Why You Should Pick Laemtong Beach When Visiting Koh Phi Phi

It was not once or twice that I heard people who recently returned from a Thailand beach vacation complaining that it was not what they envisioned.

And that’s usually because they went to places like Patong Beach in Phuket or Tonsai Bay on Phi Phi Island and expected to find a quiet, tropical paradise with white sand and azure water. And those two are simply not like that!

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leamtong beach phi phi

While Thailand is a beautiful country and actually has incredible locations like those described above, you need to do a bit of research and choose wisely if you dream of a relaxing tropical vacation.

Otherwise, you might end up disappointed on a crowded beach that looks like your average summer party hotspot.

For my beach days in Thailand, part of a 2-week itinerary that also included Malaysia I decided to go with Laemtong Beach on Phi Phi Islands and it was exactly what I was looking for.

So continue reading to find out why I think you should pick this beach too if you’ll be visiting the famous Phi Phi Islands.

cocktail at laemtong beach

The famous Phi Phi Islands

Phi Phi is a small archipelago consisting of two main islands, Ko Phi Phi Don and Ko Phi Phi Le, as well as several islets. Part of the Krabi province, the islands are located in the Andaman Sea and were made famous worldwide by the movie “The Beach” starring Leonardo DiCaprio.

The beach in question is called Maya Bay and it’s located on the smaller Ko Phi Phi Le.

For a few years, it was closed due to environmental damage due to over-tourism, but it has since reopened with strict rules regarding boats and the time spent on the beach (hopefully people will abide by them).

So if you dreamed of actually staying at Maya Bay, this is not possible as you can see. In fact there’s no accommodation on Koh Phi Phi Le, only on Ko Phi Phi Don.

Laemtong Beach on Phi Phi Don
When the ocean retracts you can walk in angle-deep water for quite a bit

Why stay at Laemtong Beach on Koh Phi Phi Don

Laemtong Beach is a fairly long beach located in the northeastern part of Koh Phi Phi Don. It’s a bit harder to get to than other beaches on the island and it’s also the furthest away from Tonsai.

It has fine, white sand and only 4 hotels (Phi Phi Natural Resort, Zeavola Resort & Spa, P.P. Erawan Palms Resort, and Phi Phi Holiday Resort) scattered between the vegetation.

For this reason, it tends to be pretty quiet and you’ll often have the impression that it’s only you, the palms, the sand, and the ocean. It pictures a tropical paradise perfectly and was exactly what I was looking for.

I spent 4 nights at P.P. Erawan Palms Resort in December and while it was enough, one more day would have been perfect.

View from my hut at P.P. Erawan Palms Resort
View from my hut at P.P. Erawan Palms Resort

Although there were other guests at the hotel as well (I went during high season after all), it often felt like there were only a handful of people around. Sometimes a boat will come and drop off some tourists but they usually didn’t stay for long.

Aside for the resort restaurants, there are also a couple of individual establishments: 3 restaurants between P.P. Erawan Palms Resort and Phi Phi Holiday Resort and 2 bars between Zeavola and Phi Phi Natural Resort.

As you might have already imagined seeing that there are only 4 resorts and a few restaurants, the prices tend to be higher at Laemtong, both in terms of accommodation as well as for food and drinks. But honestly, I think it’s worth it for the relaxing atmosphere that you get.

swing on Laemtong beach

How to get to Laemtong Beach

Assuming you’ve landed in Phuket, you’ll first need to go to Rassada Harbor from the airport (we just used Grab – their version of Uber). Once you’re there, you have three options:

  • speedboat to Laemtong (1.5h travel time)
  • ferry to Laemtong (3h travel time)
  • ferry/speedboat to Phi Phi (Tonsai Pier) + ferry or a longtail boat ride to Laemtong

In my opinion, the best option is choosing the direct ferry to Laemtong (speedboats are faster but the ride can be significantly bumpier). You can check the schedule for various boats here.

Personally, I dropped the ball here because I did the research for getting to Phi Phi at the last possible minute and missed the existence of the direct ferry to Laemtong in my hurry. Therefore we went with the 3rd option.

Also, I was a bit worried about the transfer to Phi Phi Islands as I read about quite a few scary situations involving boats in Thailand, but the ride was pretty smooth (mind you, we also had good weather).

Laemtong Beach

If, for various reasons, you end up choosing the same transport option as us, once you arrive in Tonsai you’ll need to either wait for the Phi Phi Island shuttle ferry going to Lemtong Pier or arrange a longtail boat transfer to the beach itself.

To get to Lemtong, the ferry takes the route around the western side of the island, while the local longtail boats take the eastern route (since they’re smaller, they can approach the beach directly).

If sea conditions are not great on the eastern side of the island, I STRONGLY recommend you wait for the ferry.

The same company (Andaman Wave Master) operates both the direct ferry from Phuket to Laemtong as well as the Phi Phi Island Shuttle Ferry. You can check the current schedule and prices for both on their website.

Boat routes from Tonsai to Laemtong beach on Ko Phi Phi Don
Tonsai to Laemtong: Phi Phi Island ferry route vs. longtail boat

When we arrived at Tonsai the weather seemed fine, however upon inquiring about getting at Laemtong, we were told we could either wait for the ferry or take a longtail boat.

Just that the waves on the eastern side of the island were pretty big and we might not find anyone willing to take us to Lemtong.

We also talked with a few locals with boats waiting at the harbor and one seemed almost tempted to take us. Thankfully we ended up waiting for the ferry even if it meant we’d arrive at the hotel almost in the evening.

The ferry ride itself was eventless and calm, the boat was decently big and there weren’t any waves on the western side of the island.


leamtong beach phi phi don

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