This summer will be a season of closures of popular tourist spots in Asia. Prior to the announcement by the Philippine government to close the resort island of Boracay to tourists, Thailand announced it will be doing the same for several beaches include one made famous by Leonardo DiCaprio's movie "The Beach."
Thailand's Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation has ordered the closure of Maya Bay the citing enviromental damage to the reefs and sea life from June 1 to September 30.
Normally, Thai national parks such as Maya Bay are closed between mid-May to mid-October. Due to the demand of visitor arrivals, it has been allowed to remain open year-round.
Located on Phi Phi Leh island in the Andaman Sea, Maya Bay has been known for its silky soft white sand and underwater colourful coral surrounded by 100-foot high cliffs. Since being featured as a prime location in "The Beach," it has since attracted millions of tourists from around the world.
Along with Maya Bay, other popular tourist attractions may be added to the list for potential closures which may include: Koh Tapoo and Kao Ping Kan in Phang Nga National Park, Koh Rok in Mu Koh Lanta National Park in Krabi province, including parts of Similan National Park in Phang Nga province.
These rehab plans will include a 2000-person limit on the number of visitors per day when it opens. Boats will also be directed to dock on the other side of the island. The Thai government will be working with marine biologists in an effort to mitigate the enviromental damage and hopefully rehab the reefs and wildlife in the area.