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Thailand’s Maya Bay will reopen on January 1, no swimming and possibly a fee to visit

Maya Bay | Stock photo by Miltiadis Fragkidis for Unsplash

After some doubt on if Thailand’s Maya Bay would reopen next month, Thai officials have confirmed that the bay, which was made famous by the Leonardo Dicaprio movie, The Beach, is opening back up on January 1… but no swimming and there might be a fee to visit the site.

The New Year’s Day reopening of the popular tourist attraction on Koh Phi Phi Leh will come with stringent measures after being closed to visitors since July 2018 due to environmental concerns, particularly the damage to the coral reefs. Some scenes from the novel-based film starring DiCaprio was filmed at Maya Bay in 1999. The movie drew so much attention and overcrowding damaged the marine ecosystem.

Watch Tim Newton’s interview with Shaun Stenning about what’s been happening at Maya Bay and Koh Phi Phi Leh to get the island ready again for tourists…

According to a Bangkok Post report today, the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation has confirmed that, yes, Maya Bay is definitely opening on January 1. The department is still considering whether to charge to visit Maya Bay in addition to the national park fee.

The visitors will not be allowed to swim as a recent survey shows that there are a huge number of blacktip reef sharks in the waters surrounding Maya Beach, with at least 161 of them grazing in the region.

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: Bangkok Post

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