After being closed to tourists for three years, Maya Bay has finally reopened.

The incredible cove of impressive cliffs, white sand beaches and rich blue waters – made famous in 2000 by Leonardo DiCaprio flick ‘The Beach’ – will reopen to tourists on January 1, 2022 according to a statement issued by Thailand’s Department of National Parks.

Three-and-a-half year after the bay was shut off to the public, Thai authorities made a desperate bid to save its coral reefs.

The speedboats that brought tourists to the island over years have almost decimated corals, but now the island is closed and the reefs are back in bloom. 

One of Thailand's most famous tourist attractions Maya Bay is finally set to reopen after being off limits to the public for more than three years (pictured: the island of Phi Phi Leh, home to the world renowned Maya Bay)

After being closed to tourists for three years, Thailand’s Maya Bay tourist attraction is now set to be reopened. (pictured: Phi Phi Leh island that houses the Maya Bay).

The bay (pictured) is set to reopen on New Year's Day, three-and-a-half years after it was closed off from the public when Thai authorities launched a desperate attempt to save the cove's coral reefs

After being closed to the public for three and a half years, Thai authorities tried to rescue the coral reefs of the cove by closing it off again.

It will reopen on January 1, 2022 after being closed off from the public in June 2018 to rejuvenate the decimated coral reefs. The corals had been all but destroyed by a constant stream of tourists arriving on speedboats for years

The facility will be reopened on January 1, 2022, after it was closed to the public for rejuvenation of the coral reefs. The constant flow of tourists who travel on speedboats over the years has almost destroyed corals.

This handout photo taken and released on November 14, 2021 by Thailand's Department of National Park, Wildlife and Plant Conservation (DNP) shows Varawut Silpa-archa, Thailand's Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, planting a tree next to DNP officials visiting Koh Phi Phi's Maya Bay ahead of its reopening in January 2022, after years of being closed to let the area recover from damage caused by mass tourism

Photo of Varawut Silpaarcha, Thailand’s Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, being planted next to DNP officials at Koh Phi Phi, Maya Bay, ahead of the reopening of that area in January 2022. The closure was made after it had suffered years of damage from mass tourism.

Tourism in Maya Bay boomed following the release of the film 'The Beach' in 2000, directed by Danny Boyle and starring Leonardo DiCaprio (pictured in film)

Maya Bay saw a boom in tourism after the 2000 release of ‘The Beach’, which was directed by Danny Boyle. Leonardo DiCaprio is also featured in the film.

Maya Bay can be found in Thailand’s Hat Noppharat Thara Mu Ko Phi Phi National Park. It is also one of two Phi Phi Islands in Krabi. 

Phi Phi Leh is a smaller, more affordable option than Phi Phi Don. It offers an array of accommodation choices for both budget- and high-end guests. However, Phi Phi Leh only opened to day-trippers prior to Maya Bay closing. 

The film “The Beach” directed by Danny Boyle in 2000 saw a boom in tourism in the area. Locals soon discovered that they can make huge profits by operating regular boat trips from Phuket, which is less than one hour away, to the bay. 

Although the average visitor to the bay was 5,000 per day in 2018, years of boat travel and constant tourists have caused havoc with sensitive ecosystems. 

Initial plans stated that the bay would remain closed for 4 months in June 2018, to let the coral bounce back. However, officials quickly increased the time limit to 2 years to accommodate the need to grow more coral reefs and create more tourist facilities to help protect the bay from more damage.

Officials from Thailand's Department of National Park, Wildlife and Plant Conservation visited Maya Bay this weekend ahead of its reopening in January 2022, after years of being closed to let the area recover from damage caused by mass tourism

Thailand’s Department of National Park, Wildlife and Plant Conservation visited Maya Bay last weekend to celebrate its reopening, in January 2022, following years of it being shut down for the recovery of mass tourism-caused damage.

The bay received an estimated 5,000 visitors per day on average in 2018, but years of speedboat travel and a constant influx of tourists wreaked havoc on the sensitive underwater ecosystems (pictured: hordes of tourists on Maya Bay beach in May 2018, just prior to the closure)

Although the average visitor to the bay was around 5,000 per day in 2018, years of boat travel and constant inflows of tourists caused damage to delicate underwater ecosystems.

Maya Bay is a stunningly beautiful bay that's sheltered by 100-metre high cliffs on three sides and offers several white sandy beaches. It was known for an abundance of tropical fish and extensive coral reefs before mass tourism eroded the marine life

Maya Bay has stunning views and is protected by 100-metre-high cliffs. It also offers a number of white sandy beaches. Before mass tourism destroyed the marine life, it was well-known for its abundance of coral reefs and tropical fish.

“Maya Bay” has received constant interest from tourists all over the globe. However, this has led to the natural area’s deterioration, particularly corals,” Varawut Sipa-Archa, Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, stated in a November 14 statement. 

“After shutting Maya Bay down to revitalize and restore it up to the present, it is now in a good state.” 

The minister has confirmed that the bay will reopen for New Year’s Day. However, speedboats and tourists cannot continue to wreck the waters due to new regulations.

Silpa-Archa explained that no boats will be allowed into the bay under new regulations. They will now have to drop their passengers off at the newly built pier far away from the bay with its corals. 

There will only be eight speedboats allowed to dock at the bay at once. Visits are limited to one hour and a maximum 300 people per round. Visitors will have to wait for six hours before the bay is open.  

Prayut Chano-cha, the Thai Prime Minister, stated in October that Thailand’s coronavirus restrictions would be eased to allow tourists to travel to Thailand during winter vacations.

He said, “We need to be quick but cautious and do not lose the opportunity to tempt some of year-end and new year holiday season tourists… to support many million of people who are able to make a living out of our tourism.”

According to World Bank data, Thailand’s economy was 15% in tourism before the pandemic.

Despite the fact that some venues are still closed, The authorities will consider easing further rules starting December 1, if Covid cases remain low, and they are open to considering this.

More than a million Britons visited Thailand in 2019, making it one of our favourite long-haul destinations.


Thailand now allows fully vaccinated Britons to enter the country without having to be in quarantine.

A negative PCR test must be proven before arriving.

More information is available at

A link here takes you to a Tourism Authority of Thailand web page with details of which documents need to be completed — and other requirements for entry, such as travel insurance cover.

You can find more information at www.