Will Thai paradise Koh Tachai be lost forever?

  • From October 15, the beaches at Koh Tachai will be closed indefinitely
  • Barring visitors is designed to let the eco-system recover undisturbed 
  • The island is 4.6 square miles and costs 500 Thai Bath (£10) to enter
  • One beach guide described Koh Tachai as Thailand’s most beautiful island

It looks like paradise in these photographs, but the Thai island of Koh Tachai has been ruined by tourists, say officials – and they’re barring visitors before it’s lost forever.

From October 15, the beaches will be closed indefinitely so that the environment can recover.

Tunya Netithammakul, director general of the department of national parks, said that unless this course of action is taken, Koh Tachai could suffer irreversible damage.

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It looks like paradise in these photographs, but the Thai island of Koh Tachai (pictured) has been ruined by tourists, say officials - and they’re barring visitors before it’s lost forever

It looks like paradise in these photographs, but the Thai island of Koh Tachai (pictured) has been ruined by tourists, say officials – and they’re barring visitors before it’s lost forever

He told the Bangkok Post the island’s popularity had resulted in ‘overcrowding and the degradation of natural resources and the environment’.

Making the island off-limits is a measure designed to give the eco-system on the island and in the sea a chance to regenerate without being disturbed before the ‘damage is beyond repair’.

Asst Prof Thon Thamrongnawasawat, deputy dean of the Faculty of Fisheries of Kasetsart University, pointed out that beaches able to accommodate up to just 70 people were sometimes choked with a thousand holidaymakers.

Tunya Netithammakul, director general of the department of national parks, said the island’s popularity had resulted in 'overcrowding and the degradation of natural resources and the environment'. Pictured is one of the island's soft-sand beaches

Tunya Netithammakul, director general of the department of national parks, said the island’s popularity had resulted in ‘overcrowding and the degradation of natural resources and the environment’. Pictured is one of the island’s soft-sand beaches

The island, in the Andaman Sea, is 4.6 square miles and costs 500 Thai Bath (£10) to enter

The island, in the Andaman Sea, is 4.6 square miles and costs 500 Thai Bath (£10) to enter

He said: ‘If it’s not closed now, we’ll lose Koh Tachai permanently.’

Koh Tachai was rated by website beachmeter.com as Thailand’s most beautiful island.

It said: ‘It takes one and a half hours with speedboat to reach the island, and it is certainly worth the boat trip. A beautiful white sand beach and crystal clear water awaits you.’

The island, in the Andaman Sea, is 4.6 square miles and costs 500 Thai Bath (£10) to enter.

The island has received dozens of positive reviews on TripAdvisor, with user Yammon praising the sand and water clarity.

He said: ‘The island was magnificent. Pure, white sand and some of the bluest water I have seen. The snorkelling opportunities were great with plenty of aquatic life to see.’

However, he did also point out that his trip there was tainted by crowded snorkelling areas.

He added: ‘The only negative aspect of the experience was that it did get a little crowded at times in the designated snorkelling areas with many tour groups there at once and there were many seemingly inexperienced swimmers splashing about, getting in the way and scaring the fish.’

Italy, meanwhile, plans to slash the number of tourists visiting the Cinque Terre U.N. World Heritage park this summer because the rugged coastal area risks being wrecked by coach parties.

About 2.5million tourists poured into the picturesque park in northwest Italy last year to visit the five small fishing villages, which are connected by narrow cliff trails.

Residents say day-trippers from cruise ships docking at nearby ports have overwhelmed their communities and the head of the Cinque Terre National Park said no more than 1.5million visitors would be let in this year. 

 

 







Courtesy: Daily Mail Online

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