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Home » Most Popular, Off the beaten track

Off the beaten track: Bamboo Island Camping Thailand – Koh Phi Phi

Submitted by on 30/09/2009 – 5:22 pmNo Comment
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[column width=”4″ last=”last”]Alone on Bamboo Island, Koh Phi Phi[/column]

How to get to Bamboo Island:

-Go to the pier on Koh Phi Phi (where all the boats are).
-There’s a small ticket office which has2010-LP-featured-blogger-blogsherpa standardised the price on many day trips.
-There will be loads of boat drivers waiting for business.
-Try to bargain for the best deal that suits you.
(We took a boat all day and stopped at Maya bay and hidden lagoons on Phi Phi Ley then
Snorkelling around Phi Phi Don, finally dropped at Bamboo Island (3500b) incl pick up the next day.
-They will bargain but you have to be hard about it because there are so many of them.
Don’t forget that once on Bamboo Island you have to pay a national park fee of 200b each and a tent fee of 400b for a 2 man tent or 500b for a 4 man.
-The boat driver will help and explain to the park ranger that you want to camp.

bamboo island camping - snorkelling at sunrise

What to Take:

-Enough Food

Because Bamboo Island is a National Park paradise you cant bank on being able to have a fire to cook on (we did once) but the rule is generally NO Fires.


There is a small hut on the island that stocks beers but they cost a fortune and the rangers sometimes go to bed early so take enough with you.

-Snorkel and Mask

The coral just off the beach at Bamboo Island is some of the best I’ve ever seen! We missed it the first time but when the boat drops you off you will see a roped off section of water IT’S THERE and IT’S BEAUTIFUL!


There is a small fishing community on the island, the rangers will probably tell you about it and they can if you need it sell you plenty of Squid and fish for a BBQ, offer the ranger a beer and he will cook it up on the Island BBQ.

I can’t stress enough how much more you see when you camp on Bamboo Island, as the sun sets and the tourist boats leave it starts to get almost too beautiful, in the morning there’s no better way to wake up than with a dawn snorkelling session…

First on the Off the Beaten Track list is my favourite place in the world – Bamboo Island just off Koh Phi Phi:

Phi Phi is a place on most peoples list if they’re planning a trip through Thailand and honestly, although Phi Phi has a lot to offer the reality is that the beach isn’t great and there are far too many boats about to enjoy the water (see Nomadic Matt’s post about Koh Phi Phi). But therein lies the key to Phi Phi, the boats are there for a reason and that reason is the stunning national park islands that surround Phi Phi Don. Most people head out on a boat trip to see Maya Bay where the beach was filmed and to do a spot of snorkelling, often these trips are readily available in most travel agents but the key is to go down to the main pier where the ferry brings you in and deal with the longtail boatmen yourself.

Personally I think Maya bay is a must and so is a short trip around some of the stunning hidden bays filled with glowing emerald water but don’t be tempted to stay a night at Maya bay (camping is offered for one night), instead get the boat driver to drop you on Bamboo island, 45 minutes in the other direction to Maya bay it is a small and stunning island fringed with some of the best coral and marine life I have ever laid goggles on. The rangers will throw a tent up for you and there is a small settlement of fishermen who will be only to happy to sell you the catch of the day and help you cook it up. We have been lucky enough to go there and camp twice, both times we were the only people and by 4 pm the tourist day boats had gone and we had the island to ourselves… Once to watch a storm roll in and once to get hammered with the rangers… Good times.

So there you have it, look out for the “Off the beaten track” category and I will keep adding our favourites to it.

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Blanche has written 758 articles. +Aaron Bradford is the leader, mentor and chief geek of HappyTimeblog. He put together the crack team of writers known by codename “The Firm“. He's a permanent traveller and a lifestyle hacker. Wanna know more? Check out my Bucket List or my About page... I'm here to show you how to live a Life Less Ordinary

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