The Incredible Maya Bay in Thailand

Maya Bay

Maya Bay is a famous and much loved tourist attraction in the Phi Phi Islands in Thailand. The jagged cliffs, white sandy beaches, and coral reefs make a lasting impression on travelers who come here for a slice of true paradise. Maya Bay is fond of and world-famous directors: in the late 1990′s, under the direction of Danny Boyle here were shooting the movie “The Beach”. The main role went to Leonardo DiCaprio.

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Video: Maya Bay


Maya Bay is located off the coast of the uninhabited island of Phi Phi Le, Thailand’s national reserve. It is customary to pay an environmental fee of 10 EUR to visit it, unless you are traveling with a tour group. Here you will not find any authentic bungalows or five-star hotels. For this reason, tourists stay on neighboring islands (for example, on Phi Phi Don) and go to the turquoise waters early in the morning to take great pictures and breathe clear sea air. Maya Bay – a corner of pristine nature, surrounded on all sides by high pointed rocks, so neither raging waves or cold wind can not prevent to enjoy a holiday on the shores of the Andaman Sea.


The great length of Thailand from north to south explains the presence of two types of climate: tropical and subequatorial. It is the latter that reigns in Maya Bay. The southwestern monsoons bring cooler weather to the bay area from May through August. The velvet season begins in November, which develops into hot, humid days in February.

Precipitation occurs mostly in late summer and throughout the fall. As a rule, they are tropical downpours, which last for half an hour and are replaced again by sunny weather and gentle breezes. The air heats up to +30 °C. On some days, the temperature rises to a record +35 ° C and above.


Climatic features of Phi Phi Le are favorable for a riot of greenery, characteristic of tropical jungle. On some “islands” of the area there are both mountain ranges and gentle woodless slopes. Tourists strolling around Maya Bay admire the harmonious combination of teak, red and bamboo trees. Tall palms, sprawling ficuses, and hopscotch trees can be found not far from the bay.

Do not go deeper into the jungle: the fauna of an uninhabited island poses a danger to a lost traveler. Leopards, tigers, rhinos, tapirs, buffalo – these and other animals are not happy to see a man in their territory. But even on the edge of the rainforest you can enjoy a wealth of Thai wildlife! Herons, parrots, peacocks, and flamingos make the surroundings of Maya Bay shout loudly and attract the attention of camera lenses.

The reefs framing the bay’s coastline in a colorful belt explain the popularity of snorkeling – swimming above the surface of the water with a snorkel. Maya Bay’s clear water is unobstructed and tourists can admire the colorful tropical fish flitting between the corals. Be careful when swimming over them: the sharp edges can hurt you!

Things to see near Maya Bay

Phi Phi Le Island is of interest to tourists who are fascinated by the wildlife and the opportunity to take delightful photographs. Do not expect to see ancient architecture in the vicinity of Maya Bay. Nor will you plunge into the loud atmosphere of Thai villages: they simply do not exist here. But, walking about 600 meters to the north-east of the island, you can see the deepest lagoon of Thailand – Pile. The water is saturated with more salt than the sea, and the Thais believe that it can strengthen the flabby body, so the lagoon Pile called the “rejuvenation lagoon.

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Loch Samah Bay cuts into the southern part of the island, 300 meters from Maya Bay. On the beach of the same name stop novice divers and those who want to relax on the sandy beach of Phi Phi Le.

Round the island from the south and keep to the east coast: this is where you’ll find the famous Viking Cave (Tham Viking). Armed with long bamboo poles, Thais mine swallow’s nests, the main delicacy of the local cuisine, distinguished by its health benefits and high cost. Swallow’s nest soup is said to be a powerful aphrodisiac, so you should not gorge yourself on it. Although the price of the delicacy in local cafes and restaurants will not allow it: not every tourist is ready to pay about 450 EUR for a portion.

The way by sea from Maya Bay to the Viking Cave takes 4.5 kilometers. Tourists who like to take risks can shorten the route four times by cutting across the land, but it is not recommended to do so.

Footage of Maya Bay from the movie “The Beach” with Leonardo DiCaprio

Practical Information

Since Phi Phi Le is uninhabited, there is no infrastructure in the Maya Bay area. The only way to get around on land is by walking on your own. There are also no supermarkets with a huge selection of groceries. Travelers can only count on light snacks of dubious quality and drinks sold in a small store near the beach. You won’t be able to make traditional Russian shashlyk here – it is prohibited to make bonfires on the territory of the national park. It is worth taking care of food in advance, for example, you can take on a trip to Maya Bay, a couple of sandwiches and a bottle of water.

