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Famed Thai beach reopens, but no swimming


Thailand's famous Maya Beach, a cove on Ko Phi Phi Leh island is out of the hospital, thanks, but still not ready for all the visitors who used to flock there, drawn by its appearance in the film The Beach.

The beach, small and surrounded by limestone cliffs, was closed by authorities in 2018 when it was drawing 5,000 visitors a day, its waters were being fouled by motorboats and its coral reefs were dying. In November, Thai officials announced it was ready to re-open, but with care to avoid having the problem again.

Thailand's Tourism Authority headReuters, “The sharks have come back, coral reefs are regrowing, and the water is clear again. These things show that nature will heal if we give it time, and we have to work to keep it that way too.”

To do so, visitors are being limited to an hour's visit, motorboats have been banned from the bay itself and only eight can be nearby at any time. No more than 375 visitors an hour will be allowed, and the area will only be open six hours a day, from 10 am to 4 pm.

The best part of every trip is realizing that it has upset your expectations

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We went to Maya beach some 15 years ago and the article prompted me to look for my photos from the occasion - until my wife reminded me that we found it so unpleasant there (crowds, rubbish, debris, noise) that we did not take any pictures at all. Hopefully, the new limits will ensure that the bad days will never return.

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