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Surin's beachfront is now lined with restaurants and beach clubs

Beach Told to Demolish 'Illegal Constructions'

Monday, September 23, 2013
PHUKET: Letters are being delivered ordering businesses to cease operating on the shorefront at Surin beach, Cherng Talay Mayor Ma-Ann Samran said today.

''An officer left the Orbortor (municipal council) premises at 10am to start handing out the letters,'' he told Phuketwan this afternoon.

Mayor Ma-Ann said that the letters call on ''vendors'' with constructions on the beach to remove them, because they are illegal.

If not removed voluntarily, the Cherng Talay Orbortor has the right to remove constructions, the letters said, according to Mayor Ma-Ann.

''If the removals are not carried out, the cases will be handed over to the Department of Special Investigation,'' Mayor Ma-Ann said.

''Even if the Orbortor constructed a building on the beach, that would be illegal,'' he added.

Obstructing the removal of illegal constructions would lead to intervention by the DSI, Mayor Ma-Ann said.

Restaurants have a long history on the beachfront at Surin and Phuket's first beach club appeared there five years ago. Several new beach clubs have been planned for this high season.

Some of the construction work is concrete, permanent and difficult to demolish.

Mayor Ma-Ann could not say today how many letters had been sent out, or whether there was a deadline in the wording in the letters.

At a meeting on August 5, Phuket Vice Governor Jamleran Tipayapongtada instructed the mayor to have the Surin beachfront cleared of businesses within 30 days.

''If you can't do it, tell me,'' the vice governor told Mayor Ma-Ann Samran and the Chief of Thalang District, Supot Chanakit. ''On August 9, the DSI will arrive and I will give all the information to them.''

Mayor Ma-Ann was not present at a second meeting on September 5 when the vice governor told officials: ''I want the beaches back for Phuket's people. You have until the end of this week or the DSI will investigate you.''

Businesses were still operating all along the Surin shorefront, the vice governor noted, directing his ire at Thalang's Khun Supot.

Khun Supot told the vice governor that he had sent letters out to 30 Surin beach businesses. The names of the businesses and the contents of the letter were not revealed.

A pathway that runs almost the entire length of the Surin beachfront is believed to delineate the border for permanent constructions.

Surin has become Phuket's best-known ''five-star beach,'' largely because of the upmarket resorts nearby.

A Bangkok entertainment group attempted to hold a two-day New Year's Eve beach party at Surin last year but after protests, the event moved to Patong.

Comments

Comments have been disabled for this article.

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It is always the same story've heard hundreds of times ... words, words, words .. as in Nai Harn beach about the new restaurant illegaly built on the left side.. It was on the newspaper that Orbortor gave demolition order a month ago giving 30 days .. well yesterday I went to see and the restaurant was always there with customers sitting at the tables .. no one ever does anything, nothing will change except for the worse ... yet enough trivially impose indefinite closure, but really there is no will to stop anyone...

Posted by dave on September 23, 2013 19:59

Editor Comment:

Don't believe what you read in newspapers, dave. But your ''nothing will ever change'' attitude is about as relevant as print. ''It's always the same story'' is what the people who wouldn't know always say. And if you've still got nothing positive to add, you're wasting our time - just like the people you're moaning about.

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(moderated)

Posted by Tommy on September 23, 2013 20:24

Editor Comment:

Unless you have something to add, Tommy, beyond the usual nothing, don't bother us again, please. There are plenty of other places to go to listen to grunts and echoes.

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I would be happy to read the article "All local corrupted officials were fired because of inability and lack of desire to enforce the law".

Posted by Stranger on September 23, 2013 21:09

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This actually sounds encouraging.
Local authorities are key to reclaiming public land.
Encroachment and pollution issues are just as important as transport and general law and order issues.

Posted by Yojimbo on September 23, 2013 21:24

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I hope that the DSI only pull down the properties that offer Surin beach minimal benefit. Surin beach has a good feel about it and it would seem that Thais and foreigners get on very well. There seems to be a common interest called surfing.That's the key folks, "commonality", then everything works out vey nicely. Then there is a nice attitude with everyone in Surin beach.So, there are two things, commonality and attitude. Maybe the third should be respect. Respect for our fellow human being and the respect for law and Order. What do you think?

