A newly appointed park chief has made the decision to ban climbing in the popular Koh Yao Noi area in Thailand.
Quoted from the Phuket Gazette, Ao Phang Na National Park chief Worapot Lomlim stated:
“Climbing is an extreme sport and a risky activity. Even though there are safety regulations, and well-tested equipment is being used, there is still the possibility of someone falling and dying. There is no need for an expert’s opinion on this; I can see myself that it is not safe.”
The decision appears to have been made irrespective of the area's high safety standards in bolting, including the use of titanium bolts which are inspected regularly by locals. The effect of the ban on the local economy has been deemed less significant than the safety of locals and visitors on the island by Mr Lomlim.
Despite not earning the status of a climbing 'hotspot' like Tonsai, Chiang Mai or Railay, the area was a popular choice for off-the-beaten-track routes.