***Maya Beach Closure – Maya Bay Re-opens – UPDATE***
October 2018 and August 2020
Maya Beach Closure has not affected our tour or scuba diving itineraries. Maya Bay and Phi Phi Leh West are accessible in high season months of October – May because of better wind & waves conditions. This means that we can again visit inside Maya Bay during our dive trips! We are also excited to share the view on all Eco Tours and our authentic Private Rental Longtail Tours.
News reports are not always correct as Phi Phi Leh Island is very much open for business. Maya Bay has been opened for boats inside the bay and you can photograph the beach in its natural state. The beach itself remains closed BUT you can enjoy stunning views from your boat, without people. The Park Rangers hut has been removed along with all signage, posters and tourist information.
LOH SAMAH BAY PIER – The Government have approved plans to construct a pier behind Maya Bay in the nearby Loh Samah Bay. This will allow limited numbers to visit the beach once it re-opens but with very strict guidelines and guests must stay on the path. The National Park have re-planted many of the native flora and fauna that was removed during the filming of the movie ‘The Beach’ during 1997.
– Until a sustainable solution has been agreed upon, the Maya Beach closure will continue in the interest of conservation. Do not let this put you off coming to Koh Phi Phi on your trip to Thailand and please come to visit and support local business. There are many other beautiful beaches and bays in the area you can enjoy during your trip!
As a local here for over 14 years, I can assure you that this is the most peaceful, beautiful and stress free Maya Bay I have ever seen.
SUPPORT LOCAL LONGTAIL CAPTAINS DURING MAYA BAY CLOSURE
– If you want to visit Maya Bay and the surrounding beaches orbays, the BEST way is to enjoy with a local Phi Phi Long Tail Captain on their authentic long tail boat. It is the best way to experience the islands and gives back to the local community who have had a tough low season dealing with less tourists coming to visit due to the Maya Beach closure.
We will keep you updated, but here are some photos from this week at Maya Bay, including a peaceful protest from local long tail captains, and also shots from our dive and snorkel tours!
2018 – 2020:
Before the closure:
Maya Bay Closure for Restoration
News articles have reported Maya Bay closing from June – September 2018 for coral rejuvenation but don’t worry as this decision will not affect diving trips if you are staying on the island. It may however have an impact the larger tour operators and speedboat companies based in Phuket and the mainland.
Why is Maya Bay closing?
1.65 Million tourists visited Phi Phi National Park in 2017. Dr Thon Thamrongnawasawat (Kasetsart University’s Faculty of Fisheries) believes closing off the bay for 4 months will ultimately benefit Maya Bay’s delicate eco-system. Boats will not be allowed to enter the bay which will hopefully help reverse the environmental impact of over tourism. Dr ‘Thon’ has been an advocate of the Koh Phi Phi National Park for many years. He works with government agencies and National Park officials towards a sustainable future for tourism here.
It’s a good thing!
Blue View Divers believe it’s a good thing – Maya Bay closing temporarily. We support the decision because it is in the interest of coral rejuvenation and to give nature a rest. It will not affect our daily operations as boats cannot always access Maya Bay during these months. Other Thai islands are closed every Green Season in the interest of conservation and safety. We want to see the corals and beach stay healthy and beautiful! So we welcome positive decisions made in the interest of preserving natural beauty.
This has already worked on Phi Phi!
Maya Bay closing might sound crazy. But guess what? This has already worked on Phi Phi! Healthy corals now thrive at Viking Bay and Moskito Island where they were once under threat.
Moskito Island closed several years ago due to 2010’s coral bleaching event. Since the closure, “Staghorn Corals (Acropora cervicornis) have grown steadily here, welcoming a wealth of marine life.
Viking Bay and Artificial Reef Project has been closed to boats for over 3 years to prevent further coral damage from anchors. During this time we have seen new coral grow fast, especially in the shallow reef. We LOVE the immaculate Table Corals, Staghorn Coral and Elephant ear coral (Mycedium elephantotus) which are absolutely stunning! You can also see juvenile black tip reef sharks in the bay!
Diving will not be affected by Maya Bay closing
Despite what you may hear, scuba diving will not be affected by Maya Bay closing. During Green Season, dive boats stay on the east side of Phi Phi Leh and Bida Islands which is more sheltered. This side is protected from the strong winds and waves coming from the west side of the island during these months. Many tour boats cannot access Maya Bay during wet season, taking guests to the calm, clear waters on the east side.
Blue View Divers will be diving the following sites in June – September:
Viking Bay (Aritifical Reef Project + Coral City), Pileh Wall 1, Pileh Wall 2, Groupers Corner, Kled Gaeow Wreck and Bida Nok / Bida Nai (conditions permitting)
Private Rentals and Eco Tours can visit:
Phi Phi Don – Tonsai Bay (Monkey Beach, Shark Point), Phi Phi Leh East Side (Viking Bay, Viking Cave, Pileh Lagoon, Pileh Wall, Groupers Corner, Loh Samah) and if conditions allow – Palong, Mushroom Rock, Malong.
Additional Private rental trips spot can include:
On Phi Phi Don – Relax Beach, Lohmoodee, Laem Tong, Loh Bagao, Ao Po, Shark Point. If conditions allow Wang Long, Nui Bay and Bamboo Island.
No need to worry about Maya Beach closing!
When you visit Koh Phi Phi this Green Season, local snorkel tours may adapt their itinerary to support the decision for Maya Bay closing for environmental reasons. There are many beautiful bays and beaches to visit during your trip to Koh Phi Phi!
Please support local businesses and book a tour or private long tail trip around the island with a knowledgeable captain on an authentic long tail boat!
OR rent your own private long tail boat. Learn the history of the islands while visiting the best spots that are safe and exciting to visit during this time of year.
Blue View Divers Volunteer at Maya Beach
Our instructor team have volunteered time at the Maya Beach Rehabilitation Project since 2018. This is the largest Coral Rehabilitation Project of it’s kind in the world. The Ocean Quest Global CEO and Founder ‘Anuar Abdullah’ patented this unique technique of organically replanting corals without the use of man-made materials like concrete or plastic. It is an honour to join the team and work closely with amazing people from Thai National Park and volunteers around the world. The project will continue until 2022 when the beach will re-open with a new pier offering access from Loh Samah Bay to a limited number of tourists per day.
It’s amazing to see the black tip reef sharks have returned to nest in the bay now that the boats no longer come to the beach: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MY8178dw8YE
Coral Rehabilitation Programs with Blue View Divers
Inspired by the work we we did in Maya Bay, our team at Blue View earned certifications from Anuar Abdullah himself to become Propagation Trainers. This means that we can teach divers and snorkelers the techniques used in Maya Bay to Rehabilitate the coral reefs. We also gained special permission from the National Park to contribute a coral nursery at Nui Bay, and work on the community nursery off Cabana Beach. This means that YOU can sign up for a 1 day workshop OR a 3 day course, to learn about coral propagation and why it’s so important. Not only do our courses give you invaluable skills, awareness and a chance to directly help the local reefs. They open doors for you around the world to further your experience.