Thailand’s Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation (DNP) has announced that Maya Bay in Hat Noppharat Thara-Mu Ko Phi Phi National Park will not allow visitors during a much needed four-month rejuvenation period from 1 June to 30 September, 2018.
The DNP announced at a press conference held on 15 May that access to Maya Bay will be strictly off limits during the four-month rejuvenation.
It will not allow boats to enter the bay in front of the beach, or even drop anchor at nearby Loh Samah Bay, as visitors and their vessels will not be allowed to enter Maya Bay.
Travellers can still catch a glimpse of the Bay’s stunning beauty, made famous by Leonardo DiCaprio’s movie ‘The Beach’ at a 400-metre distance, or between the two cliffs that form a natural entrance to the lagoon. But this will be strictly supervised and carefully monitored by the DNP.
During the four-month period, the DNP will undertake a coastal and marine environment quality evaluation study on the condition of reef and beach resources, environmental control, and tourism management. This is to properly determine measures for environmental sustainability of Maya Bay during future off-tourist seasons.
Temporary closings of natural attractions are not new to Thailand. Each year, the DNP closes several national parks for a period to allow for ecological recovery time. Depending on weather and park conditions, dates vary as the closures are often due to extreme weather, especially during the rainy annual monsoon that may create unsafe conditions.