Ever been to Maya beach? Here is my story!
After 5 days of intense 4-hour muay thai training days, I decided to jump on a 2-hour ferry from Phuket to check out Phi Phi island.
The ferry costs 1,000 Baht return.
What is great about training on Soi Taied street is the proximity to the popular scuba diving destination of Phi Phi. But this little island is also the home base to an equally popular beach on a smaller island known as Maya Bay, the beach which became famous after it was used in a movie back in 1999.
After arriving on Phi Phi island, I decided to book a 3-hour long boat tour which included a visit to the famous Maya bay. The tour cost 1,700 Baht and all operators that haggle you for your business cost the same! Trust me.
Don’t even bother trying to use your sweet talking skills on them to get a better deal. They won’t fall for your walk-away-and-watch-them-chase-you-down-the-street trick like in other Asian countries, or other areas of Thailand.
Nope… it won’t work. Tried it 🙂
Arriving at Maya Bay
So the boat driver pulled up about 50 or so metres from a cargo net which needed to be climbed for us to get to see Maya beach! Wtf?
Watch this short 5–6 minute video (above) which showcases this crazy little adventure. The video starts off with me swimming with one arm across the bay to a cargo net while holding a camera and filming myself with the other hand.
But it got even crazier. Having to swim over and occasionally stand on sharp partially submerged coral, fighting the crashing waves that occasionally threw me into the mangled cargo net. It was a real challenge to try and climb the cargo net while fighting the strong ocean current washing over the net.
Believe it or not, I filmed the whole experience!
Eventually reaching the top of the cargo net and walking a short distance, I was greeted with a police officer that asked for a beach entry tax of 600 Baht!!
Apparently, July 2017 brought about new taxes for entry on to Maya Bay. It means having to shell out 600 Baht per person for the “privilege.”
What sucks the most was we were told the day before that as scuba divers, the fee we paid yesterday to access another area of the Marine Park would mean it would waive the 600 Baht provided we showed our receipt, valid for 3 days! Nope…. the officer didn’t seem to care. And after a few minutes of pleading with him, he finally let us through as a “once off.”
And after another short walk, the sandy pathway opened up to the infamous Maya Beach where The Beach was filmed back in 1999. The beach that everyone says that you got to go and see! Pffft… what for?
After spending no more than 20 minutes enjoying the ridiculously hot sun beating down on the white sandy beach of Maya, I decided that Maya was one of the dirtiest beaches I’ve ever seen in an Asian country!
There was rubbish everywhere! And I’m not someone that invests monthly into saving our rainforests and protecting our environment. But, the rubbish you will see on Maya beach is enough to make you cringe with disgust.
I saw a syringe cartridge (shell?) and a carton cutter. Not to mention, empty oil containers, plastic bags etc. I am not afraid to B-roll the shit out of my 6 minute Youtube video with the rubbish you’ll see if you ever decide to check it out for yourself. I just don’t want to sell you a false experience like I was.
Almost every photo I’ve seen of Maya beach on Instagram is with a celebrity standing square on with the Bay as the backdrop. So cliche. So I was expecting a beach that was just as flattering as the IG’ers made it out to be.
And you’ll see “Do Not Litter” signs and all that kind of horse crap. And that island tax money the Thai authorities collect will never make its way to cleaning up the beach. Ever.
Anyway, I had to get the truth off my chest.
It was a fun adventure. At least I can tick-the-box. But if you want my go ahead to see this nugget of an island, I’m going to have to give it a massive thumbs down!
Save your Baht and your 3 hours and go and check out Bamboo island instead. It’s less crowded, cleaner, costs only 200 Baht to step on to, and the beaches are super clean. At least you can swim on Bamboo island without worrying about swallowing a dirty nappy or stepping on a Hepatitus needle. Just one man’s point of view 🙂
So go and watch my 6 minute video of my Maya beach adventure. It’s informative, fun, and you’ll see me being my adventurous self. After which, you can make your own decisions.
Let me know in the comments below if you have ever been to Maya Beach, or would like to go!