If you ever watched Danny Boyle's trendy thriller 'The Beach' in the early '00s and dreamed of seeing it for yourself, you're going to be waiting even longer.
It's been reported that Maya Bay on the Thai island of Ko Phi Phi Leh - which was made famous by the 2000 movie starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Tilda Swinton - has been closed indefinitely, due to the millions of tourists who flocked to the idyllic and crystal-blue waters following the movie's success. Easily one of the most recognisable and popular beaches in the world, Maya Bay reportedly saw 5,000 tourists per day and over 200 boats landing there in recent years.
Not only that, littering from boats, sun cream and general waste in Maya Bay has meant that approximately 80% of the corals surrounding the beach and Ko Phi Phi Leh have now been destroyed. Speaking to the Guardian, Songtam Suksawang of Thailand's national parks department explained that the damage is "very difficult to remedy and rehabilitate because its beach was completely destroyed as well the plants which cover it."
Traditionally, a four-month closure of the beach was hoped to be enough to give it time to recover from the damage from tourists, however the closure is now indefinite until the ecosystem is given a chance to fully recover. Locals, however, will be feeling the pinch as tourists to Ko Phi Phi Leh and Maya Bay generated close to £9 million annually in revenue.