Since announcing it’s indefinite closure first in June 2018, fans of “The Beach”—a classic thriller starring Leonardo Dicaprio—have been waiting anxiously to hear when the filming location will open again. There’s good news and bad news: There is a tentative reopening date, but it’s not as soon as you would like.
Thailand’s Maya Bay, which was the area featured in the 2000 film, will be closed until at least 2021, according to a statement from the advisor to the Department of National Parks Thon Thamrongnawasawat. “The resolution of the Department of Parks yesterday is to extend the closure of Maya Bay for another two years to allow its ecology to fully recover,” he said.
Originally, the closure was only supposed to last four months, re-opening in October 2018. But the local authorities worried not enough time had passed for the area to thrive again. The bay had been slammed with tourists navigating boats onto the sand and disturbing the local fauna. According to the Daily Mail, there were upwards of 5,000 tourists coming to the beach every day during peak season, most being ferried to the beach by local boatmen or tour groups. The crowds caused soil erosion, uprooted trees, and damage to the coral living in the bay.
Once it reopens, there will be new regulations put in place to help facilitate how many visitors are allowed in the area at once. The two-year extension is in hope that the native plant life and wildlife will once again thrive in this area. Of course, some tourism groups find this extended closure hard to swallow; with so many locals making a living from the attraction, it’s hard to keep it off-limits. With so many other beautiful places around Thailand, here’s to hoping visitors can find other spots to sunbathe happily while this beloved location recovers.