Maya Bay, a Thai paradise made well-known by way of the 2000 movie The Beach, has just reopened after being closed to tourists for four years.
The movie, which sees Leonardo DiCaprio’s persona trek throughout the jungle to find the legendary seashore, made Maya Bay one in every of the largest tourism hotspots within the global. Quickly the film’s international audience have been clamouring to visit and take selfies of their thousands.
Tucked away on Ko Phi Phi Le island within the Andaman Sea, via 2018 close to 6,000 folks a day were flocking to peer the turquoise waters and shiny white sand. Many greater than this formerly pristine and protected house may just cope with.
The majority of holiday makers shuttle from neighbouring Koh Phi Phi and Phuket islands, with most taking speedboats chartered through native excursion operators. This has proved an enormous drawback for the island, with boat anchors and washed off sunscreen expected to have destroyed up to 50 consistent with cent of the coral in its surrounding waters.
Overtourism in Maya Bay
Things got here to a head in 2018, after a national outcry from Thai voters and the bay was rapidly closed. in addition as destroying coral, vacationers had additionally left behind vast swathes of plastic clutter and broken native flowers and fauna.
The closure was first of all set to be temporary, but a better look at the broken ecosystem led park officials to understand that the bay wanted for much longer to recover. The closure used to be then prolonged to four years.
“Maya Bay has been incessantly receiving hobby from vacationers around the world. However this has also brought about (the herbal house) to go to pot, especially the corals,” stated Natural Instruments and Environment Minister Varawut Silpa-Archa in an announcement to CNN.
The break has additionally given Thailand time to decide on new rules and protocols, together with strict limits on what number of other people can seek advice from the bay at anybody time.
Limit on tourist numbers in Maya Bay
Maya Bay reopened to tourists on 1 January, but from now on most effective 8 speed boats are allowed to dock here at any given time. There’s additionally a restrict on tourists too, with numbers capped at 300. Each talk over with is proscribed to 1 hour and has to be among the hours of 10am and 4pm.
Currently, snorkelling and swimming are also banned, and boats are unable to enter the bay itself. it’s was hoping that this will permit newly planted and current corals to continue to grow and get better. As A Substitute, visitors will probably be dropped off at a nearby pier and make their very own approach to the beach by the use of a new broadwalk that may be supposed to offer protection to plants and sand within the space.
“After shutting down Maya Bay to restore and restore it, up till the present, it has lower back to an even situation,” says Minister Varawut Silpa-Archa.
Tourists return to The Seaside
Tourists and influencers wasted no time in returning to the pristine sands of Maya Bay, with one shuttle blogger commenting that nearby Lo Sama Bay was now being used as a Maya Bay ‘automotive park’.
The drawback to the reopening of Maya Bay is unquestionably the way in which Lo Sama Bay is being handled. It used to be a quiet gorgeous spot for snorkeling, now it’s develop into a parking lot. I wish I had a magic wand and remedy the problem, it might probably only worsen as soon as mass tourism come again. pic.twitter.com/71ygm8tdcl
— gogetMaya (@GogetMaya) January 4, 2022
Since reopening its borders to international vacationers in November 2021, Thailand has been willing to fret that it desires to draw in “prime-finish travellers, rather than a big choice of visitors.”
Time will inform whether Maya Bay will likely be capable of keep away from the mistakes of the past, or whether, just like Leo’s seaside paradise, things will take a flip for the more serious once more.