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Did ‘The Beach’ vandalise the beach at Maya Bay?

Tanutam Thawan

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A judgment is expected to be handed down in July after the Civil Court’s environmental division has finished hearing evidence from the Thai plaintiff and the US defendant over the controversial filming of Hollywood movie The Beach. The film starred Leonardo DiCaprio and was partly filmed at Krabi’s Maya Bay in 1998.

(Phuket’s On On Hotel was used as the set for the seedy Bangkok backpacker hotel at the start of the movie)

Thai PBS is reporting that the Thai plaintiff comprising Krabi Provincial Administration Organisation and the Ao Nang Tambon Administration Organisation, filed a civil suit against the Royal Forest Department and its former director-general Plodprasop Suraswadi, former Agriculture Minister Pongpol Adireksarn, the US film maker 20th Century Fox and its Thai coordinator Santa International Film Production, after finding that the film maker’s changes to the Maya Bay beach landscape led to irreversible ecological damage to Hat Noppharat Thara – Mu Ko Phi Phi national park.

(On this basis they should be suing the tour companies and 2,000 tourists that trample over the beach every day of the week)

The plaintiff has been seeking 100 million baht in compensation for rehabilitation of the area.

The court accepted the lawsuit in 2012, and conducted its own inspection of the beach in 2013 to collect evidence and speak to local people.

Legal experts say the site inspection by the judges could set precedent for environmental related cases in future.

The court had also formed a tripartite academic team comprising the court, the plaintiff and the defendant to jointly work out rehabilitation plans.

The US film maker had offered to set up a fund for the rehabilitation for the ecological damaged inflicted on Maya Bay.

Did 'The Beach' vandalise the beach at Maya Bay? | News by Thaiger

 

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Local Thai journalist speaking fluent Thai and English. Tanutam studied in Khon Kaen before attending Bangkok’s Chulalongkhorn University.

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