You Can No Longer Channel Young Leonardo DiCaprio At Thailand’s Maya Bay

Looks like you’re no longer going to be able to show off your lush trip to Thailand‘s Maya Bay – the shooting location for Danny Boyle‘s 2000 flick The Beach, starring young Leonardo DiCaprio – on Instagram because Thai authorities are closing the tourist hotspot indefinitely, as CNN reports.

Yes I am afraid we young wanderlusters, looking for seemingly untouched limestone cliffs, white beaches and coral reefs, done gone fucked it and ruined it for everybody.

Maya Bay was meant to be closed to tourists only temporarily to give the beach time to recover from the massive influx of tourists, but the Thai Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation announced on Tuesday that it would remain closed for the foreseeable future.

It’s been shut since June 1, with the more explicit aim of the closedown to help rejuvenate the Bay’s decimated corals and to install additional boat jetties.

As an announcement from Thai director-general Thanya Nethithammakul said, the beach will remain closed “until natural resources return to normal“: “The ecosystem and the beach’s physical structure have yet returned to its full condition.

It’s a real bummer – but also probs fair enough – considering the Department had estimated up to 2.5 million people would visit the Bay this year, some travelling less than an hour by speedboat from nearby Phuket.

Maya Bay has no hotels, no locals, and overnight stays are a big ‘Hell no.’

Just in case you forgot about The Beach, and exactly what you’re missing, the movie based on the novel by Alex Garland featured a group of backpackers stumbling upon a pristine and empty island in Thailand, complete with a gorgeous hidden beach and lagoon. It’s there that a community of travellers, led by Tilda Swinton, lives, takes drugs, parties, and also fears local farmers, sharks and each other. It gets dark and also sexy. It’s a lot.

The story of the book ‘n movie aside, filming there totally fucked up the island where Maya Bay is, Ko Phi Phi Le. Like 20th Century Fox literally bulldozed and landscaped the beach – altering sand dunes, clearing coconut trees and grass – to make it more “paradise-like“. And even though they’d set aside money to fix it, they were still successfully sued by environmentalists. Interesting, huh?

Anyway, guess you’ve gotta find your tropical paradise somewhere else, soz.