Prices for tours to Phi Phi Le and one of the most picturesque bays of Thailand can not be called democratic, but at the same time, they are not overpriced. So, a tour from Phuket and Krabi will cost the tourist 40 EUR. If you are planning to go to Maya Bay from the island of Phi Phi Don, pre-booked excursions by boat in a travel agency in Tonsai, you will need to pay about 13 EUR per person. You can pay half as much, but then the duration of the tour is halved.

Tourists who want to sail to the coast of Maya Bay, hire and private boat at any beach of Phi Phi Don. A three-hour trip to the bay will cost 40 EUR for two people. For the real extreme will be attractive trip to the bay with overnight stay to spend a great time on the deserted shore of Maya Bay with dinner, alcoholic beverages and beach volleyball brought to the island in advance. As darkness falls, you can spend the night on the boat and under the open sky (in a tent or sleeping bag). For this unforgettable experience will have to pay about 80-130 EUR per person.

As already mentioned, the entrance to the national park costs 10 EUR. However, private boaters in most cases have some kind of agreement with the rangers of Phi Phi Le, so there is a good chance to pay half price. You can avoid environmental fee by docking at Maya Bay from the left side and stealthily entering the central beach.

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Tips for tourists

If you want to make your trip to the bay unforgettable, stick to the following tips:

  • Maya Bay attracts a huge number of tourists, and during the day the bay’s beaches are as crowded as buses during rush hour. If you plan to capture amazing views of the bay without people in bathing suits, head to Phi Phi Le early in the morning. Other tourists won’t pester you, and the sunlight will present Maya Bay in a favorable light. If photos interest you less than a chance to swim in the warm sea among a small number of travelers, leave closer to 3 p.m;
  • Check with the Thais for the approximate time of low tide in the bay. The receding water will expose the bottom, dotted with sharp rocks, and you will not be able to swim because it is shallow;
  • If you are susceptible to the heat, bring a beach umbrella to hide under it from the scorching sun. There are no lounge chairs or shady spots on Maya Bay Beach.

Otherwise, a trip to Maya Bay is no different, so welcome!

How to get there

The famous bay is located at the following address: Koh Phi Phi Le, Ko Phi Phi Phi, Amphoe Mueang Krabi, Chang Wat Krabi 81000, Thailand. To reach Maya Bay is only possible by water: by boat or private boat. Some brave souls talk about renting a kayak, but this way is the most risky: not everyone can cope with the elements of the sea.

Phi Phi Le: Maya Bay beach, how to get to, tips

The Phi Phi Islands group is a resort on the way from mainland Thailand to Phuket. The archipelago entered the list of popular tourist destinations when the world saw the luxury movie “The Beach.” The two largest islands of the archipelago are Phi Phi Don and Phi Phi Le. The island group belongs to the province of Krabi. What makes the island paradise so attractive to travelers? Let’s find out.

Phi Phi Islands

Phi Phi Archipelago – information for those who are going on a trip

Thailand offers a huge choice of islands, but travelers choose Phi Phi Phi. First of all, because of the developed infrastructure – there are many cafes, bars, entertainment, a wide choice of accommodation for all tastes and wallets. And only here you can dissolve in the tropical nature, without breaking away from the benefits of civilization.

Phi Phi Don Island

Phi Phi – an archipelago consisting of six islands. The largest of them – Phi Phi Don – is located in the northern part of the archipelago, here is the concentration of all infrastructure, it arrives all the water transport with tourists.

Phi Phi Lei is located to the south, and its main attraction is the bay and beach of Maya Bay, where the shooting of the movie “The Beach” took place. On Pi Pi Pi Lei the wildlife is preserved – there is no tourist accommodation, no infrastructure, because the island is recognized as a protected area.

The other four islands are tiny, and people come here mainly for the chic snorkeling. The nature of the archipelago of Phi Phi Phi is so exotic and picturesque that it would be a great mistake to come to Thailand and not visit them.

The largest and most developed in terms of tourist infrastructure island. All water transport is docked at Tonsai Pier.

Tonsai Pier.


