Tourists Love Beach So Much Thailand Has to Close It
Koh Tachai island's beaches have suffered from overcrowding
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted May 17, 2016 8:00 AM CDT
Koh Tachai is located in the Similan National Park in southwest Thailand.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – An island that Time reports was voted Thailand's most beautiful last year is being closed due to the hordes of tourists that flock to it. Koh Tachai island's beaches closed Monday for the monsoon season per usual, but it will be indefinitely closed beginning Oct. 15—the day they would have opened, reports the Bangkok Post. As the director of the Department of National Parks, Wildlife, and Plants Conservation explains, the island's beauty has made it a popular destination, which "has resulted in overcrowding and the degradation of natural resources and the environment," says Tunya Netithammakul.

That overcrowding was reportedly extreme: sometimes as many as 1,000 tourists on a beach there, one that has a capacity of 70 people. The Guardian points to complaints of this nature on TripAdvisor; one posted in February complains about the number of divers ("8-10 boats here on most sites with circa 20 divers a boat"), which are driving away the manta rays. "Wake up national park admin ... you are losing the attraction by allowing too many divers ... it's not all about revenue!" the review concludes. Point taken: Closing the beach should "allow the rehabilitation of the environment both on the island and in the [Andaman Sea]," says Netithammakul.