The famous crystal clear waters of Maya Bay have been off limits to eager tourists for three long years but come January a flurry of activity, including swimming and snorkeling, will return once more.
In a bid to give the intricate coral reef system time to heal officials decided to close it off to the public, before the Covid pandemic settled in last year and decimated tourist numbers across the entire region.
The famous crystal clear waters of Maya Bay (pictured) have been off limits to eager tourists for three long years because of environmental damage
The idyllic cove in Thailand, made famous after it was featured in The Beach starring Leonardo Di Caprio, was closed in June 2018
Come January 1 2022 Maya Bay, which is only an hour's boat ride away from Phuket in Hat Noppharat Thara-Mu Ko Phi Phi National Park, will welcome back travellers with strict instructions, to avoid damaging the region again.
'Maya Bay has been continuously receiving interest from tourists around the world. But this has also caused (the natural area) to deteriorate, especially the corals,' said Natural Resources and Environment Minister Varawut Silpa-Archa in a statement.
'After shutting down Maya Bay to revive and restore it, up until the present, it has returned to a good condition.'
Come January 2022 Maya Bay, which is only an hour's boat ride away from Phuket in Hat Noppharat Thara-Mu Ko Phi Phi National Park, will welcome back travellers with strict instructions
Visits will be capped at an hour with a maximum of 300 individuals allowed per 'round' which begins at 10am and finishes at 4pm each day
Did 'The Beach' crew damage Maya Bay?
In 1999 the Krabi Provincial Administration Organisation, the Ao Nang Tambon Administration Organisation (TAO) and several environment groups filed a lawsuit against 20th Century Fox for the alleged damage the film's production caused on Maya Beach when they turned it into the late 20th century Utopia.
At the time Leonardo DiCaprio released a statement: 'From what I see everything is okay. I have seen nothing that had been damaged in any way. I've seen Fox taking meticulous care, and their respect for the island. I consider myself an environmentalist. I believe that whenever we leave the island, it is going to be better off than it was before.'
The Supreme Court ruled in 2006 that orders were to be issued for damages, upholding a 2002 appeal court ruling that found filming had damaged Maya Beach.
Source: E Online
Source : https://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-10210603/Famous-beach-Maya-Bay-Thailand-set-open-tourists-three-years.html788