Ko Phi Phi Leh

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Ko Phi Phi Le
Ao Maya
Ao Maya
Waters Andaman Sea
Archipelago Phi Phi
Geographical location 7 ° 40 '44 "  N , 98 ° 45' 54"  E Coordinates: 7 ° 40 '44 "  N , 98 ° 45' 54"  E
Ko Phi Phi Leh (Thailand)
Ko Phi Phi Leh
length 3 km
surface 6.6 km²
Residents uninhabited
Different view of Maya Bay
Different view of Maya Bay

Ko Phi Phi Leh ( Thai เกาะ พี พี เล , RTGS Ko Phi Phi Le ) is an island in the Phi Phi Archipelago ( หมู่ เกาะ พี พี Mu Ko Phi Phi ) in the Andaman Sea . It belongs to the southern Thai province of Krabi and is part of the Hat Noppharat Thara - Mu Ko Phi Phi National Park .


Ko Phi Phi Le is the second largest island in the group after Ko Phi Phi Don with 6.6 km² . The island consists of steep limestone cliffs that surround two shallow bays, the Maya Bay ( อ่าว มา ห ยา Ao Maya , also "Mahya Bay") and Loh Samah. Around the island the sea is only about 20 m deep.

In the northeast of the island is the Wai-King Cave ( ถ้ำ ไว กิ้ ง , also "Viking Cave"), in which swallow nests were previously collected. King Bhumibol Adulyadej gave it the name "Phaya-Nak Cave" ( ถ้ำ พญานาค ), as a stone formation resembles a Naga head that the locals worship. On the eastern and southern walls of the cave there are historical wall paintings of elephants and various ships.


The island has been part of the Hat Noppharat Thara - Mu Ko Phi Phi ( อุทยานแห่งชาติ หาด นพรัตน์ ธารา - หมู่ เกาะ พี พ ) maritime national park since 1983 . Development was avoided until 2004; since then some construction projects have been carried out. Tourists have to pay a fee of 400 baht before being allowed to enter the island. Maya Bay is popular with divers.

Mass tourism and environmental damage

For the shooting of the film The Beach , the production company 20th Century Fox had the island's beach leveled and vegetation cleared to artificially enlarge the beach. Although efforts were made to reverse the encroachment after filming was over, fears have been raised that the damage to the ecosystem is irreversible. Accordingly, 20th Century Fox and some members of the Thai government have faced various lawsuits. In 2006, the Thai Supreme Court upheld an appeals court ruling that the filming had harmed the environment.

As a result of the commercial success of The Beach , the island's popularity increased suddenly. As a result, from the year 2000 onwards there was a rapidly increasing flow of tourists and ultimately mass tourism . At times around 5000 tourists crowded the Maya beach, which is only 250 meters long and 15 meters wide. Since the island has no sewage system or sewage treatment plant, the wastewater ended up in the sea uncleaned. According to the national park administration, 80 percent of the coral banks were destroyed by the pollution caused in the Maya Bay .

On June 1, 2018, Maya Bay was closed for four months to allow nature to recover from the tourist crowds. Since the investigations in the following months revealed far more serious environmental damage than previously assumed, the ban was extended on October 1st of that year for an indefinite period, but at least for one year.

See also

Individual evidence

  1. Thailand closes the dream beach from "The Beach". welt.de, May 31, 2018.
  2. ^ Hannah Ellis-Petersen: Thailand bay made famous by The Beach closed indefinitely. In: The Guardian . October 3, 2018, accessed October 3, 2018 .