The tourist hotspot of Maya Bay, in the southern province of Krabi, will re-open as scheduled on New Year’s Day. However, the re-opening comes with some strict conditions attached. There had been some doubt about whether the re-opening of the beauty spot would go ahead, but Thailand’s prominent marine ecologist, Dr. Thon Thamrongnawasawat from Kasetsart University, says it’s happening.
According to a Thai PBS World report, Thon took to his Facebook page to confirm that the national parks committee has approved the re-opening. The bay was closed for 3 and a half years to allow the bay’s coral reefs and marine life to recover from years of excessive tourism. Maya Bay shot to fame as a must-visit destination after serving as the location for the 2000 Leonardo DiCaprio film, The Beach.
Re-opening it may be, but there are strict conditions attached, including a ban on swimming in the bay itself. Thon has welcomed the rules, saying they’re essential if the bay and its marine resources are to continue being protected. The rules include the following:
- Tourist numbers cannot exceed 375 at any one time. The exact number of rounds of visits each day, and the duration of each visit, have not yet been decided.
- Boats are not permitted to enter the bay via the front access but must instead use the newly-constructed pier at Loh Samah Bay, on the opposite side.
- No swimming in the bay. This is to protect the coral and the black-tipped reef sharks that returned to the bay during its closure.
SOURCE: Thai PBS World
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