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Patong Carnival, with multiple beach parties to follow so far in 2010

Planet Phuket: Time to Halt Beach Party Noise Pollution

Thursday, February 18, 2010
Planet Phuket News Analysis

ONE person's music is another person's noise. Perhaps if Western classical music was to come out of large loudspeakers on Phuket's beaches on party nights, there might be even more complaints.

More and more party nights appear to be being planned for Phuket's beaches. Many are delighted, and others are annoyed.

But the issue is not about whether listeners prefer dance or trance or rock or country. Nor is it about age, as some fans of beach parties are attempting to make it seem.

This is not an argument between fuddy-duddies who are past it and the young, trendy go for it generation.

It's about pollution, noise pollution, and these days Phuket has more of it than most people want.

Phuket's beaches are being used more and more to provide nightlife for a few at a cost to everyone. There is no justification for turning Phuket into the beach party capital of Asia.

The beaches are for all to enjoy, not for the local authorities to convert into money-making venues or for the marketing people at Chang to attempt to sell beer.

There's a lack of a sense of the need for beaches to be available for everyone. Why should special interest groups be allowed to take over?

In the big picture, the foolish use of Phuket's beaches for too many parties demonstrates the need for one controlling authority to make sure there are no abuses.

Many important decisions are still being made by local authorities who often lack the vision to see beyond the selfish interests of their villages. The beach party fiasco is yet another demonstration of Phuket's over-government.

What the island needs is one single authority, or even better, an executive governor with an eight-year set term and the ability to make all the vital decisions about Phuket.

This should include what happens on all Phuket's beaches and cover provision of an effective lifesaving service.

There is no reason why Phuket can't have the occasional beach party, in association with other important events.

Most of all, the island needs a strategy for the future, not just for the sake of music on the sand but also to impose a proper, efficient public transport system and other essential needs.

What the government of the island requires are cohesion and commonsense. The island's problems are all caused by the lack of these two elements.

Whether Bob Dylan sounds better remixed by a DJ or not, the key people on Phuket and in Bangkok should be locked in a room and forced to listen to ''The Times They are A Changing'' until they agree to move into the 21st century.
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Comments

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I wholeheartedly agree. There is much too much noise pollution on the island, whether it is the beach parties (although I have not been bothered, living 10 km from the nearest beach) but also generally in other locations like in shopping malls.
However, If there were some public offerings of Western classical music, at appropriate sound levels and in appropriate locations I would welcome that.

Posted by Guenter Bellach on February 18, 2010 19:59

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In other words.....you are hoping that Phuket gets a benign dictatorship for eight years at a stretch.

What are the chances?

Posted by Sir Burr on February 18, 2010 22:17

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Totally agree with you about the governor. Sometimes like the present Governor they actually work for good but he will be leaving before he can make a full impression. Eight years may be too long. Fours year maybe with an extension, yes get rid of the villages deciding things that can ruin the whole future of the Island. The mayors in their little areas make fortunes. You see them in their houses and vehicles which cost way more than a public official makes.

Posted by Michael on February 19, 2010 00:34

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"There is no justification for turning Phuket into the beach party capital of Asia"

Ohh really ?? And why not ?? Would anyone imagine Phuket is the preserve of some cultural touchstone for Thailand ?? Phuket has been brash and out for the cash, since I first saw it in the '90s, why should this change ??

Its the 'get rich quick' capital of Thailand and those that over pay for their cliff side residence should be aware of that. Love it or loathe it, its reality.. Profit over regulation has powered this island from strength to dubious strength..

Yes a beach party upsets a few expats and residents like me, but the fact remains that the island has set itself down a path of no retreat, develop, grow and get more and more visitors, That's the TAT mantra.. Only a fool would think you could freeze it in amber and preserve the Phuket we arrived to.

The change will come, like it or not, the only question will be, ''love it or leave it ''??

Posted by LivinLOS on February 19, 2010 00:59

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Phuket has traditionally detrimentally plundered resources; tin, rubber, and recently, water and tourists. Only now it's getting to be too much as population explodes.
As long as Capitalism reigns.... Nothing long will last.

