THAILAND MOVES TO PROTECT NATURAL HERITAGE AT MAYA BAY

Maya Bay, the world-famous tourist destination that is part of the Phi Phi Islands in the Andaman Sea, is closed for a four-month break while assessments are made of the impact of tourism on the paradise destination.

Thailand’s Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation (DNP) announced that Maya Bay in Hat Noppharat Thara-Mu Ko Phi Phi National Park will not allow visitors during a much- needed rejuvenation period from 1 June to 30 September, 2018.

The DNP 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.

During the hiatus, the DNP is undertaking a coastal and marine environment quality evaluation study on the condition of reef and beach resources, environmental control, and tourism management.

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.

Krabi Vice Governor, 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.