Tourism hotspot Maya Bay, on Koh Phi Phi Leh, Krabi province, will close for 2 months from August 1 in order to give the ecosystem a break and allow for environmental recovery. Officials from the Hat Noppharat Thara – Mu Koh Phi Phi National Park have confirmed the closure of both Maya Bay and Loh Samah bay from August 1 to September 30. It is expected to be an annual closure that coincides with the region’s wet season.
Maya Bay was first closed in 2018 after years of excessive visitor numbers that threatened the fragile marine ecosystem. The arrival of the Covid-19 pandemic offered the island further respite from the excesses of tourism and the closure of the popular bay, made famous by the movie The Beach, will now be an annual feature for the long term maintenance of sustainable tourism.
During the closure, the bay will only be accessible to national park officials and environmental researchers. According to officials, there has been significant recovery to marine life during the Covid-19 pandemic, when the total lack of tourists and boats gave the ecosystem a much-needed rest. A permanent ban on swimming in the bay, and boat access to the bay and beach, has remained in force since it re-opened to visitors, allowing for the return of blacktip reef sharks to the waters.
When the bay reopens there will be many local tour companies offering day trips to Maya Bay and Koh Phi Phi Leh from either Krabi or Phuket. You can find out more HERE.
SOURCE: The Phuket Express