Maya Bay is the most gorgeous beach in Koh Phi Phi Islands and the whole of Thailand. After the hit movie, The Beach was filmed at Maya Bay and brought to life, thousands of travelers flocked to the bay to explore the location. After being closed down for three years due to over-tourism, Thailand’s most iconic attraction got reopened for travelers to explore. Whatever reasons someone has for exploring this breathtaking beach, knowing what to expect is crucial. Here is what to know when visiting Thailand's most beautiful beach.Related: 10 Most Beautiful Beaches On Earth, According To TripAdvisor

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What Happened To Thailand’s Most Beautiful Beach?

After the filming of "the Beach" movie, travelers flocked to Maya Bay daily. Imagine over 5000 tourists accompanied by more than 200 boats visiting on a day? The famous beach faced severe consequences of over-increased interest in exploring it. Too many boat rides and shoreline swimming towards the tourism spot led to the destruction of the beach's coral reefs and erosion of the Coastline. Traveling to Maya Bay was an incredible and spectacular tour experience, yet destroyed and overcrowded. Travelers couldn't see the original state of the beach after it went through the consequences of overcrowding and bad tourism practices. It was disappointing how the tourism staff in charge could not control the number of people visiting Maya Bay.

Tourists dropped off by the boats continued to multiply as time went by. The excited crowds would push through in curiosity like they expected to meet Leonardo DiCaprio, "The Beach" movie star. The beautiful view of the blue ocean was no longer visible as the longboats floated on top of the water. The used to be "mind-blowing" atmosphere became a place where one could only hear the boat captains scream looking for people to transfer back to Koh Phi Phi. It was their “festive season” - all thanks to a large number of visitors making them so much money daily.

A large portion of the bay's ecosystem that makes it look like the most gorgeous beach it is was ruined as the water got polluted by waste. Sometimes, boats had to scramble, or visitors swam a few meters to land at Maya Bay hideout due to overcrowding. Despite all these, the beach’s popularity can never dwindle. Now that the beach was reopened for another beautiful moment of tourism, the sight is definitely back on track.

Reopening Of Maya Bay In Style – With New Rules

Officially reopened on January 1, experts had more than three years of closure to make the beach beautiful again – bring back the ecosystem to life by replanting trees and coral. The authorities in charge have come up with new rules to maintain the beach by ensuring good environmental practices are adopted.

Boats are no longer arriving at the Beach through the main cove. There is a jetty located on the other part of the island for docking. This will help keep the beach clear for easy exploration. Also, the number of tourists visiting is now limited – only 8 boats can now dock at a time at the docking point. No more than 300 visitors are allowed in each round and exploration hours have hanged from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. Swimming is prohibited at the moment. From 5000 visitors a day, this is the kind of reduction that will Maya Bay’s ecosystem safe from another possible destruction. Swimming is prohibited at the moment.

Related: Maya Bay: Thailand's Most Famous Beach Is Slowly Reopening

How To Get There

There are many organizations offering boat ride services to Maya Beach and Koh Phi Phi Leh. From Koh Phi Phi, Maya Bay is around 30 minutes over a boat ride. It is located on Phi Phi Leh Island, and travelers can go with other tourists on an organized boat tour. The journey to Maya Bay allows tourists to enjoy the beautiful views of the surrounding islands and beaches. The boat trips are arranged from 8:00 am, or 9:00 am. It is advisable to reach there early because, by noon, travelers are more likely to meet crowds of other visitors who flocked at the spot, making them wait in line.

Travelers can avoid crowds by opting for a private boat ride from the many traditional longtail boats available at the harbor. Visitors are even allowed to negotiate prices if they get there early. For this, one has to travel around 7:00 am or 7:30 am, but the hustle is worth it. Another alternative is to go on a Maya Bay tour from Koh Phi Phi and spend a night there. Tours usually take between 3 and 4 hours or travelers can last 24 hours by combining the tours into a full-day tour.

When hiring a private boat, visitors can set their own timeframe and the route they want to follow to get to Maya Bay. Of course, there are the usual points set to get through, but travelers have the right to follow a different direction to get to the main destination.

  • Cost of Boat Ride: £20

How To Prepare For Maya Bay Beach Tour

Travelers should have water and enough snacks packed to take them through the tour. There are fruits and other snack options sold at the many stands near the bay. Although most of the long tail boats heading to Maya Bay have a shed, a hat, sunscreen, and some extra body covers are recommended for protection against the sun. Avoid touring at high tides as they affect the views of the islands and the surrounding attractions – the best time to get around Maya Bay is 8:00 am.

Is it worth it? Absolutely! Travelers will enjoy every moment of their tour experience at Maya Bay. The money, energy, and the struggle to pull oneself up through the boats’ small ladders – it’s all worth it.