As with any new destination, it's a good idea to know basic information about Phi Phi Islands when planning your vacation. The Thai archipelago is one of the world's most beautiful, and even though they are almost always very busy with visitors from all around the world, there's still plenty of idyllic spots to get away from the crowds. 

This also means that things are very different from back home. While there are many modern conveniences for foreign visitors, Thai traditions and cultural values very much apply throughout the island. Have a look at our handy hints below to get a brief sketch of how things are on Phi Phi.

  • Banks and ATMs

    Banks and ATMs

    Getting or changing money is no problem in Tonsai Village, as several banks open until evenings. They can change cash and traveller's cheques. You'll also find ATMs on many street corners. As banking facilities are not widely available on the east coast, you should take money with you or stop at Tonsai Village on the way.

  • Electricity


    220V with European or US-style 2-pin plugs (flat or round). Adapters are commonly sold in shops.

  • Hospitals and physicians

    Hospitals and physicians

    There is an international-standard hospital, as well as a general hospital and medical clinics in Tonsai West, which you can refer to for minor ailments and emergencies. These include Siam International Clinic, WorldMed Hospital, and Koh Phi Phi Hospital. Transfers to Phuket can be organized for those with serious conditions.

  • Pharmacies


    Pharmacies are prevalent throughout Tonsai Village and they open fairly late.

  • Tourist police

    Tourist police

    There is a tourist police station located 500 meters from the pier in Tonsai Village, on the way to Tonsai East. The tourist police are generally staffed by officers who speak English.

  • Mail


    When in Phi Phi, you can use the local mail office for postcards and inbound mail. If you have to send important mail, it's better to use the main mail offices in Phuket or Krabi.

  • Internet connection

    Internet connection

    Most Phi Phi hotels offer Wi-Fi, but you can also check out the major Thai mobile telecommunication providers offering SIM cards with a variety of data packages. You can use the provided data credit for your smartphone, which allows you to browse the Internet, send emails or messages, and navigate your way around Phi Phi. You can pick up a SIM card at Krabi International Airport to use on the island.

  • Etiquette and culture

    Etiquette and culture

    Always be polite...
    Make an effort to be polite, even in frustrating situations. Remember that the pace of life is much slower in Thailand, so do adjust accordingly. Losing your temper is also considered a great loss of face.

    Dress appropriately
    The dress code on Phi Phi Island is very informal, but smart casual is appreciated in the better-quality hotel restaurants. When traveling, especially on boats, it's better to cover up as you can get sunburnt very quickly.

    The wai
    Thais generally don't shake hands, they wai – place your hands in front of the chest with the palms pressed together, similar to a prayer. Although many Thais will often greet you in this manner, you don't have to do so to everyone – a smile and a nod of the head is adequate. But if you're meeting Thais in a social situation, a wai will be appreciated. Shaking hands is also acceptable.

    It's not necessary to tip your waiters when dining in Phi Phi restaurants, though many local businesses will appreciate the gesture.

  • What not to do in Phi Phi

    What not to do in Phi Phi

    Buddhists believe that the head is sacred and the feet are the lowest part of the body. Avoid pointing at objects with your feet, or touch Thai people's heads. 

    The Thai Royal family is treated with great respect, so don't make any untoward or rude remarks.

    While you won't be imprisoned for sunbathing nude, Thais find this very offensive to their culture. While topless bathing is accepted in tourist neighborhoods like Phi Phi, it can attract unwanted attention. It's tolerated but not welcomed – some hotels have notices requesting guests to avoid wearing G-strings or go topless when bathing.

Stephan Audiger | Compulsive Traveler