Posted by Christy S. on February 19, 2010 09:54

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If this was happening on Nai Harn Beach or some other quiet and relatively unspoilt place, I could agree with this rant. But it's Patong Beach, for chrissake! The place is already a loud, garish nightmare. What do you expect?

And I'm not sure there's any justification to call it a 'fiasco' at this point. The event could have been well organized, for all we know at this point...

Editor: Whether the event is well organised is not the point It's ear pollution, so the effect is not confined to the beach but within a radius of several kilometres. If there is some authority regulating the number of beach parties on Phuket, fine. If not, it's a fiasco.

Posted by Simon Smith on February 19, 2010 10:01

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Music just doesn't need to be loud to have a good time. Enforce volume, it's that simple.

Posted by Philip on February 19, 2010 17:10

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I agree with you but everything that you said will never happen. Government only cares about Bangkok

Posted by James on February 19, 2010 20:58

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That man in the pic with no shirt on has breasts larger than most Thai women, why isn't he made to cover up? Because only women's breasts are considered obscene.

Posted by Horse Doctor on February 20, 2010 10:10

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@horse doctor, u funny. I guess you thought first, was a girl and got interested... Why else care? *555

For the noise, I am no expert, but maybe possible to post the speakers looking seaside and build a parable shaped reflector or deflector behind each speaker, so the sound waves go out to the fishing boats. Can be loud on the beach, but the sounds would not reflect to much and leave Patong alone.

Just google "outdoor noise reduction". Enough ideas there. Noise at an open beach is manageable.

Posted by Lena on February 21, 2010 00:21

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Lena,
I remark as women's breasts are considered obscene while men enjoy the freedom of not having to wear a shirt. Different standards are imposed on females, as usual.

Posted by Horse Doctor on February 21, 2010 08:20

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Considered obscene? I do not think so. *555
As long as boners in public are considered obscene, better not to dress topless. ;)

Last time I checked, women's breast were recreation tools. So yeah, there is a difference. But feel free to educate the broad public in South East Asia, that public display of nudity is for women a good and natural way of living.

Posted by Lena on February 21, 2010 15:03

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I have a laugh most of the time when reading HorseDoctor's comments!

"I remark as women's breasts are considered obscene while men enjoy the freedom of not having to wear a shirt. Different standards are imposed on females, as usual."

Why, oh why do you live in this male macho-heaven then?

Re.Noise: There's noise everywhere in Thailand. People are brought up with loudspeakers blaring out from sunrise to sunset. It's an Asian thing, they actually LIKE noise, lot's of noise, all the time, endlessly.

Posted by BOM on February 21, 2010 15:13

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K. Bom,

Unfortunately, the entire planet is "macho," infested, hence its current state of decline, I believe.

Lena,
You know female breasts are for nurturing infants, not, "recreational tools ... last time you checked."

Your trolling demeanor is an excellent argument against "recreational" sex as the practice has obviously resulted in the birth of way too many Lenas.

Posted by HorseDoctor on February 22, 2010 10:17

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I think Horsedoctor and Lena are secretly in love with each other!

Posted by BeachBoy on February 22, 2010 10:51

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Horse Doctor, reading your comment highlights the concept of noise pollution.

Posted by Lena on February 22, 2010 21:55

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I agree but why is your article focused on only the beaches? The same reasoning should apply to everywhere.

Why are people "allowed" to play loud karaoke music and drink whiskey throughout the night in residential neighborhoods? This happens all over Thailand.

Why are nuisance/noise laws not enforced? Why are other laws not enforced?

I moved out of a local neighborhood recently that was unbearable due to noise, particularly during the night.

Posted by an obeserver on February 26, 2010 21:33

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So what happens when you get a governor with an "8 year set term" who is only interested in lining his own pockets and doesn't really give a toss about the island or the people who live here??

Editor: The idea is to choose carefully. Not everyone in the system is corrupt. If the Thai Government can obliterate corruption at Suvarnabhumi Airport, then next it can attempt to end corruption in a single province, Phuket, as a role model for the other 75. But they have to be serious.

Posted by another steve on March 4, 2010 08:32

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keep the beach parties & noise in Patong, leave the other beaches alone. gives taxi drivers from other locations to earn better, while residents sleep well.

Posted by h2odragonfly on March 13, 2012 15:58


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