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Maya Bay to close again for 2 months

PHUKET: Maya Bay, which reopened to tourists on Jan 1 after being off-limits for over three years, will be closed again from August to September for the purposes of natural rehabilitation.

By Bangkok Post

Saturday 7 May 2022, 10:05AM

Photo: Krabi PR

Photo: Krabi PR

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment announced the news to protect the island’s sensitive ecology yesterday (May 6), reports the Bangkok Post.

Minister Varawut Silpa-archa said that plans to manage tourism in the beautiful cove - made famous by the 2000 flick The Beach starring Leonardo DiCaprio - were on track.

Almost 100,000 people have visited the bay this year generating over B20 million of income, he said.

“We could say we made the right decision by introducing new regulations to manage tourism activity on this small but world-class island. It was prudent to forbid boats from docking in front of the beach, and also moving the entrance to the back of the island,” Mr Varawut said.

He said that despite strict measures to control the number of tourists, the area was inundated over the long Songkran weekend when Maya Bay received over 3,000 visitors a day.

The ministry closed the island for three and a half years to restore its broken marine ecosystem. The long break has helped turn back the clock and restore its marine ecology, resulting in a healthier coral reef and attracting long-absent blacktip reef sharks.

According to the ministry’s regulations, up to 380 tourists can visit the island for every hour it is open so as not to disturb the balance of nature. They are required to get off at Loh Sama Bay at the back of the island and walk five minutes along a wooden trail to Maya Bay. Swimming activity is prohibited in the bay, and advance bookings are required.

As more tourists are expected following the country’s recent reopening, the minister said he has ordered the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation to fix any outstanding problems related to the QueQ application. The department has been relying on this app for advance bookings to visit national parks.

Tourism revenue from national parks countrywide is expected to double by year’s end. In 2021, the department collected B30 billion from entry fees.

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BigaAResort | 10 May 2022 - 10:14:45

It take 3.5 years to find out there are no improvement to fix Maya Bay ! so why not change the ones who did the so called improvement with the one team who where to oversee the work on  the improvement , that's Thai logic  or not ? in the meantime lets make money

Kurt | 10 May 2022 - 08:30:36

Closed 3.5 yrs, open 7 months ( Jan-July), than 2 months closure needed again. Really? Just 2 months only for restoring the again broken marine eco system? Looks like to many people visited the place in just more than 4 months. Just open Maya Bay 2x 2 months yearly. Triple present ticket prices to control the tourist stream to prevent so much eco damage. Prevention is needed.

JohnC | 08 May 2022 - 10:18:56

100,000 people have visited Maya Bay this year??? They must have been borrowing the TATs magic marker pen. It would be a very good idea to close it to all tourism for several months every rainy season.


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