Arriving at Tonsai Pier – What to Expect?


You have bought your ferry tickets to Phi Phi, you are eagerly awaiting your time on the island but you have no idea what to expect when you get to the island. Relax… there are thousands like you every month who visit Phi Phi. Here we aim to take that anxiety away and provide you with some details of what to expect when you first reach Phi Phi Island through Tonsai Pier.

Getting off the ferry

When the ferry has arrived on the island, first things first is actually getting off the ferry which you would think is an easy task. It is. If you have luggage however you may be waiting for a little while. Big backpacks and luggage is often neatly piled on the ferry. This means that if your bag is buried under the pile then you may have to wait for others to get their luggage before you can get out with yours. Just bare this in mind as an additional time expense.

If you know that you got on the ferry early and your bag is buried then just relax for an additional 10 mins in your seat. It saves congestion at the exit and everyone will appreciate it. Phi Phi isn’t going to disappear and staying in the AC area will probably make you feel more comfortable anyway!

Paying the environmental fee

Quite often people look twice when they are asked to pay this fee. Unfortunately there are a lot of scams in Thailand so people try and second guess this but it is an official fee so just suck it up and pay it. It is 20 baht per person. You will receive a paper receipt / ticket for it so don’t worry. Best to have 20 baht ready and you will be on the island sooner. I am sure you have managed to acquire a bunch of Thai coins during your travels, this is the perfect opportunity to offload some of that shrapnel.

Note that this is the only fee to visit Phi Phi Don. If you are going out to other tours on other islands, it is worthwhile finding out from your tour operator whether the tour price includes the national park fees or not.

Coming out the pier

When you walk out of the pier after paying the fee, you will walk along the narrow walkway. If you have booked an accommodation on the island which does a shuttle service, here you will find many people with signs for the different resorts on the island. Find the person with the sign for the place you have booked and let them know that you are staying there. They will probably tell you to wait for a little while whilst others from the ferry come out before shuttling you all to the property at once.

If you are not taking a shuttle service from here, keep walking to the end of the pier and you will see a familiar site. A famous clown and a famous restaurant. You made it to Phi Phi town and here you can find many restaurants, bars, dive shops and convenience stores. Grab your bearings, grab a drink and relax. You are on Phi Phi!

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