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Maya Bay in ‘restoration period’ next June to September, but not closed to visitors

PHUKET: The Chief of the Hat Nopparat- Mu Ko Phi Phi National Park Mr Worapoj Lomlim has confirmed to The Phuket News today (Sept 29) that Maya Bay at Koh Phi Phi Don will go into a “restoration period” from June until September next year by not allowing boats to access that bay.

By Shela Riva

Friday 29 September 2017, 10:33AM

Tour boats will not be able to anchor at Maya Bay from June-September next year, but the beach itself will not be closed to visitors. Photo: Jeffry Ng Darwis / Flickr

Tour boats will not be able to anchor at Maya Bay from June-September next year, but the beach itself will not be closed to visitors. Photo: Jeffry Ng Darwis / Flickr

However, he has also confirmed that the beach itself will not be closed to visitors, as they will still be able access the beach via an alternative route.

It was decided in a meeting with national park officials yesterday (Sept 28) that Maya Bay will go into a restoration period for about three months, from June to September, or thereabouts,” said Mr Worapoj.

We must do this to allow the marine environment to recover from heavy tourism,” Said Mr Worapoj.

However, we do not call it ‘closed’. Visitors will still be allowed to visit the bay, but through the back route, via Samah Bay,” he added.

As far back as Dec 2015 concerns were raised that May a bay was facing coral extinction and a plague of other environmental concerns brought on by ‘overtourism’.

The island, known for its marine life and a top tourism destination for more than 20 years, was then seeking help from the government and tourism operators to look after its natural resources. (See story here.)

In July 2016, marine biologist Thon Thamrongnawasawat warned that Maya Bay was overcrowded with tourists and boats, posing a serious threat to the environment, particularly coral.

Mr Thon, deputy dean of the fisheries faculty at Kasetsart University, said he was shocked during a recent visit to see the entire bay was jammed with both long-tail and speed boat ferries as tourists from inside and outside the country, particularly China and Europe, crammed on to famous Ko Phi Phi Le island. (See story here.)

In April this year, Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation chief, Thanya Nethithammakul, said his department had considered closing the beach in the Hat Nopparat- Mu Ko Phi Phi National Park for some time (See story here).



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Bigaresort | 01 October 2017 - 08:08:36

Franz,we will miss you,now we have the Yellow man,and plenty!!


Franz | 29 September 2017 - 17:28:30

I think that it's a nice news. Not good, but a bit nice yes. To me it sounds like that Thai authorities are listening to the complaints from people disappointed by the environmental bad situation. On the other hand, 3-4 months of "doing nothing" in Maya Bay doesn't sound like much. What if speedboats and longtails will set anchor in there? A small fine like the 1000 THB for those...

Rorri_2 | 29 September 2017 - 13:57:18

The article doesn't make it clear, June to September, could be 2 months, 3 months or 4, whichever it is they must have some form of "fast growing" coral!

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