Good to know! There are no paved roads on the island, it is more convenient to travel by motorcycle or bicycle.

Up until the filming of “The Beach” about the archipelago of Phi Phi Phi no one knew, but thanks to the film industry to the archipelago streams of tourists rushed, so the Thais urgently began to develop the tourism industry and today it is the main source of income for the local population.

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In 2004, there was a powerful earthquake in the Andaman Sea, which triggered a tsunami that damaged most of the island. It was practically wiped off the earth’s surface and many people are still missing. Luckily, today there are no reminders about that terrible event – Phi Phi welcomes tourists.

Good to know! There are many beautiful beaches on Phi Phi Don, the most fun is recognized as Lo-Dalam. Here come young tourists from all over Europe. If you want to relax in silence and solitude – choose an accommodation away from the shore.

Detailed information about Pi Pi Pi Don is presented on this page.

The second largest island of the archipelago. Popular for Phi Pi Pi Lei is Maya Bay, made famous by Leonardo Lee Caprio. Get to Phi Phi Lei is possible by one way – by water. There is transportation from any beach on Phi Phi Don. What you need to do:

  • Find a Thai man who operates a longboat – a long motorboat;
  • Pay for the tour – three hour trip will cost about 1.5 thousand baht, that is enough time to see the bay of Maya Bay.

Good to know! Sailing to Pi Pi Pi Lei is better in the early morning or closer to the evening – firstly, it’s not hot, secondly, there are few tourists, good sunlight for great shots.


Of course, the main attraction of Phi Phi is nature and beaches. That’s what tourists come here for. If you are lucky enough to be on Phi Pi Pi Lei, do not miss the chance to visit two bays of amazing beauty and a cave of the Vikings. Let’s start with a visit to Maya Bay.

Update. The bay is closed to the public until the end of 2019!

Of course, one associates the islands of Phi Phi with Maya Bay – it is the most “promoted” attraction of the archipelago. A visit to Maya Bay (Phi Phi Phi) is paid – 400 baht. How to save money? Very simple – to see the island and the bay from the water, without going ashore. However, experienced travelers strongly recommend to pay money and still go ashore.

Visit Maya Bay

Interesting fact! Each year, millions of tourists visit Pi Pi Pi Lei, undoubtedly, such excitement around the island could not help but have an impact on the environment. Special attention is paid to trash removal, in 2018 in the second half of the summer, Phi Phi Lei was closed to travelers – it was cleaned and tidied up.

In the movie “The Beach,” Maya Bay in Thailand is presented as a paradise – this is no exaggeration. Maya Bay is surrounded by rocks, the shore is covered with white sand, buried in tropical greenery, in the azure water hides beautiful coral reefs.

Good to know! Maya Bay in Thailand – part of the park of national importance, so there is no accommodation, no cafes and bars, you can get here only as part of a tour group or individual tours. Food and drink must be taken on the trip.

In addition to the amazing bay of Maya Bay on Phi Phi Lei, there is another beautiful bay of Blue Lagoon. It is located on the opposite side. Its beauty is the absence of travelers. There are no thousands of tourists, and nature is no less beautiful than in Maya Bay.

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Blue Pileh Lagoon

If you are not a fan of the movie “The Beach”, a vacation in the Blue Lagoon will deliver no less emotional experience than Maya Bay.

Boats take tourists directly to the bay, but do not sail up to the shore, landing directly in the water, at a depth of not more than a meter. The bay is very beautiful, surrounded by rocks, covered with tropical plants.

One of the most interesting sights of the island of Pi Pi Pi Lei – on the walls are preserved rock paintings. Here you can see images of Viking boats, most of the drawings are made in the sea theme. Unfortunately, you can’t go inside, but you can see the cave from the outside.

Viking Cave

The cave is beloved by hundreds of swallows that have made nests here, residents collect bird’s nests and make delicacies from them.

Interesting fact! In the cave formed a huge stalagmite, to which the inhabitants of the island bring offerings – coconut milk.

How to get to Phi Phi

Consider a few ways to get to Pi Pi Pi Lei.

Fly to Bangkok

There is a ferry service between the islands, but the transport runs only passenger, so it is impossible to transport vehicles. By the way, transport is useless on Phi Phi Phi, because there are almost no roads.

