The beautiful Maya Bay on the island of Phi Phi was famously closed in June 2018 to allow coral restoration and beach recovery. Recently the Thai Government made a decision to keep it closed to visitors until at least 2021. The 250m long bay, known for its sugary-white beach and beautiful coral reef system located between Krabi and Phuket, was made famous by the 2000 Hollywood film “The Beach”. However, it’s eco system was seriously damaged by the year-round tourist traffic. After 11 months of closure, the environment is slowly repairing itself with the return of reef sharks and ghost crabs, while the 23,000 pieces of coral that were planted are growing.
The popular Phi Phi Island day tours organized by Destination Asia Thailand will be operated according to the same itinerary as the last 11 months; guests will cruise the area and can observe Maya Bay from a distance.
Since these issues have come to light, the Thai government along with owners of major resorts and marine biologists, are working together to save the local ecosystem. Travelers can now visit the new Marine Discovery Centre at Phi Phi Island Village Resort to learn more about local marine life and what’s being done to protect wildlife. The Discovery Centre houses a series of colourful, interactive displays explaining the life cycles and habits of many marine species endemic to the Noppharat Thara – Mu Ko Phi Phi National Park; as well as information on natural attractions. This unique environmental attraction also includes a special program to re-introduce Clownfish – better known as “nemos” – and harmless Bamboo sharks back into the region’s once plentiful waters. The Marine Discovery visitor’s center welcomes guests to learn about and take an active role in protecting Thailand’s unique marine species.