Maya Bay – the location for the 1999 blockbuster cult film ‘The Beach’ – is a spectacularly scenic lagoon. Surrounded by soaring limestone cliffs, it harbours three sandy beaches.
From a yachting point of view, however, it is only worth being there in late afternoon or early morning, due to the many tourist boats. It is advisable to return to the more secure anchorage in Ton Sai Bay for the night. Still, if you wish to spend the night there in the northeast season, pick up one of the many moorings or anchor in the mouth of the bay in 15-20 metres.
Do not anchor on the coral bank, which has suffered considerable damage in recent years. A large part of the bay is shallow coral, and hundreds of visitors come on day trips to snorkel and see the sights. The reef fish will arrive in shoals when you drop anchor.
On the eastern side of the island the Viking Cave is worth a look, but anchoring here is difficult due to the depth. Yachts wishing to drop people off to explore the cave should, in either season; hold off, delivering visitors by dinghy to the small jetty at the entrance. A better bet still is to hire a longtail boat from Tonsai Bay. This is also the preferred means of getting to the spectacular Hong Pileh on the east side, which is inaccessible by yacht.
Day moorings can also be found in Loh Samah Bay with a rock island nestling in the middle of a coral garden on the southern tip of the island.