Home Of The Beach Closed Following Covid Outbreak

Koh Phi Phi in Thailand, location for the Leonardo DiCaprio film The Beach, has announced temporary travel restrictions following a Covid-19 outbreak in the islands.

Main picture Maya Bay, Koh Phi Phi, Thailand credit Kullez on flickr

The travel restrictions start on 11th September and run until the 18th. Visitors under the Phuket Sandbox 7+7 Extension will still be able to travel to the islands however, using the extension boat service.

The outbreak has centred on a wastewater treatment construction camp and migrant workers and up to 40 people are believed to be infected.

The 2000 film The Beach was filmed on Phi Phi Leh and caused controversy from the very beginning.

The film makers decided that the paradise location was not beautiful enough and undertook extensive landscaping, making changes to sand dunes and removing trees to increase the size of the beach. Many environmentalists claimed that restoration measures following the end to filming did not resolve severe damage caused.

Some years later the enduring popularity of the film fueled a tourism boom for the bay. In 2008 around 170 people a day visited the secluded bay, by 2017 that was up to 5,000 on the busiest days.

In 2018 the bay was closed to tourists to allow the extensive damage, caused by boats and tourists, to the beach and coral to recover. Additional work has also been undertaken to ensure that when tourists are allowed to return it can be done in a controlled manner and without causing further damage.

There have been increasing calls for Maya Bay to be reopened to tourists.

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Published by flyingdogtravel

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