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. If you are travelling through Thailand with young children or a baby you are probably wondering if Maya Bay is a place you can visit. Read on to find out everything you need to know about taking a baby or toddler to Maya Bay Koh Phi Phi.
Watch a video of our visit to Maya Bay here
Maya Bay was one of the top attractions we wanted to visit on our family 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 from Ko Phi Phi Don 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 from Koh Phi Phi Don to Maya Bay
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 to Maya Bay 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 long tail 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
Other tips for visiting Maya Bay
- Bring 400BHT for the Maya Bay Park entry fee. This is collected on the beach.
- 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 with young children.
- Don’t forget UV protective swimmers and sun hats 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.
- Stop at Pileh Lagoon for a swim. We really think it gives Maya Bay a run for its money!
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 or toddler?
Yes! You can most certainly go to Maya Bay with a baby or toddler 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.
The World n Us
Lucky baby, I haven’t even been to this bay before.
I actually (gosh!) didn’t like The Beach with Leonardo DiCaprio but I’m still definitely wanting to go to Maya Bay! The only thing I’ve always been worried about is that I thought it’d be too crowded, just as you confirmed. Getting there at sunrise is a very good idea!
Great that you were able to balance safety with a wonderful trip and experience for the whole family. The photos really show off what a beautiful spot Maya Bay is.
This sounds a great way to spend an afternoon. I would love to take a long tail boat, adds to the whole experience. Thanks for the tip that there are no services on the island and to take water!
Thanks for the info! I definitely would have taken a long tail boat too. I love the freedom of being able to go at your own pace instead of being stuck at the pace of a tour. If there is something I’m not super interested in, I don’t have to spend a lot of time there, and if I’m really trying to get a good picture of something, I can hang around in one spot for as long as I want. Good to know that there is a flexible option for getting to Maya Bay
I remember being awestruck at that beach when I saw the film “The Beach” back in the 90s. Amazing how that movie launched a whole tourist trade for Maya Bay. And your little kid is lucky to get to travel to such fun places at such a young age. It is never to early to introduce kids to the love of travel!
I love hearing about people traveling with their children, since my husband and I are getting closer to having that conversation. 😉 I bet it would be so stressful as a parent to try to run through ever scenario, but luckily there were no incidents and it’s so still a place you recommend! Thanks fir sharing your adventure to this stunning place!
I was at Koh Phi Phi before the Beach was even published. It was such a sleepy place back then. I was glad to see that it’s still really enjoyable. You look like great caring parents, really concerned with safety. Well done.
Ooh this brings back memories of my trip there many years ago. It is stunning but I wonder if you know that the film created an illusion by combining scenes from Phi Phi and Ang Thong Marine Park in Koh Samui.
Although Maya Bay is really crowded but it is one of our favorite destination too in Thailand. Last time, we missed a plankton tour there and it for sure would have been without the crowd. But you did a wonderful job going to this place with children and thinking much about their safety.
The Beach indeed has fuelled the imagination of millions across the world. Of Course Maya bay does live up to all the expectations.I know it is a blasphemy of sorts for missing the place inspite of being in Thailand for a week. Hope to make amends next time. I know it draws huge crowds but it still has to be a must visit place.