Build Your Own Trip

The journey to find alternatives for Maya Bay in Thailand

The brand name of Maya Bay in Phuket (Thailand) has gone viral over the world. Hailed as one of the most beautiful islands because of its powdery white sand and clear blue water, also made famous by the movie “The Beach” starring actor Leonardo DiCaprio, Maya Bay is obviously on top of any traveler’s bucket list. However, the Thai government has officially announced that this tropical paradise will undergo a rejuvenation program from 1 June to 30 September 2018. So while waiting for this process, or simply you want to find something fresh and interesting being similar to Maya, where should you go in your Southeast Asia trip?

Koh Rong, Samloem, Cambodia

Located 18 kilometers west of Sihanoukville town, Koh Rong is a slice of paradise, where the pristine beach meets blue clear sky, and be absolutely perfect for anyone who needs a laid-back atmosphere. In this Thailand neighbor town, you won’t have to worry about tourist crowds or feeling bored here. Snorkeling, diving and trekking trips to the lush interiors can be arranged, and there are enough facilities to ensure an enjoyable trip. Compared to Maya Bay, Koh Rong Samloem is a peaceful getaway destination and much less developed, making it a place you will never want to leave. Different types of accommodations are available on the island from luxurious resorts and Khmer-style villas that dot the shoreline to budget guesthouse rooms located in the nearby M’pay Bay fishing village.

Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam

If you are finding a “peaceful” alternative of Phuket, then you should look no further than Phu Quoc, voted The Cleanest and Most Beautiful Beach In The World’ by ABC News in February 2008. With such acclaim thrust upon its shores, it’s no wonder that Phu Quoc is steadily rising on many travelers’ must-visit lists. Besides the untouched natural environment, Phu Quoc also boasts some of the most amazing beaches in Vietnam. The most popular and unquestionably the crown jewel is the Long Beach.

And when you are satisfied with the beaches, you will find interesting night squid fishing tours, which give you an opportunity to catch your own song for dinner! Don’t worry if you don’t manage to catch anything though – the crew will prepare squid congee for you.

Regular snorkeling and fishing tours are available as well. For travelers not into fishing, Phu Quoc has waterfalls nearby Duong Dong Town, fishing villages open for visiting,  as well as night markets to get your grub on.

Koh Lipe Island, Thailand

Koh Lipe is your usual description of a paradise – white-sand beaches, turquoise waters, and rich marine life – but with a more relaxing atmosphere and slow pace of life. Located in the southern part of the Thai Andaman Sea, Koh Lipe boasts 25% of the world’s tropical fish, making it great for snorkeling and diving.

There are three main beaches in Koh Lipe and a handful of smaller beaches. Pattaya Beach is the island’s main beach where most hotels and restaurants are located. Sunrise Beach (Hat Chao Ley) features great snorkeling around the two tiny islands Koh Kra and Koh Usen. Sunset Beach (Hat Pramong) is the peaceful and more laid-back part and as the name suggests, the ideal place to catch the sunset.