Entertainment

Thailand keeping famed bay from The Beach closed indefinitely

Authorities in Thailand said they have decided to indefinitely extend the closure of a beautiful bay made famous by the Leonardo DiCaprio movie The Beach until it recovers from years of environment damage caused by too many tourists.

Maya Bay to remain closed 'until the marine natural resources return to their normal condition'

Tourists seen on the popular Maya Bay on Thailand's Phi Phi Leh island in March 2017. Authorities are indefinitely extending the closure of the bay made famous by the Leonardo DiCaprio movie The Beach to halt environmental damage caused by too many tourists. (Rajavi Omanee/Associated Press)

Authorities in Thailand said they have decided to indefinitely extend the closure of a beautiful bay made famous by the Leonardo DiCaprio movie The Beach until it recovers from years of environment damage caused by too many tourists.

They had announced in March that tourists would be barred from Maya Bay from June 1 to Sept. 30.

An official announcement published Monday in the Royal Gazette said the bay, part of a national park, will now be closed "from Oct. 1, 2018, onwards until the marine natural resources return to their normal condition."

The announcement said an assessment by the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation found that after having been closed to tourists for four months, Maya Bay still had not recovered.

Starring Leonardo DiCaprio, director Danny Boyle's 2000 film The Beach follows a young backpacker who encounters a mysterious community on a secret island. (Lucy Nicholson/AFP/Getty Images)

Maya Bay, part of the Hat Noppharat Thara-Mu Ko Phi Phi National Park, had remained open year round to cater to tourist demand since a Hollywood crew set foot there in 1999 to film the dark backpacker tale that starred DiCaprio. Many Thai marine national parks are shut annually for four months.

The beach at Maya Bay had received an average of 200 boats and 4,000 visitors each day.

Maya Bay is seen in January 1999, just before filming began on The Beach, starring DiCaprio. More than 35 million tourists visited Thailand in 2017, compared to around 10 million when The Beach premiered in 2000. (Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty Images)

Recent surveys by a team led by marine biologists found a large part of the coral reefs in the area is gone and sea life has virtually disappeared. 

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