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Bamboo Island (also known as Ko Mai Phai) is located off the northern tip of Koh Phi Phi Don. This tiny island has little in common with the other Phi Phi islands. Here, no high rocky cliffs, but a flat island covered by jungle and entirely surrounded by a strip of white sand. If the reef is partially damaged, you can still spot bustling sea life, including the ocellaris clownfish.
Bamboo Island is easily accessible from Ko Phi Phi Don, in approximately 45 to 60 minutes by longtail boat. Bamboo Island is included in many day tours offered from Ko Phi Phi. Most day and half-day tours stop at other snorkeling spots, including Maya Bay and Monkey Beach.
The boat will drop you on the sandy beach, and you can enter the water at any point. Watch out for the boat traffic.
The recommended snorkeling area comprises the coral reefs fringing the beach, to the north and the south of the mooring area.
The coral reefs are badly damaged in this spot, so don’t expect vibrant seabeds full of marine life. Nevertheless, you can still spot a great diversity of fish species, such as Moorish Idol, wrasse, pufferfish, and phosphorescent giant clams.
The flagship fish of Bamboo Island is however the ocellaris clownfish. You will find it in the sea anemones that are found on the reef, some 6 to 12 ft (2 to 4 meters) deep.
Bamboo Island is very popular with tours. Watch out for boats that come and go to the beach when you are in the water.
On the beach, a small bar offers drinks and snacks. Most tours include meals.
These snorkeling spots are accessible to beginners and kids. You will enter the water gradually from a beach, or in a less than 3ft. deep area. The sea is generally calm, shallow, with almost no waves or currents. These spots are usually located in marked and/or monitored swimming areas. It is not necessary to swim long distances to discover the sea life.
This level only apply when the spot experiences optimal sea and/or weather conditions. It is not applicable if the sea and/or weather conditions deteriorate, in particular in the presence of rough sea, rain, strong wind, unusual current, large tides, waves and/or swell. You can find more details about the definition of our snorkeling levels on our snorkeling safety page.
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Snorkeling spots are part of a wild environment and their aspect can be significantly altered by weather, seasons, sea conditions, human impact and climate events (storms, hurricanes, seawater-warming episodes…). The consequences can be an alteration of the seabed (coral bleaching, coral destruction, and invasive seagrass), a poor underwater visibility, or a decrease of the sea life present in the area. Snorkeling Report makes every effort to ensure that all the information displayed on this website is accurate and up-to-date, but no guarantee is given that the underwater visibility and seabed aspect will be exactly as described on this page the day you will snorkel the spot. If you recently snorkeled this area and noticed some changes compared to the information contained on this page, please contact us.
The data contained in this website is for general information purposes only, and is not legal advice. It is intended to provide snorkelers with the information that will enable them to engage in safe and enjoyable snorkeling, and it is not meant as a substitute for swim level, physical condition, experience, or local knowledge. Remember that all marine activities, including snorkeling, are potentially dangerous, and that you enter the water at your own risk. You must take an individual weather, sea conditions and hazards assessment before entering the water. If snorkeling conditions are degraded, postpone your snorkeling or select an alternate site. Know and obey local laws and regulations, including regulated areas, protected species, wildlife interaction and dive flag laws.
Fringing reef with colorful fish
Tiny island fringed by shallow coral reefs with many fish
Shallow bay with blacktip reef sharks
Free shore access