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It is illegal to put out umbrellas and mats without tourists on them

Obey the Rules or Lose Your Jobs, Phuket Beach Vendors Told in Blunt Message

Friday, August 28, 2015
PHUKET: Kamala could become Phuket's first beach without vendors unless they meet an October 1 deadline to form a cooperative, Vice Governor Suthee Tongyam told a meeting yesterday.

Speaking at a review of a university survey on what Phuket's beaches need to be improved, the vice governor told Kamala vendors: ''If you don't register to form a coop before the end of September, forget it.

''Kamala could become the first beach with no services on the beach - and that could be great for Phuket.''

At a meeting on August 21, no vendors from Kamala turned up, he said. A few were present at yesterday's meeting to hear the results of the survey by Prince of Sungkhla University researchers.

''On Patong beach,'' the vice governor said, ''the zoning is not clear and umbrellas are being laid out before tourists arrive. That has to stop. No customers, no umbrellas go up.''

Service centres ''looked very messy,'' said the vice governor, recently returned from a visit to Bondi beach in Australia.

He said he was puzzled that no beach chairs or tables were permitted for business people but jet-ski operators were putting up signs and sitting on chairs along the beach.

''How is it that jet-ski operators can do what others are not allowed to do?'' he asked. ''Everybody must be treated the same.''

Patong was another beach where vendors of different types had yet to form coops.

''Patong beach vendors have until September 20 to register,'' he said. ''All those who register must have a card and a uniform.''

After September 20, the vice governor warned, ''we will check and warn people not following orders.

''There will be a second check and a second warning. ''The third time, those who do not conform will be arrested and barred from working.''

A proposed Phuket beach committee - similar in many ways to the Phuket Beach Authority proposed by Phuketwan - will include police and Royal Thai Navy 3 personnel to enforce the rules after September 20.

He was particularly pointed about Kamala - Patong and Kamala are the two major beaches overseen by Kathu district.

''We send a strong message to vendors to sort out your own futures,'' he said. ''If you don't respond, Kamala will be a clean, free beach - a fine example to the rest of Phuket.''

Vice Governor Somkiet Sangkaosutthirak, overseeing the introduction of new controls on the nine beaches under the jurisdiction of Phuket City district - including Karon, Kata and Nai Harn - said all the city's beaches now had registered coops.

But there was insufficient budget for next year so local councils, formerly in charge of the beaches, would have to find extra funds to contribute, he said.

Vice Governor Panlop Singhaseni said that the six beaches under Thalang district were being organised, and Surin possibly could become a role model for Phuket's other beaches.

''It's 820 metres long and the lifeguards there perform their duties well,'' he said. ''Cherng Talay council visits once a week to enforce standards there.

''All the resorts in the surrounding area have created and issued brochures to their guests so they can understand what's happening to the beach rules.''

A representative from Pak Lok said there was no such clarity over Naka island, where umbrellas still sprouted over large areas of the sands and the serviced areas were obviously greater than 10 percent of the beach.

Phuket Governor Nisit Jansomwong said that the university survey was a step in the right direction and that Phuket was ''90 percent there'' in its efforts to end two decades of private enterprise breaking laws about public ownership of the popular west coast beaches.


Comments have been disabled for this article.


All blabing at official meetings will be useless without controlling each day of the year with powerful patrol squads and arresting all lawbreakers, including corrupt civil servants, in order to send them to court to be prosecuted, fined and eventually jailed in case of recidivism.

Posted by WhistleBlower on August 28, 2015 14:41


I'm not sure what a Cooperative in this sense actually is, and what it means in practice. I think their role will be the crux in any attempt to effectively manage beaches.

Posted by Duncan on August 28, 2015 14:51

Editor Comment:

Coops are entities with rules and repercussions. You might remember the taxi drivers at Central formed a coop in settling allegations of ''mafia'' control.


"Surin possibly could become a role model for Phuket's other beaches."
''It's 820 metres long and the lifeguards there perform their duties well,'' he said. ''Cherng Talay council visits once a week to enforce standards there."

Wasn't there someone on this forum recently asking why nothing has changed at Surin?

Posted by Sam Wilko on August 28, 2015 15:07

Editor Comment:

A lot has changed at Surin but there are those who want to see more changes.


Umbrellas are being laid out before tourists arrive, that is what happens to every beach. And about the 10% can only laugh ,the umbrella vendors make what they want. They occupy with their roof and chairs the best place of the beach (see Nai Harn Beach).
Befor the 10% come you have a good place, but now it is to despair.
The space with umbrella and mat is the same as with the chairs, what is the difference now? Umbrella and mat is now more expensive, and the tourists lying in the sand.
That's right, the beach does not look like before the cleanup, he's just more dirty, a real shame for a holiday destination.
Everyone knows that the monsoon brings a lot of dirt on the beach, but none of the vendors stirs a finger. Only a few organized groups and some farangs clean the beaches, which is of course not enough.
I find the communities and professionals in Phuket earn a lot of money and should pay for the beach clean.
Over the jet - ski vendors I liked nothing more to say, only, Please remove these noisy stinking Jet -Ski and the behavior of these people is unacceptable.

Posted by steve on August 28, 2015 15:51


Suppose the famous university survey resulted in some sort of report. If such a report exists, paid with tax money, would it be to much asking to see, what our money was spent for or is the report a state secret?

Posted by Sherlock on August 28, 2015 16:20

Editor Comment:

It's a university project, as the previous report says, completed without any additional budget. Best ask the university.


After the 2004 Tsunami I was actively involved in forming fisherman's, mechanics/carpenters and beach massage cooperatives in Khao Lak and Ban Nam Kem and Takua Pa.

The present circumstances are clearly different, but my experience shows local people are capable of running a cooperative, for the mutual benefit of all members, if the local authority clearly identify the rules and regulations.

Posted by Stuart on August 28, 2015 20:05


Obey the rules or lose your job??

Are we sure that there isn't a mix up with the next story down headlined "pigs might fly"

Posted by Discover Thainess on August 28, 2015 22:24


Vice Governor Suthee Tongyam asks

'How is it that jet-ski operators can do what others are not allowed to do?'' he asked

Because jet ski operators are a law unto themselves. They have always operated in this way with apparent approval of the the government officials who oversea the sea and the beaches.

Posted by Paul on August 29, 2015 06:27

Sunday June 13, 2021
Horizon Karon Beach Resort & Spa


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