Minus the Horde of Tourists, Maya Bay is the Beach, Beach | Thailand


My expectations of Maya Bay had already been tempered before I even landed at Phuket airport since it was nothing like the beach in Danny Boyle's film "The Beach" with Leonardo DiCaprio. Even so, I still look forward to seeing it with the same excitement I had when I first stepped foot on Khao San Road during my first visit to Thailand several years earlier.

Anastazcia Gutierrez

After spending a day in Phuket where I rendezvoused with my friend Angeline who lives and teaches English in Surat Thani, we traveled to Krabi for another day before setting up our temporary home in Rai Leh Beach for the next five days.

Ayi Del Rosario

We went island hopping on our second day on the island and stopped at Phi-Phi Don to soak up the sun and enjoy a dip in the azure-colored waters surrounding its white sandy beaches.

Audrey Trinidad

Coming from the Philippines and spoiled by the picturesque rocky islets of the coast of El Nido and Coron in Palawan, I was spared from dropping my jaw as opposed to the sheer amazement of the other tourists on our long-boat whose expressions of "ooohs and wow" echoed throughout as we passed by the other islands.

Levy amosin, Celine Murillo

Still, I enjoyed the view as if I was slowly finding myself in the pages of Alex Garland’s novel minus the fleet of tourist boats—including ours—slicing its way through the turquoise waters of Phi-Phi.

Channeling Leonardo DiCaprio. Not

In the movie “The Beach”, Maya Bay was enhanced by a CGI effect to show a craggy limestone islet covering the bay to create an illusion of an isolated cove that almost no one other than a few locals know about. In real life, the mouth of Maya Bay opens to the wild sea and on any given day, receives dozens of long-boats and yachts filled with tourists.

Sophie Gianan

If you come here expecting the-beach-kind-of-vibe then you will be disappointed. However, if you have 3,000 THB to spare, you can avail of the overnight tour of Maya Bay that starts after the island-hopping hours for you to enjoy the lagoon without the throng of the other tourists.

Armi Valdez

My friend Angeline and I regretted not availing that instead of the ordinary day-tour of Phi-Phi archipelago. Despite having an expectation vs. reality that is a world’s apart, I was still glad to have seen Maya Bay with my own eyes.

Cheekie Albay

And because “The Beach” is among the few novels I don’t mind reading repeatedly, maybe next time I pick it up, I will have an image of that out-of-the-way nature escape where Richard found his kindred souls, to go along with the book's stirring prose. All I need to do is channel out from my memory, the throng of camera-snapping happy tourists who crowded Maya Bay that beautiful morning.