Are you debating visiting two of Krabi’s most popular islands, Koh Phi Phi or Koh Lanta, and can’t decide which would be best for you to visit? I’ve got you covered with this complete comparison guide!
Despite the two islands being located in the same province of Thailand, Krabi. Koh Phi Phi and Koh Lanta are quite different, so deciding which island would be best for you to visit should be easy!
Koh Phi Phi is a small island most known for its nature-rich surroundings, nightlife, backpackers/nature seekers, and remote Andaman Sea location.
Koh Lanta is a more authentic Thai island. It’s laidback, has many beaches, is rich in nature, and is preferred by more families and mature tourists looking to unwind completely!
Koh Phi Phi or Koh Lanta: Main Differences
Koh Phi Phi and Koh Lanta share many similar characteristics; both have stunning beaches, are excellent for water activities, and offer exceptional viewpoint hikes. But putting those points aside, the two islands offer very different atmospheres!
Regarding island sizes, Koh Lanta is much larger than Koh Phi Phi. Koh Lanta has different beach areas and national parks around the island.
Meanwhile, Koh Phi Phi is a small, remote island with no cars, and you can walk anywhere on the island within 15-20 minutes.
Here’s a short list of highlights each destination claims, though I recommend you read further to help determine which of the two islands would be best for you to visit!
Koh Phi Phi Highlights
- Surreal nature surroundings
- Lively nightlife
- Remote intimate island
- Excursion famous
- Very walkable
Koh Lanta Highlights
- Authentic Thai Island
- National Parks
- Very laidback
- Not touristy
- Excellent seafood
Koh Phi Phi or Koh Lanta: Things to Do
There’s no shortage when it comes to things to do in Koh Phi Phi and Koh Lanta. Both islands are home to beaches, viewpoints to hike, beautiful marine life, and plenty of entertainment for all.
Below is a shortlist of the best things to do in each destination. For the most part, most activities you can do in Koh Phi Phi, you can do in Koh Lanta as well.
While activities are similar in both places, the most significant thing that stands out is the atmosphere/crowd when experiencing said activities.
Koh Phi Phi is guaranteed to be busier than Koh Lanta, and that’s because it’s more famous and touristy!
WINNER: Regarding things to do in each place, it’s a tie!
Things to Do in Koh Phi Phi
Boat Tour to Maya Bay Beach & Pi Leh Lagoon: The most popular day tour to attend in southern Thailand. On tour, you’ll visit Maya Bay Beach, Pi Leh Lagoon, Monkey Beach & more
Sunset at Loh Dalum Beach: On one side of the bays in Koh Phi Phi is Loh Dalum Beach; in the evening, many tourists/locals gather to watch the picnic in this scenic spot. There are also plenty of beach bars along the shoreline
Hike to Koh Phi Phi Viewpoints: A must-do when in Koh Phi Phi is doing the short hike up to the famous Koh Phi Phi Viewpoints, where you’ll see stunning aerial views of the complete island
Stroll the Island: Koh Phi Phi is a small island and is very walkable, and because of this, walking around the island and seeing what you stumble into is a great idea
Muay Thai Boxing Match: Some nights, there are Muay Thai fights happening at the Reggae Bar; if you’re visiting Thailand for the first time, I’d recommend you experience a fight night
Things to Do in Koh Lanta
Beach Day: Along Koh Lanta’s western coast are several beautiful beaches to spend the day, the most well-known being Long Beach, Nui Beach, and Bamboo Beach
Visit Lanta Old Town: The Old Town is a charming area best known for its long walkable pier; there, you’ll also find many restaurants, cafes, and souvenir shops
4 Island Snorkeling Tour: Snorkeling fanatics, this one is for you. On this snorkeling day tour, you’ll get to snorkel at some of the smaller islands south of Koh Lanta, areas with rich, vibrant marine life
Mu Ko Lanta National Park: A must-do in Koh Lanta is its national park located on the island’s southern tip. Here, you’ll discover many viewpoints to hike to, secret beaches, the famous lighthouse, and more
Emerald Pool & Hot Springs: Spend the day on a fun excursion experiencing Koh Lanta’s stunning nature. On this guided tour, you’ll visit the famous Emerald Pool, hike to viewpoints, and enjoy lunch in a scenic place
Koh Phi Phi or Koh Lanta: Nightlife
Koh Phi Phi and Koh Lanta’s nightlife couldn’t be more different, and this is another differential factor of both places.
