Maya Bay is a stunningly beautiful bay that’s sheltered by 100-metre high cliffs on three sides. Inside the bay there are several beaches, most are small and some only exist at low tide. The main one is around 200 metres long with silky soft white sand, underwater colourful coral and exotic fish in exceptionally clear water; the whole bay is one big reef.
The Beach by Alex Garland is about young travellers who drop out of society and go to live in a hidden lagoon in Southern Thailand.
Fox bought the rights to the book, signed up Leonardo DiCaprio to play the lead role and then searched for a location. Maya Bay was perfect. Fox decided that the perfect beach needed some palm trees and less vegetation so they rearranged the beach to fit a Hollywood stereotype.
Beforehand, environmentalists said removing vegetation would increase the risk of sand erosion and that the delicate natural ecosystem may not ever recover. The vegetation was replanted after filming had finished and additional bamboo fences were put in place to support the dunes.
Activities in Maya Bay
Snorkeling and diving are excellent throughout the bay, large underwater boulders are encrusted with coral and brightly coloured 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.
Tour shops in Phi Phi Don have begun to advertise organised camping on ‘The Beach’, drinking is usually part of the fun. Currently camping is only permitted on alternate nights.