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Ugly billboards confront the eye everywhere on Phuket

Ugly Phuket Greets Tourists at Airport and Follows Them Everywhere

Wednesday, April 9, 2014
PHUKET: The ''beautiful holiday island'' of Phuket is losing its battle with billboards because of lack of law enforcement, a meeting was told yesterday.

Vice Governor Jamleran Tipayapongtada welcomed back Phuket's administrators to Phuket Provincial Hall with a cheery ''Hi'' after months of anti-goverment protests.

Then he proceeded to criticise everyone for failing to stop the invading billboards, large and small, from dominating Phuket's once green and pleasant landscape.

''I've been in administration for 30 years,'' he said. ''I'm a Phuket guy. ''And this issue keeps getting worse every year, not better.

''We just keep talking. So when will you use law enforcement?'' asked the man who coined the Phuketwan motto, ''Brave Enough to Change.''

''Phuket when compared to Europe has the best of everything. The best beaches. Phuket wins on every point, except law enforcement.

''Everybody in Europe follows the laws. But here? Noooo.''

He went on to describe a typical tourists' arrival at Phuket International Airport.

''You arrive, you wait for your luggage, all you see is billboards. You leave the airport terminal, all you see is billboards. You reach the three-junction, and the billboards are even bigger.

''Do you want to leave it like this? This is no way for a beautiful holiday island to look.''

Many of the billboards belong to businesses whose future depends on Phuket and the region remaining natural and appealing.

While the large billboards erected on private land are beyond official control, Vice Governor Jamleran hopes the local councils will crack down on the small roadside billboards that erupt like acne.

The action plan requires each council to designate a billboard-free stretch of road and then to report back on their experiences as they try to keep that stretch free of billboards.

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He should be using past tense when talking about Phuket's beaches. Most beaches now have dirty water and beach loungers packed down to the waters edge.

Surin beach now has owners who hold weddings and private functions on a public beach. The same people taking back-handers to ignore the illegal billboards are probably the same people pocketing all the 'rent' money from beach encroachers.

After 30 years in administration he really knows what the real problem is - rampant corruption.

Posted by Arun Muruga on April 9, 2014 14:57

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Sorry to inform you this is not just a Phuket disease. Billboards are an eyesore the length & breadth of Thailand.

I have been through Nong Kai, Udon Thani, Khon Kaen, Korat, Bangkok, Hua Hin, Phang Nga - all by car - it's the same everywhere without exception.

Posted by Logic on April 9, 2014 15:21

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Billboards on private land are not beyond control, If the authorities really really want they can just make a regulation that does not allow to erect billboards on private land unless they have obtained a permission to do so.

Posted by Sailor on April 9, 2014 16:00

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Best beach than europe? best than europe about everything? Ah ah!

Posted by angelo on April 9, 2014 16:27

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Quote "'Phuket when compared to Europe has the best of everything" .. a rather sweeping statement don't you think? Perhaps you could back up that comment with concrete evidence? I'm sure many EU countries who attract millions of tourists every years would be very interested to hear the evidence to support your rather brash statement.

Posted by reader on April 9, 2014 18:57

Editor Comment:

Pop along to Phuket Provincial Hall and have a chat to the vice governor, reader, I'm sure he'd be keen to debate the issue.

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''Phuket when compared to Europe has the best of everything. The best beaches. Phuket wins on every point, except law enforcement. "

Oh really ?

That would then be environmental protection, public transport, infrastructure, social security, fair business practices, social equality, justice system, corruption etc.

Yep, Phuket sure tops Europe on all of those aspects and many more.

Fun pai Thur (Dream on)

Posted by ThaiMike on April 9, 2014 19:02

Editor Comment:

I think he was probably concerned just with visual appeal.

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They certainly have the best billboards, the best sewage outlets, the best rubbish disposal, the best taxi/tuk tuk service, the cleanest beaches... damn, Phuket does have better than Europe. Makes me sick when I lie so much. Vice Governor Jamleran Tipayapongtada needs to wake up from his dream world.

Posted by Laurie Howells on April 9, 2014 20:00

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It not just the billboards- the plethora of legal looking road signs that litter the side of the road are a lucrative source of income for the Tambons. Only highway related signs and public offices should be signposted. Not only are they an eyesore they are a distraction for road users.

Posted by Mister Ree on April 9, 2014 20:06

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Perhaps the billboards are hiding things behind them Phuket don't want seen, out of sight out of mind so no problem & plenty of baht to rent the advertising space as well so a cash bonus.

Posted by slickmelb on April 9, 2014 20:12

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- Ed

I know in Thailand if it looks good, it's good enough but I'm puzzled as to how law enforcement relates to visual appeal ?

Maybe he finds the officers in their tight uniforms visually appealing, who knows.

Posted by ThaiMike on April 9, 2014 20:52

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Take a drive from Heroines Monument towards Cherng Talay on Srisoonthorn Road tomorrow morning. I saw bill boards being put up at 1 meter intervals down both sides of the road. It looks absolutely putrid but it does fit in well.

Posted by DuncanB on April 10, 2014 03:04

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Route 4018 from Laguna to Layan is chock full of the ugly, distracting and dangerous (when they fall in the road) sign boards - mostly from the new beach club and a development that is under investigation for encroachment on Nat'l PArk land. Enforce the small laws, first, and the more important laws will be easier to adhere to.

Posted by The Night Mare on April 10, 2014 10:01

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Looks like somebody temoved most of the signs DuncanB spoke about. I say burn the lot of them.

Posted by Graham on April 10, 2014 11:43

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@ Graham. Sorry, but just been down there and the black pick up truck with a hive of worker bees on the ground have replaced all the pink bill boards with new ones again.

Posted by DuncanB on April 10, 2014 14:04

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The most ugliest billboards is the ones for voting. Take them off and it will look better. Still weeks after election they are still up. So what do the government think about them?

Posted by Jens on April 13, 2014 11:13

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Gosh yes, this is definitely the biggest problem with Phuket.

Posted by Harry Barracuda on April 22, 2014 14:37


Thursday August 28, 2014
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