Maya Bay (Film location from The Beach)

Does the film give a false impression of how astonishing Maya Bay actually is in reality?

Sat in my bedroom with Tony Bessant in 2012 I told him that he needed to see the famous Maya Bay scene from The Beach, directed by Danny Boyle. A huge chunk of the film was shot in Maya Bay, the pinnacle of natural beauty- a small alcove in the Andaman sea that replicates paradise. Immediately after the ‘Maya Bay’ scene whilst watching The Beach there was a telepathic understanding that we would be going to this magical place. A few months down the line we booked our flights to travel around Thailand. We visited many places including the Phi Phi Islands where Maya Bay is situated.

Half way through our vacation in Thailand we found ourselves in the crystal clear waters of the Phi Phi Islands climbing into a small boat, the sky was blue. Our host would be taking us to Maya Bay- along with a few other places dotted around the Islands. After about 15 minutes of being on our boat, the natural rock formation in the distance that surrounds Maya Bay was becoming visible as we skimmed the waves of the Andaman sea.

Photograph I took of the bay looking out (Same location as film shot with Leonardo Di Caprio below)

We veered around the corner of the gigantic rock formation and BANG! Just like that, in that very moment I had one of the best specimens of natural beauty that this vast planet has to offer, right in front of my eyes. As soon as we turned the corner Moby’s track Porcelain, the soundtrack from The Beach kicked in, inside my head. My film maker mode had switched on, I was in awe. (The Beach uses CGI to fill the gap in the rock formation)

Heading towards the bay through the middle of the enclosure the water below was clear, bearing in mind we were still a couple of hundred metres from the beach, the water was deep! The boat pulled up and out we jumped out. The water near the beach was warm and the sand white! We spent our time stumbling up and down the iconic beach, where Leonardo Di Caprio once read out his lines in front of Danny Boyle and the crew. Strolling through the bush behind the beach, venturing further into the alcove myself and Tony barely spoke. We were speechless, astonished. After spending roughly half an hour on the island we headed back out of Maya Bay. On the way back we experienced cliff jumping, visited monkey beaches and snorkelled with sharks.

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Leonardo Di Caprio looking out onto Maya Bay in ‘The Beach’ showing added CGI on the rock formation (I do not own this image)

Does the film give a false impression of how astonishing Maya Bay is? No it doesn’t. Maya Bay is a place that makes you question all aspects of life, the whole experience is surreal. My outlook on life changed that day, I will return. (Check out some more of my pictures below)

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Paradise

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Myself and Tony on Maya Bay

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Turquoise waters of Maya Bay

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