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Concern rises as photos of jam packed Maya Bay with influx of Chinese tourists exposed

The influx of Chinese tourists to Maya Bay, the main tourist attraction of Phi Phi archipelago in the Andaman Sea, and the scene of the Hollywood film “The Beach” in 1999 is now causing serious concern of its natural charm and beauty among environmentalists and Thai people if no preservation action is taken by authorities.

chinese tourists in Phi PhiConcern rises after photos of the jam packed beach with thousands of tourists, mostly Chinese, were posted on the Facebook page of Niruth Darid Bannob on Thursday.

The Facebook user wrote “we heard powerful people in Krabi said the selling points of Krabi are its serenity and untainted natural beauty. But what they are doing or trying to is totally opposite”

“Why should they want it to grow so fast. It is not sustainable..visitors just come and go and it is the locals who have to live with the spoilt nature. Immense revenues from tourism could never help to buy back the nature.”.

The posting of photos of the jam packed beach on Maya went viral on the social network with many questioning the marine park authorities for allowing so many tourists to the island even it was a normal working day.

One said on any given day at any time there will be 30 or more speedboats and longtail boats on the beach, with large ferry boats carrying snorkelers and sightseers moored in deeper water.

But what appeared on the beach was different, there was even no room to walk on the beach.

A marine biology expert and member of the National Reform Council assistant professor Thon Thamrongnawasawat told Daily News that he was surprised to see so many tourist boats mooring on the beach despite the fact permission to the beach needed to be sought first from the park chief.

He questioned if park officials had ever inspected the beach and how these boats anchored and whether coral reef had been damaged by these boats, in addition to garbages and uncleanliness.

He also asked if these tourists visit the island using their own tour companies, their guides and their buses, “so what the country will earn from tourism boom that will bring in painful consequence in the future.

Maya Bay is situated in Had Noppharat Thara – Mu Ko Phi Phi National Park.

Maya Bay has become the main tourist attraction of Phi Phi since The Beach was filmed here in 1999. It was always very popular before the film but now people around the world who haven’t even heard of Phi Phi have certainly heard of Maya Bay.

The best time to visit Maya Bay is between November and April during the high season when seas are calm and access to the bay is easy. Rough seas from May to October may hinder access but rarely deny entry.

Thai PBS

 

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