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Bang Tao beach today, marred by black gunge that makes locals sick

Tourist Beach Marred, Locals Fall Sick

Sunday, April 21, 2013
Today's News Report UPDATE

PHUKET: A layer of black gunge marred one of Phuket's most famous beaches today as tourists walking past turned up their noses in disgust.

Local residents of Bang Tao opted to talk to Phuket media for the first time today about the polluted and dangerous ''black'' water that stretched for more than a kilometre along the beach.

Some residents have fallen sick because nothing has been done to stop the raw pollution being discharged into the Bang Tao district's major canal, locals said.

Somsak Hamana, 45, said he had been unable to take his longtail out to sea since doctors diagnosed an infected foot that they blamed on the ''black'' water. He moors his boat in the canal.

''I'm also concerned about the kids of residents and tourists who swim nearby,'' he said today. ''The hotels around here try to hide this pollution and pretend it's not happening.''

He said that Bang Tao residents plan to begin a campaign that will mean the issue can no longer be ignored.

''Not all resorts are involved but the amount of black water is increasing because the number of resorts is increasing,'' he added.

The canal empties into the Andaman Sea at the southern end of Bang Tao beach, within walking distance of many of Phuket's best-known resorts.

Local authorities do little to enforce laws that are designed to prevent the sea being polluted.

''Nobody is looking at this issue properly,'' said Khun Somsak.

Kecha Kholek, consultant to the Bang Tao Longtail Business group, said that today's pollution was particularly bad, but the dumping of ''black'' water into the canal had been taking place for years and occurred regularly.

''We think they store it up and release it at weekends, when there are no authorities working,'' he said.

''This weekend, though, the dumping has been done at the wrong time and the tide has not carried away the evidence.''

He said the hotels and possibly restaurants involved were ''vert selfish'' and showed no sign of caring about the environment or nearby residents.

Skin complaints had become a health issue for people who lived around the canal, he said.

Earth Day comes on Monday with some of Phuket's best-known beaches and off-shore day-trip destinations undergoing rapid degradation.


Comments have been disabled for this article.


I can't add anything that has not been said countless times before.

Greed and corruption is killing Phuket. It's no longer a question of if, just when.

Posted by Stephen on April 21, 2013 13:01


Phuket stars has what deserves

Posted by dave on April 21, 2013 13:13


Disgusting, shameful, sad.

Posted by BigP on April 21, 2013 13:45


Just in time for Earth Day on April 22. So the perception that Phuket officials are sending to the world is that they support environmental preservation . . . not at all.

Posted by Treelover on April 21, 2013 13:46


Bet it feels good now the day after you signed the papers for your 20 million baht house?

Posted by Simon on April 21, 2013 13:49


How about writing an article about how wastewater is handled in Phuket in general, what kind of processes used and the up-/downtime on these ? I think it could increase the confidence of people living in Phuket to know how the wastewater is treated if they can see that something is actually done. Haven't personally come across any large scale communal waste water treatment plants but it does not mean that they don't exist .... only thing I have seen is waster water running straight in the sea after leaving septic tanks and that does not seem to be a good solution.

Posted by Sailor on April 21, 2013 14:38


TAT will market it as fango bath spa treatment at the beach. "What does not kill you makes you stronger"

Posted by Lena on April 21, 2013 15:52


ED There aren't any hotels at the southern end of Bangtao beach which could feed into that canal pictured, except the back end of Amanpuri. If it's not Amanpuri, then why claim that "hotels" are the culprit? Any evidence?

Posted by stu on April 21, 2013 16:34

Editor Comment:

There are at least 10 hotels or restaurants with potential access to the canals, according to the local residents, stu. Have you studied this canal more closely than the locals? . Amanpuri is not likely to be the source of the problem and it's odd that you would single out that one resort. We'd prefer to leave naming the culprits to the proper authorities.


How wonderful to surf or swim higher up the shoreline, where the currents take this discharge. Just wondering if one really swims there, or does one just go through the motions?

Posted by DuncanB on April 21, 2013 22:13


@stu, think you are very wrong. The pictures show the canal that is no where near the hotel you mentioned. Why claim its that one? any evidence? The canal pictured is much further down than the hotel you spoke about. Plus there are hotels, and condos all on the Southern end of bang tao. Big love.

Posted by Jayleshark on April 22, 2013 12:13



You have not read my post correctly. I have not said it was Amanpuri. I implied that the only (large) hotel at that end of Bangtao Beach which could link to that canal would realistically be Amanpuri (at the back end). It is unlikely to be Amanpuri - that would be nonsense.
I posted a 2nd comment saying it could be coming from further upstram at Surin, but Ed didn't print it.
It was ED who sad it was hotels, before he edited the headline and article to delete that direct assertion. I was questioning why the (original before editing) article assumed that hotels were the problem, without proper investigation.

Posted by stu on April 22, 2013 13:28

Editor Comment:

We updated the article to take account of the interview with the residents, stu, and shortened the headline - as we always do - to fit its new home at the top of the front page. Your imagination tends to run wild. loose canon, wild allegations, no research.


@ED - "loose canon, wild allegations, no research"

That's rich coming from you, pal!. I think you are looking in a mirror.

Posted by stu on April 22, 2013 13:59

Editor Comment:

I really don't know why you comment when you've got nothing to add, stu, Best not to indulge in guesswork based on sketchy local knowledge..

The photographs make plain that what the residents say is correct - there's shocking pollution, and the most likely source is, as the residents say, local hotels, or perhaps large restaurants. We'll leave the citizen's arrest to you.


Stu doesn't seem to add anything to PW's stories except to attack the Editor - calm down Stu and look at your crazy ramblings

Posted by Damien Takac on April 22, 2013 14:48


perhaps a water probe could be taken and analyzed. This may help to determine what's the true source of the black stuff.

Posted by James on April 22, 2013 14:49

Editor Comment:

That was certainly suggested yesterday.


Meanwhile, further north at Layan, I face harassment and open hand "fines" for water run-off from washing my horses.

Posted by Christy Sweet on April 23, 2013 11:27


@Damian... I see "Stu" every day riding his 105 cc bike with no shirt and no helmet. In Phuket he can finally be a legend (in his own mind). In the West no-one listened to him, poor baby.

Posted by mike on April 23, 2013 13:34


Once the economy is severely effected by the gross state of our seas, streets, parks etc by filth and rubbish then the people in charge take action. If an educational program isn't put into action in all local schools across the island ASAP the future generation will have no idea how to really care for our island !!! Get started now, please!!!!

Posted by Debra on April 24, 2013 15:04

Sunday September 26, 2021
Horizon Karon Beach Resort & Spa


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