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Visiting ‘The Beach’ Film Set – Maya Bay, The Crowds and Getting the Perfect Picture
June 21, 2014 – 08:22 am
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The Beach, Maya Bay, Phi Phi Leh, Thailand“You fish, swim, eat, laze around, and everyone’s so friendly. It’s such simple stuff, but… If I could stop the world and restart life, put the clock back, I think I’d restart it like this. For everyone.” – Alex Garland, The Beach

Imagine a stunning beach cove, located 30 minutes away from a populated island. A cove whose crystal blue waters are almost glowing, the sand silky soft under your feet, the surrounding cliff faces beautifully dominant in a protective hug and where the surrounding choppy waters protect the enclave from human invaders.

Sounds idyllic, doesn’t it?

The Beach, Maya Bay, Phi Phi Leh, ThailandWelcome to Maya Bay on Ko Phi Phi Lay, an enclave of paradise on the coastline of Koh Phi Phi Leh – the smaller sister island of Thailand’s sun, surf and snorkel haven of Koh Phi Phi.

Except it was made famous as a setting for the blockbuster film, ‘The Beach’, based on Alex Garland’s novel of the same name – a story I still love to analyse (from a traveller’s perspective) and a destination I have wanted to always visit, despite knowing the consequences that its fame has brought.

ncredibly stunning, yet ruined; spectacular but over-crowded, seeing Maya Bay in its natural state is now almost impossible. Unless you are INCREDIBLY lucky.The Beach, Maya Bay, Phi Phi Leh, Thailand It’s disappointing at the same time as being expected, and a shame that tourist numbers are not capped and controlled.

Dozens upon dozens on boats arrive here everyday, dropping off tourists like lemmings, who appear to multiply before your eyes, pushing past you in excited curiosity as if they are expecting Leonardo to jump off the ridge shouting “I’ve found it!” The emerald blue water no longer contains the twinkling mysteries of its submerged beauty but instead is flanked with a row of longboats floating idly while the sands rapidly become covered with a scattering of feet and the air fills with nothing but uncontrolled mayhem and the screams of boat captains.

Our boat was too large to dock directly in the bay. Instead we anchored a few meters further around the island where we had to swim through the strong waves in order to reach the spider-web of rope, constructed to help pull yourself in and up into this stunning hideaway. For those less adventurous, your boat will provide you with a canoe, but for a few minutes I was living ‘The Beach’ adventure.

The Beach, Maya Bay, Phi Phi Leh, Thailand The Beach, Maya Bay, Phi Phi Leh, Thailand The Beach, Maya Bay, Phi Phi Leh, Thailand The Beach, Maya Bay, Phi Phi Leh, Thailand
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