Connect with us


Environmental damage shutters Ta Chai island indefinitely

Legacy Phuket Gazette



PHUKET: Ta Chai Island and the surrounding waters were today closed to tourists and members of the public with no scheduled reopening date.

Officials say the island, located some 70 kilometers north of Phuket, was closed in order to allow marine life a chance to restore itself.

“Normally, islands in Mu Koh Similan National Park, including Ta Chai and Similan, are closed from about May 16 to October 14 annually,” said Mu Koh Similan National Park Chief Nut Kongkasorn. “Tourists can usually enjoy the island from October 15 until May, as well as the two deep-water diving spots northwest and southwest of Ta Chai island.”

However, according to an official letter signed by Department of National Parks Director-General Thanya Netithammakun on May 10, Ta Chai Island and the area around it will remain closed after October 15.

“The main purpose of the closure is to let the marine life restore itself, as it is being severely damaged by human activities. We can also use this time to re-consider policies and regulations on Ta Chai, such as the possibility of limiting the number of tourists who can visit the island,” Mr Thanya said.

Mr Nut told the Phuket Gazette that the resulting closure will affect tourism to the island.

“We cannot deny that it will affect the tourism sector, particularly tour operators. However, we informed them of the planned closure about five months in advance, so they’ve had time to adjust their plans. There are many other places for them to visit,” Mr Nut said.

Tour guides, however, say that the indefinite nature of the closure is already forcing some people out of business.

Ta Chai-based tour guide Kanokwan Taengudom said that she will probably lose her job from the closure.

“We really appreciate that the closure is being done to help the environment, but our lives will be negatively affected by it,” Ms Kanokwan said.

“Normally, during the five month closure, we have to find other jobs. But now, without a scheduled re-opening, the situation is even worse. Where will we earn money? We can go to other islands, but they all have many other guides working there already,” she added.

— Kongleaphy Keam


Get more from The Thaiger

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS
👋 Have your say on our Thailand forums
🔔 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
📺 Subscribe / Join YouTube for daily shows
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🐦 FOLLOW us on Twitter
📷 FOLLOW us on Instagram


Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Weather12 hours ago

Flooded hospital in Chaiyaphum had to evacuates 40 patients

Thailand13 hours ago

300,000 more AstraZeneca vaccines donated from Japan arrived

Northern Thailand13 hours ago

Extremely rare earthstar mushrooms found in Phetchabun

Welcome back to Thailand!

Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in Thailand - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages!

Weather14 hours ago

Flood warnings below Chao Phraya Dam, and across Thailand

Thailand16 hours ago

US calls meeting with Thai officials to resolve donated vaccines

Thailand17 hours ago

10 Burmese migrant workers arrested in Songkhla

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Thailand17 hours ago

Over 50 million vaccine doses administered in Thailand

Coronavirus (Covid-19)18 hours ago

Sunday Covid-19 Afternoon Update: Provincial Totals

World18 hours ago

China announces cryptocurrency trading is illegal

North East19 hours ago

Stolen 72 year old elephant returned to owner after 18 years

Thailand19 hours ago

Pattaya readjusts tourism goals for high season

Thailand20 hours ago

Phuket relaxes checkpoint requirements to help tourists and health officials

Phuket20 hours ago

Phuket Covid-19: 2 deaths, 4 Sandbox infections, 10k total cases

Thailand22 hours ago

Facebook page that claims to sell dog meat met with scorn on social media

Thailand23 hours ago

Thailand welcomes its first AI influencer, “AI Ailynn”

Thailand2 weeks ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism7 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism7 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism7 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand9 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand9 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand9 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand9 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11