Visitors will be able to reclaim their place on the sand in Thailand’s Chiang Mai city as tourism officials near the site of a giant beach made famous by “The Beach” launch an island on Monday.
Called Supai Pier, the island will open to the public on Tuesday. Visitors will be encouraged to visit the bay, where 36 meters (132 feet) of powdery white sand once extended out for kilometers around. The family of filmmaker Anthony Minghella famously lost its fun when it washed away under sea erosion, and because of their tragic experience, a famous part of Bangkok’s nightlife, the UK’s The Old Walker Bar, was named the “Raving Beach Bar.”
The beach has remained completely hidden for years. But city leaders set about creating a section of the bay for tourists to explore again when the region started a new chapter as one of the wealthiest destinations in Southeast Asia.
“We saw this as the perfect opportunity to lead tourism from the south to the north,” said Chiang Mai Chamber of Commerce President Yoong Sanyu, according to the BBC. “We are very proud to announce Supai Pier and show the world that Chiang Mai is truly one of the most popular tourist destinations in the region.”
The new part of the bay will be one of Chiang Mai’s most traveled spots. Last year, the city sold nearly $3 billion worth of tourism, which is about five times the amount visitors spent in 2005.
In addition to promoting itself as a holiday destination, Thailand is a regional manufacturing base and a major supplier of generic pharmaceuticals and tech goods. Its government is a supporter of the body corporate philosophy — which reduces dependence on fossil fuels, deforestation and corruption in government — and the country’s leaders plan to invest heavily in tourism, including a $115 billion plan to build a dense network of high-speed trains and new airports through 2040.
Read the full story at The Guardian.
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