Koh Phi Phi Lee
Maya Bay closed to tourists until further notice
By looking at the images below, you will easily understand why the Thai authorities have decided to close the bay to mass tourism...
The slow fall
This is how you could admire this bay which is always beautiful and will always be.
This picture is from 2010, so not so old...
At that time, we already thought that there were many visitors, but it was still bearable...
However, it should be noted that this photo was taken before 10 am....
I stayed on the sand to contemplate this earthly paradise with its splendid colours.
In the distance, we could hear the sound of a longtail boat coming into the bay with its characteristic sound
that resonated in the vastness of the bay... it was part of the Thai charm,
we could hear a few swallows passing over our heads.
It was all so beautiful, but so far away now.
After 10 hours... the situation became quite different, already in 2010...
Mass tourism crushes everything in its path
In 1999, some sequences of the film "The Beach", which is far from being a Masterpiece, were shot there. It so happens that one of the actors was Leonardo di Caprio. Do we remember the names of the other actors...? not necessarily, like that, a known name can change everything and can attract crowds all that because the guy in question found himself a few hours treading the white sand of Maya Bay beach.
At the time of the shooting, what was happening there was already scandalous: uprooting trees, coconut trees, multiple brushings, it was a real carnage... I remember very well, since I used to go there regularly, that it was quite shocking for the rest of us. With under the table to fatten up who we can imagine, everything had become possible.
During the few years following the shooting, the effect was not immediately felt. In fact, it was quite progressive, and now that the Chinese are travelling in large numbers and are joining the long list of travellers from all over the world, the bay so beautiful before, has become a real fair, a dump site with Coke boxes, thrown plastic bottles, candy wrappers here and there... Absolute horror.
It is undoubtedly the descent into hell due to the excessive influx of tourists.
About 3 to 4000 daily visitors come to compress, push each other, take pictures of each other, and take a few steps on this beach to be able to say "I was there" ! you talk about a visit !
Hundreds of swimmers, snorkelers, divers come to unwind in these beautiful waters and in this fabulous setting. Moreover, not a week goes by without an accident: drowning, a boat crash with a swimmer, or a diver who gets his leg cut off by a speedboat propeller...
According to statistics that appear from time to time, in the hit parade of victims come far ahead, the Chinese... it makes sense: they are currently the most numerous and by far and they can't swim for the most part, they are easily recognized by their red life jackets that they keep even to go to the local toilet, and all in bands like a colony of penguins. I have absolutely nothing against the Chinese, nor the Russians, nor any other origin... but these groups so numerous, it is a horror.
I will no longer be able to recommend visitors to go to Koh Phi Phi Phi. For me, Phi Phi Phi Lee... it's over, because this place has unfortunately become a place to avoid, to skip, to forget, to wipe off the map. I'm hard, I know that, but I can't stand this photograph that I now have in my head.
Having no business in the sector, neither near nor far, no restaurant, no hotel, no travel agency, no commission on people I could possibly recommend, so no interest... I prefer to say the substance of my thoughts and be honest without detour. What's going on there is a horror, a scandal. The authorities charge 200 baht per person for a right of way. It is their right of course, but it makes a lot of money every day (3000x200= 600,000 THB that goes into the crates) a great business.
If you go to the website http://www.phuketferry.com/ you will see for yourself that prices in high season are discounted. 348 THB to go to Phi Phi Phi instead of 600. The result... the completely overloaded boats even exceeding at times the limits of tolerable at the risk of capsizing at any time. Scandalous even, but as always, it takes an accident and a few drowned for rules to be established. It's always the same.
I have just received testimonies from people I knew directly and who confirmed this situation: it is impossible to find a seat on the Phi Phi-Phi-Phuket boat. Boat completely overloaded, deplorable welcome, no smile in the land of smiles (find the error).
If you subscribe to the Phuket Gazette, you receive daily news emails from Phuket: Not a week goes by without a boat accident, with a few drowned.
I don't delete Phi Phi Phi's photos from my blog, because the surrounding beauty is still there... but don't count on me to recommend these places that have become unbearable for me.
Mass tourism in this way...? Very little for me, thank you.
And I think no less of James Bond Island, who is of the same kind!
Let's stop dreaming....
Admire... the look of Maya Bay these days...
and you will understand why the Thai authorities have decided to close the access...
This is now how you can contemplate this dream landscape....
We no longer hear the longtail boats ringing individually, we no longer hear the swallows passing by...
Lying on this beach no longer makes sense, no longer charming.
Nowadays, there is a constant noise of powerful engines, the Place de l'Etoile at 6pm!
We spend more time being careful not to walk on someone, or on the other hand, not to get stepped on... so the landscape takes a back seat. Can we still be admiring?
There is nothing more endearing, no more intimacy, no more room for dreams, no romance, no artistic side, I don't even want to go out with my camera, to sit down, to put my favorite music in my ears to soar (music and magical landscapes being two things that go together so well)
Koh Phi Phi Phi Lee, for me, it's over and all that, because of some sequences from an American stupid movie.
I definitely turned the pages "Maya Bay" and "James Bond Island" two places that were once so beautiful but that mass tourism managed to destroy in a few years.
...and what to think and say about the fauna and flora... we will have the opportunity to come back to this point.