This Beach In Thailand Is Regarded As One Of The World's Best For It's Unspoiled Beauty

Once a victim of overtourism, Maya Bay is once again a lush wonderland, with brilliant turquoise waves and white sand surrounded by tall green cliffs. This spot, found in Hat Noppharat Thara-Mu Ko Phi Phi National Park, has been called one of the most remarkable on the planet because of its striking natural beauty. However, after Maya Bay was featured in Leonardo DiCaprio's 2000 film "The Beach," the area saw a sudden spike in interest; though the movie wasn't particularly well received, the real-life location attracted visitors from all around the world. While the beach is still recovering, below the shallow waves corals are beginning to thrive again.


Although there is now a cap on how many tourists can visit this beach every day, Maya Bay is open to visitors. While it's no longer possible to swim in the water (even if you know how to snorkel safely around coral reefs) and you'll have to admire the landscape from the newly installed boardwalk and dock or by boat, the regulations imposed since 2022 are in place to protect the environment so that future generations of travelers can also enjoy the unspoiled majesty of this place.

How Maya Bay was saved

This beach is known for its unspoiled beauty, but once, it looked like this natural wonder would be destroyed. At the height of its popularity, more than 7,000 people visited Maya Bay every single day. The constant trampling of thousands of feet and mountains of trash that the tourists left behind, coupled with boats constantly destroying the coral reefs just under the waves did what might have been irreparable damage to the natural beauty of this famous beach. In an extreme move, the national park closed Maya Bay for a full four years. The results are staggering.


As marine biologist Thon Thamrongnawasawat explained in an interview with Asia News Network, at one time, the once vibrant reef was reduced to a mere 8% of living coral. By May 2024, the number had about tripled. While it may take another two decades to fully restore the beach, today just 300 visitors at a time have the opportunity to catch a glimpse of Maya Bay's beauty, unmarred by unchecked crowds.

How to visit the bay

One of the best ways to explore Thailand is by ship, and Maya Bay is no exception. There are certainly many, many beaches in Thailand, but if your heart is set on seeing this small slice of paradise, you might want to take it in from a private longtail boat, first thing in the morning before the crowds arrive. While there are certainly far fewer tourists now than before it closed in 2018, Maya Bay is too beloved to be quiet any time after 8 a.m., so make sure to get up early. Just be careful not to step on any corals when getting off the boat. If you're planning to put your feet in the water, you may want to think twice about the sunscreen you end up using, for the sake of the reef.


You can do your part to help preserve this incredible landscape by staying in the designated areas and not pushing the boundaries on the areas park officials want tourists to stay in. If you bring anything in with you, take it back out. This beach is one of the world's most beautiful, and with a little help from travelers, it can stay that way.