Ao Maya

Top choice in Ko Phi-Phi

Dramatically flanked by green-clad cliffs, majestic Ao Maya sits on Phi-Phi Leh's western shoreline. In 2000, its beautiful sands were controversially used as a film set for The Beach, based on Alex Garland's novel, and the site quickly became a pilgrimage of sorts for travellers. More than a decade of over-tourism led to devastating ecosystem damage; in 2018, Thai authorities temporarily closed Ao Maya to visitors to try to combat the damage. The closure has been extended to 2021 and possibly beyond.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Ko Phi-Phi attractions

1. Ao Pileh

0.53 MILES

One of two gorgeous emerald lagoons that await in Phi-Phi Leh's interior, Pileh lies on the eastern coast. It's predictably busy, but the thrill of…

2. Viking Cave

0.87 MILES

On the northeastern tip of the island, Viking Cave is a major collection point for outrageously valuable swifts' nests, the key components of the Chinese…

3. Hat Yao

3.86 MILES

This stretch of pure-white south-coast beach is perfect for swimming, but don’t expect to have it to yourself – it’s lively and popular with families,…

4. Hat Hin Khom

3.95 MILES

Immediately east of Ao Ton Sai, this area has a few small white-sand beaches in rocky coves, some of them relatively quiet. It’s a 15-minute beach or…

6. Phi-Phi Viewpoint

4.62 MILES

The strenuous Phi-Phi viewpoint climb is a steep, rewarding 20- to 30-minute hike up hundreds of steps and narrow twisting paths. Follow the signs on the…

7. Hat Rantee

4.84 MILES

Still low-key, this small, remote, grey-gold eastern bay has a few modest family-run bungalows and good snorkelling. You can get here by long-tail from…

8. Hat Phak Nam

5.45 MILES

A gorgeous white-sand beach sharing the same bay as a small fishing hamlet. To get here, charter a long-tail from Ao Ton Sai (1000B; 200B by shared taxi…