In India we often name our daughters “Maya”, a Sanskrit term for illusion. While googling Koh Phi Phi and Maya Bay, the irreversible feminine feel with stunning pictures of the bay had us drooling way too long. We actually extended our stay at Phuket for longer for this tour and how thoughtful of us, that we did so!

I have never seen such crystal clear water before, ever!


Note:  If you have not watched the movie yet, don’t bother now. Maya Bay is stunning as is, don’t even bother googling it’s images, you won’t believe the surprise until you have been there.

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Remember what Sean told Mitty from the movie, The unusual life of Walter Mitty? “If I like a moment, I like to keep it for myself, personal.” An instantaneous reminder of the water body surrounded by cliffs on three sides.

Dangerous Andaman Sea Tsunami Thailand
The Andaman Sea that day!

We took a speedboat cruise on a choppy sea and reached monkey island at first.

Monkey be like why!

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I don’t know for what purpose people do it when they do it, but they behave strangely with the entire monkey clan of the island. Monkey will demand food, unless you provide, they might get dangerous. Keep Safe Distance, always.

Translucent water on white sand at one side, behind you men feeding the monkey, capturing selfies to frame the generosity, the island left me feeling uneasy.

Scuba on the way to Phi Phi Island!

Not more than 15 minutes at the island, the boatmen will sail you to a point, claim to experience the best of coral reefs exquisite, the coveted Scuba experience.

Scuba was in many ways getting inside a humongous aquarium to take a glimpse at the best of vivid marine. The corals, the yellow school of fishes, often swimming by your side, a nervous curious self-reminding “I might drown, I might drown” and the moment is gone in a whiplash with frantic calls for help, arduous deal of diving by a know-not-to-swim girl.

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They take you for lunch afterwards.  Be careful of what you eat. The buffet spread was decent but compared to street-food of Thailand, it was just “decent”, pat for my generous self. They serve choice of stir-fried chicken, fish, vegetables with rice and soup as well.

Food is served at Koh Phi Phi Don, the mainland of Phi Phi archipelago, by local women who cover their heads and run the business of selling Sea-shells on the sea-shore, with ease.

Locals tell me, Maya Bay is a stunner on a full moon night, provided you tag with them who arrange for a night stay at the island. With high tide, the water gets inside and covers up muddy patches. The 2004 tsunami had hit the Bay bad, wiping out modifications a movie set ushered. “What were you doing during that tsunami?”, I ask with wide eyes. The tsunami of 2004 taken her toll in India as well. A school student at that time, I remember newspaper headlines counting deaths on Konkan beach of the Indian peninsula. The lady says “yes, a lot of water”, and smiles. She survived the tsunami with a smile.

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Jay knows for sure how to steer a boat. Jay, that’s what he said his name is, a boy in his early twenties and with aa rather deep complexion for a Thai and sharp eyes, is well versed with the English language and assured me “no-one has ever drowned from my boat”. He tells us the Bird’s nest soup, a delicacy for Thai royalty, is collected by the cliff-dwellers. Claim to fame for long-lasting youth, the Swiftlet’s saliva makes up those intricate nests. Jay tells us to hurry, seeing a dark sky, he senses the sea to gloom up. We enter Maya.

Phi Phi Island from afar!

I was tired by sea-sickness, greasy food and a near-death experience from scuba never tried googling Maya beforehand and expected the least from the beach. Little did I knew about the best surprise from South-east Asia, quintessentially from the whole of Asia I have seen till date, was tucked inside.

I have often met blind cats on the road!

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The beach is dotted with boats and few vessels afloat their emerald green water. I wonder how long it will sustain the perils of human intrusion. Pristine is not exactly how you define Maya anymore, but stunner she is.

There is a national park sign beyond which you are suggested not to enter. People make merry on the water with white sand and rocky bed. Swimming is a dangerous venture here, I presume. One hour was not enough to endure her beauty, explore the caves and cliffs and bask in the shadowing sun. In the pressing itinerary, it was impossible to make another visit, but I strongly recommend people visiting Phuket, go and explore Maya Bay and only Maya bay is enough to succumb to Andaman sea’s erogenous beauty.

While returning there is a stopover at a small island. You may enjoy a sip of overpriced beer or two. You shall be back to the pier by 5 pm and requested to collect the shoes. Walk back home on naked feet otherwise.

€ At a glance

How to reach Maya Bay

Maya Bay is a part of Phi Phi archipelago located close to Phuket. To reach Maya Bay, it is essential to reach Phuket first, then take a day trip to the Maya Bay or Phi Phi island. Both can be done together in one trip. You can check for frequent ferries and bus schedule to Phuket here on Bookaway. From Phuket to Phi Phi, Ferry is the only option to get to. However, Phuket can be reached by bus, ferry or flight depending on which place you are traveling from. The ferry ride to Phuket is one of the most scenic experiences in Thailand and I highly recommend it, especially for those traveling with a family.

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