The algorithm is as follows:

  • fly to Bangkok or to Pattaya;
  • Get to Phuket.

Then you can choose one of the presented routes to get to Rassada Pier.

The route is . Features Cost
Purchase a ticket to Phi Phi Island from the travel agency at the airport Ticket price includes transfer to pier and crossing About 600-800 baht
To get to the pier by yourself First you need to take a mini-bus from the airport to the city, then take a tuk-tuk to the pier, the trip will cost 900 baht The ticket for the ferry to the island will cost 600 baht, round trip costs 1000 baht
Order a hotel pickup 4 and 5 star hotels offer this service Rates are set by the hotel

By ferry from Phuket

The journey from the pier to the island takes about two hours. It is more profitable to buy round-trip tickets from a travel agency. The return ticket will be undated – you can return to Phuket at any time, but only by the transport of the company that brought you to Phi Phi. Of course you can buy a ticket on a private speedboat – the price is 1500 baht.

Good to know! All boats dock at Tonsai Pier. To get to the hotel you will need to book a transfer.

Ferry from Klong Jilad Pier

From the airport, go to town and then drive to Klong Jilad pier, where the ferries to Pi Pi Don operate from. There are two ways to get to the pier:

  • Go to the travel agency at the airport, where you can buy a transfer to the pier and a ticket for the ferry;
  • buy tickets in the ticket office.

A ticket from the airport to the pier costs about 150 baht, a cab will cost 500 baht. Ferry crossing will cost 350 Baht. The crossing takes 1.5 hours.

Good to know! If for some reason you can not catch the ferry from Krabi, you can stay overnight and sail to Phi Phi Phi the next day, or go to Ao Nang.

From Noppart Tara Pier

The journey from Ao Nang to Pi Pi Don does not take long and does not cause any problems. You can use one of the routes:

  • Take a tuk tuk, drive to Noppart Tara Pier, purchase a ticket at the ticket office;
  • Purchase a ticket from a hotel or travel agency.
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The trip will cost 450 baht, the return ferry is 350 baht. The trip takes about 2 hours.

Prices on the page are for October 2018.

Helpful recommendations

Excursion to Maya Bay

First of all, if your goal is a cursory tour of the islands of Phi Phi Phi, you do not plan to walk around the archipelago for a week, consider a guided tour. A sightseeing tour is also a great choice for those who want to save money. You can buy an excursion to Maya Bay, a few hours of walking on Pi Pi Pi Lei.

In Phuket, it is not difficult to buy a tour lasting 1-2 days, and will cost much cheaper than a separate trip to Maya Bay.

Useful information! Prices for sightseeing tours range from 1500 to 3200 baht. The price depends on the duration of the trip and the conditions of the program. Before you buy, ask about the conditions – some tours include food.

Natacha Hotel Room

Natacha Hotel

There are plenty of hotels on Pi Pi Pi Don for all tastes and price categories. The most budget accommodation is a bungalow. The cost of living from 300 to 400 baht. There are no conveniences in such lodging, no air conditioning. A night in a hotel of medium price category with excellent conditions from 800 to 1000 baht.

The most budget hotels are located in the area of Tonsai Pier and Lo Dalam, but here you have to listen to the music on the dance floor every night.

Good to know! It is better to book accommodation in advance. First, it is more reliable, and secondly, the prices on the service Bucking are always lower than when booking directly on the island.

On Pi Pi Pi Don and Pi Pi Pi Lei there is a large choice of beautiful, comfortable beaches – some are noisy, with parties, and some are deserted and secluded.

Long Beach

Long Beach

On Phi Phi Don, the most visited are:

  • Long Beach;
  • Lo Dalam;
  • Tonsai Bay.

The beach here has ideal conditions for recreation – no waves, with a gentle descent into the sea, soft, fine sand. However, you must be aware of the strong changes in sea level during the day. Other beaches on Phi Phi Don are accessible only by water, you can not reach by land.

Lanta Island


Do not miss the opportunity to visit the neighboring peninsula of Raleigh and the island of Lanta. Allow one day and one night for each to immerse yourself in the tropical nature.

Maya Bay Beach, Viking Cave, exotic nature and a lot of positive emotions and experiences – that’s what awaits everyone on Phi Phi Le.

Video: as the islands of Phi Phi Islands look and how the excursion to the bay of Maya Bay.

Author: Julia Matyukhina

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