The dream beach on the Thai island of Ko Phi Phi Leh known from the Hollywood film The Beach has reopened to visitors after more than three years.
However, from now on strict regulations apply to protect the paradise of Maya Bay from the consequences of mass tourism.
For example, the bay with its turquoise waters is now only open from 7am to 6pm daily. The number of guests is limited to 375 tourists per hour, with a cap of 4125 people allowed to come per day. Each visit is limited to 60 minutes.
In addition, there is a bathing ban, with anyone who violates it to face legal consequences.
Furthermore, boats are no longer allowed to approach the beach from the bay side, but must anchor on the other side of the island, as reported by the news site The Thaiger.
After the worldwide success of The Beach from 2000, directed by Danny Boyle and starring Leonardo Di Caprio, tourists from all over the world literally descended on the beautiful bay.
Carelessly dropped anchors caused severe damage, especially to the offshore coral reef. Because of the environmental damage, the Thai government imposed a ban on visitors in June 2018, which was actually only supposed to last a few months. In May 2019, however, it was extended by two and a half years.
The closure was supposed to help nature - especially the corals - to recover from the years-long onslaught of tourists. In the meantime, many new corals have been cultivated, which, according to the authorities, are slowly but steadily developing.