Maya Bay has the unique distinction as a contender for the world’s best, but also simultaneously worst, beach. I blame Leonardo DiCaprio for that.
Enclosed within hundred-meter high cliffs, Maya Bay is nothing less than breathtaking when it comes to pure beauty. 2000 Hollywood flick The Beach couldn’t have selected a better location for their paradise.
Starring Leonardo DiCaprio at his post-Titanic peak, he plays a backpacker who’s heard the myth of a pristine beach and swam a couple of miles out to the bay to escape unbridled tourism. Today, the very same beach has become the textbook example for overtourism.
Can you say irony?
You’re sharing the beach with hundreds others. The coast is littered with boats of all kinds. Getting a clean shot is virtually impossible. Everything looks amazing if you crop the bottom one third of your photo out, but if you want to snap the sandy beach as well, I hope you’re good with Photoshop’s clone tool!
From Maya Bay, if you walk a little further to the East, you’ll come across Loh Samah Bay, which is a popular night diving site, and a pretty decent photo stop at daytime.
There are also interesting wildlife to be spotted if you pay attention to your surroundings.
Despite the drawbacks, I do recommend visiting Maya Bay just to see it with your own eyes. The beach is famous for a reason, and it’s possible to enjoy it if you set the right expectation. It’s one of those places where you go just to enjoy the moment and leave.
Some said you can avoid crowd if you arrive before 8am or after 5pm. I suppose Maya Bay is not a lost cause after all.
Do you give overly touristy places a chance? Or is it a deal-breaker?