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The beach on Koh Racha, where tourists play with a school of fish

Phuket's Beaches Fail the Five-Star Enviro Test

Thursday, August 20, 2009
PHUKET fails the test for five-star beaches, according to a new rating system established by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment.

The island's best rating beaches were Naiharn, Surin, Kata and Karon, which all earned four stars. So did the beach on He island.

Nearby, Koh Racha went one better, rating five stars.

Both Racha and He islands are south of Phuket and popular with divers.

More than 300 beaches were assessed around Thailand by officers from the department. ''Clean, quiet, and secluded'' were the three key attributes they were looking for.

Rawai Tessaban claimed credit for three of the high-ranking beaches that fall inside their jurisdiction, Naiharn, Koh Racha and Koh He.

The mayor, Aroon Sorod, said: ''We try to keep all our beaches as clean as possible and vendors making sales to swimmers are not permitted.

''At Naiharn, we have some beach shopkeepers, and they do a great job keeping the beach the way it should be.

''Next year, we'll try to make sure Nui, Ao Sane, and our other beaches also measure up.''

The department's permanent secretary, Pimuk Simaroj, said he hoped the star system would inspire more local authorities to meet higher standards.

''We will keep coming back to check every year,'' he said. ''Beaches can win extra stars, and lose them, too.''

Thailand's best five-star beaches are in Satun province, Khun Aroon said.

Perhaps to protect the reputation of unranked but popular beaches, only those rating four or five stars were mentioned.

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Comments

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I notice a bacterial count is missing from the survey, or were counts done and the results too noxious to print? With raw sewage visibly running into the sea, at least at Surin and Bang-Tao, hard to see how the water around Phuket could be called, "clean."

Posted by Ex- Pat Biologist on August 20, 2009 07:53

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Nai Harn beach, vendors doing a good job in keeping area clean.What is the last time Khun Aroon has checked Nai Harn beach, the surrounding Laguna area, its dirty, full of any kind of rubbish you can imagine, from used condoms, broken beer bottles, leftover pick nick items to tons of plastic bags. The only thing clean in Nai Harn is the water. Have a look before commenting .
A Nai Harn Rawai Resident

Posted by wm on August 20, 2009 09:59

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"Clean, quiet, and secluded" hardly practical attributes to judge a beach in a tourism destination. Water quality and safety should be right up there near the top. May end up with many of Phuket's beaches still scoring low, but it would be a more useful yardstick for improvements.

Posted by Duncan on August 20, 2009 10:53

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What a joke by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment! Why don't they test the water? Anyone can rate a beach for clean quiet and secluded. Kata 4 star? With all the hawkers? And all the trash and beach chair vendors not even cleaning the trash in their area and the 1 empty life guard station? Let's not mention the water coming from Club Med and all the stink from the other hotels! Funny they are the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment.

Posted by Vfaye on August 20, 2009 11:05

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as long as local phuket motorbike repair shops are dumping toxic waste in the ocean there will be a problem.

Posted by jojo on August 21, 2009 20:29

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I would like to point out that whenever i sit on Rawai beach at the beautiful Nikita bar there is a sewage pipe that runs out from Salaloy or seven eleven across the road and there is a constant stream of bad smelling sewage coming out . Does the rawai tessaban know about this or don't they care about the environment?

Posted by Peter Martins on August 25, 2009 12:22


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