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A tourist today with a ''brochure'' handed out by Patong police

UPDATE We Will Arrest Phuket Tourists Who Bring Their Own Chairs to Patong Beach, Say Police

Friday, February 13, 2015
Today's Updating News Report

TOURISTS may bring their own chairs to Phuket beaches, the Commander of Royal Thai Navy 3, Vice Admiral Saiyan Prasongsamret, told Phuketwan on Saturday, adding that he would contact the holiday island's Police Commander, Major General Pachara Boonyasit, about the unusual approach being taken by police in Patong.

Original Report

PHUKET: Police in the main Phuket holiday hub of Patong confirmed tonight that they plan to arrest and fine tourists who bring their own chairs to the beach from tomorrow.

A group of German tourists who bought their own chairs this week and have been using them on the beach are among many likely to be incensed if police carry out their threat to arrest and fine tourists from Saturday morning.

Any action against tourists is likely to spark an international incident that will seriously damage the reputation of Thailand.

The country's reputation has already been seriously affected by the previous unwarranted seizure of tourists' personal umbrellas at another beach earlier in the high season.

The German tourists were gathering over dinner tonight, trying to work out whether to defy the new order by carrying their chairs to Patong beach in protest tomorrow.

The Deputy Superintendent of Kathu Police Station, Colonel Akanit Danpititaksan, told Phuketwan tonight that officers had been handing out brochures all day today, warning tourists of the move to ban BYO beach chairs.

The poorly worded brochures say in English: ''No Summer Dream on Beach, Start 12 Feb. 2015.'' Then underneath in the Thai language it says: ''Not allowed to put the chairs on the beach.''

Only tourists with a grasp of the Thai language or an interpreter close at hand would be able to make sense of the ''brochure.''

Phuket's Governor, Nisit Jansomwong, made no mention of any likely ban when he met just yesterday with virtually all of the Phuket media at the island's Royal Thai Navy base to provide detailed answers about future beach arrangements on Phuket.

The Commander of Royal Thai Navy 3, Vice Admiral Saiyan Prasongsamret, also did not mention any plan to prevent tourists bringing their own beach chairs.

Patong's Mayor, Chalermluk Kebsub, was at yesterday's beach ''summit.'' She also made no mention of the imminent police plan to arrest tourists who continued to bring their own beach chairs to Patong beach.

The handing out of ''brochures'' and the warning of the imminent arrest of tourists is the strongest indication to date that police in Patong back the dispossessed beach vendors and sunbed and umbrella operators.

The vendors and operators were cleared from Patong beach by the Army, the Navy and local administrators soon after the military took charge of Thailand on May 22 last year.

Every since then, they have been trying by all means possible to reclaim their turf on the public space that illegally delivered them a healthy income for decades.

Meanwhile, scores of jet-ski operators have been allowed to continue to make a very good living at Patong and other beaches despite opposition from the majority and the banning of the machines in the neighboring provinces of Phang Nga and Krabi.

Reaction is likely to be swift and direct.

Some Patong police have been accused of taking sides with jet-ski operators - especially when asked to mediate disputes that are mostly scams aimed at shaking down tourists.

Comments

Comments have been disabled for this article.

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No more crime in Phuket? Don't the Phuket cops have more important things to do?

Posted by Volker on February 13, 2015 22:22

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And when you think it couldn't get any worse.
It's time to leave this f**** up island and country once and for all. 7 years and I'm done.

Posted by Nicke on February 13, 2015 22:22

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ALready less tourists,next year even less then this year,do they not realize that with less tourists they also will be affected by the money they will not be able to take from the tourists?

Posted by eric on February 13, 2015 22:28

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Do the authorities make them well aware of the decissions that take?
This is a ridiculous not possible. Then they will be surprised not to have tourists. Incredible!
In addition they leave to the jetskis.
What do you think the people and the tourists think?

Posted by Manu on February 13, 2015 22:33

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Grab some popcorn and get a good spot. This is going to be fun to watch tomorrow.

Posted by Scudman on February 13, 2015 22:45

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I was on the beach all day and neither saw nor heard anything about this so-called brochure. Can you explain exactly what law or regulation the police are using to justify this arbitrary action? What evidence do you have that this has been induced by the vendors?

Posted by Ken Freed on February 13, 2015 22:46

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That does it.......this will be ALL over the news. I already know many people who cancelled or changed their holiday plans. Bye Bye tourists, bye bye Phuket.

Posted by RGB on February 13, 2015 22:54

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Hahaha! Arresting someone because he sits on his own chair on a public beach. Right. How about taking a chair to the forest, is that also prohibited? Are we allowed to walk on a footpath? It's so funny,...

