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South Phi Phi Don

South Phi Phi Don
  • A


26 miles from Ao Chalong

TON SAI BAY. 7° 44.054N, 98° 46.087E

Ton Sai Bay is secure in both seasons. The anchorage is at the head of the bay, on the west side, avoiding the regular longtail boat and ferry traffic heading for the jetty on the east side. Do not attempt to approach the jetty if you value your topsides.

Entering the bay, it\’s wise to keep to the west since the water is deep and the coral clearly visible. The drying rock shown on the Admiralty and Thai charts as lying just to the east of the southwest headland forming the bay does not exist. It is a shallow patch about 4 metres deep at extreme low tide. The best anchorage is on sand in about 10-12 metres, close enough to the fringing reef to be able to swim from the boat.

The rebuilt village is at the east end of the narrow sand isthmus connecting Phi Phi Don\’s two lobes. Bungalows and restaurants extend along the bay\’s northeastern side almost to the headland. There is a new rock wall all the way along the beach, so safest place for your dinghy is at the water pier in front of the hospital, towards the western end of the beach.

Said to be one of the three most beautiful islands in the world, Phi Phi Don is not as idyllic as it once was. The development and the huge numbers of day trippers make the island very crowded most of the time.

It is not easy to find swinging room amongst the permanent moorings and dive boats come and go at all hours. Do not pick up a mooring as they are all \’private\’ (even if they look like government buoys) and incidents of aggressive behaviour have occurred. Still, this is a pleasant place to spend a few days.

Dive schools operate from the beach, and there are lots of opportunities for excursions in longtail boats to the most spectacular hongs and inlets, which are found on both islands. Ton Sai Bay is where to anchor if you want the night life ashore.

About half a mile south of Ton Sai beach, on the western edge is a small palm-fringed indentation with a white sand beach. The locals call it Monkey Bay. Although, one of the best places in the world for a picnic, the beach is overrun with brazen wild monkeys that will steal your lunch.

Ton Sai Bay, west side of the anchorage - Photo by Bill O'leary
Ton Sai Bay, west side of the anchorage – Photo by Bill O’leary
  • B


5 miles from Ton Sai Bay, Phi Phi Island

AO YONGKASEM. 7° 44.618N, 98° 45.699E

Just west of Ao Lohdalum is a smaller jungle-fringed bay with an anchorage outside the seaward edge of the coral in 15 metres. Yongkasem is an ideal overnight stop at any time of the year and should be used in preference to Ao Lohdalum, where numerous coral heads rise in a boat’s length from 20 metres or more to dangerously shallow depths.

At the back of the beach, lush foliage provides shade for picnics, and is home to a large tribe of crab-eating macaques. The snorkelling is great. Ao Lohdalum itself has excellent snorkelling and diving, easily accessible from Yongkasem by dinghy or from shore. Beware of your timing when going ashore from this side; the bay dries for 400 or 500 metres from the beach at low tide.

  • C


1.5 miles from Ton Sai Bay, Phi Phi Island

TON SAI WEST TIP. 7° 43.321N, 98° 46.225E

For a lunchtime dive or beach picnic, anchor in 12 metres close to a small sandy beach fringed with coral and nestled into a deep recess in the cliffs.

  • D


3 miles from Ton Sai Bay, Phi Phi Island

AO LOH MOO DEE. 7° 44.075N, 98° 47.395E

In the southwest monsoon season, a reasonable anchorage is available in 11 metres off a sandy beach. Enjoy some nice snorkelling and a restful night without the crowds.

Longtail boats ready to take day-trippers from Ton Sai Bay - Photo by Bill O?leary
Longtail boats ready to take day-trippers from Ton Sai Bay – Photo by Bill OLeary

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While every effort has been made to ensure that the information contained in this book is accurate, the charts of anchorages are based on personal experience and satellite imagery and are intended as a guide only. They should not be used for navigation. Please refer to Official Hydrographic Charts of the respective countries.

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