Thailand’s DNP announces rejuvenation for Ko Phi Phi’s famed Maya Bay
Krabi’s 154 islands, three national parks & unique way of life are ready for more visitors
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.
In Krabi, which has three national parks, the DNP closes Ko Rok Nok and Ko Rok Nai, Ko Ngai, Mu Ko Ha, and Kong Hin Daeng-Hin Muang in the Mu Ko Lanta National Park, from 16 May to 14 October every year. Furthermore, the Department has closed Ko Yung in Hat Noppharat Thara-Mu Ko Phi Phi National park and the trekking trail of Khao Phanom Bencha National Park, until further notice.
Krabi Vice Governor Mr. Apinan Puakpong noted that only Maya Bay will be closed to visitors while neighbouring Mu Ko Phi Phi (Phu Phi islands) and its beautiful beaches remain open to the public.
“Krabi still has much to offer with a diverse archipelago boasting 154 islands plus three national parks and its own unique way of life,” he added.
Mr. Apinan also said that Krabi’s other famous beaches, including Mu Ko Phi Phi, Ko Hong, Ko Dam Hok Dam Khwan, Ko Poda, Ko Ngai, Ko Lanta, Nopparat Thara Beach, Ao Nang Beach, Thap Khaek Beach, Ba Kantiang Beach and West Rai Le Beach were all open and ready to welcome tourists.
To support the Tourism Authority of Thailand’s latest ‘Amazing Thailand Go Local’ tourism promotion, Mr. Apichai Aranyig, Director of the TAT Krabi Office said the office recently launched a series of ‘Krabi Once More’ routes highlighting tourism experiences in local communities. These include Ban Ko Klang’s batik and fishing village, Laem Sak’s panoramic view and Baba Nyonya culture, and Ko Lanta’s three ethnic communities to name just a few.