Maya Bay Closed For At Least 2 Years
Maya Bay on Koh Phi Phi Le, which was closed to the public on the 1st of June 2018 is to remain closed for up to two more years, possibly even longer.
Originally the bay was closed to the public for four months to allow the coral to recover, this was extended by a further 6 months to the end of March this year, but the bay remained closed. At a meeting this week it was decided that the bay will remain shut to visitors for at least another two years as its ecology needs more time to recover.
Following the meeting assistant dean of Kasetsart University’s Faculty of Fisheries Thon Thamrongnawasawat, in his capacity as a member of the DNP’s marine park management advisory board was quoted as saying “Tanya Netithammakul, director-general of the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation (DNP), will have the final say on whether to reopen the site for tourism and on which date”.
After the reopening, a series of measures will be imposed on Maya Bay and adjacent Loh Sama Bay. This bay is also very popular all year round and is used to access Maya bay during the Southwest monsoon period when large waves in Maya bay make access dangerous. It is understood these measures will limit the number of tourists visiting the bay and ban tour boats from accessing the beach via Maya bay.
While these measures are welcome it cannot be denied that the large number of tour boats must be limited and controlled in general to prevent them simply moving to other sensitive areas and causing damage. Over the Songkran holiday severe damage was caused to corals on the east side of Koh Kradan which is approximately 60 miles to the Southeast of Phuket in Trang province.