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Surin beach in low season: now it will be closed for three days in high season

Surin Closed to Tourists for Demolition

Tuesday, December 1, 2015
PHUKET: The Zazada Beach Club will be among buildings demolished when Surin beach is closed to the public for three days later this month, a meeting heard today.

Cherng Talay Mayor Ma-Ann Samran said that the public will not be allowed to go to the foreshore or to the beach in the three days during which a row of beach clubs and restaurants will be wrecked.

The beach closure will take place in about two weeks' time, he told today's meeting at the Phuket Provincial Administrative Authority offices, near Phuket Provincial Hall.

Mayor Ma-Ann said that he had tried last week to cut off power to the establishments, occupying public land on the Surin foreshore, but power authorities said they had a legal contract to supply electricity and could not end it on his say-so.

The area demolished will include 20 council-erected ''units'' that have long been converted to other uses as restaurants and beach clubs serving Surin's prosperous five-star customers.

Many of the tourists are not likely to appreciate the closure of the popular beach for three days in high season, or the destruction of some of the holiday island's most popular eating and entertainment venues.

Zazada was constructed just a couple of years ago at the northern end of the foreshore but it was also illegal and would come down at the same time as the council units that run along the northern end of the shorefront.

''The son of the owner of Zazada came to see me and said he was a victim of the 2004 tsunami and wanted to build on the shorefront,'' Khun Ma-Ann said.

A similar row of buildings along the southern shorefront was erected by the PPAO, the meeting heard. Some of the ''units'' there had been expanded from their original size.

While PPAO officials said they would need to check further to see whether it was ok for Mayor Ma-Ann to demolish the original ''units,'' the meeting agreed that council wreckers could go ahead and demolish the illegal extension to the original units. At least one large, expansive beach club opened just in time at the southern end for this high season.

Mayor Ma-Ann said that it was his intention to make Surin as natural as possible and to dedicate the beach to HM The King and the Queen, who visited the beach and other parts of Phuket in the 1950s.

Vice Governor Chokdee Amornwat, who is overseeing the implementation of ''10 percent zones'' that would leave 90 percent of most beaches free from umbrella hire and other commerce, said that Mayor Ma-Ann's plan would mean Phuket will soon have three kinds of beaches:

.. Those such as Kata, Karon, Bang Tao, Kamala and Nai Harn where the ''10 percent zones'' hiring umbrellas and selling food and drink operate;

.. Those such as Mai Khao, Nai Thon, Freedom beach, Laypang and Nui beach declared natural ''virgin'' beaches without commerce;

.. and Surin, a beach specially dedicated to HM The King and the Queen.

With starfish and seahorse markers still being created to designate the ''10 percent zones'' it's still not entirely clear whether tourists will be able to bring their own umbrellas and chairs and sit where they like at any beach.

The island's chief of police says there is no law against visitors bringing their own equipment and sitting where they like.

But Vice Governor Chokdee says that as sunlovers with their own equipment arrive at beaches, they will be offered brochures suggesting that they go into the ''10 percent zones'' voluntarily.

The vice governor said he would help to bring together a team of 200 to carry out the three-day demolition at Surin, with a Royal Thai Navy 3 representative today saying the Navy would provide at least 40 officers.

The date for the beach's three-day closure and demolition of buildings is expected to be announced shortly, to give tourists time to make alternate plans.

Well-known beach brands likely to disappear or be partly destroyed include Catch Beach Club, Bimi, Taste, Pla and Twin Brothers.

Managers at nearby five-star resorts will once again be surprised to hear what the mayor and the vice governor have in mind.

Rates at resorts around Surin go higher at this, the most popular time of the year. Regular visitors always assume that the nearby beach will be available for them to use.

It's the first time anyone has suggested closing Surin beach since a controversial plan by a private firm to hold a ticketted two-day New Year concert a few years ago.

Reports by Phuketwan helped to persuade authorities that it was not the right beach for a long party. The concert was moved to Patong where it was not the roaring success that organisers had anticipated.

The military cleared all commerce from Phuket's public beaches last year and would not permit a similar venture for private profit.


Comments have been disabled for this article.


Totally nuts ! The lunatics are running the asylum.

Posted by Discover Thainess on December 1, 2015 21:53


You all talk big rubbish. So the mafia control everything on Phuket. Do not close your eyes to the fact, but do not knock on my my door when your staving. I have much patiencience but not for thieves and corruption. Yes the corrupt folk tried it once before and rew a blank in my direction.
NOTHING will change as long as the tea money flows.
Tough teas loosers.

Posted by Robin on December 1, 2015 22:04


These 'clubs' have nobody else to blame but themselves for these demolitions. If they'd of kept off the beach and not tried to monopolize and claim public land, nobody would of worried about them operating.

When they put sunbeds all over the beach right down to the water's edge and started running people off the beach claiming it was their private property, it had gone too far.

