Thailand's famed Maya Bay to remain closed until rehabilitation is complete

BANGKOK: The Maya Bay, made world-famous after Leonardo DiCaprio's movie "The Beach", will remain closed as rehabilitation of the popular beach continues after enormous corals were destroyed through excess tourism.

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment said that in future ships will not be allowed to enter Maya Bay, except from the back.

Corals were not recovering as expected, Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Varawut Silpa-archa said on Sunday (May 17).

On Saturday, the minister went to Maya Bay to inspect progress in the recovery of both the land and marine environment.

The Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation under the Environment Ministry announced the closure of Maya Bay on June 1, 2018, banning tourism and related businesses.

“Maya Bay has been rehabilitated for the past one year, and there has been great recovery," Varawut said.

"On the land, many plants -- even Morning Glory never seen on Maya Bay before -- are growing well. But under the sea, corals are still in a dangerous condition.

"Many coral species grow at a rate of only 3-5 centimetres in a year, while some species will grow only 1-2 centimetres.”

The minister went to look at the idea of building a harbour at the back of Maya Bay in the Loh Samah Bay. An academic team and environmental experts are inspecting the area. Ships or any other vehicles will not be allowed to enter Maya Bay directly.

“Maya Bay will not be permanently closed. When the coral growth is complete, then this place will be open to tourists from all over the world," Varawut assured. - The Nation Thailand/Asian News Network
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