Written by Staff Writer at CNN
Perhaps you’ve heard of it. You know it as the place from which Leonardo DiCaprio came to live in the film “The Beach.”
It’s also one of the last undeveloped stretches of beach on Thailand’s picturesque island of Phuket, which is now preparing to open its white sandy beach to a limited but regular schedule of tourists for the first time in 15 years.
Despite being revealed as a part of Phuket’s planned reopening of its beaches in late 2019 , progress on the project has still been slow.
“It’s slow because there are a lot of approvals that needs to be done,” explained Nirapat Naiyarajan, chairman of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) , to CNN affiliate TRT World.
An aerial view of Beach Road on Phuket. Credit: courtesy Tourism Authority of Thailand
But the TAT chairman assured that the reopening of Beach Road and nearby stretches of beaches would begin “imminently.”
With the reopening process still in the very early stages, limited details about the beach’s expansion have been released to CNN — but planning is already underway for the spectacular beach renovation.
A phase-one reopening of Beach Road, where Leonardo DiCaprio took his infamous ‘hi/hi/hi’ swim, is expected by the end of this year. Credit: Shutterstock
Plans include an expansion of the current infrastructure of beach facilities and infrastructure, along with an overhaul of the existing facilities and beach access. The entire island is expected to be open to visitors in the second half of this year.
Under a project called Phuket Resort Rewa , Phuket has also committed to fund beach improvements in and around Beach Road. Many of the islands’ beaches were closed when Phuket embarked on a much larger scale development of Phuket as a holiday destination in the 1990s.