In a renewed commitment to the environment, Thailand will not let tourists access several of its 61 national parks for at least five months.
During the annual monsoon period, which is when the largest numbers of tourists head for Thailand's beaches, 61 out of the country's 154 national parks will be closed. This closure applies to some very well-known sites around Phuket, such as the Koh Phi Phi islands. Maya Bay, made famous by the Leonardo DiCaprio movie "The Beach," will remain open this year despite damage to the reefs, AsiaOne reported Wendesday.
The Koh Ha islets to the west of Koh Lanta Island will be inaccessible to tourists until October 15. And in the Andaman Sea, the remote Similan Islands that tourists generally reach from Khao Lak, will also be out of bounds.
This means that numerous locations that are popular with divers will be closed. This drastic decision, which has been taken for the fourth consecutive year, aims to give marine wildlife time to recover from the effects of mass tourism. Between May and October, nine million tourists visit Thailand's national parks. The wet season is the ideal time for marine wildlife to regenerate.