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This Popular Thai Island Is Now Ruined Because of Tourists

SmarterTravel

Due to fears of environmental damage caused by tourists, the popular Thai island, Koh Tachai, will close indefinitely on October 15. All marine national parks are closed in Thailand during monsoon season, from mid May to mid October, which means Koh Tachai is no longer allowing tourists. The island is in the Similan National Park and is a popular spot for both Thai and foreign tourists, especially divers.

The island is closing so that both the island and nearby dive sites can recover from the environmental damage caused by visitors. As Tunya Netithammakul, director general of the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plants Conservation told the Bangkok Post, “We have to close it to allow the rehabilitation of the environment both on the island and in the sea without being disturbed by tourism activities before the damage is beyond repair.”

Two deep dive sites within the island chain will remain open, but popular spots Koh Adang, Koh Rawi and Koh Hinngam, as well as diving spots will be closed. Netithammakul warns that some tour operators will still try to sell foreigners packages to the island, so be aware if you’re traveling to Thailand soon.

“A beach on the island can hold up to 70 people. But sometimes the number of tourists was well over 1,000 on the beach, which was already crowded with food stalls and tour boats. This caused the island to quickly deteriorate. If it’s not closed now, we’ll lose Koh Tachai permanently,” Asst. Prof Thon Thamrongnawasawat, deputy dean of the Faculty of Fisheries of Kasetsart University, as told to the Bangkok Post.

Koh Tachai is just one of many other tourists spots closing its doors to visitors. Here are some other famous sites around the globe that are telling tourists to stay home.

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