Written by Staff Writer at CNN
Tubosztor Bay, a tranquil part of Thailand that was once famous for the movie “The Beach,” will officially reopen in time for the holidays, in what the government calls the first tourism investment of its kind.
Located in Thailand’s Phuket province, Tubosztor Bay sits on the Siamese island of Buana, on the brink of the Gulf of Thailand. The beach, which is about 6 kilometers long, used to be popular with tourists and became well-known for its dramatic curves that allowed divers to sail through.
CNN first visited Tubosztor in June 2000, just two months after the film was released.
Tubosztor Bay in Thailand is the most popular dive spot in the country. Credit: MadThaiNews via YouTube
The area’s popularity also created safety concerns; police enforced tight rules to manage crowds and when foreign tourists flew in from neighboring Malaysia and Thailand, they were allowed to stay there for two weeks. Local police then struggled to deal with the problems.
“There was a lot of red tape and misunderstanding about rules and regulations,” said honorary deputy governor of Phuket province Long Siripana Na Ayutthaya. “That is the time to be negative about Tubosztor, but even then there are positive signs of the new direction we’re taking with this area.”
Authorities this year plan to extend the beach year-round and build a series of recreational and amenities facilities such as “hutas” (detached buildings with outside toilets) and restaurants that will have electronic payment systems.
“Tubosztor is not only the best spot in Phuket Province, but also on the entire island of Buana. It is one of the best tourist spots in Thailand, ” said General Amporn Mai Pramsiri, Director of Tourism of Phuket Province.
Phuket province has been home to the popular resort town of Pattaya for nearly 50 years. The Phuket Island Museum and the Phuket Archaeological Park opened in 1999. Credit: MadThaiNews via YouTube
“It will also be one of the main attractions to attract families, schools, and divers in the area. Unfortunately there are no other places to do that in the area of Buana, so we decided to develop Tubosztor Beach.”
A wind farm is also being built nearby, while a 160,000 cubic meter tourist pier will be completed next year.
Buana will become a “new dive capital” of Thailand, said Ray Sokkaei, Deputy Director of the Phuket Ocean Sports Institute, part of Phuket’s tourism authority.