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 now a shallow patch approximately 4 metres deep at extreme low tide, which offers no danger to vessels of normal draft. 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 the two lobes of Phi Phi Don. Bungalows and restaurants extend along the northeastern side of the bay almost to the headland. Almost anything the visiting yachtie might need is there.
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 commercial development and the huge numbers of day trippers tend to make the island a little crowded between 10:00 am and 3:00 pm. Still, it is a pleasant place to spend a few days with a boat.
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 you will find night life ashore.
About half a mile south of Tonsai 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 over run with brazen wild monkeys that will steal your lunch.
Just west of Lohdalum Bay 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 Lohdalum Bay, 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 home to a large tribe of Crab-eating macaques. The snorkelling is great.
Lohdalum itself has excellent snorkelling and diving easily accessible from Yongkasem by dinghy or from shore. Beware of your timing when visiting the shore from this side; the bay dries for 400 or 500 metres from the beach at low tide.
Tonsai West Tip
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.
Ao Lod Moo De
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.