Maya Bay in Thailand: reviews and photos

Maya Bay is a small bay on the island of Phi Phi Ley, which is located in Thailand, in the province of Krabi. The shores of Phi Phi Island, famous all over the world thanks to the movie "The Beach" starring Leonardo DiCaprio, are washed by the crystal clear waters of the Indian Ocean.


    • Filming location for "The Beach"
    • How to get to the bay
    • viking cave
    • Recommendations for tourists

Maya Bay is the main attraction of the southern part of the Thai kingdom. This place is very popular among tourists. Therefore, thousands of guests annually come there to go diving, snorkeling and just bask on the sand under the hot tropical sun.

The entrance to the bay is very narrow, so the beach seems to be completely hidden from the ocean wind by rocks covered with stalactites of outlandish shapes and sizes. Some rocks are up to 100 meters high. And private beaches with pure white sand and clear water, through which coral reefs are visible, create an ideal atmosphere for relaxation. The main territory of the island is usually filled with tourists, so if you want to retire, you will have to look for a special place.

It is located on the right side of the main island. This small beach is hidden from prying eyes between the rocks, so there you will get the opportunity to relax and swim in silence.


However, it is worth remembering that the beach is not only a tourist attraction, but also part of a large national park, in which case you will have to pay an environmental fee of 200 baht ($5.5) if you are not part of the tour. This is reported by a sign located in the depths of the beach. Because of this, tourists cannot live on the beach even in their tent and cook food.

They demand money for entering the protected area, and after dark, at 11 pm, they will force them to leave the island. But you can order a night excursion for 5,000 baht, during which you can spend the night on a ship moored in the bay, and also take the opportunity to spend the night in a tent camp, subject to payment of 2,500 baht, right at the edge of the surf. If you wish, you can stay overnight in one of the cozy hotels on the island of Phi Phi - Don. It is worth the money, because the evening in the bay is very beautiful.

There you can also relax with the company, because the island has a large number of young people and, accordingly, an active nightlife. You can get to the island on one of the ships going there from Krabi or Phuket.

It is interesting that before the bay looked quite different. Its appearance has changed significantly after the tsunami that happened in 2004.  

On the territory of the beach there is a sign warning visitors that in case of danger it is impossible to climb the hill.

Unlike the Similan Islands, which are usually closed for the rainy season (May-October), the bay is open to the public all year round. It will not be as crowded as in season as there is a high chance of overcast days and transportation to the island may be a problem.

Filming location for "The Beach"

As already mentioned, the film "The Beach", which was filmed in the natural scenery of this tropical island, brought great popularity to this place. The film, based on the novel of the same name by the English writer Alexander Garland, tells the story of an American youth who came to Thailand on vacation. Staying at the hotel, he meets a strange man who offers him a map that will show the way to the island, which is a real paradise on earth. Having gone there, the main character really finds a small commune living in huts right on the beach.

In the original, that is, in Garland's novel, the events take place near Koh Phangan and Koh Samui on the island of Koh Tao. But the shooting of the film was carried out on Maya Bay beach, on the island of Phi Phi Ley. Of course, after the release of the film, tourists began to go to this so-called tropical paradise in droves, and you, of course, will not find the idyll that reigns in the film.

But, nevertheless, the bay still impresses with its beauty. There you can swim in the warm waters of the bay and walk along the path through dense thickets to where the heroes of the film lived in huts. True, the amazing waterfall that was shown in the film was just an invention of the directors, and you will not find it on the island.

But this is not the only invention of the filmmakers. Despite its outlandish beauty, they decided to "remake" the island by tearing off a few sand dunes and cutting down many coconut trees. The filmmakers donated several million dollars to restore the natural ecosystem of the island. But, alas, the pristine nature of the island could not be restored.

Therefore, if you have such an opportunity, go to Maya Bay, because in a few years there may be no trace of its former beauty.

How to get to the bay

It will be easier for a tourist who is unfamiliar with the area not to look for the bay himself, but to book an excursion or rent a boat that will take you from the Phi Phi Islands to the right place. Travel agencies offer many cruises to Maya Bay Beach:

  • From the island of Phi Phi Don;
  • From Krabi;
  • From Phuket.

If you decide to go on your own to the coveted beach from the island of Phi Phi Don, take a boat with a motor (longtail boat) for one day at a cost of 1200 baht with a captain. A one-day excursion will allow you to fully feel the atmosphere of the mysterious beach.

Maya Bay on the map

Renting a boat, which will be driven by a Thai, is much more interesting. During the whole day you will learn a lot about this exotic place and see all the mysteries hidden on the island. The price includes not only the ship itself, but also a visit to the monkey island, Viking caves and lunch on the island.

If you are located in the province of Krabi or on the island of Phuket, visiting Maya Bay beach is possible only in one case - by water. To do this, you need to buy an excursion on a speedboat, and rush to the Phi Phi Islands in an hour, or by ferry for 2.5 hours. Then follow the above route.

viking cave

Near the famous bay there is another local attraction - the Viking cave. Visits to this place are usually included in the cultural program of all guests of the kingdom who find themselves in its southern part.

The unusual name arose due to the similarity of the outlines of the cave with the silhouettes of the ancient Vikings. A huge number of swallows live inside the cave itself.

A kilogram of swallow nests can be sold quite expensive. The high price is justified by the fact that soup is prepared from this unusual raw material, which has many healing properties. In addition, they are a strong aphrodisiac.

Their nests are an exquisite and very expensive delicacy in Thai cuisine, so there are always enough people who want to hunt for it. Thais climb up, right to the ceiling of the cave, using bamboo shields, and remove nests from there.

Viking cave on the map

The Viking Cave is surrounded by many picturesque bays of the huge island of Phi Phi Ley, where you can relax and swim in the unusual bright blue waters.

Recommendations for tourists

If you decide to visit the famous beach, you also need to remember that it is part of a national reserve. You should not take a tent with you - it is better to book a room in one of the hotels on the neighboring island. But it’s better to bring your own food, since you can’t cook on the island, and the shops intended for tourists sell mainly drinks and chips.

Also pay attention to the fact that there are always a lot of tourists on the beach, and therefore, water transport. So if you are going there on your boat or speedobot, then mooring your transport may not work. Very often boats wait for hours for space to become available.

Usually the bay is a little empty in the afternoon. You can also retire there in the early morning, arriving at the bay at eight o'clock. And the last option is to book a night excursion to the beach. It's worth it, not really cheap, but it's worth it. Indeed, for the money spent, you will get a unique opportunity to admire the sunrise and sunset on the white beaches, and even spend the night on the deserted island of Maya Bay.

Maya Bay is one of the most beautiful and popular tourist destinations in Thailand. Therefore, if you get the opportunity to visit the famous beach, try not to miss it.

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