- “The Beach” Returns
The stunning Maya Bay will reopen to the public on 1st October 2022, so be sure to save the date! At this time of year, the Monsoon season ends and the dry season begins, bringing with it more favorable wind and sea conditions.
- The Famous Bay
Maya Bay, situated on Phi Phi Ley, is perhaps the best-known destination in the whole archipelago. The 2000 Leonardo DiCaprio film “The Beach” used it extensively, which was a major contributing factor to the area’s newfound fame during the years which followed.
- What About Phi Phi?
Maya Bay reopens after being closed for two months. However, although Maya Bay itself was closed during August and September 2022, please note that Phi Phi itself was fully open and available for private luxury tours with 5 Star Marine. Maya Bay had originally been closed for visitors for over three and a half years and opened for the first time after this closure in January of 2022. Again, during this period, the rest of Phi Phi was all available to explore as normal.
During the previous closure periods, you could still take in the beauty of Maya Bay from a 5 Star Marine private speedboat and capture some great photos of your day trip; however, you simply could not walk on the actual beach during any closure rehabilitation times.
- Why Was Maya Bay Closed?
The area was closed in an effort to aid in the recovery of marine life, coral reefs, and underwater gardens. The shutdown during August and September 2022 was also implemented to allow for infrastructure repairs on the island and to give the protected area a break from the tourists who had recently returned to this picturesque Bay.
Park authorities had previously planted a new coral reef area and additional trees were also placed by the beach in order to help prevent erosion; all of this was as part of efforts to recover the whole area. The closure of the breathtaking site is a good reminder of the huge efforts that had gone into (and continue to take place) restoring this area.
- Maya Bay After Reopening
When Maya Bay reopens on 1st October 2022, you will be able to see the thriving return of its native flora and fauna; including clownfish, crabs, and even blacktip sharks. At 5 Star Marine, we are happy to announce that once open again, the number of people allowed onto Maya Bay at any one time will be limited to help protect the natural environment from extensive damage.
- Getting To Maya Bay
A floating pontoon has been put in place on the opposite side of the island, so guests going to Maya Bay on Phi Phi Leh will use the pier at Loh Samah Bay. Here you will be greeted by a National Park ticket booth before you make your way to a wooden boardwalk and nature path which connects Loh Samah to the beach at Maya Bay.
- National Park Fees
Maya Bay is on Phi Phi Leh, which is part of the Hat Nopparat Thara National Park. Once the Bay is reopened, all visitors to the area will be required to pay the National Park entrance fee which will return to full pricing. As of July 2022, the entrance fee to visit Maya Bay was THB 400 for adults and THB 200 for children.
- When Should You Visit?
At 5 Star Marine, we have experienced and skilled captains and crew who know exactly how to miss the crowds on your private boat tour, so you can sit back and relax knowing you are in safe and capable hands. When planning a private tour to the Phi Phi islands area, we suggest that in order to avoid the crowds, you should visit Maya Bay either early in the morning or later in the afternoon.
- Responsible Tourism
5 Star Marine will ensure that you get to enjoy the beauty of Maya Bay, whilst practicing responsible tourism to help keep the area protected and allow it to continue regenerating.
The Marine Park has worked tirelessly to get Maya Bay back to its previous stunning condition; so, here at 5 Star Marine we ensure that all our tours adhere to any new rules and help demonstrate respectful tourism.
Enjoy 5 Star Marine’s Phi Phi Islands Private Tour, where you and your select group of friends can experience the ultimate and iconic scenery. Discover Maya Bay, the world-famous location on this luxury day trip.
For Bookings / Enquiries:
+66 (0) 93720 6221
The Iconic Bay
Maya Bay is one of the most iconic areas in the Phi Phi islands, situated on Phi Phi Ley it was made famous after featuring in the 2000 movie, “The Beach” with Leonardo DiCaprio.
The Department of National Parks Wildlife and Plant Conservation shut the bay down completely to tourists in June 2018, after staggering mass tourism destructed the coral life, reefs, and marine ecology.
Shaun Stenning, CEO of 5 Star Marine explains “Maya Bay needed to close because it was in a devastatingly poor state; with too many boats, oil in the water, and harmful reef destructions. The closure did not affect our tours to the area, we simply respected the closure and enjoyed the view of the bay from afar.”
At its peak, the bay welcomed far beyond what the area could cope with; seeing over 4,000 tourists and more than 200 boats each and every day resulting in devastating damage to the area. Although the actual Bay was closed off, it remained a popular location to take photos of from a distance or swim off to the side of the bay.
The Rehabilitation Project
Since the closure over 3.5 years ago, the Maya Bay area has been undergoing a rehabilitation project which has included planting new corals on the reefs over more than 4 acres in and around the bay. Parts of the beach have been regenerated, and protective walkways have been constructed.
The marine recovery during the pandemic has helped speed this along, with no tourists near the area at all, the water is much clearer and the corals have had a chance to regenerate with the added help of coral planting.
The Scheduled Reopening
Reopening is set for January 1st, 2022, as announced by the National Resources and Environment Minister. However, there will be new rules in place to preserve the rehabilitated beach and bay from another ecological ruin.
“I actually hoped that Maya Bay would keep closed forever, but we understand there is a need to rebuild tourism after the pandemic and the bay is being used for this purpose. I am hopeful that the tough restrictions on access are strongly enforced and total visitor numbers are capped per day at 1,000 maximum” said Shaun Stenning
Currently, Koh Phi Phi National Park is finalizing an improved piper to the island and defining the swim zones for visitors. There are expected to be new rules limiting opening times from 10 am – 4 pm each day; visitors will only be allowed to spend 1 hour in the designated swimming zones, and all boats will need to anchor at another bay on the other side of the island.
Let’s hope that the paradise it once was, and what the Marine Park have worked so hard to get Maya Bay back to will remain just that, and we will not abuse the natural beauty as we did before; this time adhering to the new rules and trying to respect nature far more.