs here and, in addition, there always seem to be a lot of stinging sea lice in the water. If you wish to take a break from snorkelling, sit this stop out on the boat - the others will be much better.

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