Thailand’s Maya Bay – made well-known because of Leonardo DiCaprio’s Hollywood smash The Beach – is closed at current to permit ecosystems on the scenic cove an opportunity to get better. The bay had solely simply reopened this 12 months after greater than three years of being closed to the general public following vital degradation to the native atmosphere, with fierce debate presently brewing between native teams about whether or not or not the closure of one of many nation’s main tourism points of interest must be made everlasting or seasonal.
However, no matter whether or not the bay is about to reopen or shut for good, there’s no purpose for vacationers to concern as Thailand has loads extra stunning seashores, cozy coves and idyllic islands to take pleasure in. Here’s a take a look at 5 of essentially the most stunning options to Maya Bay, and why vacationers seeking to go to the Land of Smiles over the subsequent few months ought to add them to their journey itineraries as quickly as potential.
For vacationers on the lookout for a substitute for Maya Bay, the place higher arguably the nation’s most stunning seaside situated in the identical province? Situated in coastal Krabi between the principle city and Ao Nang, Railay is a exceptional peninsula surrounded by sheer limestone cliffs that present among the world’s greatest 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 greatest loved from its tender seashores, temperate seas or beneath the shadow of its looming karsts. Less developed than Koh Phi Phi however with a wholesome provide of cafes and eateries, Railay is the right place to spend a day or two, and is well accessible from Ao Nang by way of a 10-minute longtail boat trip.
Also situated on the nation’s Andaman coast, Ko Similan – higher often known as the Similan Islands – are a Mecca for diving lovers, however there’s extra than simply life beneath the waves to take pleasure in. Reachable by way of a ship journey from Phang Nga’s resort city of Khao Lak, the Similan Islands are all the things a tropical island paradise must be. The water is remarkably clear, the sand is tender and powdery while a wide selection of wildlife may 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 situated in Phang-Nga province within the nation’s south, the island is immediately recognizable as a result of its singular limestone column erupting from the ocean in a perpendicular vogue and lovely, remoted seashores and islands close by. The location is generally underdeveloped, with your entire province of Phang-Nga offering far 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 embrace a visit to Koh Panyi, a widely known fishing village on stilts famed for its floating soccer pitch.
Phuket is filled with seashores, however few share the quiet, effortlessly stunning qualities that deliver vacationers to Maya Bay of their droves. Freedom Beach, nonetheless, is likely one of 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 filth observe, Freedom Beach boasts powdery, white sand, turquoise seas and an abundance of coves, bays and inlets to discover close by. Tropical coconut timber and palms present shade and a typical seaside environment, 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 wonderful 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 house to a secluded lagoon, surrounded by cliffs in a manner that offers it it’s title – hong means “room” in Thai, and rooms don’t come significantly 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 entire island from its elevated viewpoint, Koh Hong is likely one of the most stunning islands within the nation and is well accessible by boat from numerous factors on Krabi’s mainland.
Controversy isn’t removed from Maya Bay, as Thailand’s court yesterday ordered twentieth Century Fox to pay for damages incurred throughout filming The Beach. Whilst it could be scheduled to reopen on the finish of the month, closure as soon as extra may very well be simply across the nook – notably if native atmosphere teams get their manner – however these locations ought to present vacationers with greater than sufficient recollections to make up for lacking it.
This article initially appeared on Travel Off Path. For the newest breaking information that can have an effect on your subsequent journey, please go to: Traveloffpath.com
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