Search This Blog

Friday, July 1, 2016

Maya Bay, Koh Phi Phi.

What can you say, Maya Bay touches the heart and imagination of so many with it's beauty and sheer drama. Voted in the Top 10 world beaches, Maya Bay leaves lasting memories on all who visit. For those who have never been, just one image puts it straight on the bucket list.

Maya Bay Video

There are so many videos of Maya Bay as it is the place to capture on movie format. This one I have chosen just starts sensationally with drone shots to die for. Thank you Koh Phi Phi Islands, Thailand in 4K Drone, Music Video Remixed. Enjoy..

When to go to Maya Bay.

Because of its geology and geography you can get to Maya Bay on most days of the year... Even in the monsoon months, if the waves are coming in too large at the entrance, there is a walk through from Loh Samah, an inlet on the other side of the cliffs. This, in itself is a classic walk through virgin jungle for 180 metres and well worth doing, even if you arrive at the main beach.

Weather in Maya Bay

Koh Phi Phi weather can be found here and the real time rain radar can be useful. This will tell you all the best times to visit during the year.

The Beach.

Maya Bay was put in the world's attention when Leonardo Di Caprio shot his Movie "The Beach" here in 2000. The movie, about a wayward backpacker, in search of the ultimate travel experience. It wasn't a huge success but the garden of Eden imagery immediately shot Koh Phi Phi into the headlines. Some Leonardo groupies turn up to see where the movie was shot, but most people are just drawn by its sheer beauty.

View point at Maya Bay
View point at Maya Bay

How to get to Maya Bay?

Phi Phi Ley is a remote island about 2km from Phi Phi Don. No formal accommodation can be found on the island. The only people who stay there are Marine Park wardens and seasonal farmers who scale the cliffs in search of the Bird's Nest for the Chinese Bird's Soup.

The 2 main ways to get to Maya Bay are from Phuket on a day tour or from Koh Phi Phi by staying overnight. The tours from Phuket offer PhuketPhiPhi big ferry- cruiser snorkel tours and Maya Bay speedboat tours.

Tours from Phi Phi Don can be very varied. Longtail boat trips can be organised by travel businesses on the island or private hire down by the pier. The classic Maya Bay -Phi Phi full day tour  is highly memorable.

Nearest Accommodation.

The nearest accommodation is on Phi Phi Don at budget guesthouses like Coco's in the main village all the way up to the 5 star Zeavola Resort on Laem Tong Beach.

One of the cute hideaway beaches at Maya Bay.
One of the cute hideaway beaches at Maya Bay.
This little beach is just as you arrive at Maya Bay from the ocean entrance and is on the right hand side. As with all Maya Bay, access is best at high tide. The sand at the high tide point is insanely pretty and light, the views and atmosphere truly wonderful.

Snorkeling in Maya Bay

The shallow snorkel reef is about 180 meters from the main Maya Bay beach. Mostly boats anchor off the small National Park buoys which are an easy 40 meter swim to the reef edge. You don't need to go up to the reef as the the whole bay is a coral field where you can  view a wonderful array of species of Andaman Sea reef life.

Some of the best snorkeling can be done along the great walls on the northern edge of the entrance but these coral walls plunge deeply down to 20 meters depth and can be inaccessible especially in low season, May to October end.

Maya Bay Snorkeling
Maya Bay Snorkeling
Maya Bay snorkel
Maya Bay snorkel tours
The main types of boats used for snorkeling on this reef are the longtail, speedboat and big boat. The traditional longtail boat is a small wooden craft with a long prop-shaft and is a great way to tour the reefs on Phi Phi Ley. Small groups of snorkelers can get into places that the bigger boats cannot. They can be difficult to get into and out of but are a lot of fun.

Speedboat tours of Phi Phi nearly always stop at Maya Bay reef for a time to snorkel. Often these boats do time on "The Beach" and out on the reef so you get a decent amount of time in the bay. Tours as referred to above with full day trips like the  Maya Bay speedboat tours from Phuket or the more local  Maya Bay -Phi Phi full day tour.

The big boat tours are another unique way of enjoying the magnificent Maya Bay. These are old fishing boats converted into day trip boats. Around 30 people hang out together and visit the bay as a group. This can be great fun but large groups can scare away the larger marine life.

Further useful series of links for snorkeling around Maya Bay can be found here:

Snorkeling off the beach of Phi Phi

Diving in Maya Bay

Maya Bay Diving is iconic and one of my favourite dive locations on Koh Phi Phi. From the dramatic scenery above the waterline you plunge below to a world of huge cliff walls, boulders the size of trucks and small houses. Huge fan corals can grow between the more protected rocks but a yearly monsoonal surge ensures that any that grow in exposed areas get swept away.

Maya Bay Diving
Maya Bay Diving

As you pass through ravines and hidden corners it is common to surprise larger marine life such as turtles and grouper. As you head further west out to the entrance of Maya Bay the water is deeper at around 15-20 meters.

Maya Bay reef
Maya Bay reef

The wall diving is extensive on both sides of the entrance to Maya Bay with every indentation and promontory a place for shoals of juvenile to hide.

Maya Bay is also popular with dive boats as a lunch stop. The National Park marine buoys are an easy pick up and make grand setting for a fried rice in-between dives.

Shoals of trevally hunting the walls outside Maya Bay
Shoals of trevally hunting the walls outside Maya Bay

Dive boat getting out to Maya Bay
Dive boat getting out to Maya Bay
Good tip: Stay on Phi Phi if you wish to dive the islands. 
There are many dive companies on Koh Phi Phi Don at Tonsai Village and at Long beach and Laem Tong beaches. They have every facility, PADI and SSSI, Open Water to Instructor courses and many type of dive boat from longtail, through to converted fishing boat to bespoke dive boat.

The advantage of staying on Koh Phi Phi is that diving starts just 15 minutes from the island where as the Phuket or Krabi dive tours need 45 min bus transfers and 2 hour dive boat transfers to the same site.

More useful links.

Article list Koh Phi Phi Diving - Scuba diving and dive sites

Phi Phi Dive Sites Maya Bay

tags:  maya bay, mayabay, phiphi, #phiphi, #mayabay, Ferry, Speedboat, Tours, Koh Phi Phi Sea,The Beach, #thebeach, Leonardo Di Caprio, #LeonardoDiCaprio, Maya Bay Video, #MayaBayVideo, PhuketPhiPhi, #PhuketPhiPhi 


twitter             @PhiPhiIslands
instagram       phiphisea
Pinterest        #mayabay - mayabay - maya bay

1 comment:

  1. Hi Russell,

    Wow, how gorgeous.

    Immense beauty at Koh Phi Phi.

    We went through on a ferry - going from Lanta to Phuket - but were stunned at how gorgeous the place was.

    Thanks for sharing.