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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.

Aerial view of Bamboo Island reef
Aerial view of Bamboo Island.

How to get to Bamboo Island snorkeling spot?

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.

Bamboo Island snorkeling map, Thailand

Water entrance for snorkeling Bamboo Island

The boat will drop you on the sandy beach, and you can enter the water at any point. Watch out for the boat traffic.

Bamboo Island snorkeling exploration tips

The recommended snorkeling area comprises the coral reefs fringing the beach, to the north and the south of the mooring area.

Ocellaris clownfish at Bamboo Island
A “family” of ocellaris clownfish in Bamboo Island.

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.

Sergeant major at Bamboo Island
At this spot, fish are very tame and come close to snorkelers. Left, a Bengal sergeant. Right, a streaked spinefoot.

Bamboo Island is very popular with tours. Watch out for boats that come and go to the beach when you are in the water.

Restaurants and accommodation on Bamboo Island

On the beach, a small bar offers drinks and snacks. Most tours include meals.


  • Level required Beginner
  • Maximum depth20ft
  • Water entranceEasy, from a sandy beach
  • Potential DangersUsual precautions
  • LifeguardNo
  • Visitor numbersMedium
  • Access costsSnorkeling tour price
  • Public toilets & showersNo

MAP Spot

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.