The Thai bay made famous in the film The Beach, is closing to recover from tourist overload.Daily hordes of tourists have exhausted the Thai beach made famous by the Leonardo DiCaprio movie The Beach so it’s now getting time to recover.
Authorities have announced Maya Bay, on Phi Phi Leh island in the Andaman Sea, will be closed to all visitors for four months annually starting this June to allow for the recovery of the battered coral reefs and sea life.
The decision to keep visitors away was made on Wednesday by Thailand’s National Parks and Wildlife Department.
“It’s like someone who has been working for decades and has never stopped,” said Thon Thamrongnawasawat, a prominent marine scientist and member of Thailand’s national strategy committee on environment development.
“Overworked and tired, all the beauty of the beach is gone. We need a time-out for the beach.”
Many Thai marine national parks are closed from mid-May to mid-October, but because of tourist demand, Maya Bay has remained open year-round since a Hollywood crew set foot there in 1999 to film The Beach, the dark backpacker tale based on a novel by Alex Garland.
The beach receives an average of 200 boats and 4000 visitors each day.
Recent surveys by a team led by marine biologists found a large part of the coral reefs around the area is gone and sea life has virtually disappeared.
Thon said the temporary closing will kick-start the rehabilitation process.
When Maya Bay reopens, the department will set a daily limit of 2000 tourists, while boats will no longer be allowed to anchor there and will have to dock on the opposite side of the island.