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After 10 months of being closed, nature is slowly rehabilitating itself, Woraphot said, citing the return of reef sharks and ghost crabs to the area while the 23,000 pieces of coral that were planted were growing. The bay with sugary-white beach and beautiful coral reef -- located in the Phi Phi islands between Krabi and Phuket -- was made famous by the 2000 Hollywood film “The Beach” starring Leonardo Di Caprio, but was battered by the year-round tourist traffic. During peak times, Maya Bay reportedly received as many as 5,000 visitors a day. As the nature and ecology there were in a critical condition, the authority announced the closure of Maya Bay to tourists in last June, initially for six months but that was extended indefinitely. Full story

18 April