Well, the party capital of Asia doesn't necessitate an introduction. But look around and you'd also discover some of the most gorgeous tropical landscapes and beguiling turquoise seas. And it was the latter that forced it into our itinerary. While the city has turned quite swarmed up since I last visited, we were manically driven by the prospect of spending a night at Maya Bay – a long cherished dream – especially when this celluloid island is overrun by tourists during the day and is closed off by 6:00 p.m. local time. It took us a while to plan and execute this trip. We worked through with the only agency that was allowed to find us a spot here for the sunset. That turned out to be the absolute highlight of the entire trip – a gorgeous sunset with the entire island to us, an adventurous swim across a choppy sea to reach our boat amidst the high tides, kayaking to a secret beach, snorkelling for bioluminous planktons at night, barbecuing and binging with all our international friends and sleeping aboard a boat docked in the middle of the ocean – we couldn't ask for more. This was the adventure of a lifetime. Now that Maya Bay has been rightfully put off limits to tourists, allowing its gorgeous coral reef to heal, this shot paints an ever more profound nostalgic value.
June 13, 2020