BREAKING NEWS : Allen County Councilman Joel Benz plans to accept TRAA executive director position Full Story
STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Thailand bay made popular by 'The Beach' closes indefinitely

Travelers hoping to visit famous "Maya Bay" in Tha...

Posted: Oct 3, 2018 1:15 AM
Updated: Oct 3, 2018 1:15 AM

Travelers hoping to visit famous "Maya Bay" in Thailand are going to have to wait a while longer to take in its creamy white shores and towering limestone cliffs.

The popular day-trip destination was due to reopen this month following a temporary tourist ban.

Asia

Beaches

Continents and regions

Destinations and attractions

National parks and monuments

Parks (green spaces)

Points of interest

Southeast Asia

Thailand

Tourism

Travel and tourism

Coastal areas

Environment and natural resources

Landforms and ecosystems

Thailand travel guide

But on Tuesday, Thailand's Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation (DNP) announced the bay will remain closed indefinitely.

Made famous by "The Beach," a 2000 film starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Maya Bay has been off-limits since June 1 as part of what was expected to be a four-month rejuvenation program aimed at reviving the area's decimated corals and installing additional boat jetties, among other activities.

But according to the DNP's announcement, signed by director-general Thanya Nethithammakul, the marine ecosystem requires more time to recover.

"The ecosystem and the beach's physical structure have yet returned to its full condition," said the letter, in Thai, adding that they would extend the closure from October onward "until natural resources return to normal."

Maya Bay more popular than ever

Part of Thailand's Hat Noppharat Thara-Mu Ko Phi Phi National Park, Maya Bay is a huge draw for the area thanks to the global success of "The Beach," which was filmed there.

Thailand regularly closes national parks and islands for a variety of reasons, from extreme weather to ecological recovery, but this was the first time such measures were taken in busy Maya Bay.

Data released by the DNP suggested that the park would see as many as 2.5 million visitors in 2018, a year-on-year rise of half a million.

On a visit to the area prior to its closure, visitor numbers multiplied by the minute as boats poured in an out of the bay, dropping off more bodies to sunbathe, snorkel and shoot photos.

Many visitors to the area are daytrippers from Phuket, which is less than an hour's ride away by speedboat.

Boracay set to reopen

The move to close Maya Bay earlier this year followed on the heels of the Philippines government's decision to shutter the popular tourist destination of Boracay for six months, beginning April 26, over concerns the island's famous beaches and clear blue waters have been transformed into a "cesspool" due to sustained environmental damage.

Boracay is due to reopen in phases, beginning this month.

Unlike tiny Maya Bay, which has no hotels or inhabitants and prohibits overnight stays, the popular Philippines beach destination is home to as many as 17,000 people, many of whom are directly engaged in the tourism industry.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 941120

Reported Deaths: 15315
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1282511983
Lake633041097
Allen53609758
Hamilton43827447
St. Joseph41906590
Elkhart33545490
Vanderburgh30383448
Tippecanoe26820249
Johnson23609417
Hendricks22250341
Porter21737346
Clark17409229
Madison17366384
Vigo16108281
Monroe14466191
LaPorte14311239
Delaware14070221
Howard13865272
Kosciusko11418135
Hancock10841165
Warrick10674177
Bartholomew10542168
Floyd10430205
Wayne9959226
Grant9130204
Morgan8865160
Boone8389111
Dubois7710123
Dearborn762289
Henry7608130
Noble7413101
Marshall7362128
Cass7176117
Lawrence6957153
Shelby6584111
Jackson656785
Gibson6156107
Harrison603786
Huntington600195
Montgomery5805105
DeKalb574291
Knox5494104
Miami542488
Putnam536768
Clinton533665
Whitley524953
Steuben497268
Wabash483592
Jasper479160
Jefferson470092
Ripley454277
Adams444068
Daviess4169108
Scott405865
White391857
Clay390857
Greene388392
Decatur385296
Wells384983
Fayette374278
Posey359941
Jennings353156
Washington332047
LaGrange321375
Spencer317835
Fountain316555
Randolph312888
Sullivan307449
Owen283863
Starke280064
Fulton277553
Orange275859
Jay254837
Perry251652
Carroll243729
Franklin239338
Rush234130
Vermillion233250
Parke219820
Tipton209655
Pike207639
Blackford168334
Pulaski163551
Crawford146018
Newton144345
Benton142516
Brown135346
Martin128217
Switzerland125810
Warren114616
Union96911
Ohio79711
Unassigned0479

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1365800

Reported Deaths: 21596
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1522221560
Cuyahoga1344852327
Hamilton976051320
Montgomery670271141
Summit562091047
Lucas50900863
Butler47417655
Stark41580976
Lorain31567532
Warren30001331
Mahoning26963639
Clermont25628292
Lake24585417
Delaware22313145
Licking20487241
Fairfield20420221
Greene20309272
Trumbull19866509
Medina19796287
Clark17879328
Richland16314234
Portage16130229
Wood15681208
Allen14115256
Miami13786253
Muskingum12641152
Wayne11946238
Columbiana11708241
Tuscarawas10953269
Marion10725148
Pickaway10465129
Scioto10324127
Erie9747171
Ross9436176
Lawrence8755125
Hancock8458141
Ashtabula8317185
Geauga8173156
Belmont8140187
Jefferson7527172
Huron7423128
Union731851
Washington7183120
Athens697165
Sandusky6848134
Darke6756136
Knox6671122
Seneca6358137
Ashland5948113
Auglaize587188
Shelby5727101
Brown564171
Mercer557890
Defiance5483101
Madison543371
Crawford5425114
Highland541581
Fulton530683
Clinton525580
Logan512182
Preble4994110
Putnam4833106
Guernsey470364
Williams459282
Perry449852
Champaign445964
Ottawa436884
Jackson425362
Pike388843
Morrow383851
Fayette375853
Coshocton374766
Adams360675
Hardin359069
Gallia347356
Holmes3259108
Henry324668
Van Wert314670
Hocking301769
Wyandot280658
Carroll262652
Paulding242243
Meigs213942
Monroe189749
Noble169340
Morgan165829
Harrison157940
Vinton138118
Unassigned05
Fort Wayne
Mostly Cloudy
50° wxIcon
Hi: 59° Lo: 47°
Feels Like: 50°
Angola
Cloudy
54° wxIcon
Hi: 55° Lo: 46°
Feels Like: 54°
Huntington
Partly Cloudy
50° wxIcon
Hi: 57° Lo: 47°
Feels Like: 50°
Decatur
Mostly Cloudy
50° wxIcon
Hi: 57° Lo: 47°
Feels Like: 50°
Van Wert
Partly Cloudy
53° wxIcon
Hi: 59° Lo: 47°
Feels Like: 53°
Sunshine and warmer air return to round out the work week, but the warm-up is brief.
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events