In 2008 I was lucky enough to spend 10 days on the steps of one of the most stunning island groups in Thailand.
There are six islands in the group known as Phi Phi. They lie 50 km south-east of Phuket, where the waters are stunning as well as the people that live and work there.
I spent 10 days there enjoying all the area has to offer as a tourist as well as a photographer. But it was Maya Bay that most people come to see, or as most people would know it, “The Beach”.
My first visit to Maya Bay was about an hour boat trip from Phi Phi Island on a small boat with one of the local islanders as this is the only way to get off the island and see other locations; it is a source of income to the locals that live on the islands. On arrival to the beach it nothing short of spectacular as the waters are a clear green from the moment you pass the entrance all the way into the beach. It is as stunning in the movie as it is in real life. To enter the beach you have to pay a beach tax, from memory that was about 2 dollars, so really its nothing. Once you are up on the beach looking back its is breath taking and for a brief moment you forget you are a photographer and just stand there in awe of the beauty before you.
On my arrival there were just 2 people on the beach and I couldn’t believe my luck as I was sure there was going to be more, but the couple that were there did warn me after realizing I was there to take photos that I had better hurry up, and with that warning in about 30 minutes there were about 3-400 people on the beach and in the water. So I took that experience and went back to Maya Bay a lot earlier so I had more time on my own to both enjoy the beach as well as capture it in its true beauty. Also while I was there I made a point of going for a swim in a lot of the shallow locations and I can tell you that the temperature of the water was constantly warm at every location.