Posted by irishkev24 on September 23, 2013 21:48

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Well well, we will be on Phuket next january, will the piratet spots still operate??? Anyhow, it will be for the last time. Me and my spouse will go to Krabi in the future, Phuket has become to messy. We have bought the tickets some time ago, otherwise it would not be Phuket this time either, since nothing seems to change.

Posted by Swede from Malmo on September 23, 2013 23:27

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@ed, do you have the address of the DSI.
We have trouble with a neighbour in our village, building a huge house against all urbanisation rules (Orbortor has given the building permit, everybody knows why).

Posted by william on September 24, 2013 00:33

Editor Comment:

There's a Crime Crisis Centre at the airport (but behind the arrival doors) and another at Phuket City Police Station, behind the main building.

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I'd like to complain about Cherng Telay permit dept trying to shake me down. Where can I do it?

Posted by Hidalgo on September 24, 2013 09:05

Editor Comment:

DSI Crime Crisis Centre, Phuket City Police Station, or the Damrungtam (Complaints) Office, Phuket Provincial Hall in Phuket City.

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Lets hope Surin returns to its original splendor, it would be nice to be able to walk the length of the beach on sand at high tide!

Posted by coxo on September 24, 2013 10:58

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I remember @ Kamala back in 2004 when many bars were built on the beach next to each other (70-80?)& were slowly extending from one end to the other. The only thing that demolished them was the tsunami at Xmas. But I hope some progress is made here @ Surin.

Posted by Anonymous on September 24, 2013 15:48

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The Thais must enforce these land use rules. I've already seen the bars and restaurants in Kamala take their stake of the King's beach. Smile Bar has finished their 15 foot extension out. Bob's Bar took his 10 feet.

Posted by Pete on September 24, 2013 19:46

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I am still not convinced that demolition is the best way forward. I wonder if it is not better to keep the upmarket places, take down the tatty places or get them to neaten up and then negotiate a rate of tax that can be paid for the upkeep of the said beaches? Only my idea?

Posted by DuncanB on September 26, 2013 14:56

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@ Duncan,

So illegality is ok if they pay for it? Isn't that called corruption, exactly what many people here are arguing against on a continuing basis?

Posted by stevenl on September 26, 2013 15:27

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I think duncan is right. If necessary the laws could be changed. The beach businesses could be asked to pay a tax. The venues would become 100 percent legal. Quality tourism requires quality venues to hang out. No doubt.

Posted by be different on September 28, 2013 09:51

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I have to agree with Dave that an overwhelming majority of changes are for the worse in Nai Harn.

There are 7-8 taxi stands within 200 meters, occupying prime locations at Nai Harn illegally tapping into the electric lines with no meters. The drivers are sitting, watching TV and/or leering at their potential victims. They and the car rental/tour business "Napa Tour" have monopolized most parking spaces near the beach.

Nai Harn and Yanui beaches have both been ruined by an invasion of illegal restaurants, an over abundance of beach chairs and other nefarious commercial activities that are evidently sanctioned by the Rawai Orbortor.

Posted by Etters on September 29, 2013 04:57

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The worse thing about the restaurant on Nai Harn is they have just made a toilet which leads raw sewage directly into the lagoon, where lots of children play

Posted by Michael on September 29, 2013 23:36

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I would really like to know how 'Papa" will not allow you to put your big toe onto Paradise beach without paying him. I understand you should pay for his towels or his chairs but not to walk along the seashore, surely.

Posted by carol on October 8, 2013 17:35

Editor Comment:

Surely there are no problems in Paradise?

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Simple question when are we going to see something being done at Surin beach, they are still pouring concrete on the beach front.

Posted by Granitebeetle on October 16, 2013 17:19

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What has happened at Surin beach, are all the beach bars still there? ?

Posted by Col on January 9, 2014 11:15

Editor Comment:

We believe they are still there, Col


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