When we set off towards Phuket, one of the key areas we wanted to visit was Maya Bay, the illustrious scene of the Beach movie, which inspired countless numbers of people to set off towards their own paradise. All the different tour companies offered various different islands to visit, but all of them made sure to stop off at this gorgeous island, with some stunning photos being displayed everywhere.
So What Went Wrong?
As you begin to approach the beach, you see a flock of tourist boats that have already parked up, possible in the region of 100-120 boats. Each boat held about 20-30 people, so as you can imagine, their wasn’t exactly much room to stand on the beach.
With so much of the beach filled with boats, if you want to go for a swim to get some good photos, you only have a small portion of the beach available.
So Does It Not Look Nice?
It is an absolute beauty and if you were the only one on that beach, you would probably spend hours just standing there and taking the moment in. Unfortunately, with thousands of people fighting for camera space and doing the same painful photos (the jump in the air shot or the ‘I’m not looking at the camera, you caught me off-guard’) you can’t help but feel underwhelmed. In fact, underwhelmed is an exaggeration, we couldn’t care less about getting back on the boat and moving on.
So Would You Recommend A Different Island?
Well, if I’m being honest, all the islands on the left hand side of Thailand were completely tourist ridden and painfully packed out. When I went over to Koh Samui I had a very different experience, with virtually nobody on the beach. This contrasted with others, but what I have learnt is that Koh Samui is a relatively big island and it all depends on where you stay. We stayed on the bottom right of the island, whereas this is a separate area to all the bars and clubs, meaning there are less hostels and less people on the beach, offering a much greater experience.
99% of people you speak to will also tell you Koh Toa is the best of them all, which is a short boat ride from Koh Samui, so I would go as far as to say skip the left hand side and stick to the right side of Thailand.
Would you go again?
As you can imagine from the tone of this article, I don’t have this on my list of places to see again, nor would I recommend anyone else booking it. Having said that, I wouldn’t want you to think it was a nightmare experience, it’s just that you could spend that time doing something amazing like feeding elephants or white water rafting in Chiang Mai.