Maya Bay

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Flag of Thailand  , Krabi,
Sunday, March 20, 2011

So tonight was a big night.  This has been a dream of ours for years and years.  We were heading to The Beach, but in order to get there we had follow the normal tourist trail.  We slept in a little late and had to catch the only ferry out to Phi Phi Don from Phuket in order to get there by 3:30 so we can meet with our group to head out to Maya Bay on Phi Phi Ley.  Phi Phi Don is a larger island with no roads off the west coast of Southern Thailand.  Phi Phi Ley is a small island a little ways off Phi Phi Don and is a national park so normally you can only visit as a day trip.  It is famous for it's beach that is set back in the island and completely surrounded by huge rocky mountain cliffs and also for a movie filmed there a while back.  We were staying the night by camping on the beach.
Anyways, the only ferry leaving left at 1:30 and was running late.  The camping group was meeting at 3:30 and it was more than a 2 hour ferry ride.  We figured there wasn't a bleeding chickens chance in Thailand that we'd make it in time before they left.  But wouldn't you know, someone was watching out for us (and the whole tour was pretty laid back) and they hadn't left yet so we met the other 25 or so people that were going to be spending the night with us and hopped on a boat.
Now I'm going to try and not sound to lame writing this, but I can't promise anything.  It was one of the best nights I've ever had.  When were rounding the island you couldn't see anything but a  big big rock wall, but suddenly it opened up into a secret bay.  It was a little disappointing.  The beach looked pretty lousy; very rocky and didn't look great to swim in.  It turns out that it was low tide and the water was pulled at least 400 feet back from the beach.  The surroundings were unbelievable (I think I'll probably use that word a lot here.) The water was perfectly clear, and I mean perfect.  You could see down to the bottom everywhere.  Since it was low tide our boat couldn't get to the beach so they brought up a smaller long tail boat to taxi us in.  We decided to take the second round of boats and had a few minutes to kill so we jumped in the water quick the best way possible, by jumping off the roof of the boat.  The water was warm, and once we got in the travel guides (mostly locals) liked to toss little pieces of bread in the water so hundred of bright tropical fish, the kind you see at the zoo, schooled all around you.  Unbelievable.
We took the long tail boat to shore as all the day trippers were leaving.  We wandered around the island and got acquainted with our home for the night. Because of the high cliffs, you aren't able to wander too far off, it only took about 10 minutes to do a there and back to the other side. Once everyone landed, everyone kinda went off and did their own thing: some people wandered up and down the beach, some went to watch the sunset, some grabbed beers, and some joined the local guides for a game of pick up soccer on the beach. A quick note on the group of people with us:  we were only 2 of 4 Americans--I think, if that. The rest, we eventually found out, were from Germany, France, Greece, Italy, Russia, Israel, Australia, and I'm sure many other countries. Most around our age. English, to our surprise and delight, was the common language that everyone used to communicate with each other. After the sunset, the guides started dinner and we all started to gather around a common area. They had set up speakers and were playing a lot of American oldies which was bizarre to hear in light of where we were. We eventually figured out it was the Forrest Gump soundtrack.  During dinner of chicken coconut curry, we sat at a table and got to know the other people we were on this island with.  The rest of the night went pretty much as you would imagine a night on an absolutely secluded beach would go.  We found a group of people to hang out with and make jokes. We gave our beginner's french a shot--(Jacki's "Ou est la plage? La plage est ici!").  It was unbelievable how well all these different types of people from all over the world got along
By this point the tide had come back in completely.  There was only a sliver of beach left.  The sand was the softest sand I have ever set foot on, almost like powder.  The water filled in the bay and depending on where you stood it would look like you are completely cut off from the outside world.  The clouds finally pulled back a little bit and the full moon shone over everything making it almost as bright as day.  We would jump in the water from time to time often completely alone in the huge bay.  Eventually the guides made a snack of bbq chicken and started a small fire show.  While watching them practice they seemed to drop the stick a lot so we were a little worried, but once they lit them on fire it all seemed good.
After that, people slowly started dropping out of the group and finding a corner of the beach to sleep.  The tide started moving out again so there were plenty of spots for people to spread out.  We eventually tossed our sleeping bags under a small overhang right where the water had been only a little while earlier with the hopes that none of the huge crabs that scurry across the beach all night would pinch Jacki's toes.
We woke up to the beach (obviously,) but it was still pretty unbelievable.  The water was completely pulled out again and the colors from the sunrise reflected off the rocks, water, and sand. Tourists starting showing up by the boatload and just as they were getting there to a crowded hot beach full of dozens of boats, we were getting ready to leave after spending more than 12 hours completely isolated. After a group photo, we set off on our boat. We stopped at a few different bays along the other side of the island and swam more and snorkled. We saw clown fish in anemones and huge angel fish to name a couple. After a bit we headed back to Phi Phi Don and got our bags and headed to our new home for the next few days.
Best night ever.
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Comments

Mallory on

Amazing!

Melissa on

How much fun!!! So jealous about the awesome snokeling

Kris on

Amazing experience! Wow.

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