Posted by Hahaha on February 13, 2015 23:03

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This has to be a joke - surely

I feel sorry for people with property in Phuket - good luck if you need to sell it !

Posted by Amazing Thailand on February 13, 2015 23:05

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Does the NCPO actually know whats going on in Phuket?

Posted by Tbs on February 13, 2015 23:23

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Congratulations. Hope this will spread big time through social media.

Posted by Sascha on February 13, 2015 23:52

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Oh my...somebody pinch me...this really can't be happening. It sure seems like these police are acting under pressure from criminal beach vendor power brokers, since none of the real officials mentioned anything about prohibiting people from bringing their own chairs. Seems like the Navy needs to step in and restore order, and start arresting any police officer that badgers and terrorizes tourists at Patong for doing what they should be entitled to do. If the police follow through with this foolish action, the international backlash will likely be louder than ever. Completely unbelievable.

Posted by Ed Sanders on February 14, 2015 00:07

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Say goodbye to tourism phuket! Tourism is already very bad this high season and will be even further down by next high season. Vietnam, Cambodia and Malaysia are far more welcoming than Thailand right now. How on earth does anyone think that this action will have anything but an negative impact on tourism? The beaches in Phuket are quickly becoming the worst in the world for imposing stupid rules restricting tourists

Posted by Mr Wolf on February 14, 2015 00:41

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Why not ban tourists from coming here at all?
By the way, probably not needed because tourists will not come here anyway if this kind of rules are realy imposed...

Posted by PhuketFriendly on February 14, 2015 01:22

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So this concerns ecological component of maintenance the beach.
But no-profit-making component , that has been corner stone of changes at Phuket beaches, seems to disappears - as it doesn't matter whether to make good returns on investment in deck chairs or in umbrellas , the latter is even more lucrative..

Have seen many retirees adapted to BYO deck chair , and although it is not easy task for them, they still cope, feel sad for them.

If that is police that imitated such "crackdowns" then it is completely for sure taking into consideration their best friends - ex Lords of Sunbeds , now Lords of Umbrellas. May be they want take next step, calling it "crackdown" on BYO mat and brolly..

Posted by Sue on February 14, 2015 01:38

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I thought it was public beaches? So why can you not bring if you take it with you home?

Posted by Dan on February 14, 2015 03:15

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I think Patong Police switched Valentines day for April 1st. I do hope we will have some Facebook_fans taking pictures and videos to view and spread it all. The Authorities are smashing the "Rice bowl".

Posted by phuketgreed on February 14, 2015 03:16

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The island has become a joke - every time I visit here I just laugh - its like visiting a stand-up comedy venue

Posted by Marco on February 14, 2015 04:20

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The biggest problem of Patong is its not enforcing laws police force. You just walk there, look around and see it yourself. Just look how taxis ( legal and illegal) and tuktuks are parked everywhere. Simple matter, but it reflects how patong police force 'works'.

Posted by Kurt on February 14, 2015 04:56

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The threat of arresting tourists for bringing their own chairs to a public beach would certainly have a negative impact on the perception of Thailand as a top tourist destination.

The country must start addressing this issue with providing practical solutions to a problem which in reality is a storm in a teacup, that has somehow manifested into something quite serious.

Very sad to read.

Posted by reader on February 14, 2015 06:32

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Let's hope the Governor goes to the beach this morning (or the Navy) and re-educates the Police. Otherwise more avoidable mayhem will ensue. The whole thing is like a really bad comedy.

Posted by Duncan on February 14, 2015 06:36

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This is the outcome of when greed wins out over logic.

Posted by sky on February 14, 2015 06:51

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you just couldn't make this up.

Posted by Shwe on February 14, 2015 06:59

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Too many chiefs and not enough indians. Who is running the show here anyway?Next it will be illegal for tourists to sunbathe or swim at the beach. If they don't want tourists here ,why don't they just close all the airports? "No Summer dream" that's for sure. No tourists, no tea money, I don't think they have figured that one out yet?

Posted by Paddy on February 14, 2015 08:06

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Anyone wants to get rid of the tourists. A master plan must be behind. To much I would like to know what is going on. Important things are not treated, and with such nonsense they expel every last tourists.

Posted by steve on February 14, 2015 08:38

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Perhaps I should go down there with my chair, get arrested, plead not guilty and insist the case proceeds to the courts.

I have plenty of time and I really would like to know on what clause in the law the actions of the police are based on.

I bet it would get thrown out by the courts and leave the police with a huge egg on their face.

In the meanwhile I sent a link to this story to every news outlet back home I could think of. It will difficult to know should they publish it under "Tourism" or "Entertainment" though.

