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Traveler's Edition
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The beautiful Thai island of Koh Tachai has been closed indefinitely due to excessive damage from tourism. The popular island in the Andaman Sea is known for its white sand beaches and great diving.

Thai authorities closed the island to visitors and are blaming tourism for damaging its ecosystem. Koh Tachai is the northernmost of the Similan Islands, located off the southern coast of Thailand.

The problems facing the island include litter and food waste and gasoline from tour boats leaking into the water and damaging the surrounding coral reef. An island of this size can comfortably accommodate a few hundred tourists a day. At some points, there were 2,000 people visiting the island daily.

Koh Tachai is 85 miles northwest of Phuket and has no hotels. Most visitors make a day trip out of it and only eat lunch on the island before heading back to either the mainland or another nearby island in the Similan Islands archipelago.

While the “Maldives of Thailand” is out of commission, there’s still plenty of islands to discover!

Img: White Sand Beach by Jochen Lorenz / Flickr cc.

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