Spot

Bamboo Island


Bamboo Island (known as Ko Mai Phai in Thai) is located approximately 3 miles (5km) off the northern tip of Koh Phi Phi Don. This tiny island has little in common with its Phi Phi archipelago sisters. Here, no high rocky cliffs, but a flat island covered by lush vegetation and entirely surrounded by a strip of white sand. Bamboo Island offers a good snorkeling along the coral reef, from 50 meters off the beach. If the reef is partially damaged, you can still observe a varied underwater life, including the ocellaris clownfish, best known as “Nemo”.
How to get there?

Bamboo Island is mainly accessible from Ko Phi Phi Don, in approximately 45 to 60 minutes by longtail boat. You will have no trouble finding a trip organizer, since a visit on Bamboo Island is included in almost all day tours from Ko Phi Phi. Most day and half-day excursions include stops at other snorkeling spots, especially Maya Bay and Monkey Beach. The half day excursion (including a meal and refreshments) costs on average 1500 baht per person from Ko Phi Phi. Please note that you’ll have to pay a 400 baht entrance fee to the National Park to visit the island.

Water entrance

The trip organizer will take you to the sandy beach, and you can enter the water at any point. Watch out for the many boats sailing in the area (make your presence visible).

Aerial view

Exploration

The area to explore covers the 30 to 100 meters wide coral reefs located along the beach, north and south of the mooring area.

The coral reefs have been particularly damaged in this spot (breakage, bleaching), so don’t expect vibrant sea beds full of marine life. Nevertheless, you can still observe a good variety of fish and invertebrate species, as Moorish Idol, moon wrasse (thalassoma lunare), pufferfish and colourful giant clams. But the “star” of Bamboo Island is without doubt the ocellaris clownfish -or three-banded clownfish- (amphiprion ocellaris), better known as “Nemo” in Disney-Pixar movie. You will find them on the sea anemones that lives on the reef in places, 2 to 4 meters deep.

Ocellaris Clownfish at Bamboo Island
Ocellaris Clownfish at Bamboo Island

Bamboo Island is very popular with guided tours, which pour their share of tourists on the beach every day. Watch out for boats that come and go on this site when you are in the water.

Restaurants and accommodation

On the beach, a small bar serves drinks and snacks. Most excursions include meals, however. Ask your tour guide for details and at least take along a snack and something to drink.

Snorkeling Report gives the most precise tips possible about the snorkeling spots and potential dangers, but each one of us is responsible for our own safety in the water. For more information, take a look at the snorkeling safety page. If you want to add extra information or make any corrections to the spot descriptions, please contact us.

Spot’s weather forecasts (°C)

Spot tips

  • Type of spot
  • Level of difficulty
    Intermediary level
  • Maximum depth
    20 ft
  • Water entrance
    Easy, from a sandy beach
  • Potential Dangers
    Usual precautions
  • Lifeguard
    No
  • Visitor numbers
    Medium
  • Access costs
    Excursion price (approx. USD50)
  • Public toilets & showers
    No

Spot map

Spot photos

Underwater spot photos

Species you may spot while snorkeling Bamboo Island

Common name Scientific name Abundance Fishbase Wikipedia
Ocellaris clownfish
Amphiprion ocellaris
Moorish idol
Zanclus cornutus
Streaked spinefoot
Siganus javus
Indo-Pacific sergeant
Abudefduf vaigiensis
Blackspotted puffer
Arothron nigropunctatus
Giant clam
Tridacna sp.
You encountered a specie at this spot that is not listed here?
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