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Goodbye to all loungers and umbrellas, says Rawai's mayor

All Phuket Beaches to be Cleared, Restaurants Falling at Nai Harn, Rawai as Phuket Clearance Campaign Speeds Up

Wednesday, July 2, 2014
PHUKET: The Army plans to clear all of Phuket's beaches of loungers and umbrellas within three days, the Mayor of Rawai, Aroon Soros, said today as demolition work commenced on bars around Rawai beach.

Nai Harn is the most popular southern beach on Phuket and restaurants there are likely to suffer the same fate within seven days as the sweeping changes already made at Surin beach are carried to other beaches.

Phuket expat Brett Masters, originally from Australia, said this afternoon that he was watching men dressed in camouflage clothing pull down bars near the Rawai council offices.

''I understand what the Army is trying to achieve but Rawai never really has had much of a beach. I used to come to one of these bars every day.

''In fact, a friend and I have spent so much time in one of the bars that we probably paid for it.

''The locals here are very mai ben rai about it and even giving food and water to the people who are pulling down their businesses.

''I understand why it has to happen but it's rather sad at Rawai, which has never been a swimming beach.''

Phuketwan was seeking a comment from Patong's new mayor. She was not taking calls this evening.

Patong is the beach with the greatest number of loungers, plus scores of jet-skis and parasailers.

Like many of Phuket's west coast beaches, the sand disappears entirely under loungers every December and January.

According to Rawai's mayor, all the beaches on Phuket will have three days to be cleared of all umbrellas and loungers.

Restaurants at some beaches will have seven days before they too are pulled down.

Phuketwan believes a concert is being held at the football ground at Surin beach on August 2 to commemorate the visit in 1959 of HM The King and HM the Queen to the beach.

All of the beaches on Phuket appear likely to be returned to close to their natural state before then.

The only question that appears so far to be unanswered is whether Phuket's local councils will be willing and able to prevent the beaches succumbing to commercial interests all over again as tourists arrive once more in substantial numbers in October and November at the start of next high season.

Comments

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Once the bit between the park and the Central Klong in Kamala has been cleared that will be the whole beach- it's a delight at the moment.

Posted by Mister Ree on July 2, 2014 19:03

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Returning the beaches to their natural state(at least natural without vendors and loungers encroaching on the public's property) is a very positive move. It will be interesting to see how long it lasts when high season approaches. As the saying goes, "it is hard to teach an old dog new tricks". Perhaps it will be necessary to have a non-partisan overseeing group with power to enforce keeping the beaches in a "natural" state. Maybe a hotline to report violators until the old guard finally understand that the old way of doing "their" buisness will not be tolerated. One other comment regarding not only the beaches, but almost every roadway, Soi,and almost anywhere and everywhere in Rawai and NaiHarn, is the garbage and random trash that is both an eyesore and a health hazzard. Trash barrels with liners that would be emptied everyday? Educating the people on garbage disposal? Excuse me, but i guess I am asking for too much...maybe chaa chaa, a little bit at a time.

Posted by Anonymous on July 2, 2014 19:30

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hopefully the restaurant[rawai seafood] at the south end of nai harn will get torn down and the 4 toilets that pollute the lagoon are demolished.my kids could then again swim in the shallow water safely.

Posted by Anonymous on July 2, 2014 20:19

Editor Comment:

There is no way that restaurant can survive.

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And still no mention of what will happen at Nai Yang beach, which has almost disappeared under wooden and more substantial concrete buildings, some stretching from the beach road and almost to the high water mark.

Tonight I visited the beach. It was almost deserted of tourists, but still noisy with the sound of drills and power saws, as these illegal businesses totally ignore what has happened at the other Phuket beaches.

Posted by Simon Luttrell on July 2, 2014 20:46

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What about Racha Yai Island and many illegal building and resorts on Sor Kor 1?

Posted by Whistle-Blower on July 2, 2014 22:09

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Are there any comments about a jet-ski ban in the future? Didn't see this mentioned anywhere yet...

Posted by Jakub P. on July 2, 2014 23:57

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-''I understand what the Army is trying to achieve but Rawai never really has had much of a beach. I used to come to one of these bars every day.

''In fact, a friend and I have spent so much time in one of the bars that we probably paid for it. -

sounds like a quality expat sitting in a bar everyday! do something good for the community instead of sitting in a bar everyday!

Posted by Kusmet on July 3, 2014 00:24

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Safety :
What about all this speed boats 50 to 60 about them located on the beach down in Chalong, taking people out to Pi Pi and other islands every day, every day there are small pikuper with about 1,000 liter of gasoline. They fill up every boats and the smell off gasoline are terrible, a small spark then die many many tourists in a inferno of flames. These boats take and occupy the entire beach 24/7 365 days.

Posted by Bjorn Ronningen on July 3, 2014 07:49

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As a long time resident of the Rawai/Nai Harn neighborhood, I am delighted to see this happening on the southern end of the island. Rawai will look so much better without all of those disgusting eyesores, as will Nai Harn. I hope these positive changes in Phuket continue and last!

Posted by Anonymous on July 3, 2014 08:46

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will any illegally built hotels go down, you think?

Posted by bill on July 3, 2014 09:29

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Excellent news.

But please please please 'my kids could then again swim in the shallow water safely' don't do that. That lagoon looks safe enough, but with the currents pushing and pulling water from the sea to the lagoon and vv the currents can be deceivingly strong there. I don't allow my kid to swim there, way to dangerous. The sea is much better, since it is much more predictable.

Posted by stevenl on July 3, 2014 09:52

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Fantastic news re Nai Harn. I live very close but haven't visited in over two years. Every square inch covered with plastic loungers. However, I agree that it's a tad sad re Rawai seafront. I've never been to any of the bars there and don't even know where they are, apart from Nikitas. But always enjoyed the barbecue on the beach places. As has been said, it's not a swimming beach and when they last cleared it it was unwalkable anyway, what with all the broken paving and boat ropes.

Posted by jonty on July 3, 2014 15:26

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Went to Nai Harn yesterday to inspect the progress at first hand. Restaurant on South end has been taken down. Also saw several beach chairs being towed away. Still plenty of beach chairs across the strip of beach elsewhere though.....There were quite a few foreigners standing on the beach looking at the South end restaurant with a smile on their face while being in a rather pleasant state of shock.

Posted by Richard on July 4, 2014 11:22

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Over the last couple of days I've spoken to two different people who run 'businesses' down at Nai Harn, and who are in the process of dismantling them. Both were, independently, informed by individuals at the Or-Bor-Tor in Rawai not to worry and that things should be back on track leading into the coming high season. Here's hoping this will not be the case.

Incidentally, it would be most interesting to see what sort of assets (bank accounts, cash, property and so on and so forth) officials (and their families of course) at the various Sub-district administrative organisations (Or-Bor-Tor) possess, not to mention those in the provincial land office in town etc. etc. etc. How many of these characters and their predecesssors are, as commonly referred to in Thai - 'ruay pit pokati' - 'unusually wealthy'?

Posted by Kaen Phet on July 4, 2014 14:20


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