Thailand is effectively closing one of its islands for an indefinite period because it’s simply too beautiful.
Koh Tachai is off the Phang Nga province and is part of Similan National Park.
The Independent report that the island, which is known for its white sand beaches and coral reeefs, is feeling the negative impact of heavy tourism on its fragile ecosystem.
It’s now monsoon season in Thailand, and the majority of Thailand’s national parks close during this time until mid-October, but Tachai will sadly remain shut off.
Tunya Netithammakul is the director-general of the National Parks, Wildlife and Plants Conservation Department, and he said:
“Thanks to its beauty, Koh Tachai has become a popular tourist site for both Thai and foreign tourists. This has resulted in overcrowding and the degradation of natural resources.”
The island is at risk of being ‘damaged beyond repair’ due to overcrowding at peak tourism times. For example, a beach on the island could withstand 70 people but had seen up to 1,000 onsite with food stalls and tour boats contributing to pollution.
Tourists are being warned to be wary of operators continuing to sell tickets to the island.