One of the most famous and popular beauty spots in Thailand will remain closed to tourists until 2021 to allow its ecology to recover.
Maya Bay on Phi Phi Leh island – made famous by the almost 2000 thriller The Beach, starring Leonardo DiCaprio – was shut indefinitely last year because of severe damage caused by an increase in visitors.
It was first closed on 1 June for four months, but experts later decided that it was not long enough.
By the time of its new planned reopening date, the scenic locale in the Andaman Sea will have been inaccessible to the public for more than two-and-a-half years.
“The department of parks resolves to extend the closure of Maya Bay for another two years to allow its ecology to fully recover.” Thon Thamrongnawasawat, an adviser to the Thai Department of parks, said:
More than 6,000 people had been making the trip to experience the stunning vistas every day, getting there by boat from the nearby resorts of Phi Phi, Phuket and Krabi.
Organizations and authorities decided to step in following reports that up to 80% of the coral in the bay had died.