Thailand will reopen the famed Maya Bay in the Phi Phi Islands on Jan. 1 which has been closed since mid-2018 to recover from overtourism.
Natural Resources and Environment Minister Varawut Silpa-archa has said Monday that workers are renovating piers and officials are setting a swimming zone to create balance between tourism and conservation.
Varawut visited the bay in the Noppharat Thara-Mu Ko Phi Phi National Park in Krabi Province on Sunday to follow up progress in the rehabilitation of the popular site.
There he said the national park would reopen to visitors from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and the number of visitors will be limited at 300 at a time.
Tourist boats will be moored in the Sama Bay and visitors will have about one hour in Maya Bay. Their swimming zone could be confined within a range of about 50 meters to protect newly planted coral, Varawut said.
The Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation closed Maya Bay on June 1, 2018 because it had been heavily damaged by overtourism.
Officials planted coral in an area of about 10 rai and also grew indigenous plants to protect its beach from erosion.