Virtually enclosed within towering limestone cliffs, Maya Bay is one of Thailand’s most spectacular and iconic beaches. The beach is situated on the island of Ko Phi Phi Ley in the Andaman Sea some 30km off the Thai coast and only accessible by boat. The island is now part of Phi Phi National Park and is home to several popular dive sites, including the entrance to Maya Bay itself.
Decorated by a stretch of soft powdery white sand and surrounded by towering rocks, the view of Maya Bay beach has proven to draw the attention of millions of visitors each year. Sheltered by 100-meter high cliffs on three sides known for its white sand, underwater colorful coral and exotic fish in exceptionally clear water, the whole bay is one big reef.
Maya Bay has become the main tourist attraction of Phi Phi since The Beach was filmed here in 1999. It was always very popular before the film but now people around the world who haven’t even heard of Phi Phi have certainly heard of Maya Bay.
Surrounded by limestone hills, the beauty of the natural panorama in Maya Bay is not in doubt, Urbanears. Although only covering an area of 6 square kilometers, the Maya Bay beach on Phi Phi island consists of limestone hills containing calcium carbonate. Visitors who come can rent fishing boats around the island. The best time to visit Maya Bay is between November and April during the high season when seas are calm and access to the bay is easy. Rough seas from May to October may hinder access but rarely deny entry.
Activities in Maya Bay
Snorkeling and diving are excellent throughout the bay, large underwater boulders are encrusted with coral and brightly colored fish are numerous. Visibility is excellent. Many tour companies bring visitors here to snorkel from Phuket, Krabi and Phi Phi Don.
Sea kayaking is also popular. Kayaking tour boats come into the bay and moor while letting clients explore.
Getting to Maya Bay
From Phi Phi Don you can rent a longtail for 1,000 baht (US$ 32) for three hours or for 2,000 baht (US$ 64) for a full day, max four people. Speedboats are 3,500 baht (US$ 110) for half-day or 6,000 baht (US$ 190) for a full day, a maximum of six people.
There are also many different kinds of boat tours that take in Maya Bay combined with other sites. Various kinds of boats are used, such as longtails, speedboats, and ferry boats. Tours are generally priced at around 500-1,000 baht (US$ 16-32), depending on the type of boat used and the duration of the tour.
From Phuket and Krabi tours depart daily, mainly by speedboat.