Thailand’s Maya Bay – made well-known due to Leonardo DiCaprio’s Hollywood smash The Beach – is closed at current to permit ecosystems on the scenic cove an opportunity to get well. The bay had solely simply reopened this yr after greater than three years of being closed to the general public following important degradation to the native atmosphere, with fierce debate at the moment brewing between native teams about whether or not or not the closure of one of many nation’s main tourism sights needs to be made everlasting or seasonal.
However, no matter whether or not the bay is ready to reopen or shut for good, there’s no purpose for vacationers to worry as Thailand has a lot extra lovely seashores, cozy coves and idyllic islands to get pleasure from. Here’s a take a look at 5 of essentially the most lovely options to Maya Bay, and why vacationers trying to go to the Land of Smiles over the following few months ought to add them to their journey itineraries as quickly as doable.
For vacationers in search of a substitute for Maya Bay, the place higher arguably the nation’s most lovely seaside positioned in the identical province? Situated in coastal Krabi between the primary city and Ao Nang, Railay is a exceptional peninsula surrounded by sheer limestone cliffs that present among the world’s finest mountaineering routes. Home to 4 distinct seashores, together with a community of caves, tiny islands inside swimming distance and mangroves which might be wealthy in biodiversity, Railay offers beautiful island views which might be finest loved from its delicate seashores, temperate seas or below the shadow of its looming karsts. Less developed than Koh Phi Phi however with a wholesome provide of cafes and eateries, Railay is the proper place to spend a day or two, and is well accessible from Ao Nang by way of a 10-minute longtail boat journey.
Also positioned on the nation’s Andaman coast, Ko Similan – higher often known as the Similan Islands – are a Mecca for diving fanatics, however there’s extra than simply life beneath the waves to get pleasure from. Reachable by way of a ship journey from Phang Nga’s resort city of Khao Lak, the Similan Islands are every thing a tropical island paradise needs to be. The water is remarkably clear, the sand is delicate and powdery while a wide selection of wildlife might be noticed – from beautiful monitor lizards on the islands themselves to manta rays, sharks and sea turtles round them. Whilst diving will give vacationers the total Similan Island expertise, most excursions additionally present snorkeling gear, which offers a window into the underwater world that helped put this vacation spot on the map.
James Bond Island
Maya Bay isn’t the one vacation spot in Thailand to have welcomed Hollywood to its shores. Khao Phing Kan served as a villain’s hideout within the 1974 James Bond film The Man with the Golden Gun, and has been known as James Bond Island by vacationers ever since. Also positioned in Phang-Nga province within the nation’s south, the island is immediately recognizable attributable to its singular limestone column erupting from the ocean in a perpendicular vogue and lovely, remoted seashores and islands close by. The location is usually underdeveloped, with your complete province of Phang-Nga offering way more native vibes than its tourism-heavy neighbors Phuket and Krabi, offering an genuine slice of life in rural Thailand. Tour tickets to the island usually additionally embody a visit to Koh Panyi, a widely known fishing village on stilts famed for its floating soccer pitch.
Phuket is stuffed with seashores, however few share the quiet, effortlessly lovely qualities that deliver vacationers to Maya Bay of their droves. Freedom Beach, nonetheless, is among the few exceptions. Despite being geographically near the rowdy seashores of Patong, Freedom Beach couldn’t be extra completely different. Accessible courtesy of a longtail boat or a deadly descent down a treacherous dust observe, Freedom Beach boasts powdery, white sand, turquoise seas and an abundance of coves, bays and inlets to discover close by. Tropical coconut bushes and palms present shade and a typical seaside ambiance, and the night-time delights, eating places and sights of Patong are simply across the nook when you’ve had sufficient of this paradise.
Another superb location in Krabi Province, Koh Hong is arguably essentially the most aesthetically-similar vacation spot to Maya Bay within the nation. Like Maya Bay, Koh Hong options seashores surrounded by sheer cliffs, with views out into the Andaman Sea. However, Koh Hong has hidden delights that many vacationers declare exceed even these of The Beach. The island is dwelling to a secluded lagoon, surrounded by cliffs in a method that offers it it’s title – hong means “room” in Thai, and rooms don’t come a lot better than this, the place the water turns from emerald to turquoise because it shimmers within the solar. Whether kayaking within the lagoon, snorkeling off the seaside or taking in your complete island from its elevated viewpoint, Koh Hong is among the most lovely islands within the nation and is well accessible by boat from numerous factors on Krabi’s mainland.
Controversy is rarely removed from Maya Bay, as Thailand’s court yesterday ordered twentieth Century Fox to pay for damages incurred throughout filming The Beach. Whilst it is perhaps scheduled to reopen on the finish of the month, closure as soon as extra could possibly be simply across the nook – notably if native atmosphere teams get their method – however these locations ought to present vacationers with greater than sufficient reminiscences to make up for lacking it.
This article initially appeared on Travel Off Path. For the most recent breaking information that can have an effect on your subsequent journey, please go to: Traveloffpath.com
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