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A mid-afternoon run along Patong beach - on a motorcycle yesterday

Sunny Day Out at Patong Beach: Photo Special

Sunday, July 22, 2012
PHUKET: It's a beautiful sunny day and Patong is almost convincing your correspondent that it's a truly delightful place.

Then comes the first of several near-misses as motorcyclists stream along the pedestrian walkways that stretch along the foreshore behind the beach.

It's bad enough dodging death to cross beach road. Once you've made the safety of the pedestrian walkways, you don't expect to be in fear of being mown down every few minutes by a motorcycle.

Near wipeouts came regularly as I strolled Patong beach for almost an hour yesterday, then double back along the paths behind the beach.

One thing is for sure: Patong will need to break its addiction to the motorcycle if the beach is ever going to be restored to its once-proud place among the best of Phuket beaches.

The guy gunning his bike along the beach sand a bit earlier was probably the least risky rider we encountered.

The worst? Perhaps the foreigner or his girlfriend. She was following close behind him, on a second bike.

Then again, perhaps it was the biker in Loma Park, one of many even overtaking near the tree that carries the sign that says riding motorcycles on the pavement is illegal.

All things taken into consideration, though, there are worse places to be on a glorious sunny day than at Patong beach, as long as you are not on the pavement for long.

The walk produced a few surprises: more concrete is going in along the beachfront, in a couple of places for showers. In other places . . . well, it was a bit hard to tell.

The same confusion came with the signage. Red flags warning of swimming dangers were flying but mostly back from the beach, in one case along beach road, apparently to declare a public parking spot a private area.

Yet at this time of a year on a glorious weekend, Patong beach is probably even more enjoyable than during the high season, when five rows of umbrellas and lounges can make the sand hard to find.

Just a few jet-skis were operating yesterday, but three speedboat parasailing rides were doing continuous business, landing then loading up immediately.

As a Phuketwan reader pointed out this week, at least one Patong resort has extended a restaurant area at least 15 metres onto the public beach.

A similar invasion by a five-star resort at Kamala has also brought no action. Kamala, however, is not out to prove it deserves to become economically and politically independent.

By all means, seek Patong's freedom. But please, save Patong beach from motorcycles and other invaders first.

Comments

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just imagine its low season now and how the beach looks like when its high seaon!

Posted by mike on July 22, 2012 21:41

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A far cry from the images seen on the "Miracle Thailand" ads shown constantly on tv!

Posted by G Horne on July 23, 2012 11:18

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Thank you for the interesting article showing what a mess Patong Beach has become. I went down there a couple of weeks ago after one of the big storms - it was wonderful, NO beach chairs, jetskis, hawkers or any detritis. Just a few people laying on the beach enjoying the few minutes of sunshine. That's what a beach should be. Come on Mr Mayor, Krabi can do it, grow some and make Patong into the paradise it should be.

Posted by Great Article on July 23, 2012 14:52

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Great photos to show patong in a negative way, this will help others to type bad things about phuket again, and copy your photos. If you didn't post stories and photo's like this, then their would never be bad news reports in international papers. Authority's don't read english newspapers, only tourists do.... So try and find something good to report about.

Posted by jamie on July 24, 2012 16:23

Editor Comment:

Don't fret, jamie, we will find something good to report when there is something good to report. What we've shown is not negative or positive, just the truth. Meanwhile, I suggest you hire a publicist.

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Why not invite Jamie to see the seashore of Nai Harn during the low tide, or bring him to smell the drainage pipe going stright into the sea from Bangla Road???

Posted by dave on July 24, 2012 18:32


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