Closing beach parks may become a reality in popular tourist destinations like in Hawaii, Thailand, Indonesia, Italy or elsewhere in the world. Travelers hoping to visit the famous “Maya Bay” in Thailand may never be able to enjoy the beach and its creamy white shores and towering limestone cliffs.
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However, after closing the beach indefinitely the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) would like to clarify that while the world famous Maya Beach is closed, stunning views of the Bay can still be enjoyed.
The popular day-trip destination was due to reopen in October following a temporary tourist ban.
But at the beginning of the month, Thailand’s Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation (DNP) announced the bay will remain closed indefinitely.
The clarification is based on this week’s trip, from 19 to 20 October, by a TAT delegation led by TAT Governor Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn to obtain a first-hand view of the reality on the ground.
The ecosystem and the beach’s physical structure have yet returned to its full condition,” said the letter, in Thai, adding that they would extend the closure from October onward “until natural resources return to normal.
The TAT delegation learned that Phi Phi Leh Island, where Maya Bay is located, is still open to tourists. Maya Beach itself is off limits, but visitors can still enjoy the stunning views of Maya Bay — without people — from a boat. They can also enjoy snorkelling in the front of the Bay.
Diving and snorkeling trips around Mu Ko Phi Phi are also running as usual.
Holidaymakers can also stay overnight on Phi Phi Don Island and enjoy many other beautiful beaches and bays of Krabi’s Hat Noppharat Thara-Mu Ko Phi Phi National Park.
Phi Phi Don Island’s main pier is at Tonsai Bay, which is the busiest with a host of accommodation, restaurants and tourist shops. For visitors seeking to relax and stay away from the crowd, they may want to stay on one of the other beaches such as Laem Tong Beach.
Laem Tong Beach is situated at the northern end of Phi Phi Don Island and is only accessible by a 45-minute boat ride from the main pier. It is home to a beautiful and secluded beach as well as a handful of four- to five-star accommodation. These resorts are known for their sustainable operations adhering to strict guidelines to reduce their impact on the environment.
From Phi Phi Don Island, local long-tail boats can be hired for a day cruise to view Maya Bay, visit Pileh Lagoon and Bamboo Island as well as enjoy snorkelling and swimming.
Day trips can also be made from Krabi and Phuket to enjoy the beautiful nature of the Hat Noppharat Thara-Mu Ko Phi Phi National Park.
Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn, TAT Governor, said: “For many years, the local community at Mu Ko Phi Phi has been undergoing a regular beach and underwater clean-up aimed at helping to preserve the marine ecosystem as well as the coral reef system, which are the reasons why tourists and divers return to the area year after year.”
“TAT is ready to support all stakeholders to work together to achieve common goals towards socially and environmentally sustainable tourism.”