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Which Phuket police officer will remove this woman from her chair?

NEWS ANALYSIS Will Phuket Jet-Ski Operators' Chairs Be Outlawed at Patong as Well?

Monday, February 16, 2015
Phuketwan News Analysis, plus Photo Album

PHUKET: When police enforce the rule that bans beach chairs from all Phuket beaches on Tuesday, which officer will tell the Patong jet-ski operators that they can no longer sit on plastic chairs near the water's edge?

Which officer will tell the customers eating lunch on the sand at the Patong shorefront cafe that all beach chairs are now banned?

And which Patong officer will take the chair from underneath the ankle of the woman who is clearly recovering from a nasty injury?

Rules have to be fair to all. It's not possible to ban one kind of beach chair without banning them all.

Phuketwan took a close look today at what is happening on Patong, the island's most popular beach, and by our reckoning, the island's tourism future is being put at risk because the authorities are always trying to please the people with the loudest voices.

There is no other explanation for giving back 10 percent of Patong beach to the people who covered it in umbrellas and sunbeds and caused the problem in the first place.

Tourists who bring their own umbrellas and beach chairs are not and never have been a problem.

But the failure of authorities to properly implement the beach clearances and to stick with that decision could cost the island dearly tomorrow, when police are forced to act.

If one kind of beach chair is banned, then clearly, all beach chairs must be banned. The jet-ski chairs must be banned. The massage toe care chairs must be banned. The cafe chairs must be banned.

Phuketwan does not believe compromises are useful on matters of principle.

Thrashing around with one experiment after another doesn't help anyone tell the difference between right and wrong.

The way to give Phuket a future as a beach tourism destination is to enforce the clearances.

Keep the beaches entirely for the public, and allow tourists to bring their own umbrellas and beach chairs if they wish.

We hope it's not too late for the authorities to make a wise decision.


Comments have been disabled for this article.


Will they use their intelligence and look further than the tip of their nose ?

Posted by Manu on February 16, 2015 21:03

Editor Comment:

If chairs are banned at Phuket's beaches, the island's administrators need to understand what that means. Nobody sits at Phuket's beaches, because chairs are banned. But mats are ok. Good luck with enforcing that rule fairly, for everyone.


With all the real problems this island has, with a vastly understaffed police force, why does the government have to manufacture more problems? What a waste of resources. Through all this chaos I have never heard anyone say WHY tourists can't bring their own chairs. Is it a hazard? Aesthetics?

Posted by Joe on February 16, 2015 21:52


I just don't know why people put up with this nonsense. Just get on a bus, plane or in a car and leave. Spend your money elsewhere where it is appreciated. Phuket has had it too good for too long and there is a greedy sense of entitlement and the belief suckers will keep coming to be fleeced forever. Don't complain, just vote with your feet and wallet.

Posted by Arun Muruga on February 16, 2015 22:03


I come to Patong 20 years .Think that all this ridiculous speech ridicolo.Il the chair I believe is ridilolous throughout Thailand in the eyes of the whole world.I'm hope that no tourist return next year to Phuket.I'm whish you this

Posted by pinocchio on February 16, 2015 23:32


@ Joe

The reason is that if tourists are allowed their own chairs etc, they will no longer rent from the vendors.

The local mindset by and large is that if they can't rip off tourists and foreigners in general, there's no point in neither being nice to them nor letting them in in the first place.

This is all about money, nothing else. What tourists want, think or say is completely irrelevant.

The concept of future is also not very well established here. I.e. most cannot understand that their actions today have a significant impact on what happens tomorrow.

Any unwelcome consequences are written off as bad luck. No personal responsibility is understood, contemplated or accepted.

This farcical episode is one of the most graphic demonstrations of how far too many locals view the whole tourism industry and foreigners in general.

Fortunately quite a few are taking notice. 10y ago there was a lot less in ways of social media but nowadays such events spread like wildfire. Next "high season" will show us the results of these actions taken today.

Posted by Herbert on February 17, 2015 10:30


Seems to me that the only rules that needs to be enforced are:
1) No one may use public spaces such as parkland, beachfront or sidewalks to conduct commerce.
2) No one can utilize the public spaces in a manner that constitutes a public nuisance or disturbs the peace.
3) All users of public spaces must leave the space used clear of any rubbish or items at the end of their daily use of the space.
That would eliminate most of the current ambiguity. Under those rules, if vendors want to rent private land and set up shop to sell or rent mats, umbrellas or portable chairs to tourists, that would be allowed and temporary daily use of those would be allowed, but no permanent encampments or items left behind by the users.

