Maya Bay To Reopen With Some Restrictions on January 1st

Thailand’s government announced that one of the country’s most famous attractions, Maya Bay, is set to reopen soon.

Natural Resources and Environment Minister Varawut Silpa-archa said Maya Bay, in Krabi province, would likely reopen to international tourists on January 1, keeping some regulations to preserve the beach and the bay, which were recently rehabilitated after suffering an ecological ruin.

The Hat Noppharat Thara-Mu Koh Phi Phi National Park had started working on the final building stage of an improved pier on the island. Also, a swimming zone for beachgoers had been defined, the minister added.

The beautiful cove attracted worldwide attention when it appeared in “The Beach,” a 2000 film starring famed Hollywood actor Leonardo Dicaprio.

Many Thai attractions have reopened to tourists in recent months after several lockdowns. But Maya Bay’s closing was not caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation closed the bay in June 2018, saying it was overwhelmed by tourists, as its reefs and marine ecology were affected.

According to media reports and official figures, the bay received an estimated 5,000 visitors per day before its closing. The tourists number multiplied per minute as boats poured in and out of the bay, CNN informed after visiting the area.

In a statement issued on November 14, minister Varawut Silpa-Archa said: “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.”

But “after shutting down Maya Bay to revive and restore it, up until the present, it has returned to a good condition,” he stated.

The minister added that the popular tourist destination’s reopening would take place under strict conditions.

Since boats will not be able to enter the bay, drivers will have to drop passengers off at a pier located at the island’s back, away from the cove. In addition, only eight speedboats will be enabled to dock at a time there.

Visits, allowed only from 10:00 a.m. to 04:00 p.m., will be limited to one hour, with a maximum of 300 tourists authorized to be in Maya Bay per round.