JavaScript is off. Please enable to view full site.

Thailand allows visitors back to beach made famous by movie

Thailand allows visitors back to beach made famous by movie

Wednesday, January 05, 2022, 13:34 GMT+7
Thailand allows visitors back to beach made famous by movie
Tourists visit Maya bay after Thailand reopened its world-famous beach after closing it for more than three years to allow its ecosystem to recover from the impact of overtourism, at Krabi province, Thailand, January 3, 2022. Photo: Reuters

Thailand has reopened Maya Bay, a white sand beach made famous by the 2000 film "The Beach" starring Leonardo DiCaprio, more than three years after closing it to allow its ecosystem to recover from the impact of thousands of visitors each day.

The beach, surrounded by 100-metre (328-ft) high cliffs, lies on the island of Phi Phi Leh in the Andaman Sea, and is only accessible by boats from nearby spots such as the islands of Phuket or Phi Phi, or mainland Krabi.

Tourists visit Maya Bay as Thailand reopens its world-famous beach after closing it for more than three years to allow its ecosystem to recover from the impact of overtourism, at Krabi province, Thailand, January 3, 2022. Photo: Reuters

Tourists visit Maya Bay as Thailand reopens its world-famous beach after closing it for more than three years to allow its ecosystem to recover from the impact of overtourism, at Krabi province, Thailand, January 3, 2022. Photo: Reuters

Authorities shut the whole of Maya Bay to the public in 2018, saying coral reefs and beach areas had been damaged by constant tourist activities. But since the start of this year some visitors have been allowed to return.

"The sharks have come back, coral reefs are regrowing, and the water is clear again," Yuthasak Supasorn, the governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand, told Reuters.

"These things show that nature will heal if we give it time, and we have to work to keep it that way too."

To ensure it remains protected, authorities said only up to 375 visitors will be allowed to visit at one time and swimming will be prohibited for now. Boats will only be allowed to dock at a designated location at the back of the bay to avoid damaging coral reefs, they said.

A tourist poses at Maya Bay as Thailand reopens its world-famous beach after closing it for more than three years to allow its ecosystem to recover from the impact of overtourism, at Krabi province, Thailand, January 3, 2022. Photo: Reuters

A tourist poses at Maya Bay as Thailand reopens its world-famous beach after closing it for more than three years to allow its ecosystem to recover from the impact of overtourism, at Krabi province, Thailand, January 3, 2022. Photo: Reuters

Before the coronavirus pandemic, tourism accounted for about 12% of Thailand's economy and was a key driver of growth, with the country attracting 40 million visitors in 2019.

But mass tourism has often come at a cost to the environment in Thailand and other parts of Southeast Asian, with once-beautiful tropical beaches becoming polluted and strewn with garbage.

"Maya Bay is beautiful, it's a marvellous place," said Manuele Panin, a 40-year-old tourist from Italy, who was visiting the beach.

"I think it is fine that it has been closed all this time to protect the nature and allow it to restore and recover."

A tourist visits Maya Bay as Thailand reopens its world-famous beach after closing it for more than three years to allow its ecosystem to recover from the impact of overtourism, at Krabi province, Thailand, January 3, 2022. Photo; Reuters

A tourist visits Maya Bay as Thailand reopens its world-famous beach after closing it for more than three years to allow its ecosystem to recover from the impact of overtourism, at Krabi province, Thailand, January 3, 2022. Photo: Reuters

A view of Koh Phi Phi Leh where Maya Bay is located as Thailand reopens its world-famous beach after closing it for more than three years to allow its ecosystem to recover from the impact of overtourism, at Krabi province, Thailand, January 3, 2022. Photo: Reuters

A view of Koh Phi Phi Leh where Maya Bay is located as Thailand reopens its world-famous beach after closing it for more than three years to allow its ecosystem to recover from the impact of overtourism, at Krabi province, Thailand, January 3, 2022. Photo: Reuters

Reuters

Read more

;

Photos

VIDEOS

‘Taste of Australia’ gala dinner held in Ho Chi Minh City after 2-year hiatus

Taste of Australia Gala Reception has returned to the Park Hyatt Hotel in Ho Chi Minh City's District 1 after a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic

Vietnamese woman gives unconditional love to hundreds of adopted children

Despite her own immense hardship, she has taken in and cared for hundreds of orphans over the past three decades.

Vietnam’s Mekong Delta celebrates spring with ‘hat boi’ performances

The art form is so popular that it attracts people from all ages in the Mekong Delta

Vietnamese youngster travels back in time with clay miniatures

Each work is a scene caught by Dung and kept in his memories through his journeys across Vietnam

Latest news