Depending on the type of nightlife you prefer, you may favor one destination over the other.
Koh Phi Phi is known for its lively pool parties that go into the early morning hours of the night, beach bars, and nightclubs.
Koh Lanta’s nightlife is more laidback nightlife; in Koh Lanta, you’ll find calm, secluded beach bars, street-side bars, and evening entertainment at some restaurants.
TIP: When visiting either destination, try to find and experience the popular drink buckets; these are tiny buckets sold full of alcohol; they’re a fun way to drink & a great value
WINNER: Regarding the nightlife of each place, Koh Phi Phi wins!
Koh Phi Phi Nightlife
Ibiza Pool Party: The most famous party on the island, this pool bar/hotel hosts a lively party with live music every night into the late morning hours
Slinky Bar: Lively beach bar hosting beach parties with fire performances, live music and more
Stones Bar: Laidback restaurant with beautiful beach shoreline views, with a fun fire show on the beach in the evening
Reggae Bar: Fun reggae-themed bar serves small buckets of drinks and hosting Muay Thai fight nights
Koh Lanta Nightlife
Pangea Beach Bar: Beachside restaurant/bar serving delicious food and plenty of unique cocktails
Fin’s Stoned Bar: Laidback beach bar known for its comfy seating, games and views
Harry’s Sunset Beach Bar: An intimate, fun beach bar located right along the beach with plenty of seating
Why Not Bar: Located southern of the island, Why Not Bar is known for its relaxing seating, beautiful bay views and evening fire shows
Koh Phi Phi or Koh Lanta: Hotels & Resorts
An important factor when deciding on a destination the quality of hotels available in each destination matters.
Both islands offer a range of accommodations to suit different budgets and preferences.
Koh Phi Phi has a variety of accommodations, ranging from luxurious resorts to mid-range hotels and budget-friendly party hostels/guesthouses. There’s a large number of hostels here; that’s because Koh Phi Phi is a popular destination amongst backpackers.
Koh Lanta offers more laidback accommodations, a large part of the island’s appeal. In Koh Lanta, you’ll find plenty of beachfront bungalows and boutique resorts nestled in greenery, and there are also a few resorts, but not many!
WINNER: Regarding hotels in each place, it’s a tie!
Where to Stay in Koh Phi Phi
Zeavola Resort – 5 Stars / Luxurious resort offering a secluded, quiet atmosphere on the island.
Phi Phi Coco Resort – 4 Stars / Beach Resort is located by the main port, a beautiful hotel, and a convenient location.
Ibiza House – 3 Stars / Famous for its infamous pool parties by the beach, the most popular accommodation for solo travelers in Phi Phi Don
The Pier 519 – A boutique-style hostel is centrally located and ideal for those not looking to be around too much partying
Where to Stay in Koh Lanta
Pimalai Resort & Spa – 5 Stars / A luxurious resort offering beautiful modern villas nestled amongst greenery with plenty of amenities
Long Beach Chalet – 3 Stars / Resort style hotel located along one of Koh Lanta’s best beaches; nearby many restaurants
Coco Lanta Resort – 3 Stars / Mid-range resort located a few minutes from various beaches and restaurants
Blanco Hostel Lanta – Ranked #1 Hostel on the island, Blanco Hostel is near Long Beach as well as plenty of shops/restaurants
Koh Phi Phi or Koh Lanta: Restaurants
Both islands offer a variety of dining options, but which one has better restaurants? Let’s compare the two destinations to help you make an informed foodie decision.
Koh Phi Phi offers plenty of local Thai restaurants, but the island’s famous for its wide variety of international cuisine, including Italian, Arabic, and plenty of Western food options!
