MAYA BAY, Thailand (AP) — Once a pristine Thai paradise, mass tourism has exhausted the secluded bay made world famous by the Leonardo DiCaprio movie “The Beach.”
Now it’s to get some respite from the daily influx of dozens of boats and thousands of visitors unsuccessfully scrambling for an unspoiled view of glistening white sands and emerald waters.
Maya Bay on Phi Phi Leh Island in the Andaman Sea will close to tourists for four months from Friday to give its coral reefs and sea life a chance to recover from an onslaught that began nearly two decades ago.
Thai authorities have promoted unfettered tourism but now claim to be striving to balance profit and conservation. They say the closure will happen every year.