The Reality of Thailand's Overcrowded Beaches

Travel is only glamorous in retrospect.
— Paul Theroux

Exhibit 1: Maya Bay, Koh Phi Phi Le

Location of the film “The Beach” starring Leonardo DiCaprio.

If you have been to Phi Phi or are planning on sightseeing its islands, getting there by traditional Thai longtail boat, speedboat, yacht, etc. is essential.

When you roll up to Maya Bay, this what you see:

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On this random day in February 2014, there were at least 500 people on the beach. Probably more!

Everyone was fighting for space to take pictures with their cameras, smartphones and iPads.

The aim was to get a shot of yourself without other people in the background. Because, who wants a photo of that? 

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It's true that tourists from all over the globe visit Thailand. 

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My view of the beach.

Get out of the way, please.

However, the picturesque cliffs and clear blue water did not disappoint. If you are down with fellow tourists, this is what you can enjoy:

The water is refreshingly warm and the sand is smooth. No rocks on the bottom.

Typical Thailand beach shot.

It's not fair how crystal clear the water is! I swear you'll remember it forever.

Not bad. Just 2 people in the water swimming and a Thai guy in the longboat. How pictures can be deceiving!

Check out this vid to get the full effects!