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Monday, April 22, 2024

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Phi Phi Maya Bay to be closed indefinitely

The Thai bay (Phi Phi’s Maya Bay) that was made famous in the film The Beach is to remain closed until 2021.

After a trial closure of Maya Bay on Koh Phi Phi Leh, National Park officials have decided to extend the ban on visitors until mid 2021. This previously heavily visited spot needs time to recover from the damage of years of tourist traffic.

Much of the coral on Maya Bay has been destroyed through over visitation and a careless attitude to anchoring boats. During the initial closure the Department of National Parks (DNP) started a tree and coral planting programme. They are now looking at ideas to control the tourism once it re-opens in 2021. Under consideration is restricting access to the rear of the bay only, with boats docking at floating pontoons. Visitors will be instructed to walk along a path to access the beach.

Large Crowds

Previously, up to 5,000 people were visiting the bay every day and contributing to the slow destruction of the bay. At 400 Baht per person, income for the park was in the millions per day.

Authorities have now extended the ban on visitors by two years. This is in order to give an opportunity for Maya Bay’s ecology to rejuvenate and recover. The beach was previously made famous in the 2000 film of that name, starring Leonardo DiCaprio.

Since the bay closed last year, blacktip reef sharks have been sighted swimming in the waters of the bay. 

Local tourism operators have said they rely on the beach. Wattana Rerngsamut, head of the local tourism association, said that there should be public hearings “so that local people can earn a living”.

Magic Krabi will keep readers abreast of any changes regarding this closure.

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