Every year, Thailand’s Department of National Parks (DNP) temporarily closes a number of visitor attractions. The closures at some of Thailand’s national parks are primarily for safety reasons or to allow for the rest and recovery of specific sites. Attractions affected include popular dive zones, waterfalls, mountains and caves. The timing of the closures mainly coincides with the May-October rainy season although there are some regional variations with the dates. Heavy rain can result in dangerous conditions on hiking trails and at beauty spots. And at sea, some national marine parks are subject to strong winds and big waves which can make conditions hazardous for small boats and unsuitable for diving.
When are parks closed?
The exact dates and locations where access is restricted at national parks can vary from year to year. On Thailand’s Andaman Coast, the closures usually take place from May-October. On the opposite Gulf Coast, the period of closures tend to be from November to mid-December. It’s also important to note that the closures don’t apply to all national parks and there are still many popular natural attractions that can be visited all year round.
What locations are closed to the public?
Some of the main locations affected are listed below:
Southern Thailand (Andaman Coast)
- Surin Islands (closed mid-May to mid-October)
- Similan Islands (closed mid-May to mid-October)
- Mu Ko Lanta National Park, Krabi – the islands of Ko Rok Nok, Ko Rok Nai, Ko Ngai, Mu Ko Ha, and Kong Hin Daeng-Hin Muang (closed mid-May to mid-October)
- Hat Chao Mai National Park – the islands of Ko Muk, Ko Morakot, Ko Kradan, Ko Chueak, and Ko Waen (closed June to September)
- Mu Ko Ranong – Ao Khai Tao and Ko Chang, near Ranong (closed mid-May to mid-October)
- Tarutao Marine Park – Mu Ko Adang/Rawi (closed mid-May to mid-October)
- Mu Ko Phetra, Satun – Ko Bulon and Ko Lao Liang (closed mid-May to mid-October)
- *Maya Bay, Phi Phi Leh (closed June to September)
Southern Thailand (Gulf Coast)
- Ko Ang Thong National Marine Park, Surat Thani, near Ko Samui (closed November to mid-December)
- Islands in Mu Ko Chumphon National Park (closed November 1 to mid-December)
- Than Sadet Waterfall, Ko Pha Ngan (closed October 1 to late December)
North and north-east Thailand
- Pha Diao Dai Viewpoint and Natural Trail in Khao Yai National Park (closed June to September)
- Ko Kudi and Ko Thalu in Rayong province (closed May 1 to September)
- Ko Thong Lang, Ko Kra and Ko Thien in Trat province (closed dates tbc)
*Maya Bay, Phi Phi Islands
Maya Bay on Phi Phi Leh is famous as being one of the locations for the Leonardo DiCaprio movie, ‘The Beach’. Thai authorities restricted access to Maya Bay in 2018 to allow much needed respite for the coral reefs and marine life found in the area. The closure was extended a number of times through until 1 January 2022.
Tourists and boat operators visiting Maya Bay will now be subject to tighter regulations with a reduction in the number of daily visitors allowed.
Please note the above is not a full list of closures. For full details see the link here or contact Thailand’s Department of National Parks here.