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4 miles from Ton Sai Bay, Phi Phi Island

MAYA BAY. 7° 40.781N, 98° 45.675E

The location for the film ‘The Beach’ is a spectacular lagoon. Surrounded by limestone cliffs, it harbours three beaches.

From a yachting point of view, it is only worth being there in late afternoon or early morning, due to the many tourist boats. Even then, recent times have seen a surge of late-in-the-day longtail boat trips and ‘party boats’ shattering the tranquility.

It is advisable to return to the more secure anchorage in Ton Sai Bay for the night and, if you want to see Maya Bay as it should be, leave the anchorage at dawn. Still, if you wish to spend the night there in the northeast season, pick up one of the moorings or anchor in the mouth of the bay in 15-20 metres.

Do not anchor on the coral bank, which has suffered considerable damage in recent years. A large part of the bay is shallow coral, and hundreds of visitors come on day trips to snorkel and see the sights. The reef fish will arrive in shoals when you drop anchor.

On the eastern side of Phi Phi Le the Viking Cave is worth a look, but anchoring is difficult due to the depth. Yachts dropping people off to explore should hold off in either season, accessing the small jetty at the entrance. A better bet is to hire a longtail boat from Ton Sai Bay, also the best way to get to the spectacular Hong Pileh on the east side, which is inaccessible by yacht.

Day moorings can also be found in Ao Loh Samah with a rock island nestling in the middle of a coral garden on the southern tip of the island. There is a track crossing over to Maya Bay.

Phi Phi Le's The Beach in Maya Bay, with Ao Loh Samah in the foreground - Photo by Bill O'leary
Phi Phi Le’s The Beach in Maya Bay, with Ao Loh Samah in the foreground – Photo by Bill OLeary
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While every effort has been made to ensure that the information contained in this book is accurate, the charts of anchorages are based on personal experience and satellite imagery and are intended as a guide only. They should not be used for navigation. Please refer to Official Hydrographic Charts of the respective countries.

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