The Beautiful Beach From 'The Beach' Is Closing To Tourists

If you've ever seen The Beach, the first part of it is a great advert for the beautiful country of Thailand. After that it - well, let's just say that things take a dramatic and sudden turn for the worse.

Anyway, the beach that featured in the film is a real place, a lovely place called Maya Bay on Phi Phi Leh Island sat away in the middle of the Andaman Sea. It really is picturesque - not even murder, gangrene and evil cannabis farmers could ruin this island paradise.

Apparently tourists are having a pretty good go at it though. So much so that the local authorities have agreed to close it down so that it can have a bit of a time off.

Thailand's National Parks and Wildlife Department are worried that the sheer amount of tourists and boats carrying them coming to the island are ruining its coral reefs and decimating its marine life.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

The beach receives about 200 boats and 4,000 visitors every day, the Daily Mail reports - some off the back of the success of the film, but also because it's a really nice place.

But recent surveys have discovered that the coral reef is disappearing quickly and sealife numbers are badly struggling, and with this in mind, it will completely shut for four months from June and after that the number of visitors allowed will be controlled.

A prominent marine scientist and member of Thailand's National Strategy Committee on Environment Development, Thon Thamrongawasawat, said: "It's like someone who has been working for decades and has never stopped.

"Overworked and tired, all the beauty of the beach is gone. We need a timeout for the beach.

"This would be a good way to start managing our tourist destinations. And we can improve on what we learn after the first year.

"We know that it's important we manage our resources well. It's not about more numbers of tourists but about sustainable tourism that benefit locals as well."

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

Thanya Netithammakum, head of Thailand's National Parks and Wildlife Development added: "If you ask me if it is too late to save our islands, the answer is no.

"But if we don't do something today, it will be too late."

It's not unusual for the Thai authorities to close off areas of outstanding natural beauty. Some of them are closed at certain times of the year, but others are shut down all year so that they can regenerate.

The islands of Koh Yoong and Koh Tachai have been closed since 2016 and the results there have been encouraging. Thon hopes that the same dramatic recovery will help Maya Bay.

He said: "I have always dreamt that one day we could work to bring her back to life. I have been following and working on Maya Bay for more than 30 years.

"I had seen it when it was a heaven and I see it when it has nothing left.

"Anything that we can do to bring this paradise back to Thailand is the dream of a marine biologist."

Featured Image Credit: PA

Tom Wood

Tom Wood is a freelance journalist and LADbible contributor. He graduated from University of London with a BA in Philosophy before studying for a Masters in Journalism at the University of Salford. He has previously written for the M.E.N Group as well as working for several top professional sports clubs. Contact him on [email protected]

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