Posted by Herbert on February 14, 2015 08:38

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There side salaries must be hurting.

Think a clean sweep of all Patong police is needed not just the commanders

Posted by Michael on February 14, 2015 08:40

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From many I know who visit Patong beach chairs are the property of local vendors and are kept on the opposite side of the beach road. The chairs are brought to the beach side only when a tourist inquires where and how much they can get one. Chair rentals are set at 200 Baht. Umbrellas are also rented out. Last year both the chair and umbrella cost 100 Baht.

Posted by seht1912 on February 14, 2015 08:44

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Tough on crime, tough on beach chairs-what a farce.

Posted by Mister Ree on February 14, 2015 09:00

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It will be a world wide good tv show to see how the group of germans resist the patong police for keeping their own chairs on a PUBLIC beach. NCPO, you have a big problem on your hand. Illigal 'enforcement' by patong police.

Posted by Kurt on February 14, 2015 09:04

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Next is the trapeze show, then out come the clowns .....

Posted by geoff on February 14, 2015 09:14

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So now the navy says we can have out "summer dream" after all

What a total farce ! The Patong police are just a total joke. Why don't they actually start enforcing basic laws like tuktuk parking, driving the wrong way down streets etc?

Rhetorical question - I know the answer !

Posted by Amazing thailand on February 14, 2015 09:19

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The police must think its April fools day, it is sure to be in the international press if they actually arrest or fine anyone

Posted by peter allen on February 14, 2015 09:47

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As usual one hand doesn't have a clue what the other is doing... too many fingers in the pie...

Posted by DG on February 14, 2015 10:00

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(moderated, or in this case, because the comment is so insecure, lame and wrong, maderated.)

Posted by Paul Smith on February 14, 2015 12:31

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I read your news update and I brought my chair today to the beach. Again there where some Police around and told us it is not allowed to bring the chairs !!

Posted by Anonymous on February 14, 2015 12:39

Editor Comment:

Please send me you telephone number.

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the more I think about it, I believe this is all part of the "Master Plan".
Kill tourism ! let the last quality visitor say "never again", let the mafia run out of victims, let investors go back to their home countries.
And than.....rise again, like Phoenix from the Ashes. Welcome back old days. Apartments for 350 Baht, Beer for 40, Beach Chair 30 and friendly Thai hosts who appreciate your visit. Back to the 80th's and 90th's....
I must be drunk or dreaming....probably both..

Posted by Oliver on February 14, 2015 13:25

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The big question is: Why is the Patong polive challenging the Phuket Governor and NCPO? What is behind this? It doesn't make sense. It is a complete illegal police joke. Who did order the patong police to do this? In There is always someone who 'orders'.

Posted by Kurt on February 14, 2015 13:30

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What is next? BYO car crack down with best regards by the tuk tuk business associations? "No summer dream on beach" the new slogan by tot?

I have to ask again, really police walk the beach? Not a hoax or prank by some insanely funny people?

Posted by Lena on February 14, 2015 13:51

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We all have to admit that this sounds like a joke, but i would like to know the outcome of Anonymous, saying that he was not allowed to bring the chairs. Please Ed : follow this up if you have an update on this. @ Herbert: please go ahead, and write your story to the world, as this one could be a bestseller.

Posted by Carl on February 14, 2015 14:09

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Plenty of chairs and umbrellas about 2 pm, but no protection fence for swimmers against jet-skis.

Posted by Sherlock on February 14, 2015 14:15

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@Anonymous 12:39

Has the police effectively ceased an enjoyment of your deck chair today, or merely warned for the future?

Posted by Sue on February 14, 2015 15:05

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That sign is totally bizzare

Posted by Michael on February 14, 2015 15:14

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Yesterday afternoon I had about ten frustrated,angry and confused long term customers , who have been coming go Patong for years, returning from the beach requesting an explanation with regards to summer beach dream start letter.

The guests just do not understand why such an absurd idea is introduced.

They do not understand why they can not bring their own folding chairs to the beach.

All of these repeating guests will not return to Phuket or Patong next year .

One of our guests is a lady with a husband in a wheel chair whose winter pleasure for the past 10 years was to come to Patong to sit on a beach chair and get a massage several time a day.

She purchased foldable chairs upon arriving and could use them for the first week of their stay.

She does not understand why she can not use the foldable chairs any longer. This lady was crying out of frustration , anger for a ruined holiday.

It's truly a sad story for many repeating an loyal customers.

This morning I went to Patong beach to have a look and talked to one of the police officers on duty who is ordered to tell guests that they can not bring their own foldable chairs or loungers. The police man was "stressed' to the maximum as he "hates "his job to spoil our tourists holidays.

