23 May 2024

Picturesque Maya Bay in Thailand’s southern province of Krabi will reopen to visitors on New Year’s Day, 2022, but with strict conditions attached, including no swimming in the bay and the number of visitors at one time will be limited to no more than 375.

Asst. Prof. Dr. Thon Thamrongnawasawat, vice dean of the Faculty of Fisheries at Kasetsart University and a well-known marine scientist, said in his Facebook post today (Tuesday) that the national parks committee, chaired by the director-general of the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation, approved the reopening of the bay, which has been closed for three years and a half, after coral reefs and environment in the area sustained heavy damage from excessive tourism activities.

The national park committee agreed that restrictions must be imposed to protect the bay and its marine resources if the bay is to be reopened, said Dr. Thon.

The restrictions are as follows:

  • No boats may enter the bay area through the front access and must use the opposite side, where a landing pier for landing visitors is already in place.
  • The number of visitors at any one time will be limited to no more than 375. The number of rounds of visits each day and the duration of each stay are yet to be decided by chief of the national park and tourism operators in Krabi province.
  • No swimming is allowed in the bay area, because there are many black-tipped reef sharks in the water which may pose a danger to swimmers. Swimming may also disrupt the sharks and coral in the area.

Maya Beach was the prime location for the Hollywood film “The Beach” in 2000, starring Leonardo DiCaprio.