Maya Bay

Maya Bay is above all an exceptional setting: sheer green cliffs above the Andaman Sea, a small white sand beach with a dense encroaching jungle, and reefs adorned with hundreds of multi-coloured fish. This is indisputably one of the finest landscapes in Thailand. Maya Bay also offers great snorkeling, if you manage to leave behind the hordes of holidaymakers arriving in the bay each day.

Maya Bay is currently closed to all tourist boats by the Department of National Parks until further notice, in an attempt to allow the coral reefs recover from overcrowding.

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How to get there?

Maya Bay is accessible by boat, mainly from Ko Phi Phi Don (20 minutes by long-tail boat, the traditional and typical Thai craft) and Phuket (45 minutes by speed boat). In either case, you will have no trouble finding a guided tour, since the visit to Maya Bay is one of the most popular excursions in the country. Most day excursions include stops at other snorkeling spots, especially Bamboo Island and Monkey Beach. The excursion (including a meal and refreshments) costs on average 1 500 bahts per person from Ko Phi Phi Don and 2 000 to 3 000 bahts from Phuket.

You can also organise your trip yourself (by renting a boat) from Ko Phi Phi Don. This will cost more, but you can set off early and make the most of the beach before the mass arrival of tourists (we recommend avoiding the 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. slot). An admission tax of 200 bahts per person is now required to land on the beach.

Water entrance

You enter the water generally from your guide's boat, and day excursions all include a snorkeling stop at Maya Bay. The most popular area is in the north of the bay, along the spectacular sheer cliffs overlooking the sea. You can also reach the spot from the beach, after a 150-yard swim, but watch out for the many boats sailing in the bay (make your presence visible).

Aerial view


The depth of the water is the same in all the area (↕6-10ft/2-3m). When you are snorkeling, head for the coral and rocky areas, where the underwater life is more varied. The coral is quite badly damaged in Maya Bay, so don't expect spectacular sea beds. Two species of clownfish are easy to observe at this spot: pink skunk clownfish, in large numbers, and ocellaris clownfish, a little less common. They live in enormous sea anemones that cover the sea bed in places, 6 to 12 feet deep. Anyone practising free diving can pay them a visit with a few strokes of the swimfin and see them nestling in the tentacles of their anemones. Among the other common species, the sergeant major fish (which tend to group around the swimmers at the water surface), several species of butterflyfish, parrotfish, as well as a large number of particularly photogenic giant clams, in a wide range of colours.

Snorkeling Report Maya Bay Phi Phi Thailand
Maya Bay

Maya Bay is a symbol of mass tourism in Thailand. Each day, hundreds and even thousands of tourists pour into the little bay. The coral reefs have been particularly damaged in this spot (breakage, bleaching). The density of snorkelers can be impressive, not counting all the people who try out snorkeling for the first time at Maya Bay. Be attentive during your exploration to avoid collisions or swimfin strokes.

Restaurants & accommodation

Maya Bay is a natural site. There are no hotels or restaurants. Most excursions include meals, however. Ask your tour guide for details and at least take along a snack and something to drink.

Snorkeling Report gives the most precise tips possible about the snorkeling spots and potential dangers, but each one of us is responsible for our own safety in the water. For more information, take a look at the snorkeling safety page. If you want to add extra information or make any corrections to the spot descriptions, please contact us.

Spot’s weather forecasts (°C)

Spot tips

  • Type of spot
  • Level of difficulty
  • Maximum depth
    20ft (6m)
  • Water entrance
    Easy, from a sandy beach
  • Potential Dangers
    Usual precautions
  • Lifeguard
  • Visitor numbers
  • Access costs
    Excursion price (approx. $40 from Ko Phi Phi)
  • Restaurants nearby
  • Public toilets & showers

Spot map

Spot photos

Underwater spot photos

Species you may spot while snorkeling Maya Bay

Common name Scientific name Abundance Fishbase Wikipedia
Ocellaris clownfish
Amphiprion ocellaris
Pink skunk clownfish
Amphiprion perideraion
Redtail butterflyfish
Chaetodon collare
Indo-Pacific sergeant
Abudefduf vaigiensis
Threespot dascyllus
Dascyllus trimaculatus
Bluestreak cleaner wrasse
Labroides dimidiatus
Giant clam
Tridacna sp.
You encountered a specie at this spot that is not listed here?