This situation is truly amazing and damaging the beach experience for many of our guests to a point of no return.

It seems business has to get a lot worse before we start listening to what some of our guests want.

Posted by wm on February 14, 2015 16:04

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They really lost the plot now.

Posted by FS on February 14, 2015 17:27

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I sent a copy of the article to all Dutch newspapers!!!

Creedy basterds !!

Posted by Rudolf on February 14, 2015 17:56

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thanks phuket.... good for us in vietnam....

Posted by lovevietnam on February 14, 2015 18:07

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today 16:15 the localpolice is stil telling US we are NOT welkome wit our own chars, The make pictures trom the toerist wit chars!!!!!

Posted by Anonymous on February 14, 2015 18:18

Editor Comment:

Please send your telephone number

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I have been a regular visitor to Phuket for the past 12 years, but I will not be coming back again Due to the ridiculous ban on beach chairs and loungers

Posted by Anonymous on February 14, 2015 19:46

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Meanwhile, back at the ranch... Pattaya's beach is packed to the water mark with both chairs and umbrellas.

Posted by The Night Mare on February 14, 2015 20:19

Editor Comment:

Perhaps that's why the authorities have made it plain that Phuket will be sorted first and used as a model for other destinations.

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"Perhaps that's why the authorities have made it plain that Phuket will be sorted first and used as a model for other destinations."

Pathetic. Surely you are not so naive as to believe that Ed. Look at the comments above - Phuket is the opposite of sorted out.

Posted by phonus balonus on February 14, 2015 21:40

Editor Comment:

Your foolish attempts at wasting my time are the pathetic product of a serial pest. Please spend your time learning the difference between ''will be sorted'' and ''has been sorted.'' But whatever you do, don't come back.

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Your foolish attempts at wasting my time are the pathetic product of a serial pest. Please spend your time learning the difference between ''will be sorted'' and ''has been sorted.'' But whatever you do, don't come back.

I'm Back. A serial pest if you say so. You expect that given the current sheannigans on Phuket beaches Phuket beach control will be a role model for other provinces?

Posted by phonus balonus on February 14, 2015 22:01

Editor Comment:

No point in engaging in foolish guesswork, PB. We'll leave that to you.

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My first time in Patong was 17thn years ago. My last time was nov 2014. My next trip supposed to be march this year, it's now canseled. I will never more spend a Bath there. Even on my last trip I invested in a chair. Om sorry for the honest Thai people who try to make a honest work.

Posted by Peter Hamrich on February 15, 2015 15:00

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I fully agree with the way the law is enforced : if chairs were authorized private businesses would again align their own and the beaches would disappear under hideous and monotonous ranges of chairs, like before under the plastic beds. Thailand could take the lead with beaches returned to their natural state. Seniors in need of comfort can still go to many places in the world. The Costa del Sol in the EU is one of these comfortable places.

Posted by natural beach supporter on February 15, 2015 19:41

Editor Comment:

Patong beach is gradually disappearing again under large hire umbrellas and mats.

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I suggest you enjoy the natural beach at the Costa del Sol in winter "natural beach supporter". Why should the majority (sunbedsupporters) obey the wishes of the minority (sandsupporters)

Posted by Sten on February 16, 2015 15:48

Editor Comment:

The decision has been made by the Thai government, Sten. They want the public beaches for the public. That seems fair to most people in Thailand.

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Last time in thailand

Posted by alex on February 16, 2015 23:44

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It would be interesting to see some of these arrests show up on youtube if they actually happen.

It would expose worldwide just how petty things are

Posted by mike on February 18, 2015 23:33

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And when the Governor starts his next stage in beach doings? CLEAN-CLEAN. The beaches are dirty, full with rubbish. Is the Governor aware of health conditions/cleanness like on European and Australian beaches? Where are the rubbish bins ( every 50 meters)? Where are the daily evening/morning cleaning teams?

Posted by Kurt on February 19, 2015 16:01

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Phuket as a model for other destinations? I guess other destinations were parasailing/jet sky doing was banned already long time ago are the model for Phuket. Why are Phuket beaches so dirty and full with rubbish.Why not rubbish bins every 50 meters? Keep the public beaches clean, but give the tourists a chance to participate in that ( bins! bins!).

Posted by Kurt on February 19, 2015 17:33

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conversation in patong jail?

what are you in for? "selling drugs"

you ? bringing a chair to the beach

Posted by mike on February 28, 2015 23:30

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It does kinda bring up images of Blackpool, hundreds of tourists sat in their stripey fold out chairs with their socks and sandals on! Kinda smashes the idyllic paradise beach image......????

Posted by Kathy on March 18, 2015 12:58


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