Having spent 6 days on the beautiful island of Koh Phi Phi after extending the visit to complete a PADI Scuba Diving course, I became quite acquainted with bars and restaurants and ended having a few favourites. So here’s a little selection of some places to try if you’re hopping over to Phi Phi and are looking for some cool places to eat and hang out.
Phi phi bakery
This cute little bakery is on the way to the Pier, they have glass cabinets filled with pastries and amazing filled donuts with chocolate, peanut butter and custard flavours to chow down on.
One of my favourites! For breakfast, lunch or dinner, they have freshly baked bread, a great variety of dishes from traditional Thai to French toast to pasta all of which were amazing (we ate here 3 times we loved it that much!) Theres a lovely terrace area so it has quite a romantic chilled vibe. Totally recommend the Shrimp Massaman curry, it was the best ever!
There are two restaurants called Papaya and I’m unsure if they were part of the same group or not but we were recommended the one which is down a small alley way, behind the Reggae boxing bar. The portions were generous and the Penang curry and Garlic & Pepper Shrimp were to die for.
Shamefully not very Thai I know… we walked by looking for somewhere to cure our hangovers and were lured in by the grill at the front and how amazing the food looked. The Burgers were good so worth a shout if you’re in need of some stodge but they also had Thai options, Steaks and Mexican too.
Dishes to try
Deep Fried Snapper – Most restaurants have this on the menu and the fish is usually displayed at the front. We went to Cosmic for ours and it was served with boiled rice and a garlic sauce on the side, the seafood is a must to try as it’s so amazing out here.
Thai Crepes – I wouldn’t exactly call this authentic Thai cuisine however they were banging with a variety of sweet or savoury options. They are crispier than usual crepes, square shaped and were sold on street corners so hard to miss and resist them.
Fresh Fruit Smoothies – These are amazing all over Thailand, can be ordered in every restaurant and most street stalls too. They are literally just pure fruit, ice and sometimes a bit of syrup all whizzed together. Super refreshing!
The Food Market – Near Ton Sai Pier. Its fairly limited but if you get down there around lunchtime most of the stalls are open. My personal faves were the steamed buns called Bao with BBQ pork but they also come in sweet flavours like custard.
A cool rooftop bar which plays films at 7pm every night so great if you only want a few. After 9pm it gets more of a party atmosphere with beer pong tables, fresh fruit daiquiris and pretty good nachos. They have happy hour 4.20-6.20 which is a bargain.
The Only Bar
Another open rooftop joint that looks onto the beach where all the action is happening. Its located at the very far end past the beach (you can see the massive sign at night in the distance if you’re looking from the beach). It’s a chilled out vibe so it’s good for the start of a night before heading down to the beach bars where it gets a lot crazier.
Hard to miss and very central. Every night tourists can sign up to box against each other, at first I was like ‘whaaaat!? No way!’ But to be fair it’s kept pretty friendly and is very controlled by the staff so is fun to go and watch what unfolds but be warned as they do go for it!
Find this little gem at the other end of the beach compared with Only Bar, you can get to it by walking along the beach turning left from the beach bars (if you were looking out to sea). We came here with our Scuba instructors who were all supporting ‘Trash Hero’ which is an incentive to clear up the island and help with the ever growing litter issue. It’s very chilled, has a great vibe for quiet drinks with friends and uses re-useable Bamboo straws to cut down on plastic. They also sell these – of course I had to buy some! Please go check this one out as it’s tucked away so not overwhelmingly busy.
All recommendations are based on my time on the island in January 2018 so I imagine places will change in the future but if you’re heading over there soon I hope this has been useful to pick out a few places which suit you!
Above all, Phi Phi was an amazing, beautiful and fun island to visit, but it became apparently how much tourism is ruining the island which is rather sad. So if you are visiting please do your bit to help by cutting down on plastic, re-use bottles, buy some bamboo straws and participate in beach clean ups where possible by simply just picking up any random rubbish you see and stick it in a bin. Most importantly, preach it to others sister!