Tourism News

Tourism News Phuketwan Tourism News
facebook recommendations


Sign up now for our News Alert emails and the latest breaking news plus new features.

Click to subscribe

Existing subscribers can unsubscribe here


Phuket's administrators listen to Governor Nisit's beach edicts today

No Sitting, No Smoking, No Sunbeds: Phuket's 10 Percent Rules Please Just a Few

Friday, February 27, 2015
PHUKET: Resort managements on Phuket are not happy to be told they must inform visitors about Phuket's odd new beach edicts but the Governor is insisting he wants a set of rules displayed in every guest room across the holiday island.

Governor Nisit Jansomwong told a meeting of administrators at Phuket Provincial Hall today that he expects the red and green leaflets that explain the beach policy to be in every room and also available at Phuket International Airport.

The new rules have been imposed after extensive consultation with beach business interests on Phuket but without tourists, honorary consuls or ambassadors being asked for their opinions.

The new rules give more space to jet-skis and parasailers at Patong, which was once the holiday island's most popular swimming beach.

The result, according to people in the travel industry, is likely to be the defection of many veteran travellers who have been coming to Phuket for years to other destinations where their behavior is not regulated.

Local tour agents say numbers are already down and likely to be dramatically lower by the time the next holiday high season arrives in November.

The governor is bound to hear first-hand what European travel agents think of the changes on Phuket beaches when he visits ITB Berlin, world's most influential travel show, next week.

In essence, Governor Nisit aims to keep 90 percent of all beaches clear of everything except swimmers who are prepared to use just mats or towels.

Everybody else, including all those who wish to use umbrellas, will be confined in zones that amount to about 10 percent of the space on all Phuket beaches.

Already in questioning the logic of the scheme it's being asked whether the 10 percent zone is the same at high tide as at low tide.

It's also unclear why sunbeds remain banned when the umbrellas and mats that once used to accompany them for hire have been allowed back for hire.

Critics question the benefit of the regimented ''10 percent special zone'' arrangement.

Most public beaches around the world allow swimmers to bring their own chairs and umbrellas and sit wherever they wish.

Phuket's Public Beach Regulations

Clean Beach Zone 90%
Beach Mattress
Water & Light snack
No beach bed
No Umbrella
No Massage
No Littering
No Smoking
No Food Vendors

Special Zone 10%
Beach Mattress
Water & Light Snacks
No Beach Bed
No Littering
No Smoking
No Food Vendors


Comments have been disabled for this article.


This rule really is ridiculous, and goes far beyond the original intent of eliminating illegal commerce on public lands. One of the core problems is the police, and their inability or unwillingness to do their job and enforce the original rule dealing with illegal commerce. Perhaps the hotels should offer their guests beach chairs and umbrellas having specific identifying tags or stickers. It should be up to the hotel whether they wish to provide them for free, or for a fee. A small charge could allow some of the beach bums to get jobs at the hotels renting and cleaning folding chairs and umbrellas, thus getting them off the beach. If the hotels REALLY care about their guests... they could provide this service, and the rules should allow it.

Posted by Richard Vickers on February 27, 2015 18:52


Every country in the world is trying to attract tourists, the Governor here try to make them leave. There is no other explanation. After 11 years this was my last vacation in Thailand. In the future I go where I feel welcome.

Posted by joshua on February 27, 2015 19:23


They forgot: no music

Posted by Kat on February 27, 2015 19:23


"Governor Nisit aims to keep 90 percent of all beaches clear of everything except swimmers" parasailers and jet-skis, was mistakenly not mentioned.

"a set of rules displayed in every guest room" What will the penalty be for missing this decoration?

Posted by Sherlock on February 27, 2015 19:33


in every guest room across the holiday island.


if suite, then probably both in bedroom and living room?

Water &'Light Snack


Coconut juice in coconut shell, disposable ,no?

Festive whole duck, in a plastic bag , that later is taken away off the beach leaving no trace and residues, no?

Posted by Sue on February 27, 2015 19:36


Never hire a jet ski! Never allow someone to hold your passport! be the best poster they could put up in a hotel foyer.

Posted by slickmelb on February 27, 2015 19:47


Never seen or heard of anywhere banning smoking on beach, national parks yes, me-thinks the Boys in Brown will be using that to boost there coffers

Posted by Michael on February 27, 2015 20:00

Editor Comment:

Beaches in Australia ban smoking. I think you'll find Thailand already has laws banning smoking in public places.


NOBODY is going to enforce this!

The police and resort staff don't want to be out in the hot sun... It's just not going to happen Mr. Governor Nisit. Sorry!

I was on Kata beach today -- you know how it is in the middle of the day???

I saw one obese person had rented a chair from illegaly. I felt really bad for him, he deserved a god damn chair!

Meanwhile the beach looked great after the clean up, and people were using their self-brought umbrellas and chairs freely.

