Thailand’s Maya Bay from DiCaprio film The Beach reopens after four years

·1-min read
Tourists visit Maya bay after Thailand reopened its world-famous beach (REUTERS)
Tourists visit Maya bay after Thailand reopened its world-famous beach (REUTERS)

A stunning Thai cove made famous by Leonardo DiCaprio’s film The Beach has been reopened after nearly four years.

Maya Bay, on the island of Phi Phi Leh, was closed in 2018 when officials blamed a sharp rise in visitors for severely damaging the environment.

But now tourists are being allowed back due to the ecosystem recovering.

A maximum of 375 visitors will be able to visit at a time and swimming will be prohibited for now, authorities say.

Yuthasak Supasorn, governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand, said: “The sharks have come back, coral reefs are regrowing, and the water is clear again.

“These things show that nature will heal if we give it time, and we have to work to keep it that way too.”

Maya Bay’s ecosystem has recovered from the impact of overtourism (REUTERS)
Maya Bay’s ecosystem has recovered from the impact of overtourism (REUTERS)

Boats will only be permitted to dock at a specific locations to avoid damaging coral reefs.

The tropical beach featured prominently in the 2000 hit movie about a young American seeking adventure which was directed by Danny Boyle.

Tourism saw a sharp surge in following years.

In 2008, there were around 170 people visiting per day.

But a decade later, the number had grown to around 5,000 and most of its coral died as a result.

“Maya Bay is beautiful, it’s a marvellous place,” said Manuele Panin, a 40-year-old tourist from Italy, who was visiting the beach.

“I think it is fine that it has been closed all this time to protect nature and allow it to restore and recover.”

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