Bad news for anyone who has the pristine beaches of Thailand’s Koh Tachai island on their bucket list. The island, known as one of the most beautiful spots in Thailand, will be off limits to all visitors starting in October due to “excessive tourism.”
The island, located in Thailand’s Ranong Province, has become a tourism hot spot thanks to its incredibly blue waters, coral reef and impressive wildlife. But, according to local media, the constant onslaught of tourists has taken a toll on the island.
Officials told the Bangkok Post tourism to Koh Tachai has resulted in the “overcrowding and the degradation of natural resources and the environment.”
“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,” Tunya Netithammakul, director general of the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plants Conservation, told the Bangkok Post.
According to the report, the beaches on the island were holding up to 1,000 tourists at a time, when no more than 70 could be “comfortably accommodated,” and had become overrun with food stands and tour boats.
Koh Tachai island was rated Thailand’s most beautiful island by BeachMeter.com in 2015 and is one of the highest rated attractions in Thailand’s Similan Islands on TripAdvisor.com.
The island is officially closing to tourists in October; however, officials closed Koh Tachai Monday for monsoon season, which ends in October.
Tourists in the region are being warned to look out for tour operators selling fake tours to Koh Tachai.