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Back in February, tourists at Patong were told they couldn't bring chairs. Now, the parasailers and jet-ski operators have the beach to themselves

Beach Countdown Begins: Phuket Governor Strives for Quality Outcome

Saturday, October 24, 2015
PHUKET: Governor Jamleran Tipayapongtada headed for the headstrong vendors of Kamala beach today as the countdown to Phuket's high season entered its final week.

Of all the beaches on Phuket, Kamala is regarded as the one where local vendors have yet to form a cooperative, and where restaurants and salespeople still operate on the beach - even though Kamala Police Station is just metres from the sand.

Today's special visit signifies the importance the governor places in getting the beach rules right.

A long time has passed since sunbeds and umbrellas, along with shorefront restaurants and beach clubs, were cleared from the sands soon after the military took charge in Thailand in May last year.

Governor Jamleran, who grew up on Phuket, told a large beach meeting this week that he remembers going to all 18 of the island's beaches as a boy scout.

''I went to every beach when I was young,'' he said. ''Now that they have been cleared of commerce, the beaches look almost as good as they did back then.''

The governor recognises that each of Phuket's beaches has a different character and he will be doing his best to preserve the beauty of them for future generations in the next week.

How the ''10 percent zone'' rule is interpreted will be the key - although in Phuketwan's view, the ''10 percent zone'' is likely to be impossible to properly enforce.

Kata-Karon, for example, interprets the ''10 percent zone'' to mean a section running along the back of entire beaches, at high tide or low tide.

All of the problems in preserving Phuket's beaches can be attributed to the interpretation of rules by the local councils - which is why Phuketwan supports the finding of researchers from Prince of Songkhla University who say an independent committee should be given control.

The ''10 percent zone'' could work at less popular beaches but there's little hope of it holding at Patong, Kamala, Kata, Surin and Nai Harn once the high season crowds arrive.

To not allow tourists to bring their own umbrellas and chairs, or to restrict them to the ''10 percent zone'' will be a cause of constant friction.

Police do not want to have to take chairs from under elderly tourists.

Anyone who proposes that tourists must only sit on their chairs within the 10 percent zone should be asked to enforce that rule.

Beaches all around the world look just a beautiful with a smattering of BYO umbrellas. And in many places, small foldup beach tents are now being used to shade children from the sun.

If the governor really does want Phuket to lift to international standards, then the beaches that he loves are a good place to start.

It's the illegal vendors who are the cause of the problem, not the visitors.

As the governor noted this week at the Phuket Provincial Hall meeting: ''The vendors must prove their quality. If you are not up to the right quality, we will not approve you.''

Inspections are to be made over three days from Monday of all 18 Phuket beaches, with the final policy to be locked in before next Sunday, when the high season begins.


Comments have been disabled for this article.


So Patong beach looks just the same as when he was a boy?
Yeah right.
Did he have his eyes closed when visited then?

Posted by rich on October 24, 2015 13:11

Editor Comment:

Perhaps there's something wrong with your eyesight, not the governor's, rich.

The governor said: ''Now that they have been cleared of commerce, the beaches look almost as good as they did back then.''

''Almost as good as they did back then.'' Not ''just the same as when he was a boy.''

Get 'em checked, rich.


Well the water quality at most beaches is nothing like it was 30 years ago. The water was crystal clear, not a murky colour with a petrol smell like at Patong.

Posted by Arun Muruga on October 24, 2015 14:05


Patong has hardly been cleared of all commerce. Jet skis and parasailing dominate. Was that the case when the Governor was a child and visited all the beaches? That observation doesn't make sense.

Posted by Itsamystery on October 24, 2015 15:30

Editor Comment:

Perhaps Patong slipped the governor's memory. The beaches have certainly been cleared of most commerce, with the exception of jet-skis and parasailers.


Why do you find the need to be so obnoxious and so often wrong Ed? Rich was correct in what he said.As a boy[boyscout]Yes?

large beach meeting this week that he remembers going to all 18 of the island's beaches as a boy scout.
''I went to every beach when I was young,'' he said. ''Now that they have been cleared of commerce, the beaches look almost as good as they did back then.'' No doubt you will offer apologies to rich.

Posted by bruce orbell on October 24, 2015 16:01

Editor Comment:

Rich is a petty point-scorer, bruce, nit-picking to find something cynical to say in response to an article that was extremely positive (a) about Phuket and (b) about the island's future. Rich clearly can't absorb the information he reads with accuracy. If you believe Rich's summary of what the governor said is accurate and fair, you must share his reading problem.
The reason why I took rich to task is that it's easy to criticise but more difficult to add value. Don't you find that, bruce? I guess there are people with low expectations, though, who are never disappointed.
I suggest you and rich should be saying something along these lines: ''We congratulate the governor on his view of Phuket's beaches and wish him the best in making them the equal of the beaches he knew when he was young.''


Well if thats the case as you say re;rich,why not just not publish it? You obviously decide what is and is not published, but you seem to publish all the same and then, as you did recently, quip that you will be glad to have the end of PW just so you don't have to post non-value comments.You can;t have it both ways Ed.Don't post them,then you don't need to make comments that inflame the situation.

