Tags: koh tachai | island | tourists | off limits

Koh Tachai Island, Trampled by Thai Tourists, To Be Off Limits

Image: Koh Tachai Island, Trampled by Thai Tourists, To Be Off Limits

Tourists on Koh Tachai Island's beach.  (My Favorite Tourist Places)

By    |   Wednesday, 18 May 2016 07:39 AM

Koh Tachai Island, one of Thailand's most popular destinations, will be off limits indefinitely starting Oct. 15 after being thoroughly trampled by tourists, the Bangkok Post reported.

The island, in the country's Similan National Park, has been faced with tourism overcrowding recently, Tunya Netithammakul, director general of the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plants Conservation, told the Post.

CNN said Koh Tachai is known for its "idyllic white beaches and excellent diving," with some tourism companies offering overnight trips where guests stay in tents. The small island, located 85 miles northwest from the tourist hub of Phuket, doesn't have a hotel, so most visitors stay only for the day.

"Thanks to its beauty, Koh Tachai has become a popular tourist site for both Thai and foreign tourists," Netithammakul told the Post. "This has resulted in 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." 

Australia's News.com noted that Koh Tachai was rated as Thailand's most beautiful island by Beachmeter.com and is known for its "crystal-clear waters."

But Thon Thamrongnawasawat, deputy dean of the faculty of fisheries at Kasetsart University in Bangkok, said the island struggled with the weight of so many tourists, according to the Post.

"In fact, Koh Tachai is preserved as a primitive zone, not a tourist site," Thamrongnawasawat noted. "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."

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Koh Tachai Island, one of Thailand's most popular destinations, will be off limits indefinitely starting Oct. 15 after being thoroughly trampled by tourists.
koh tachai, island, tourists, off limits
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2016-39-18
Wednesday, 18 May 2016 07:39 AM
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