Maya Bay in Thailand has become a popular tourist destination of Phi Phi since the movie The Beach was shot here in 1999. It was popular before the movie, but following the success of the film starring Leonardo Dicaprio, Koh Phi Phi Maya Bay has now become famous throughout the world.
The beach is one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, surrounded by turquoise blue waters and 100m high cliffs. It is the ultimate tropical utopia.
In this guide, we are going to share everything you need to know about Koh Phi Phi Maya Bay.
Is Maya Bay Still Closed 2020?
Maya Bay remains closed in 2020 and is not due to reopen until mid-2021.
Due to over-tourism, Maya Bay had to close to prevent further damage to its environment. The beach once attracted up to 6,000 visitors per day, resulting in substantial damage to the coral reefs, mangrove, and the beach.
The popular attraction closed in June 2018, and since, many sea creatures, including reef sharks and ghost crabs, have returned to the bay. It is estimated to take four to five years for nature to recover fully.
Litter, boats and certain chemicals in sunscreen are 80% to blame for the damage to the corals.
The Beach Maya Bay
The movie The Beach is about a young traveller who comes to Thailand to escape mundane society. After acquiring a map, he ends up finding a secret paradise island (Maya Bay).
Leonardo DiCaprio plays the lead role in the film, starring as a character named Richard. The filming began in 1999 and got released in the year 2000.
After the location of the film was confirmed, the production team carried out work to make the set more “Hollywood-like”. This involved removing some of the vegetation and altering the sand dunes.
To return the beach to its natural state, funding was set aside by Fox to reconstruct the beach after filming had taken place. However, there were many lawsuits as some believed the damage to the ecosystem is permanent and reconstruction attempts folded.
How To Get To Maya Bay
As there are no hotels or resorts on Maya Bay, it can only be visited by boat during the day. Many of the surrounding islands offer day tours to and from the island. Below we share some of the most common ways on how to get to Maya Bay in Thailand:
Maya Bay From Phi Phi
Getting from Koh Phi Phi to Maya Bay takes roughly 20 minutes by longtail boat. You will find plenty of longtail boats for hire by the main pier in Koh Phi Phi. Typical rates for renting a longtail boat are 1,000 baht for one hour or 2,000 baht for an entire day.
The boat takes you directly to the bay and doesn’t require any additional walking or hiking. However, you will need to pay a 400 baht entry fee to enter.
Maya Bay From Phuket
Numerous daily speedboats operate between Phuket and Maya Bay, usually costing between 500-1000 baht. If you choose to take a tour, then the 400 baht entry price is usually included within the tour package. Journey time is roughly 90 minutes.
Things To Do In Maya Bay
Snorkelling, diving, and kayaking are just some of the popular activities you can enjoy in Maya Bay. The translucent clear waters make seeing the brightly coloured fish and breathtaking sunken coral reefs easy. Clownfish, Butterflyfish, and Parrotfish are some of the more common species you can expect to see.
The depth of the water is around two to three meters, and it’s always best to head towards the rocky areas when snorkelling to see the most varied fish.
Restaurants / Accommodation In Maya Bay
There are no hotels or restaurants on Maya Bay, and you can only visit the island by day trip.
However, there is a traditional wooden hut on the beach selling cold drinks and a few snacks.
You can find toilets towards the back of the beach (if you can even call them that), but we wouldn’t recommend using them unless an absolute emergency.
If you are visiting Maya Bay, we advise bringing your own food, although most tours include meals.
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