Maya Bay Without The Crowds

Maya Bay, Koh Phi Phi Leh, Thailand

Maya Bay is a tourist hotspot and at peak times you’ll do well to see the sand for the people. So we decided to take a sunrise tour of the Koh Phi Phi islands to try and beat the crowds. While it was made famous by its appearance in “The Beach”, our guide assured us that the bay had actually been very popular before the film cast a spotlight onto it. This allayed any feelings that we might be late to the party. I was skeptical that our departure time of 6:30am would give us much of an advantage, but I rested safe in the knowledge that whatever the outcome we’d made the best effort to get there as early as possible.

We really had no idea how busy the beach would be when we arrived. Our boat coasted up to the shore at about 7:45am and I counted only 10 people already on the beach. There was just one longtail boat parked up in the shallow water. I couldn’t believe how quiet it was! And for about 15 minutes it really felt like paradise. Fortunately I managed to get this shot before the barrage of other tourists came motoring into the bay just after 8am. It captures a moment I’ll not soon forget.

Have you ever visited Maya Bay? Taken a sunrise tour to beat the crowds? Was it successful?! I’d love to hear from you!

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16 thoughts on “Maya Bay Without The Crowds

    1. Ben Post author

      Thanks Scott. It was the location I was most excited about on our trip to Thailand, and it certainly didn’t disappoint. I’m just grateful that we had the chance to experience it without the crowds.

      Reply
  1. Heyjude

    Nice shot Ben. I like the rope in the foreground and the way you have got down low, though it does look as if the water slopes slightly to the right. I don’t think it does, but that’s the way my eye sees it! Nice light on the left too. 🙂

    Reply
    1. Ben Post author

      Thanks Jude, I see the sloping now too! I think it’s the reflection of the rocks on the left hand side playing tricks on the mind. My cropping tool confirms it is actually straight. But I probably should have rotated it slightly to offset for the anomaly. Appreciate the feedback as always 🙂

      Reply
  2. Life On My Plate

    Beautifully captured Ben. We visited as well, as part of our Phi Phi Islands tour, and yes all we got to witness was a sea of humanity. Even though we didn’t get to see such a serene version ourselves, I’m glad to experience it through your lens.

    Reply
    1. Ben Post author

      Thanks Upasna. That’s a shame it was crowded when you visited. Would you consider a sunrise tour for another trip? Or skip the island entirely?

      Reply
    1. Ben Post author

      Thanks Sreejith, it was absolutely stunning. I guess it is not so great for photography once the crowds have arrived though!

      Reply
    1. Ben Post author

      Thanks Susan. I quite often find a low viewpoint is the best way to go, especially on beaches where you have the water coming in and out. It gets a bit tiring on your legs after a while though!

      Reply
    1. Ben Post author

      Thanks Shobha! That’s great you managed to see the beach while it was quiet. It must have been an unforgettable experience. How long did you spend at Maya Bay?

      Reply

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