I am going to be in Thailand for the first time next month with my husband and am really looking forward to it! The last leg of our trip is going to be spent on Ko Phi Phi island. We'll be flying into Phuket from Chiang Mai and are worried about travel to and from the island. We'll be arriving in Phuket at around 1:00 pm so we won't be able to make the 1:30 boat ride to Phi Phi. How long does it take to get from the airport to the docks? Is it possible (and safe/easy) to take a private boat to the island so we don't have to stay in Phuket? If we need to stay in Phuket for a day, what's a nice, non-touristy place to stay for under $150 US dollars? Coming back from the island, we have either a 6:00 pm or a 9:00 pm flight from Phuket to Bangkok. Would taking the 1:30 boat ride give us ample time to get to the airport for the 6:00 flight?
We're also trying to wonder if we have enough time to make Phi Phi--would it be better to spend 3 days in Phi Phi (with all of the travel time) or 5 days in Koh Samui (since we can fly right into it via Bangkok Air)? One of the things we want to do once we hit the beaches is do some scuba diving. I haven't begun looking into Koh Samui so any advice on lodgings/restaurants/things to do would be greatly appreciated.
Option number three is that we have the possibility of staying in either Krabi or Phuket for the 5 days that we're in the South and could take a day trip to Phi Phi if we want.
So, for those keeping score, should we:
Spend 3 days in Phi Phi
Spend 5 days in Koh Samui
Spend 5 days in Krabi
Spend 5 days in Phuket
Thanks so much!!