Best known as the setting for 2000 film The Beach

The Thai bay known as the setting for the 2000 film The Beach will close to boats for three months in an effort to prevent damage to its coral. 

The closure of the beach on the Southern Thai island of Koh Phi Phi Leh from June to September will give authorities the chance to reverse two decades of damage to the local marine environment.

The bay, defined by striking limestone cliffs and clear blue waters, has become a bucket-list stop for hordes of tourists after its appearance in Danny Boyle’s film starring Leonard DiCaprio. 

Estimates put visitor numbers at up to 5,000 visitors a day, most of whom travel by boat from Phuket or Koh Phi Phi. 

However, these boats that moor in front of the beach are being blamed for damage caused to coral reefs and other problems regarding sand. 

Tourist numbers to Thailand exceeded 35 million in 2017, with authorities stepping up measures to protect local eco-systems. Recently, smoking was banned on 24 of Thailand's beaches. 

Image credit: Maksym Kozlenko via Wikimedia Commons

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