Phi Phi Islands are a beach paradise for travellers! If you look at the map you will see that there are tons of gorgeous beaches, but one stands out more than the others – Maya Bay.
The first time I heard about Maya Bay was when I visited Thailand back in 2020, just before the world shut down. I was on a longtail boat day trip and I saw Maya Bay from far away while eating pineapple on a longtail boat.
I remember thinking that it was just another beach, but I’ve seen the pictures and secretly dreamed of visiting it once (if ever) it opens up again.
And here I am, a few years later, writing a little post for you about visiting Maya Bay! The world changes so quickly, huh?!
Anyways, let’s dive in everything you need to know about visiting Maya Bay:
Table of contents
What is Maya Bay?
Maya Bay is an iconic destination that is out of this world. White sand beach, coin-shaped bay with clear turquoise water and dramatic limestone cliffs covered in lush greenery.
Unfortunately, swimming is not allowed, but you can dip your toes in the water and try to spot baby sharks showing up on the shore once in a while.
Maya Bay’s (together with all Phi Phi Islands) popularity started when it was featured in the 2000’s movie ‘The Beach’ (starring Leonardo DiCaprio) and over years more and more tourists from all over the world had this place on their bucket lists.
Unfortunately, growing popularity did some damage to nature and Maya Bay was closed for 4 years, from 2018 to January 2022, to protect the local environment and restore the natural marine ecosystems, to give coral and wildlife some time to recover.
Maya Bay closed again for two months (August and September) during the low season in 2022 but reopened on 1st October 2022.
It seem that Maya Bay might be closed for a few months during the low season, so it’s worth to keep an eye on it if you’re planning to visit then.
How to get to Maya Bay?
Maya bay is located on Phi Phi Leh Island, it is around 20 minutes from Koh Phi Phi Don, and you will need to hire a boat or join the longtail boat tour to reach it.
If you’re thinking of visiting Maya Bay from Koh Phi Phi Don then full-day or half-day tours that include visiting Maya Bay (and many other places) are widely available to book on the island. There are a lot of vendors and offices (and even just random people on the street) that sell all kinds of tours and activities on every corner here.
Pop in a few of them to check the itineraries and bargain the prices (always ask for a discount!) and then decide which one is the best for you.
Prices depend on the length, itinerary and boat type (speedboat, catamaran or longtail boat) and it might cost anything between 600 baht and 1,600 baht ( ~16 – 44 Eur / ~ 18 – 47 Usd).
Also, you can always book a tour online! I found that Klook has great prices and big discounts, and GetYourGuide has many different options.
If packaged tours are not your thing, or you simply want some privacy, you can hire a longtail boat and create your own travel itinerary. Just head to Tonsai Pier and ask for a boat hire, many lovely men will answer it offering their special boats (and special prices).
Read more Tips for Visiting the Island and the Best Things to do in Koh Phi Phi Don.
Private longtail boat hire might cost something between 1,000 baht (~28 Eur / ~30 Usd) for an hour to 2,000 baht (~ 56 Eur / 60 Usd) for a day.
Phuket is 40 kilometres (25 miles) southeast of Koh Phi Phi, about the same distance from Krabi.
Travelling from Phuket to Koh Phi Phi takes around one hour by speedboat and around two hours by ferry. Trips from Krabi are slightly shorter.
You can always check the ferry prices online or head to any local travel agency, they usually offer combined tickets with a boat and transfer to the pier.
But keep in mind that after reaching the main island Koh Phi Phi Don, you will need to hire a longtail boat to reach Maya Bay. That might be a bit tricky with timing, as there are set transfer schedules, and general comfort of the journey as you might need to rush at some point, but that it doesn’t mean that it’s not doable.
If you’re not planning to stay on Phi Phi island, then a better option would be to join a group tour. Everything’s planned and taken care of, and all you need to do is to sit down, relax and enjoy the ride (haha).
Once you reach Phi Phi Leh island you will embark on a floating pier in Loh Samay Bay, on the other side of the island.
After a 5-minute walk through a lovely park, you will reach Maya Bay!
There is a little shop for drinks and snacks in this area and a few toilets too.
How much does it cost?
Maya Bay belongs to Hat Noppharat Thara-Mu Ko Phi Phi National Park and it cost 400 baht to enter. This entrance fee helps to reduce the number of visitors each day (well, at least they thought so) and it also helps the government to preserve nature.
This fee might be included in the tour price, but might not be included, so it’s good to check it before the tour. If you hire a longtail boat on your own, then have an extra 400 baht in cash.
Pictures vs. Reality
So, even though I loved the place a lot, the whole scene there is truly beautiful, I think that it is slightly overrated.
And a bit too crowded…
Popularity of Maya Bay brings a ridiculous amount of people every single day.
They say that if you go early in the morning, you might have the whole beach to yourself, but this should be taken with a grain of salt, it might be that thousands people on the island are thinking exactly the same…
Anyways, don’t get me wrong, I loved it, Maya Bay is stunning, with white as-snow sand, clear turquoise water and dramatic rock formations surrounding the bay with baby sharks coming to the shore once in a while. Absolutely amazing place to be!
So if you don’t mind crowds, then do not hesitate as it is a truly special place to visit!
Thinking what else can you do in Koh Phi Phi Don? Read this Complete Koh Phi Phi Travel Guide here!
If you have any questions, please leave a comment! I am here to help!
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