I used to go to the North end where I used to sit on the rocks every night from 5pm to 7pm. The club that took over that end of the beach made it pretty obvious I was not wanted as I refused to patronize their business.

The last straw was when they tried to shut of public access and made it impossible to park your motorbike. I left vowing never to return until they were gone. I have no sympathy for any of them. Their own greed was their downfall.

Posted by Arun Muruga on December 2, 2015 02:12


I'm happy to see these illegal businesses disappear (if it actually happens), however to do so at the dawn of the Christmas / NY peak season is probably the worst possible time.

It should have been done in the low season to cause minimal disruption to tourists.

Imagine coming to a beach holiday and instead finding a closed down construction site.

Posted by Herbert on December 2, 2015 06:33


Imagine you save up your hard earned money for a go to Surin find its closed for three you really think it will be sorted, cleaned up and ready for tourists to enjoy in that time ?.
Sympathy for the suffering tourists but non for the illegal businesses or those that dictated the timing of this demolition, should have been done months ago.

Posted by LES on December 2, 2015 06:52


I find it amusing how the Mayor now takes the high stance. My friend has a letter from the same Mayor, several years ago, allowing him to do business on the beach.

Posted by Tbs on December 2, 2015 07:18

Editor Comment:

Change is inevitable, Tbs. People are often persuaded to alter their opinions. No surprises there. If you want a world where everything is set in concrete, you have come to the wrong planet.


Countdown to Phuket bankruptcy
Thank you Ma An you will have made history as you hoped

Posted by Eric on December 2, 2015 07:26


Agreed timing couldn't be worse. It's almost as if it's scheduled to cause as much disruption and attract as much attention as possible.
If they are going to demolish these buildings, I hope they actually clean up the aftermath this time. The amount of dangerous debris strewn across Surin after the army demolition in 2014 was astounding. Including wooden stakes firmly planted in the sand with their sharp top end sticking out and partly camouflaged by incoming waves. Deadly.

Posted by Chris on December 2, 2015 07:41


Further to the comment by Chris, there was very little clean up after the demolition last year - and the sea was a very dangerous place to go - not because of the rips, but because of the building debris that was washed out. Knock them down by all means, but if you dont clean up properly might as well shut the beach for 6 months.

Posted by FrankieV on December 2, 2015 09:42


It is every year the same on Phuket.
Important time consuming, tourist disturbing, projects are always done during High Season.

Posted by Kurt on December 2, 2015 10:49


Must be expecting a VIP to impress as the timing is mysterious even though the action is applauded.

Posted by slickmelb on December 2, 2015 10:56


Well done lads, with 52 weeks of the year to do this, you nailed the peak time to turn Surin beach into a demolition zone. To the week !!

And people say theres not much precision in Thai planning. Sure nailed this one !!

Posted by LivinLOS on December 2, 2015 12:16


At last, Bravo! Long past due. I'll be there cheering them on.(moderated)

Posted by Pinot on December 2, 2015 20:39


@livinLaos woow you really know they have town planning or any planning at all just Its imprecise this is a revelation.

Posted by slickmelb on December 2, 2015 20:59


I used to spend a lot of time at Pla beach and zazada over the past years,Surin was the beach club area of Phuket,it was very ok at the time,nowadays I rediscover the pleasure driving around and going to more secluded places like Banana Beach for instance,but I don't realyy think it's gone do any good to the image of Phuket and Surin in particular,nevertheless,Thailand is still my favorite place on earth at the moment.

Posted by Khun Philippe on December 10, 2015 00:53


Surin Beach? Please tell what happen with Surin Beach. Is the beach closed or what?
Sunchairs, unbrellas?

Posted by curious on December 10, 2015 20:22

Editor Comment:

Please do a Search on ''Surin'' and your questions will be answered.


Very Happy :)

Posted by Bjorn Ronningen on December 14, 2015 11:11


I hope Kata next, Whit 27 jet ski+++,5 boat whit Parasailing.

Posted by Bjorn Ronningen on December 14, 2015 11:16


There are many (young) tourists who want jetski and parasailing.Please let them have it.

There are many (elder) tourists who want sunbeds and umbrellas. Please let them have it.

Thai law doesn't forbid sunbeds, Phuket law does since 2014. Result? Many tourists didn't return for their holiday (for weeks or even months).

Posted by Jetski on December 14, 2015 16:03

Editor Comment:

Do you have a financial interest, Jetski, in jetskis or sunbeds? If so, your opinion is of less value. From what we've seen, for every tourist who enjoys jetskiing or parasailing, there are 20 who wish they weren't there.


Will this include Catch & Bimi?

Posted by Al on December 16, 2015 13:01

Editor Comment:

So the theory goes.


Ed , would love to know , when this Surin demolishing is going to be , any more uodates

Posted by scott on December 17, 2015 21:12

Editor Comment:

We've reported deadline after deadline from various meetings and there seems no point in further speculation until the wreckers move in . . . or not.

Wednesday June 19, 2019
Horizon Karon Beach Resort & Spa


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