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Maya Bay reopening set for Jan 1

BANGKOK: The famed Maya Bay in Krabi province will probably be reopened to tourists on Jan 1, with regulations in place to preserve the rehabilitated beach and bay from the ecological ruin it previously suffered.

tourismnatural-resourcesenvironmenteconomics
By Bangkok Post

Tuesday 16 November 2021, 09:18AM


Tourists jam-pack the beach at Maya Bay in Krabi in 2017, before the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation closed it in June 2018. Photo: Hat Noppharat Thara-Mu Koh Phi Phi National Park 

Tourists jam-pack the beach at Maya Bay in Krabi in 2017, before the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation closed it in June 2018. Photo: Hat Noppharat Thara-Mu Koh Phi Phi National Park 

Natural Resources and Environment Minister Varawut Silpa-archa announced the tentative opening date on Monday (Nov 15).

He said Hat Noppharat Thara-Mu Koh Phi Phi National Park was in the final stage of building an improved pier on the island and defining the swimming zone for beachgoers.

The Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation closed the bay on Phi Phi Ley Island in June 2018 after its was overwhelmed by tourists, leading to the destruction of reefs and the marine ecology.

Although small in size, at just 250 metres long and 15 metres wide, the bay has drawn global attention since it featured in the Hollywood movie The Beach, starring Leonardo DiCaprio,  filmed there in 1999.

The minister, in Krabi for a Cabinet meeting, said reopening of the bay will come with strict conditions.

The number of visitors would be limited, and the time from 10am to 4pm, and each tourist would be able to spend only one hour swimming in a designated zone, to save the reefs being nurtured by park officials.

Boats would be allowed to anchor only in another bay on the other side of the island.

More than half of the corals suffered major damage before the bay was closed three years ago. At its peak, the bay was crowded by 4,000 visitors and 200 boats a day, far beyond the  area’s ability to handle. 

Park officials have planted coral on reefs over more than 10 rai of the bay.

Thon Thamrongnawasawat, a Kasetsart University marine biologist and member of the national park’s committee, suggested in 2019 that daily visitors should be limited to 2,400 a day and they be required to book trips in advance online.

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Kurt | 16 November 2021 - 14:01:48

250 metres long, 15 metres wide, than calculate how many visitors daily should be allowed, considering that each visitor 'takes' for example 1 square meter of space. Officialdom must act to prevent falling back in the 'old normal' when it comes to Maya Bay. But I have no confidence about that. We will see again, money comes first.

Nasa12 | 16 November 2021 - 10:44:13

Yes JohnC, it’s only about greedy greedy. Not about the ref’s,fish++ In middle of February it’s everything broken again. 

JohnC | 16 November 2021 - 10:03:07

Here we go again. Greed rules once more. No matter what they say it will be re-destroyed again by overcrowding and general ignorance and carelessness of tourists and tour operators. Sad....

 

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