Maya Bay 'to reopen Jan 1'

Maya Bay 'to reopen Jan 1'

Maya Bay in Krabi province will probably reopen to tourists on Jan 1, with regulations in place to preserve the rehabilitated beach and bay from the ecological ruin it previously suffered, the government says.

Natural Resources and Environment Minister Varawut Silpa-archa announced the tentative opening date yesterday.

He said Hat Noppharat Thara-Mu Koh Phi Phi National Park was in the final stage of building an improved pier on the island and defining the swimming zone for beachgoers.

The Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation closed the bay on Phi Phi Le Island in June 2018 after its was overwhelmed by tourists, leading to the destruction of reefs and the marine ecology. The bay drew global attention when it featured in the Hollywood movie The Beach, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, in 1999.

The minister, in Krabi for a mobile cabinet meeting, said reopening the bay will come with strict conditions.

The number of visitors would be limited, as would the time from 10am to 4pm, and each tourist would only be able to spend an hour swimming in a designated zone, to protect the reefs.

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