Governor, your on the right track and have achieved a lot -- but please be more realistic: you cant really dictate to the tourists or ask the hotels and police to, because everyone deserves a seat at the table for this progress to be sustainable.

Posted by Impossible on February 27, 2015 21:13


Pretty soon - no swimming - no tanning - no talking!

Posted by Steve L on February 27, 2015 22:24

Editor Comment:

Hire a jet-ski and the beach is yours.


I think swimming should not be allowed anymore at Phuket beaches so that the jets ski and parasailing mafia which is supported by the local police will have no problem with anybody who is trying to swim. Lets the mafia rule and all tourists will stay away sooner thna you think.

Posted by Tak on February 27, 2015 23:19


This is good news. Less tourism is better.Way too many now. Lets take Phuket back to where it was 30 years ago when it was truly paradise ! If we can get rid of 90% of the tourists and a similar amount of the Thai paradise will be regained.!

Posted by shadowcat on February 28, 2015 04:29


Editor@ You have 100% right about the laws about smoking, All smoking are banning in public places. This law Thailand have for many years.

Posted by Bjorn Ronningen on February 28, 2015 05:26


Thailand was one of the world's forerunners in the fight to ban smoking from public places when smoke-free lobbyists won the day and tough anti-smoking legislation was introduced to the Kingdom in November 2002.

Posted by Bjorn Ronningen on February 28, 2015 08:05


I remember years ago there was nothing on the beach, no problems then. Why should it be different now ?

Posted by reader on February 28, 2015 08:31


Has anyone ever explained why renting mats and umbrellas is not 'commerce' but sunbeds are?

Or when a mat becomes a sunbed - Inflatable chairs are they mats or beds?

Just preposterous rules because no one can decide what they want.. And the Jetskis just continue.

Posted by LivinLOS on February 28, 2015 08:44


Dear Mr Gov., put your face to one side and make the right decisions (aka do your job). This continuing mess will be your legacy.

Posted by Duncan on February 28, 2015 10:45


Why the Governor previously not asked the hotels/resorts to supply the guestrooms with list about the official taxi/tuk-tuk fares, he could have shown more hospitality feeling and care for the tourists.

Posted by Kurt on February 28, 2015 11:47

Editor Comment:

Good question. Warning all Phuket tourists about jet-ski scams, high taxi fares, Soi Bangla rip-offs, motorcycle hire and rip currents should be the governor's first priority. Instead, it's ''Do not bring a beach chair.'' What a pity he ignores the honorary consuls.


@ fanatic non smokers - what creates most smoke, a truck, a car, a motorbike, a speed-boat, a jet-ski or a cigarette?

It is completely ridiculous to complain about people smoking in a heavy trafficked city environment.

Posted by Sherlock on February 28, 2015 13:14

Editor Comment:

But perhaps not so ridiculous if the person at the next table is sharing his or her cigarette with you without asking.


Soon the beaches will be empty for sure and 100% empty of tourists.The problem of lak of staff in the hotels(see another article) will also be solved as nobody will need them anymore.
I will boycot in my hotel the governor's flyers he can distribute them in the schools to make paper planes, they can replace the real ones we will not need anymore as no tourists will fly to Phuket!

Posted by Eric on February 28, 2015 16:13


@ fanatics - there is no tables at the beach and it is not possible to smell a cigarette more than a meter away outside in wind. It is fashionable to be holy and bully the minority so simple it is.

Posted by Sherlock on February 28, 2015 18:50

Editor Comment:

As long as smokers put their ash and their butts in a container and take it away with them, I don't have a problem, Sherlock. All non-smokers leave behind on the beaches are their footprints.


@ Ed - quite another debate, cigarette butts shouldn't be left in nature, nor anything else. However the claim that non smokers never the tiniest piece of garbage on the beach is perhaps a little bit biased.

Posted by Sherlock on February 28, 2015 19:43

Editor Comment:

In relation to cigarettes, non-smokers leave nothing behind. Don't lose sight of the argument because of the toxic cloud, Sherlock.


have done with it 100 percent no tourist zone no commerce no baht just hand it all to Bali where tourists are appreciated.

Posted by slickmelb on February 28, 2015 19:45


Dear authorities in Phuket .....
NOW, it's time to sit down to think .....
How much are you willing to lose, because of a stupid decision ....
When we tourists, travel half around the world , to visit your country , we expect to be able to use the entire beach , we expect also comfort when we spend our time there ....
What you get with this ban is a bad reputation , and an escape to other destinations in Asia , where they appreciate their tourists ....
I wish you luck in the future ...
Ketil Olsen , Norway

Posted by Ketil Olsen on March 3, 2015 18:08

Tuesday February 7, 2023
Horizon Karon Beach Resort & Spa


Facebook Twitter