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Bamboo Island (Ko Mai Phai) and Beach, Krabi

Bamboo Island, in Thai เกาะไม้ไผ่, and pronounced Ko My Py, is an incredible little island just 5 km (3 miles) northeast of the northern tip of the Ko Phi Phi Islands and 2 km ( 1.2 miles) east of Ko Yung (Mosquito Island) off the coast of Krabi’s mainland. This is not to be confused with Ko Lanta Yai’s Bamboo Beach with the same name.

The island is 718 meters long (2,360 ft.) and 530 meters wide (1,740 ft.) at its widest point. It’s a very small island, but the good news is the entire coast is filled with a sandy and rocky beach called, Bamboo Beach! This stunning island is part of the Hat Nopphara Thara Mu Ko Phi Phi National Park system, so there is a fee when you book a boat there that must be paid (400 THB for adults and 200 for kids).

The cumulative length (circumference) of all the beaches is 2.2 km (1.4 miles!). Even with all the visitors to Ko Phi Phi, and many people stopping at Bamboo Island, you should be able to find some areas where it is not overcrowded – especially during low season!

What are Bamboo Beach and Bamboo Island Like?

Ko Mai Phai is a slice of tropical heaven. The crystal-clear waters, powdery white shores, and teeming underwater world make it a snorkeling and diving paradise. You won’t find any big resorts, restaurants, bars, or beach clubs here like in the neighboring Ko Phi Phi Islands, just unadulterated natural magnificence.

Pack up a picnic and relish a serene day by the shore. It’s a haven away from the bustling tourist spots, letting you unwind and lose yourself in the lap of nature. Ko Mai Phai remains an undiscovered treasure for those craving tranquility and peace amidst Krabi Thailand’s somewhat busy tourist season.

Top-down aerial view of Ko Mai Phai Island (Bamboo Island) showing the abundant sand, rocky shore, and crystal clear turquoise waters.
Top-down aerial view of Ko Mai Phai Island (Bamboo Island) showing the abundant sand, rocky shore, and crystal clear turquoise waters.

Restaurant and Food Stands?

There is one food area with hardwood tables, chairs, and benches called “Food Service.” This has lots of plastic bag snacks and beverages of all kinds. They have fresh fruit and smoothies. Smoothies are 150 THB. They sell fried rice with egg and other dishes for around 100 – 200 THB. The prices are not outrageous for an island like this. Other offerings that are sporadically found are corn on the cob, grilled chicken, chicken sandwiches, french fries, and more!

Google Business Reviews

The island has nearly 5,000 reviews from visitors and gets 4.7 out of 5 stars. Most guests loved the location, the wide sand beaches, the incredibly clear and blue/green water, and the lack of people there during low season.

Bamboo Island and Beach Facts

  • Location in Krabi: Just 5 km. (3 mi.) Northeast of the Northern tip of Ko Phi Phi.
  • GPS Data: 7.81707478084375, 98.79552582314562 or here: Bamboo Island.
  • Distance to Krabi Town – Airport: 27 km. – 42 km.
  • Taxis Available: No, the boat you bring here is the boat you leave with.
  • Surrounding Islands: Mosquito Island (Ko Yung) is West and Ko Phi Phi Islands are just Southwest.
  • Direction Beaches Face: 360 degrees – there is a beach all over the island.
  • Beach Length: 2.2 km long (1.4 miles) in total.
  • Beach Width: 15 m (50 ft.)
  • Estimated Beach Area: 33,000 square meters (355,209 square ft.)
  • Beach Quality: Deep, soft, ultra-fine sand with small shells and lots of rocks scattered about. The beach can be a bit dirty with trash brought in from the tide during the low season when they are not cleaning often. Thailand hasn’t started cleaning all beaches daily.
  • Ocean Bottom: Sandy on the Northeast side, and lots of coral under the surface on the other sides of the island.
  • Restroom/shower Facilities? Yes, there is a basic restroom at the food hut.
  • Beach Features: Lots of sand and a place to swim on the Northeast side. The center of the island is filled with dense tree growth and is impenetrable. There is a limestone rock face that dominates the interior of the island. Great for photos!
  • Lifeguard Available? Rarely. Don’t count on having one.
  • Sunbeds Available? No
  • Umbrellas? No
  • Public or Private? Entrance fees? Public, with fees of 400 THB per adult and 200 for kids over 3 yrs. Thais can often get in for free.
  • Water quality: Excellent. This is far from the mainland and the water around the island is shallow.
  • Boat Anchorage? Small boats can pull up to the sand on the Northeast side.
  • Boat Dock and Marina? N/A
  • Longtail Boat Rentals? No
  • Speedboat/longtail boat tours possible? To reach here, yes. To get here to go somewhere else, no.
  • Slope into the Sea until 1m Deep: 3-20 meters. Very gently slope. Great for children.
  • Convenience Shop? No
  • Attractions: Nothing except the beach, this is a small beach with the attraction being the lovely sand, water, and views.
  • Activities: Good snorkeling on all sides of the island, there is a lot of coral just under the water. Bring gear with you.
  • Massage Available? No
  • Picnic possible? Yes! Bring your own food from Phi Phi or the mainland and have a beautiful picnic.
  • Surfing? No, the waves are not usually big, and there is too much dangerous coral right under the surface in most areas of this island for safe surfing or bodyboarding.
  • Jetskis, Parasailing, Skiing, Windsurfing? No
  • Smoking? In November 2017 Thailand began limiting smoking on beaches and in other public areas. High fines and jail time are possible.
  • Warnings: Bring your own food and drink. Be careful of currents.
  • Waste Runoff into the sea? No, there are no accommodations or restrooms here.

Conservation

Bamboo Island is part of the Phi Phi Islands National Park, and local authorities have implemented strict conservation measures to protect the island’s delicate ecosystem. Visitors are encouraged to practice responsible tourism by disposing of waste properly, avoiding damaging the coral reefs, and respecting the natural beauty of the island.

How To Visit Bamboo Island?

Reaching Bamboo Island is easy from Noppharat Thara Pier, the Marina in Krabi Town, and from Phuket or Phi Phi Islands. From Phuket or Krabi, you can opt for a speedboat tour, which typically takes around 30-45 minutes and provides a thrilling ride across the Andaman Sea. You can stay at a resort on Ko Phi Phi which is very close by.

Alternatively, you can choose a more leisurely longtail boat excursion, which offers a scenic journey of approximately 1-2 hours. You can get a long tail boat to Bamboo Island from Ao Nang Beach, Noppharat Thara Beach, or Ko Phi Phi Islands. These tours can take you to Maya Bay in Ko Phi Phi and near some of the other islands that are close by like Ko Lung (Mosquito Island).

Tips for Visiting Bamboo Island

  • Plan your trip during the dry season. The best time to visit Bamboo Island is between November and April when the weather is generally sunny and dry, however, this is the time when there are the most people (high season!).
  • Avoid peak season crowds. During the peak season (November to April) and Chinese New Year, the islands around Krabi can get quite crowded. If you prefer a more tranquil experience, consider visiting during the less busy season from May to October.
  • Protect yourself from the sun. Bring along sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses to protect yourself from the tropical sun’s rays which are harsh here in the tropics.
  • Respect the island’s environment. Be aware of your surroundings, avoid damaging the coral reefs, and dispose of waste properly to preserve the island’s pristine beauty.

Other Stunning Krabi Islands