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Paradise Lost- Maya Bay
Maya Bay has become the main tourist attraction of Phi Phi since The Beach was filmed here in 1999. It was always very popular before the film but now people around the world who haven't even heard of Phi Phi have certainly heard of Maya Bay.


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The cliffs are the reason we chose Phi Phi Le because in the story, the beach that the characters are living on is surrounded by the high sea cliffs from the sea. So, it's a secret. It's like a big secret, swimming pool and beach in private and this is the attraction for the characters. That's why we have to use Phi Phi Le." - Andrew Macdonald, producer of "The Beach"

Phi Phi is situated in Krabi Province in southern Thailand. The two islands that make up this group (Phi Phi Don and Phi Phi Le) are about 40 kilometres south-west of Krabi City . The islands are about equidistant from Krabi and Phuket (to the north-west). The islands are famed for their spectacular landscapes. Rock climbers are attracted by the breathtaking cliffs, with tall sheer walls of limestone. Nature lovers, meanwhile, find a haven in the islands' transparent seas and corel beds, which are home to a wide range of sea life.

The two sections of Phi Phi Don, the larger of the two islands, are linked by a 1 k.m. isthmus of sand. Here stands the island's original Muslim fishing village, Ban Ton Sai, now enveloped by an ever-expanding belt of bungalows, cafes and hotels. A pleasant one-hour coastal walk from Ban Ton Sai leads to Hat Yao (long beach), with tantalising white sands, vibrant offshore marine life and unhindered views to the soaring flanks of Phi Phi Le, 4 kilometres away. It is also worth climbing the steep trails on Phi Phi Don's two massifs, which afford wonderful vistas over the island (see photo). Superb coral beds at Hin Pae off Hat Yao provide some of the best snorkelling in Thailand. To the north is Ban Laem Tong. This village's sea gypsy population still survives on fish caught in the isolated coves of nearby Laem Tong.

In contrast to phi Phi Don, Phi Phi Le remains uninhabited and unspoilt. Boats from Phi Phi Don bring visitors on day trips to see the paintings in Viking Cave (see picture). Another feature of the cave are the nests of edible swiftlet nests which are used in bird nest soup. Agile collectors climb rickety bamboo scaffolding to reach the nests, which are so valuable that the caves are protected by armed guards. In a bid to halt the illegal trade of the nests, staying overnight on the island is prohibited. There is excellent snorkelling at the coral reefs of ao Maya, a bay in the southwest corner of the island

Environmental Crisis

During late 1998, 20th Century Fox and the production team for the movie 'The Beach' landed in full force on the small Phi Phi Le island in southern Thailand. Almost from the start they were causing controversy with their plans to bulldoze two sections of the beach in Maya Bay and plant 60 palm trees. Unknown to Fox, a war had been waging here for a long time, and their arrival just put it onto the international stage for the first time. Fox and their representatives found themselves in the spotlight and they received a lot of un-wanted media attention. It seemed they were being attacked on many sides. The most outspoken, of course, were the environmentalists. The purpose of these web pages is to delve deeper into what really happened on those beaches. We will also take a look at the state of Maya Beach today and try and guess what the future may hold. This story is certainly not over. We chose the medium of the internet as it is easy for us to update these reports and give you the latest information.

"Restoring the area to its original state"

PHUKET, THAILAND, February 3rd 1999. Following two weeks of filming on Phi Phi Le National Park, the motion picture production of THE BEACH has begun the process of restoring the area to its original state. Over the coming weeks the island will be returned to its original state as per The Beach's contract with the Royal Forestry Department. The production took numerous steps to ensure that this area would be returned to an even superior condition than prior to the start of filming. To this end, the production removed three tons of inorganic rubbish from the beach and surrounding areas, and put up several waste bins that were emptied regularly. These waste bins will be left on the island for visitors to use.

Press Release, Breach Productions Ltd.


This is an aerial view of Maya Bay. It shows you some of the fantastic water colour. In the movie, the beach is hidden from the sea by a cliff. Maya Bay is open to the sea, but special effects will be used to close this gap to make it the true secret lagoon which the book called for.

This is a still from the second trailer for the movie. Can you see where they closed the gap? Take a look at the next picture for the answer.

This picture was taken at the time they were making the movie in Maya Bay. When you watch The Beach, you will see the palm trees but you won't see the open sea nor that gap between the rocks. Once they finished making the movie, the palm trees were removed and the dune and vegetation put back.

Maya Bay was used for two locations in the movie. The bay itself doubled as the "secret lagoon" where the characters from the movie went spear fishing. In the picture above, Richard, played by Leonardo DiCaprio, has just caught his first fish and he is shouting "I Shall provide!". 

The second location was the beach itself. This photo was taken during the preparations for the shoot. You can just see the blue JCB digger which was used by the production team to flatten two sections of the dune and to lift the palm trees into place. At this stage the beach was still open to tourists who came to relax and enjoy the sun.

