Popular Thai island closed to tourists in bid to protect it
Thai authorities are to close a popular tourist island to all visitors for an indefinite period in a bid to prevent its environmental degradation.
The Bangkok Post said officials have declared that Koh Tachai, in the Similan Islands National Park off Phangnga province, will be off limits to tourists from October 15.
Tunya Netithammakul, director general of the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plants Conservation, told the newspaper that "thanks to its beauty", Koh Tachai has become a popular site for both Thai and foreign tourists, resulting in "overcrowding and the degradation of natural resources and the environment".
He said the closure will allow the rehabilitation of the island's environment "before the damage is beyond repair".
All marine national parks are closed from mid-May to mid-October during the monsoon season, but Koh Tachai will remain closed indefinitely.