Anyone who has seen the movie The Beach starring Leonardo DiCaprio has probably fantasised about going to Maya Bay, and rightly so. Maya Bay has to be one of the most gorgeous spots on the planet! The combination of commanding steep cliffs, soft white sand and crystal clear water make this a unique and unforgettable landscape. But can you go to Maya Bay with a baby?
Maya Bay was one of the top attractions we wanted to visit on our trip to Thailand. However we weren’t sure if it would be safe to take our young boys. We even wondered if we would have to take turns going to Maya Bay while the other looked after the kids back at Ko Phi Phi Don.
Getting to Maya Bay
To get to Maya Bay you have the choice of long tail boats, speed boats and ferries. From what we read the ferries would be very crowded and the speed boats a little more expensive. We opted for a half day tour on a long tail boat. Having our own boat meant we had a lot more flexibility. We could go at our own pace and if things weren’t working out with the kids we could simply head back to the main island.
How to book a boat
It was very easy to organise a boat. Every day walking around the main island, Ko Phi Phi Don, numerous boat operators ask you if you are interested in a trip to Maya Bay. We didn’t organise a tour in advance because we didn’t want to be committed to a departure time. You just never know what time the kids would wake up or how many nappies we’d have to change before leaving the hotel. When we were ready to go, we simply walked towards the Ao Tonsai Pier side of the island and we negotiated a price with the first guy who asked us if we were interested in a tour.
A parent’s worry
Now obviously our biggest concern was having some sort of accident and our boat sinking to the bottom of Andaman Sea. We put Javi in his swimming vest as a precaution and Joaquin had to go in a carrier while on the boat. I admit this was a risky move because there is no way you can swim with a baby in a carrier. We figured there was more chance of us dropping him on the boat than the boat going down, and we could get him out quickly if there was an emergency. Anyway, once we got going our minds were put at ease. The waters were very calm and our driver was very experienced. Plus there were a lot of other boats out on the water. I’m sure if the worst happened someone would be there to rescue us.
Our experience while on Maya Bay
The tailgate boat took 30 minutes to get to Maya Bay and we spent just over 1 hour on the island. This gave us enough time to have a swim and wander over to the other side of the island to check out Lo Samah Bay. Yes, the beach was crowded with tourists but we expected this. I think the only way to avoid this would be to leave before sunrise and be one of the first boats to arrive. Even though we would have loved to have stayed longer we were more than satisfied and had a wonderful day!
You can see our experience in this video
- Bring sun protection just in case you don’t get a shady spot on the beach.
- Try to go early in the morning to avoid spending the hottest part of the day on the boat.
- Don’t forget UV protective swimmers to protect the little ones!
- There are no shops on the island. Bring enough water to keep you all hydrated as well as enough food to tie you over until you get back.
How much does it cost?
We ended up agreeing on 1500 Baht. This is about $60 Australian Dollars. Some people are going to say we paid too much and yes I’ve read of people going for less. But at the end of the day we thought it was a fair price for a man to drive us around on a private boat for 3 hours. In fact we ended up giving him 1800 Baht because we were so happy with our experience.
So do we recommend you go to Maya Bay with a baby?
Yes! You can most certainly go to Maya Bay with a baby so don’t let it stop you. We had a great experience and would definitely do it again.
Check out this article for more tips for travel in Asia with a baby.