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Best Beaches to Visit Instead of Maya Bay

by Travelbag on 15 October 2018, 16:10PM


With its white sands, clear seas and green-clad cliffs, it’s easy to see how Maya Bay became Thailand’s poster child. The Koh Phi Phi islands’ bay shot to fame when it starred as the dreamy backdrop of The Beach in 2000. But Maya Bay’s must-see status proved to be both a blessing and a curse, as this once-pristine cove attracted millions of visitors. Sadly, the island’s popularity has taken its toll on the beaches and surrounding coral. So, to protect the area, Thai authorities have closed Maya Bay indefinitely. With the absence of people and a little help from Mother Nature, hopefully this pretty beach can soon return to its former glory.

So, if Maya Bay was on your bucket list, you may need to wait a while – but don’t panic. We’ve rounded up the best beaches to go to instead. In fact, we’d say they’re even better than boat-crammed Maya Bay. If you were hoping to find some peace and quiet on crowd-free sands, Koh Phi Phi was never going to cut it. But these five beaches are definitely postcard material – take a look.


Trou aux Biches, Mauritius

Award-winning beach destination Mauritius has no shortage of sandy stretches. Spots like Flic en Flac, Belle Mare and Grand Baie are all worthy alternatives to Maya Bay. But Trou aux Biches just edges the competition. It really is a must-visit on a beach break to Mauritius. Tucked away in the north-west corner of Mauritius, this three-kilometre swathe is just a little too far from the resort areas to ever get very busy. It’s popular for day trips, but still quiet enough that you’ll feel like you’ve stumbled across a slice of paradise. Go for the whole day so you can make the most of your sun lounger, curl up with a book, and enjoy the view. You can swim in the bath-warm waters or try different water sports, before having lunch at one of the local beachfront restaurants – bliss.



Iru Fushi, Maldives

It’s no secret that glass-clear seas, blindingly-white sands and colourful corals come as standard in the Maldives. But Iru Fushi has a trump card – its location. Anchored in the middle of the Noonu Atoll, this pint-sized island is perfectly placed for day trips. And that really is the best way to do the Maldives – base yourself on a jaw-dropping spec of land, then take day trips to deserted islands and untouched reefs. Noonu Atoll alone has 71 islands, so you’ll have plenty of options for boat trips. And, after a day of snorkelling, kayaking and swimming, you can retreat to Sun Siyam Iru Fushi – the island’s only resort – and unwind in the largest spa in the country.



Thong Nai Pan Yai, Thailand

If you’re searching for a Maya Bay alternative in Thailand itself, head to Koh Phangan. Just north of Koh Samui, this tropical island is famed for its Full Moon Party – but don’t judge a book by its cover. Koh Phangan has some of the best – and largely unknown – beaches in the whole of Thailand. Thong Nai Pan Yai is our pick of the bunch. Tucked in the bay of Thong Nai Pan, this place is truly a hidden gem. And yet, it has everything you need for a relaxing beach break in Thailand – you’ll find powdery sands pinned down by palm trees, shallow waters for swimming, and laidback beachfront cafes. Its north-east location means Thong Nai Pan Yai is quite far from the island’s resort areas, but that’s part of the appeal – there’s barely anybody there. While you’re up there, why not visit Thong Nai Pan Noi? This equally pretty, but slightly busier, beach is just on the other side of the bay.



Crane Beach, Barbados

On the other side of the globe, the Caribbean has its fair share of knockout beaches. But Barbados is the jewel in the crown. Gibbes Beach is probably the most famous on the island, but Crane Beach is our number one choice. This ribbon of sand is very special indeed – and not just because of its numerous accolades. Crane Beach is pink. You might think your eyes are deceiving you, but they aren’t. This blushing beach is formed from coralline sand, which gives it a subtle pink tinge – you’ll see similar spots in the Seychelles. As well as being incredibly photogenic, Crane Beach has great waves for body-boarding and surfing. So you can be as active or as relaxed as you like.



Mushroom Bay, Bali

Last, but certainly not least, is Mushroom Bay in Bali. Just a 30-minute boat trip from the popular town of Sanur, this sheltered cove looks like it was designed for lazy beach days. You can expect calm, see-through waters, blonde sands and a chilled-out vibe. The surrounding hills mean that this little corner of Bali is relatively underdeveloped, although there are a handful of cafés and hotels if you fancy a snack between snorkelling and sunbathing. The nearest hotel we offer is Maya Sanur Resort and Spa. This five-star retreat has two pools, plush rooms and four restaurants. Plus, it even has ‘Maya’ in its name – if that’s not a sign, we don’t know what is.



If you need some more inspiration for your next getaway, take a look at our beach holidays or read about the top 5 places to stay in the Indian Ocean.

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