Posted by bruce orbell on October 24, 2015 16:27

Editor Comment:

I don't ''inflame'' any situations, bruce, but I do intend to keep challenging the mindless views of readers who draw the wrong conclusions for all the wrong reasons. Commenters who have no value to add have the choice of not posting. If the world was filled with roses, some of them would complain about the quality of the thorns. That's the doomsayer way.


"Perhaps Patong slipped the governor's memory. The beaches have certainly been cleared of most commerce, with the exception of jet-skis and parasailers."

Yeah well I still see vendors selling all sorts of food, beach mats stacked and being rented, massage ladies...shall I go on?...It will only be when the parasailors and jet skiis are gone that Patong beach will truly be acceptable...

Posted by sky on October 24, 2015 17:52


I have fun reading all these comments can't lol
This editor is taking everything personal, people have different opinions let them be can't please everyone.
I wouldn't like your life must be a very unhappy one taking everything so personal.

Posted by John on October 24, 2015 18:37

Editor Comment:

I don't take anything ''personal,'' John. Your comment has nothing to do with me. But I do wonder why people who have nothing of value to add insist on not adding value so often. Opinions from anonymous people are meaningless, John. You might as well fart in the breeze. By the way, what's lol? Is that some kind of secret cult code for ''I can't understand this, maybe I need help?''



Posted by Toli on October 24, 2015 21:03

Editor Comment:

Whether your name is Jill, Palapaking or Toli, you need to add value to be published. And we couldn't care less about your opinion.


@ ed, your comment on toli.

Don't you think it's quite unfair to publish your comments on someone else you didn't publish. What is the value you want to add you are always asking for? As only you know these comments it's fairly useless for us readers to read what you have to say because we can not judge!!! Does that makes sense to you? So please spend your precious time to add value to your readers and don't waste it for your personal interests.

Posted by KARSTEN on October 25, 2015 00:47

Editor Comment:

It's highly objectionable when any reader feels he or she has a licence to insult anyone, KARSTEN, especially if that person chooses to hide behind an anonymous identity. One of many flaws in the Internet is its ability to be misused by the ignorant, the rude and the cowardly. There are times when people need to be told, Karsten. Unfortunately, it doesn't happen often enough. These are the people threatening the freedom of the internet. Do you really wish to support their right to abuse your freedoms? That would be odd. PW doesn't do anything out of personal interest.



Posted by JAN on October 25, 2015 01:02


It is very apparent that you couldn't care less about peoples opinions. Maybe an editor should report the news in an unbiased fashion instead of trying to become part of the news story.

Posted by Vegas on October 25, 2015 01:46

Editor Comment:

The news does get reported in an unbiased fashion, Vegas. It's the airhead comments from anonymous sources that are a waste of time. If you can't tell where the articles end and the comments begin, you have a problem. Believe me, those comments are not part of the story.
By the way, in a previous comment you wrote: ''Honestly I read this paper on line just to read the comments from the editor. I have never seen a paper where the editor responds to the comments posted. I find it refreshing and unique.''


Bloggers, my soulmate, the editor, is right, too many of us who share our views here, do so out of a wish that things could be made function better, but often choose words of scorn and derision that to the reader depicts more a frustration than constructive thinking.
I write sometimes similar words which the editor do not want to publish, and reading my words again I agree. My self or rather selfish image is saved. But I would like the editor to sometimes accept such human nature and take a more humorous attitude towards his bloggers choice of words and attitude.

Posted by Bo on October 25, 2015 08:42

Editor Comment:

You would struggle to find any humor, Bo, in the rejected comments. Some readers who do have opinions of value seem to think all readers are motivated by the desire to add value. Actually, malevolence abounds. In a perfect world, of course, football games would be played without a referee. We haven't got there just yet.


So the beach looks the same as when he was a boy ? How old is the governor ? I'm with rich must of had his eyes closed or he never went to patong beach , in 30 plus year of being in patong the jetskis parasailers have now taken over .it is impossible to walk along the beach without having to walk around a jetski or have a parasail worker blow your eardrums out with a whistle . so please tell me how its been cleared of commerce ED.

Posted by reg on October 25, 2015 10:08

Editor Comment:

Reading is clearly not something you do before offering an opinion, reg. What the Governor said was:

'I went to every beach when I was young,'' he said. ''Now that they have been cleared of commerce, the beaches look almost as good as they did back then.''

He did not say they look the same as they did back then. He was clearly putting to one side the issue of jet-skis and parasailers at Patong. Perhaps you should also read the article headlined 'Patong Now Ruled by Jet-Ski Operators.' You may find yourself agreeing with the authors.


Perhaps the editor is (moderated) or winging Palm !

Posted by Bob on October 26, 2015 07:56

Editor Comment:

One minute you're Ryan, the next you're RJ and now you're Bob. And still brainless.


Ed your head is in the Patong beach sand pull it out and open your eyes !

Posted by Harry on October 26, 2015 09:11

Editor Comment:

We recently wrote about Patong, Harry. The headline was: 'Patong Now Ruled by Jet-Ski Operators.' Look it up. There are 17 other beaches visited by tourists and they mostly look better than they have done in a long time.

Friday December 8, 2023
Horizon Karon Beach Resort & Spa


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