Tourism Forces Closure of Beach DiCaprio Made Famous

Thailand's Maya Bay features in the 1998 film 'The Beach'
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted May 31, 2018 12:12 PM CDT
Tourists walk the beach of Maya Bay in Krabi province, Thailand, on Thursday.   (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit)

(Newser) – Summer visitors to Thailand hoping to retrace Leonardo DiCaprio's steps as seen in the movie The Beach are out of luck. The Maya Bay beach featured in the 1998 film, part of a national park on the island of Ko Phi Phi, has been temporarily closed for the first time as part of a rejuvenation program made necessary by thousands of daily visitors, reports CNN. As a German tourist tells the BBC: "The beach in the film is very relaxing, there are no people to be seen, and you get this idea of a very lonely place in the middle of nowhere. Then you come here and you think you're in Times Square in New York."

Before reopening the beach in October, Thailand's Department of National Parks says it will assess the environmental health of the coastal area and determine whether further restrictions are required. In the meantime, summer visitors will be barred from setting foot on the beach, and even from entering the bay on boats, though they'll get the rare opportunity of seeing the beach empty from the cliffs that form the blue-green bay's opening, notes CNN.

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