Posted by Richard S. on February 17, 2015 12:23


I totally agree with this article. One thing i could add which may be a compromise is that if someone who had a business, not on the beach, wanted to rent chairs and umbrellas then i think this would be ok as long as they were not actually on the beach like before. Maybe this would keep the locals happy?

Posted by Mr Wolf on February 17, 2015 12:24


Very well written. I couldn't agree more.

@Ed looking forward to a beach update once the day is out.

Posted by Tbs on February 17, 2015 13:31


This saga has turned Phuket from being funny into the laughing stock of the tourist world! It just prouves that Thais, or Phuketians, have absolutely no experience in tourism, even after 30 years ! Yes, take the tourist money, give nothing back but stupidness. Where is the logic ? Do they have any at all? They leave the jet skis, that everyone hates, to ruin the average tourists day on the beach, and then ban people from sitting on their own chairs! Do they think that's funny?If they want to make people, tourists and Thais, happy, then clean up the streets and drains, control the meters on taxis, ban all illegal taxis and tuc tucs, ban the jet skis and para sails, and send the local government back to school.

Posted by Elizabeth on February 17, 2015 14:14


Let us hope what we hear and read it the truth so that these and certain other issues don't gradually increase.

Posted by Manowar on February 17, 2015 14:28


Which policeman will upend the elderly the infirm and handicapped to get the chair! with media crews ready to pounce on the opportunity of this story be a brave policeman indeed.

Posted by slickmelb on February 17, 2015 16:15


The beach chairs has never been outlawed. A group of people made the decision to remove the chairs, but apparently they did not dare implement this decision, which can be seen in the number of chairs on Patong beach today.

Posted by Sherlock on February 17, 2015 16:44


You must be surprised how busy Phuket is again and again. Despite the coup, despite euro and the ruble weakness, despite all the incompetence and all the problems, the island is full.

I can not see that there is even a single tourist less than in previous years.

Ever been in Patong Big C or the parking at laem singing beach? It's packed like never before, the streets are full of buses, vans and scooters.

Everything else is wishful thinking. I wait every year for the big downfall of tourism, every year I'm disappointed.

Of course I know the complains of the bar restaurant and hotel owners but they forget that there are 10% more competitors each year in which the cake has to be shared.

Posted by Georg The Viking on February 17, 2015 17:04


What is that jetski doing on the beach in 2 of the pics?

Posted by FS on February 17, 2015 17:25


@ Georg The Viking - you could help reducing the number of tourists here on Phuket, by leaving and not come here anymore. It would be of the greatest assistance to carry out your own wishes.

Posted by Sherlock on February 17, 2015 17:45


"What is that jetski doing on the beach in 2 of the pics?"

Waiting for the next patsy. What - you thought jetskis would not rest on the beach since about a week after the last "ban"?.

Posted by phonus balonus on February 17, 2015 19:39


Unlike the food in Thailand this is just another half-baked idea of a plan. The navy, Governor and police don't seem to ever be on the same page.

Posted by john on February 17, 2015 19:47


The regulations governing tourists on the beaches of Phuket should be made available to all possible future tourists world wide by using all means possible such as social networking sites, newspapers and television channels, the internet including videos on Youtube and other means. Holiday makers can then make an informed decision before deciding on their destination and need not risk being unhappy when arriving in Phuket.
I am sure the readers of Phuket Wan can play their part in doing this.

Posted by Paul on February 19, 2015 07:39


I know Patong Beach from the time when not every square meter was covered by umbrellas and sunchairs. Even then it was full with tourists. I don't see a problem with the new regulations just with some people.

Posted by John on February 19, 2015 18:51


There are some times you posted that zones are divided. 200 meters for water sports and 500m for tourists.
To this day I see: the area from the south jetty to the old Ocean has 350 meters. The area starting at the Impala to Loma Park has 420 meters. Together this makes 770 meters or 35% from the beach only for these two areas. Let us not forget that there are still several areas for these water sports. We arrive at least 50% for jet skiing and parasailing! Do you find that normal? There is someone there you can control and direct the rules published by the autorities. These operators are they so powerful? Is money really the master? here?

Posted by Manu on February 23, 2015 00:06

Monday December 4, 2023
Horizon Karon Beach Resort & Spa


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