The gem of Koh Phi Phi
The only reason we went to Phi Phi was to do the Maya Bay sleep aboard trip and luckily that did not disappoint. Zach and I have read the book The Beach as well as seen the movie, and we are borderline obsessed. The thought of living in a paradise camp like that is The Dream. So when we heard a boat that docks in Maya Bay (where the movie was filmed) overnight we had to do it.
The website describes the trip as such:
Each year hudreds of thousands of day-tripping tourists converge on Maya Bay – the small tropical island where the movie The Beach (starring Leonardo DiCaprio) was filmed. Tourists arrive by sailboats, speedboats and longtails – all hell bent on capturing that perfect photo of paradise. It can be a disappointing experience for many, however, there’s now another option – the Maya Bay Sleep Aboard tour. Join other like-minded travellers for an unforgettable overnight experience you will recall with a smile for the rest of your life.
On the way to Maya Bay, the boat will make a stop outside the Viking Caves, followed soon after by a snorkeling, swimming and kayaking session. Fresh fruit is served for afternoon tea and there’s drinking water also available.
We arrive at Maya Bay before sunset and transport everyone over to the beach by small boat or longtail. Then it’s time to sit back, relax and watch as the area becomes clear of all the day-trippers. Our boat is the only one allowed to stay on shore past sunset.
Take time to connect with your fellow travellers in an area set aside for our group only. There’s music, light, games and mats to sit on. Our staff will then serve a delicious and tasty dinner. After dinner everyone gets one free bucket. For those who enjoy a drink, there is a bar
Then the party kicks off for those who wish to socialise, or you are free to wander along the tranquil and isolated beach maybe take a swim like the Leonardo did in the movie or do some star gazing. Around 9pm a tasty chicken barbecue is served and the fun continues. After supper, many people choose to take a late night swim in the tranquil waters. If the conditions are right you will experience the amazing bio-luminescent plankton.
At around 12 pm everyone heads back to the boat. Sleeping bags, pillows, and mattresses are provided and you can choose your sleeping spot. If it’s raining you can move inside the boat, or there is a covered outside deck. Our crew will wake you bright and early the next morning for another trip back to the beach for free time and our traditional group jump shot (so bring your camera). We serve a breakfast back on the boat which consists of coffee, tea, eggs and toast. After breakfast there’s an opportunity to take a quick swim and then it’s time to head back to Phi Phi Don.
The above does a great job of summing up the trip. The snorkeling was insane, I've never been fully surrounded by so many colorful fish. There were literally thousands, it was a surreal experience.
When we first arrived to Maya Bay there were hundreds of people on the tiny beach. I felt bad for them, they were going to have to leave soon and never get to experience this ridiculously gorgeous bay without the boats and people.
We brought along a bottle of Sangsom and watched a beautiful sunset. By the time the sun melted into the ocean, the beach was deserted except for our group of about 15. We joined the rest of the group and continued drinking and having a generally good time. They served a delicious dinner of Penang curry, veggies, and rice. Afterwards we played cards, drinking games, and started a dance party. I can't even describe the feeling of being one of 15 hanging out on this pristine private bay.
Back on the boat, we grabbed some snorkel gear and jumped in the water to swim with the Plankton. It was like watching an underwater firework show. A must see!
We set up our sleeping bags on the top deck and slept to the soothing sound of waves crashing against the bay. We had an awesome time and it was one of the highlights of our trip so far.