There’s a reason Maya Bay has been featured in travel publications as the most beautiful beach in the world. It has soft white sand, incredibly clear water, and is surrounded on three sides by 100-meter cliffs. On top of that, the whole bay is a reef with coral and exotic fish.
Located in Thailand near Ko Phi Phi Island, it’s only accessible by boat. Maya Bay has become a popular tourist attraction since it was filmed for the movie The Beach in 1999, starring Leonardo DiCaprio.
What to do in Maya Bay
Snorkeling & Scuba Diving – Beautiful coral and colorful fish are plenty. Matched with excellent visibility, it’s a one-of-a-kind destination to see from the water.
Sea Kayaking – Many tour companies offer this activity on Ko Phi Phi, Phuket, Krabi and Phi Phi Don. You’ll take a boat transfer to Maya Bay and you can freely explore by kayak.
Stay the Night – Tour companies now offer camping options where you can truly experience the seclusion of Maya Bay. During the day, tour boats come by often but in the evenings and early morning it's a true paradise. Currently, spending the night here is only permitted on alternate nights.
Justin & I visited Maya Bay from Ko Phi Phi Island. We booked a boat trip with a local guide for the day. Thai people are known to be friendly and welcoming so working with tour guides and locals is a positive experience.
We arrived in Maya Bay and it was the most gorgeous beach Justin and I had ever seen. We jumped into the water to snorkel and our guide showed us a little inlet area which felt like a small cave. We saw tons of beautiful fish and underwater boulders with coral. The water was exceptionally clear and refreshing!
We also saw a local spear-fishing in the water. He kept a good distance and when he saw a fish, he had his spear fly through the water and accurately through the fish. We later spoke with our guide about this and he said being a fisherman in Thailand is common for feeding a family as well as for commercial use.
We then saw a few people cliff jumping from about 40-feet up. We wanted to try it too so we made our way to the rocky cliff. The path that led up to the top was rugged with loose dirt. I definitely had to overcome a fear to jump into the water from that high up!*
We enjoyed the beach by sun tanning and swimming at the shore. Although it was fairly busy with boats passing through, Maya Bay feels remote. It's a perfect beach feeling world's away.
*Note: Cliff jumping can be dangerous and it is not recommended or promoted by SDA.