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Phuket's Police Commander, Major General Teerapon Tipjalern

Sunlovers May Place Umbrellas, Chairs Anywhere on Phuket Beaches, Says Police Commander

Monday, November 9, 2015
PHUKET: No law in Thailand can prevent sunloving tourists bringing their own umbrellas and chairs to Phuket's beaches and sitting where they like, the holiday island's Police Commander, Major General Teerapon Tipjalern, said today.

His statement is likely to finally end confusion triggered by some media outlets in misquoting Phuket authorities.

''Journalists should know the law as well,'' he said. ''There is no point in reporting these things wrongly.

''The governor has made a clear-cut point. [As Phuketwan reported, Governor Jamleran Tipayapongtada said last week that tourists may bring their own equipment to Phuket's beaches and sit on chairs under umbrellas wherever they like.]

''If you bring your own equipment, you may put it anywhere you like on any beach.

''Can you imagine? If you come to enjoy the public beach with your family and friends, which law is going to be used to stop you?

''You bring your equipment, you take it away with you when you leave . . . nothing wrong with that.

''If you come and make the beach dirty, if you leave garbage behind, you may contravene the rules.''

He said the law applied equally to visiting international tourists or to local residents enjoying a traditional beach picnic.

Some of the officials accompanying a vice governor to Patong beach on Friday smoked cigarettes and stubbed out the butts in the beach sand, indicating that they have little idea about Thai laws designed to protect the country's beaches for future generations.

Officials seeking to make Patong a role model for introduction of a ''10 percent zone'' to confine umbrellas and services are likely to be bitterly disappointed.

The plan to roll out the ''10 percent zones'' to all of Phuket's beaches before November 15 is not likely to succeed - because Patong is the least typical beach on the island.


Comments have been disabled for this article.


Right. Clear!
I may sit at Phuket beaches everywhere with my own chair and umbrella.
Do the jet ski and parasail people know that too?

Posted by Kurt on November 9, 2015 11:10

Editor Comment:

You tell them, Kurt. Nobody else seems to want to do that.


@ Ed

I understand your comment to Kurt was made with tongue in cheek but surely you are not suggesting that Expats and Tourists have to start enforcing the laws local authorities are unwilling to do ?

No visitor or resident in Phuket should have to do that. It's the job of the authorities to enforce the law and consequently ensure there will be no confrontations between the general public and the law breakers.

Naturally we all know the reality looks very different but I just wanted to highlight how absurd the current situation is.

Posted by Herbert on November 9, 2015 12:54

Editor Comment:

I am not suggesting anything of the kind, Herbert. Please keep your tendency to speculate wildly under control.


You know exactly what will happen. Vendors will be renting tourists their 'own' equipment real soon now. It's quite entertaining to watch the comical efforts of the so-called authorities. It's hard to fault them, though, because the locals' efforts to retake the beaches (they already have the streets back) are as relentless as a rising tide. They can be bent to rules, but only for short periods of time. They're an implacable foe, and would gladly cover the entire length and width of Patong Beach in chairs, umbrellas, infernal machines of all kinds, food stalls and an army of touts; plus who knows what else. The strewn about jet-skis and their trailers are a conspicuous daily reminder of who actually are the masters of the beach, and all the other vendors take their cue from that. Those machines and the large umbrellas are overt signs of weakness in the authorities and that weakness will be exploited in the end.

Posted by Jogo on November 9, 2015 13:00


@kurt: maybe you can go and try a good old fashioned 'sit-in' in one of the illegal jet-ski zones and see if anyone comes to arrest you...

Posted by another steve on November 9, 2015 13:08


So rental of chairs and umbrellas will be a flourishing business, just off the beach of course, and an attendant can set it up for you. Deja vu all over again..

Posted by Sam C on November 9, 2015 13:40

Editor Comment:

Chair and umbrella rentals are banned. Only umbrellas and mats can be hired in the '10 percent zones.' No point in speculating about what might or might not happen.


''If you bring your own equipment, you may put it anywhere you like on any beach".
- so where has this guy been for the past nearly 18 months when tourists were stopped from bringing their own equipment and, oh yes, by the Police!!!! The farce with the jet skis just goes on and will inevitably end in more confrontation I fear.

Posted by Alan on November 9, 2015 14:01

Editor Comment:

The police commander is newly arrived on Phuket, Alan. It would seem unfair to blame him for anything that happened while he wasn't here. Police have never been keen to tell tourists what to do on the beaches.


This is like a sick reality TV show....Can't wait to see the drama unfold when people start placing their goods on Jet Ski and Para sailing turf

Posted by sky on November 9, 2015 14:08


Both the governor and the OIC of the royal Thai police Phuket have said that you can bring your own chairs and umbrella's and place them anywhere on the beaches, just clean up after yourselves before you leave, what more do you want a personal letter confirming this for you, What are you a mob of old nagging women who do not understand what's been stated by these senior government officials

Posted by peter allen on November 9, 2015 14:22


Can I bring my own jetski and park that where ever I wish also?

Posted by MoW on November 9, 2015 15:40


Why all the confusion when the the law is so crytal clear? What a pity that a lot of long-stay tourists don't return o Phuket. They can relax on their own sunbeds under their own umbrellas. Renting is prohibited, storing is not.

Posted by Max on November 9, 2015 17:09


Brilliant idea - sell, buy and store beach sets with wheels, in a shop not to far from the beach.

Sad, that a farang never will be allowed to run such a business.

Posted by Sherlock on November 9, 2015 19:53


I have flown to many places North and South of the Equator and I have never seen anyone fly long haul with a deck chair and doubt it is in their case. Are they going to buy one locally, here we go again........strap yourself in for the ride.

Posted by Where you come from? on November 9, 2015 23:26


@ MoW, You may expect to be kicked of the beach with your own jet ski. Remember, the jet ski and parasail 'authorities' run the beaches, no one else.
Same as when you like to park your car at beach road at for you reserved places, the taxi and limousine 'authorities will chase you away.
We just have to accept that great parts of Phuket beach places are not under control of the real government authorities, they have given/'lease out' parts of their towns to thai businesses people.
The proof you can see daily.

Posted by Kurt on November 10, 2015 09:09


That is dissapointing to hear. I was going to park it next to my beach lounge and umbrella right in the middle of the parasail landing area. Probably wouldnt have fitted in the hand luggage compartment anyway which I expect will already be full with lotophagi accessories.

Posted by MoW on November 10, 2015 16:15


And so the natural Thai habit nobody and everybody being in charge and making completely opposite statements continues. What a circus

Posted by Geoff on November 11, 2015 13:39

Editor Comment:

It's quite simple, Geoff. The Vice Governor and the previous governor have been placed in charge of Phuket's beaches with no previous experience of managing beaches or using them as visitors. Both of them believe neatness is the priority. They believe every chair and umbrella should be corralled in the ''10 percent zone.'' Why is there a ''10 percent zone''? Not for the tourists, the people with the money to spend, but for the vendors, the people banned by law from the beaches.

I hope that helps you understand . . .

Thursday February 25, 2021
Horizon Karon Beach Resort & Spa


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