Thailand’s Maya Beach has been closed indefinitely to allow the world-famous beach to recover, following the influx of tourists since it was featured in a Leonardo DiCaprio 2000 movie, “The Beach.”
“The small beach has sustained extensive environmental damage in recent years, receiving up to 5,000 tourists and 200 boats a day,” The Guardian reported, adding that more than 80 percent of its coral reef has been destroyed due to litter and sun cream.
Maya Beach is located in Thailand’s Ko Phi Phi Leh island. CNN said the beach has daytrippers from Phuket, which is only an hour away via a speedboat.
The Telegraph said that among the questions tourists usually get upon arriving in the area is “have you been to where they filmed The Beach yet?”
Thai authorities implemented the four-month rejuvenation of the Maya Beach. However, CNN reported that the island has yet to be fully revived. They added that they will extend the closure “until natural resources return to normal.”
“It’s very difficult to remedy and rehabilitate because its beach was completely destroyed as well the plants which cover it,” said Thailand’s director of the national parks department Songtam Suksawang in a report.
Prior to this rather bold move to save the famous beach, Thai authorities were reportedly hesitant to shut down the island due to the revenue it is earning.
This is not the first time since a beach was shut down in South East Asia.
Earlier this year, the Philippine government also shut down another world-famous beach Boracay to allow the island to recover due to the destruction brought by the influx of tourists and poor sewage system. Indonesia, too, declared a garbage emergency in Bali, following a viral video showing the garbage in the seawater.