Do you remember the famous movie with Leonardo DiCaprio, The Beach? I’m sure you do. This movie was very famous and I totally fell in love with it. I saw it so many times. The beautiful white sand, crystal clear water, and empty beach with bushes. This picture got stuck in my head and one day I couldn’t resist and started to search where the movie was made, where is the beauty. The answer is Thailand. To be more precise the beach is called Maya Bay and is located on Koh Phi Phi Island. I found out that it is possible to go there for a holiday, so I asked my friend whether she wouldn’t be interested to go. She said yes, and we started to plan our trip to the beach of Leonardo.
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Holiday on Phuket Island, Thailand
We decided to stay in a hotel called Coconut Village Resort on Phuket Island. It was a small clean hotel with a swimming pool, close to Patong Beach and town center with restaurants, shops, and entertainment. Thailand is a very lively country and Phuket is a tourist place, therefore it was always busy around there, whether it was day or night. A few meters from our hotel were selling crepes on a small trolley, and you could choose what to put on it. For example Nutella and freshly grated coconut. You could find these everywhere on the island.
There were many restaurants, where we could try some traditional food, there was music everywhere in the evening and night and between you could see praying people to Buddha, whose statues could be seen in many places. Of course, we saw some transvestites, who are like symbols of the country.
The beach was beautiful, with soft sand and warm clean sea, however, there were a lot of people. What I totally loved there were locals with small trolleys selling fresh fruit that they cut for you, put in a bag and you can eat it at the beach. I will be honest with you, I have never eaten so sweet, tasty, and delicious fruit. Whether it was pineapple, melon, or any other fruit, it was so tasty and juicy. Not like the ones we buy at the shop back at home. Also, they were selling fresh juices that they made from the fruit of your choice. So lovely and refreshing.
We managed to see things around, some beautiful views and statues of Buddha before I got ill.Bang! Such a long-awaited holiday and I got ill. High temperature and sore throat. I went to see a doctor and got antibiotics. I had to stay in bed. I knew exactly why I got ill. The AC in the plane was crazy cold. Everybody was freezing in blankets and the crew couldn’t do anything about it. Oh well. My friend was enjoying the beach alone. I managed to get better in a few days so we could go for our booked trips.
Whole day trip by boat to several islands
Our trip started from Ao Por pier, from where we were taken by boat to Naka Island and we enjoyed one hour of swimming on a beautiful and not so crowded beach. The trip by boat was so fascinating. Empty sea and all you could see were those hills coming from the sea, so typical for Thailand. We had lunch on the boat while sailing to Panak Island for some sightseeing.
From there we continued to Hong Island. Here we went down from the boat to a small canoe. I was a bit scared, but each canoe had a guide, so we were safe. He took us to a lagoon and stalactite, which was very exciting.
In one part we had to lie down not to hit our heads as the top was so low. We passed by mangrove forest and back to our boat heading to another island, James Bond Island. This island was renamed after the James Bond movie.
From there we continued our journey on a long-tail boat to Panyi Island (Muslim village). This was very interesting to see. People actually build their homes on the water, therefore they call it a floating village. After all, these experiences we were sailing all along with the beautiful sunset back to our hotel.
Finally, the day D came and we were going to see the beach of Leonardo, where the famous movie was made. We again booked the whole day trip by boat. We arrived at the Maya Bay on Phi Phi Island and my excitement was gone. I was shocked. There were so many boats with lots of tourists at the same time. This beach didn’t look even a bit like the one from the movie. It was not possible to even take a picture without having some people in there. I think this should have been coordinated better and they should have allowed only a certain number of boats and people at the same time. As a result of this, corals and the environment got damaged and in 2018 they had to close this beach for visitors. Anyway, when we entered the bush, it was not so bad and I started to have good feelings about it. I imagined the people from the movie walking here and suddenly I was here as well at the same place. I felt warm and tingling inside my body. After spending some time here walking, swimming, and taking pictures, we continued by boat to Loh Samah and Pileh Lagoon for some swimming and snorkeling. As I was not feeling very well after my illness, I didn’t snorkel, but it was a very nice view from the boat too and I swam a little bit at least. Then we were heading to Viking Cave for short sightseeing and to Monkey Beach where we could feed monkeys.
They were so cute and very cheeky. They saw a bag with some food, they didn’t hesitate to come, grab it and quickly ran away with it. We could actually give them food from our hands and they took it with their soft hands like babies. When the monkeys were fed, we went to feed ourselves and enjoyed a nice lunch at a beach restaurant on Phi Phi Don Island. From there we stopped on our last stop at Khai Nai Island and enjoyed swimming and relaxing on a beautiful white beach.
On the last day Elephant trekking
On our last day, we booked a whole day trip with Elephant trekking and other activities.
First, we stopped at Sarasin Bridge, which is the most beautiful and historical bridge in Thailand. It connects Phuket with Phang Nga. From there we went to visit turtle conservation and took pictures next to small waterfalls.
We continued with a very unusual and exciting activity: bamboo rafting. We were paddling down the river on bamboo rafts. Actually, we were just sitting and enjoying the ride and the view. At the bottom of the river, we started elephant trekking. It was very exciting and a little bit of adrenalin activity to sit on such a huge animal.
We took a walk on them, then fed them and took some pictures. To Be honest, I felt a little bit sorry for them. Doing this every day for people, where they should be free and enjoy their natural environment. On the other hand, it is safer for them as there are so many poachers out there hunting. They had a baby elephant too, who was giving us kisses and we could take some pictures with him. That was very cute and touching. The last things to see were a mini zoo and Cave temple. The cave temple is actually a cave with a lot of religious statues.
Our trip continued to Bangkok, which I will tell you all about in the next post.
About the country
Thailand is situated in Southeast Asia and is known as the Land of smiles. The old name for Thailand was Siam. The most popular islands for tourists are Phuket, Krabi, Ranong, Phang Nga, and Trang. Its economy is dependent on exports, mostly rice and tourism. There are a lot of tourists coming for medical treatments or surgeries here. Very popular are plastic and sex reassignment surgery.
The capital city– Bangkok
Time zone – UTC+7
Official language– Thai
Currency– Baht (THB)
Religion– 93.5% Buddhism
Handy information for visit
When is the best time to go– Thailand has three seasons. Rainy-from mid-May till mid-October, Winter-from mid. October till mid. February and Summer-from mid-February till mid. May. I recommend avoiding the rainy season.
Visitors visa– You must have a visa to enter the country. There is an online system.
Currency to take with you– the best ones are US dollars, then EUR or GBP
Vaccinations– recommended having the routine ones that we took during our childhood like tetanus and hepatitis A and B. It is mandatory to have yellow fever vaccination if you are coming from a country where there is yellow fever.
The land of smiles, elephants, and Buddha
Thailand is really an amazing country to visit. It is really a land of smiles where people are always smiling at you and are in a good mood, there are statues of Buddha wherever you go and elephants make your day even happier. Even though there are a lot of beaches to see and relax on, this is definitely not one of the lazy holidays. This holiday can be quite busy and adventurous, which brings a lot of experiences and memories to your life. I’m glad I could see the beach of Leonardo – Maya Bay before it was closed down and despite my illness, I managed to enjoy it to the fullest. I look forward to your experience or in case you are planning your trip, you can always contact me or just say hello.