The beach wieder offen Thailand Maya Bay Leonardo diCaprio
© Humphrey Muleba/Unsplash

Leonardo DiCaprio's "The Beach": Maya Bay in Thailand welcomes tourists again

For more than three years, the beach made famous by the movie "The Beach" was closed - because it attracted too many tourists and the environment suffered. Now you can visit Maya Bay in Thailand again. Under conditions, however.

January 7, 2022

The idyllic Maya Bay on Phi Phi Leh in Thailand, known worldwide since Leonardo DiCaprio's "The Beach," became a tourist attraction after the release of the hit movie in 2000. There were hardly any days when several thousand people did not crowd the sand. People bathed, took selfies, had picnics and campfires. And they left trash behind. The corals suffered. The government pulled the emergency brake. In June 2018, the authorities issued a ban on visitors. The original plan was to give nature about six months to recover. This then turned into more than three years - despite an annual loss of revenue of around ten million euros per year.

Open - under conditions

Now the bay on the uninhabited neighboring island of Koh Phi Phi, Phi Phi Leh, is open again. Tourists are allowed to visit the natural jewel daily from 7 am to 6 pm. Trips to the island are possible from Krabi, Phuket or neighboring Ko Phi Phi Don, for example. A maximum of 375 people per hour are allowed on the beach. Prior registration is required. After one hour, the time is up - and you have to vacate your spot again. In total, the authorities allow a maximum of 4,125 people per day. Bathing and boating are still prohibited.

Back when finding parking for boats was a problem ... © Humphrey Muleba/Unsplash

Leonardo DiCaprio's "The Beach" doesn't exist like that

Those who visit Maya Bay will not be disappointed by the beauty of the bay and the beach area. However, one should not expect too much from it. Because while in Leonardo DiCaprio's "The Beach" the mysterious beach can only be found with the help of a drawn map, there are long paths through the jungle and the actors jump from huge waterfalls, Maya Bay is actually a rather small bay. The waterfall does not exist. And not even the bay is real. The movie was under heavy criticism because of the preparations for the shooting even before it was released. The original vegetation was cut down and replaced by imported coconut trees. The beach area itself was bulldozed. And even expanded. 

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