Thailand’s Maya Beach, made famous by Di Caprio’s blockbuster movie ‘The Beach’, is permanently closed for tourists due to environmental issues. By Payal Das
The beautiful seacoast of Thailand’s Koh Phi Phi island, Maya Bay has been one of the most visited beaches since the release of Leonardo Di Caprio’s movie ‘The Beach’ in 1999. The effect of the massive influx of tourists on this beach has unfortunately resulted in a major disaster for the habitat.
As reported, the coral reef in the area has seen critical damage over the years due to over-tourism (about 5,000 tourists per day). According to the Thai government, about 77% of coral reefs of the country have been devoured due to the sheer number of tourists, beachfront hotels, and plastic waste dumped in the sea. Also, a large part of the coral reef has completely disappeared and the sea life has dispersed as well. Locals have been trying to help in cleaning the beach, but reports reveal that it might be a bit too late to start now.
Three months ago, Thai authorities had decided to close access to the beach temporarily. Thon Thamrongnawasawat, a marine expert, has then notified that a three-month shut-down of the beach would only result in half the recovery of Maya Bay. Thus, a fitting solution would be to close the beach on a permanent basis. Now, the beach is permanently closed.
Maya Beach is not the only tourist spot that has been forced to shut down. Three other touristy spots, the idyllic Koh Khai islands: Koh Khai Nok, Koh Khai Nui and Koh Khai Nai have been temporarily been kept off limits for the same reason.