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Our photographer toured the Phuket beaches and produced an album

Taxis, Beaches and Drugs Next: The New Phuket Takes Shape Under the Coup Command

Wednesday, June 11, 2014
Phuketwan 'Brave Enough to Change' Campaign

PHUKET: For Phuket's beach clubs and restaurants, a line has definitely been drawn in the sand. And Phuket's taxi drivers are no longer being allowed to continue to be the island's biggest passengers.

The past week has brought momentous change to the holiday island with the arrests of scores of taxi drivers and a decision by Phuket authorities to shut down dozens of beach clubs and restaurants.

In the coming week there will be a third crackdown - this time, we are told, on drugs. Phuket prison is likely to be bursting at the seams if the local authorities get tough on drug-takers.

We can't say whether these remarkable turn-arounds are going to last forever but we can marvel at the extraordinarily swift application of the coup command's ''harmony'' policy.

People in the know are saying that if General Prayuth Chan-ocha had not taken over in Thailand on May 22, there would have been no impetus for these sweeping and dramatic changes.

So often in the past on Phuket, decisions encouraging a law-abiding lifestyle have faded as greed and commerce come into play once more. Will it happen once again?

We hope not. There was no telling where the exploitation of Phuket's foreshore was going to end, and if the seafront can be saved, at least tourism has a brighter future.

A lot more work needs to be done on the beaches and in protecting the coral reefs, too, for posterity.

Regrettably, some of Phuket's best beach clubs and restaurants are going. Like many residents and tourists, we enjoyed our share of meals by the seaside.

If the process of what's allowed on Phuket's beaches was properly managed, dining on the sand could possibly return - and pay for the preservation of the beaches, rather than go into private pockets.

The taxi and tuk-tuk system needs a more complete overhaul. Fares should be cut in half and drivers allowed to pick up anywhere on the island.

And a serious attempt also should be made to encourage real drivers who want to work.

Drugs? A drive against drugs on Phuket can only be good, especially if it removes some of the real dealers and their cohorts, not just the users at the end of the supply chain.

There might have been the need for a fourth campaign to clear Phuket of its negative expat doomsayers and no-hopers.

But we think they've already taken flight and are too ashamed now to offer even a peep.

Comments

Comments have been disabled for this article.

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without the no hopers Alan, you'd find yourself bored out of your mind

Posted by sky on June 11, 2014 12:30

Editor Comment:

I'd actually have more time to write about important topics. Few comments have anything of value to add, sky. This one is typical.

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It is always amusing to listen to telco by some motorbike taxi drivers at their stations like near 7-11s when they loudly order supply of ya ba..
Scenes when motorbike drivers silently delivering "something" that is small by size, and accept without saying a word, in the evening in a dark spot of Loma Park are amusing too.

There were reports that on some recent police raid almost 15% of all stopped on the road were tested drug-positive. It is incredible figure, and that why we see so much of weird behavior around.

Posted by Sue on June 11, 2014 12:33

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You are one arrogant s.o.b.., Morison. The comments section is the most interesting part of your miserable publication!

Posted by jimbo34 on June 11, 2014 12:45

Editor Comment:

Nothing arrogant about me, jimbo. But to sit down and type meaningless fluff . . . well, that sure takes something, and it sure ain't courage.

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Whilst I'm encouraged to read the blitz on the sweeping changes taking form on the Island. I hope that the Army will at some point focus their attention on the Police, which have been very much part of Phuket's problems of late.

(PS: you have mentioned 'General General' in this article)

Posted by reader on June 11, 2014 12:50

Editor Comment:

Thanks.

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You always have to have a dig at your so-called doomsayers and no-hopers don't you Mr Ed. You ruined yet another article with one boorish sentence. Most of those you knocked you would find fully support the current activities on the island. Now go back and drink another pint of vinegar- it certainly makes you a very sad and bitter person.

Posted by Mister Ree on June 11, 2014 17:12

Editor Comment:

Nothing sad or bitter or even the slightest bit negative about me, Mister Ree. That's the preserve of the doomsayers and the no-hopers.

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It's about time too. Phuket has been needing more taxis, beaches and drugs for decades but nobody saw fit to take any action until now. Long may it continue.

Posted by Gregory on June 11, 2014 17:37

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What's the matter jimbo 34? Just because you haven't found the right Thai lady yet, no need to throw stones from your little glass house in paradise, but beer-bars ain't the best place to find her jimbo.

Posted by farang888 on June 11, 2014 21:07

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if true !tankyou so much for the changing !!!

Posted by x on June 11, 2014 22:34

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Wow. Your album is pretty epic.

Posted by Lena on June 12, 2014 00:07

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@farang888 : you have no idea what you'e talking about. You wouldn't believe my love life, you really wouldn't !
The editor drones on and on about doomsters and naysayers and "adding value" like he is the patron saint of online reporting. Its obviously tiresome for him to have to listen to some very good comments (unlike yours) that are often informative and amusing. So wind your neck in and try and comment on the article rather than "throw stones" from behind your keyboard.

Posted by jimbo34 on June 12, 2014 10:43

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if they can build a jail quick as they can build restaurants on the beaches be no problem new inmates are very experienced builders.

Posted by slickmelb on June 12, 2014 16:01


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