Yesterday I drove past Maya Bay, where members of the government and national park staff were on an inspection tour, and today I got the official news:
Maya Bay will be opened to tourists again!
The bay on Phi Phi Leh (Thailand) was made famous in 2000 by Leonardo DiCaprio in the film "The Beach" and experienced a huge rush as a result. The numerous anchoring boats destroyed the coral reef in front of the beach, so that the bay was closed a good three years ago. In the meantime, the reef has recovered somewhat and even reef sharks have been sighted again.
Now the decision of the Thai authorities: From 1 January 2022, tourists will once again be allowed on the beach of the popular bay, although some regulations must be observed.
Instead of an average of 5,000 visitors per day in the past, only 1,800 will be allowed to come, and they will be allowed to do so during predefined time windows. Between 10am and 4pm, each visitor can stay for a maximum of one hour.
Boats will no longer be allowed to enter the bay, but will have to moor at the back of the island at the specially built jetty (nearing completion) and only eight boats at a time (48 per day instead of the previous 200).
Swimming is only allowed in a specific demarcated zone.
Important: This is only an estimated opening date, changes are still possible.