This picture was taken during actual filming. Here you can clearly see one section of the dune where the vegetation has been removed in order to give better access to the beach. Some newspapers reported that the beach was widened in order to make room for a football scene. This isn't true as you can see from this picture. In the background, at the top of the beach, are some of the 60 palm trees that were brought in. The camera is in the centre of this picture and the actors to the right. Sprinklers are being used in order to simulate a rainy scene in the movie.

This is now on top of the dune. The palm trees are being supported with poles. This location was only used for the actors to walk among the palm trees and then down to the beach and "lagoon". The actual beach huts were filmed in the studio on Phuket.

Welcome to Maya Bay , Krabi Thailand
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.

Maya Bay has become the main tourist attraction of Phi Phi since The Beach was filmed here in 1999. It was always very popular before the film but now people around the world who haven't even heard of Phi Phi have certainly heard of Maya Bay. You can only visit Maya Bay from November to April, as large waves make the entrance dangerous for boats during the other months of the year.

The bad news; as it's so beautiful and so well known many boats are required to ferry all the visitors in and out. On any given day at any time there will be 30 + speedboats and longtail boats on the beach, with large ferry boats carrying hundreds of snorkelers and sightseers moored in deeper water. Beautiful it is, secluded it isn't – thousands of people visit each day. Try to visit early in the morning or after 17:00 and you'll avoid the crowds.

Facilities  in Maya Bay
A small shack a little back from the beach sells drinks and snacks. Further back from the beach are toilets but you'd only want to use them if you're desperate. There is no food available here; those who camp must bring their own food. Fires are not allowed but there is a permanent barbeque stand for cooking.

Activities in Maya Bay
Snorkeling is 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.

Getting to Maya Bay
From Phi Phi Don you can rent a longtail for 1,000 baht (US$ 32) for three hours or for 2,000 baht (US$ 64) for a full day, max four people. Speedboats are 3,500 baht (US$ 110) for half day or 6,000 baht (US$ 190) for a full day, maximum six people.

There are also many different kinds of boat tours that take in Maya Bay combined with other sites. Various kinds of boats are used, such as longtails, speedboats and ferry boats. Tours are generally priced at around 900-1,800 baht (US$ 16-32), depending on the type of boat used and the duration of the tour.

From Phuket and Krabi tours depart daily, mainly by speedboat.

 Koh Phi Phi Island By Speedboat Day Trip
 Maya Bay, Viking Cave Tour, Pileh Cave, Monkey Beach, Hin Klang Travel, Sightseeing
Koh Phi Phi Island is known by its uniqueness, beauty, the most famous tourist destination. With only 45-60 minutes by Day Trip Speedboat travel from Krabi, Phi Phi island offers a great laid back tropical tour, trip and lifestyle. Koh Phi Phi Leh is well-known destination for its excursions for cavernous scenery, stunning cliffs, mesmerizing water. Here, there are several beautiful tourist spots, such as Lo Samah, Hin Klang, Viking Cave which you can enjoy by speedboat. The effect of their steep coast limestone cliffs, classic white sandy beaches, emerald water, colourful pattern of coral reefs and seafans, large caves and bonsai trees appeal million of visitors each year. Enjoy tour in Maya Bay (location for Hollywood film "The Beach"), Loh Sameh, Pi Leh Cave, Snorkelling, Swimming, Crystal water, and Spectacular scenery by speed boat.
Phi Phi Don Island,  Thailand is a impressive double bay surrounded by white sandy beaches and sunlit crystal water. This is where all of the entertainment venues are located for your perfect trip on travel vacation. Enjoy all kind of musical taste and cuisine is great here. We are confident you will have your unforgettable travel day trip on this program as one of our best selling tour in Phuket.

Daily Time 07.45 am - 04.00 pm

Tour included:

  • Transfer to your Hotel/ English Speaker Guide
  • Soft drink, water, Coffee and Tea
  • Seasonal Fresh Fruit and Lunch
  • Life Jacket, Mask, and Snorkels
  • Fully cover insurance
  Program Details
Time Detail
07.45 - 08.00 am Pick up from your hotel and transfer to the pier.
09.00 am. Departure from the pier to Phi Phi Ley Island for swimming and sightseeing at Maya Bay Enjoy snorkeling and feeding colorful fishes at “Loh Samah Bay". Sightseeing at "Pileh Cove" and "Viking Cave" Enjoy feeding monkeys by a piece of banana, enjoy swimming, snorkeling withplentiful coral reefs and colorful fish.
12.00 pm. Have lunch at "Phi Phi Don"
02.30 pm. Arrive at “Khai Nok Island" enjoys your activities like a swimming, snorkeling, sunbathing and feeding fishes.
04.30 pm. Depart from "Khai Nok Island" to the pier and transfer to your hotel with a pleasant trip.
Price per pax (Thai Baht)

Phi Phi Island Tours

Adult Child
Phi Phi Island & Maya Bay   By  Big Boat
Phi Phi don,Viking cave, Ao-pelae ,Loh sama ,Maya bay
1200 THB 900 THB
Phi Phi Island & Maya Bay By Speed Boat
Phi Phi don,Viking cave,Bamboo ,Hin Klarng , Ao-pelae ,Loh sama ,Maya bay,Monkey beach
1800 THB 1200 THB

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