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Maya Bay to get extra protection

PHUKET: Boats taking tourists to visit Phi Phi Island’s renowned Maya Bay will no longer even be able to land or drop anchor at Loh Samah Bay, on the far side of the island, in the latest move to protect the island from environmental damage brought on by overtourism.

tourism, environment,


The Phuket News

Wednesday 16 May 2018, 02:09PM


A tourism promotion photo of showing the pristine Maya Bay as recently as 2011. Photo: TAT
A tourism promotion photo of showing the pristine Maya Bay as recently as 2011. Photo: TAT

Instead, a floating pier will be installed so that tourists can disembark tour boats and arrive on the island without causing further harm to the popular island, Thanya Nethithammakul, chief of the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation, announced yesterday (May 11).

The move comes just weeks before Maya Bay, as part of the Hat Nopparat- Mu Ko Phi Phi National Park, closes for four months from June 1 through Sept 30 to allow the local ecosystem a chance to recover from the heavy tourism traffic it has endured for years. (See story here.)

At last report, the bay was receiving up to 4,000 visitors a day, Mr Thanya noted yesterday.

“No tourism activities will be permitted in Maya Bay during this period,” Mr Thanya also confirmed. (See NNT report here.)

However, a limit of 2,000 tourists per day will be allowed to visit beach at Maya Bay by arriving at Loh Samah Bay located on the south side of Phi Phi Lei Island. From there, tourists will be able to walk the 250 metres across the small isle to see Maya Bay first hand.

Songtham Suksawang, Director of the DNP’s National Parks Office, said engineers had been tasked with drawing up plans and installing the floating pier to ensure it is safe for tourists to use and prevents any further environmental damage to that side of the island.

“We will also launch a coral propogation project to help corals in the area return to their former natural state,” Mr Songtham said.

 

 

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BenPendejo | 16 May 2018 - 19:31:13

This plan is not protecting Ko Phi Phi National Park, just shifting the abuse to other areas which will also suffer and be degraded. National Park officials are unable to make the hard decisions needed to conserve and protect the natural resources they are responsible for. The 4 month "restoration"period is a farce...it really needs more like 4 years.

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Asterix | 16 May 2018 - 15:58:06

I am wondering how DNP Rangers will be able to build a fixed pontoon in Lo Sama Bay to visit Maya Bay?

Some part of Lo Sama are deeper than 10 meters even much more and during the southwest monsoon, waves may be up to 2 meters and swell will destroy the structures for sure.

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Asterix | 16 May 2018 - 15:57:51

At Lo Sama Bay, there are a lot of coral reefs which must not be destroyed during the construction and later with the use of the pier by so many day tour boats, without forgetting the pollution with all boat engines.

Decision-makers want to save Maya Bay at the expenses of Lo Sama Bay. Am-I right?

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Kurt | 16 May 2018 - 14:31:36

Floating piers should have been installed at both sides of the island many years ago. No environmental anticipation of National Park directors in the passed, just filling personal money coffers as we red before.
Speed boats should be required to buy a monthly expensive license for calling Phi Phi island with a certain maximum boats to decrease the number of daily visitors.

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