Koh Lanta, too, has exceptional Thai restaurants, and for those who love seafood, the Thai restaurants here serve some of the best/freshest seafood in the country.
There are also many Italian and Mediterranean restaurants in Koh Lanta, but Koh Phi Phi has a wider choice of cuisine types.
No matter which island you choose to visit, make sure to spend at least one evening at the local night market.
WINNER: Regarding quality in restaurants, Koh Lanta wins!
Where to Eat in Koh Phi Phi
Garlic 1992: A humble local Thai restaurant that’s been open since 1992, family-owned/operated. The food was delicious here, it was well-priced, and their cocktails were massive
Phi Phi Don Cafe & Restaurant: This cafe/restaurant has the best view of the bay on the island. Their menu is extensive, and they serve cocktails throughout the whole day
Thai Duck Noodle Soup: Located right in the night market, the friendly man who owns this shop always has awesome music, serving several various classic duck Thai dishes
Only Noodles: This small hidden restaurant on the corner of a street serves delicious cheap pad-thai in several ways, a perfect place for a quick, affordable lunch
Where to Eat in Koh Lanta
Yang Garden: A fine dining restaurant known for its gnocchi, tuna tartare, and more. The cocktails are great here also
Yawee Restaurant: A popular local restaurant serving all the classic Thai dishes and delicious fruit juices
Kindee Restaurant: Asian fusion restaurant serving plenty of Thai dishes with their own unique twists
Loro Loco Pizza Cuisine Restaurant: A vegetarian/pizza restaurant serving many various vegetarian dishes and the best pizza on the island
Best Time to Visit Koh Phi Phi or Koh Lanta
The best time to visit Koh Phi Phi, Koh Lanta, or anywhere in Krabi, Thailand, is during the dry season, from late November to April. Both Koh Phi Phi and Koh Lanta share the same yearly weather patterns.
Koh Phi Phi and Koh Lanta are both islands located in Krabi, Thailand.
During the dry season in Krabi, you can look forward to beautiful weather daily with minimal rain and low humidity levels.
The rainy season in Krabi is from May to October. If you decide to visit during the rainy season, you will experience sunny weather but understand the chances of it raining are higher.
Dry Season in Krabi: November to April
Monsoon/Rainy Season in Krabi: May to October
Koh Phi Phi or Koh Lanta — Final Thoughts
Have you made up your mind about which of these two beautiful islands in Thailand are best for you to visit?
It shouldn’t be a hard choice, while both islands are located in the same province and are home to beautiful beaches, vibrant marine life, viewpoints, and plenty to do.
The atmosphere and island size are both clear standout differences between Koh Lanta and Koh Phi Phi.
At the end of the day, determine if you’d prefer a more authentic Thai island experience amongst beautiful nature with a laidback atmosphere in Koh Lanta or, instead, a lively, remote, touristy island with surreal nature, which is Koh Phi Phi.
Lastly, I will mention that Koh Phi Phi is quite busy and sees many tourists visiting the island sometimes for day tours and short trips, and the island is rather small; this isn’t an ideal destination for a longer stay. Spending 2-4 nights in Koh Phi Phi is enough.
So, if you’re set on spending longer than four nights, choosing Koh Lanta over Koh Phi Phi would make more sense!
If you’ve decided to visit Koh Lanta vs Koh Phi Phi, here’s a guide on how to get to Koh Lanta!
Having visited both islands, I enjoyed both and found each to have its unique traits. Koh Phi Phi was a fun, lively time with many things to see but quite loud/touristy. Koh Lanta is surreal and represents a relaxing island vibe, which I prefer.
RELATED: 11 Cheapest Places in Thailand
What is better Koh Lanta or Koh Phi Phi?
This depends on the island atmosphere you’d prefer during your visit. Koh Lanta is known for its laidback vibes, simple days, and relaxing evenings.
Meanwhile, Koh Phi Phi is known for its busy days and lively party atmosphere at night.
Is Krabi or Phi Phi better?
What is better Krabi or Koh Lanta?
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