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Thailand Beaches

Travellers seeking adventure with a touch of the exotic can not only read Alex Garland’s novel The Beach, but experience the real thing, The story about a young backpacker who finds a legendary beach in Thailand became a successful film in 1999.

The main shooting location is in southern Thailand: Phi Phi Le island, whose Maya Bay was perfect for this fictional tropical Shangri-La, with white sands and cliffs enclosing the beach on three sides.

Phi Phi (pronounced Pee Pee) island is a national park of two rocky tree-covered islets: Phi Phi Don with long, white powdery beaches and Phi Phi Le, uninhabited but blessed with a crystal-clear sea, secluded beaches, cliffs and colourful coral reefs.

The breathtaking cliffs, with their tall sheer limestone walls, attract rock climbers. For nature lovers, Phi Phi Don's two massifs afford wonderful views over the island, while coral beds - notably at Hin Pae off the island’s Hat Yao beach - offer some of the best snorkelling in Thailand.
The business base for the film studio’s activities was Thailand’s largest island - nearby Phuket, with its international airport and lively facilities, while in north-east Thailand, Khao Yai National Park - famous for its elephants, gibbons, tigers, leopards and Malaysian sun bears - was used in the film’s waterfall scene.
Whether for heights, depths, scenery or sun, this is one of Thailand’s most fascinating destinations.

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