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Parking along beach road in Patong is likely to be reviewed

Patong's New Police Chief Promises Changes

Thursday, February 25, 2010
THE NEW chief of Kathu Police station plans a major overhaul of traffic for Patong that is likely to include changes to the one-way system and to parking.

Speaking to sources, Colonel Arayapan Pukburkhao, formerly of Phuket's Tung Tong Police Station, said he also plans reviews of tourist safety, entertainment closing times and the CCTV camera system.

Some of what the colonel appears to be suggesting could have ramifications for the tuk-tuks and hire-car and bike rent vendors who have the majority of parking space along Patong's beach road.

In his first message to the public since taking over from Colonel Grissak Songmoonnark, Colonel Arayapan said there were increasing problems every day with Patong's traffic.

''It's just not working effectively,'' he said. ''People are fighting each other over parking.''

The colonel is also a critic of the two-way links between the beach road and Rat-U-Thit-200-Pi Road where drivers have to shift to the right-hand side of the road, often confusing for visitors.

''We need a keep-left system that functions to international standards,'' he said, adding that cracking down on people riding motorcycles without a helmet or licences would also be a priority.

The connection between Patong and Phuket City also needed improvement so that traffic could flow smoothly.

On the safety of tourists, the colonel plans to ensure visitors are protected. ''Today we have many other countries competing with us, so if Patong is not safe, these people may go elsewhere,'' he said.

Colonel Arayapan said that many tourists also did not go out to Phuket's entertainment areas until late, so a closer examination of closing hours was needed. Governor Wichai Praisa-ngob recently proposed an entertainment zone for tourists only that could stay open until 4am.

Colonel Arayapan said that Thais accepted the 1am closing rule, but that this was not in keeping with the expectations for an intenrnational destination.

''If tourists are forced to drink on the beach or in the streets, we can expect to always have trouble,'' he said.

Colonel Arayapan plans to talk with local authorities but it's anticipated that better road signs around Patong will be the first indication of change.
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Comments have been disabled for this article.


Good fortune to good Sir, I am all for good change in all traffic rules. Too many incidents here.

We can adapt for the benefit of all people. Bravo Colonel Arayapan.

Posted by Graham on February 25, 2010 09:57


If Colonel Arayapan is serious about cracking down on bike riders without helmets, then all power to him. But while he's at it, how about cracking down on motorbikes without tail lights as well.

If the helmet and lights rules were enforced, the income from the resulting fines would be enough to pave Phuket's streets with gold, and hundreds of lives would be saved every year.

And on the subject of streets, how about repainting the road lines in white. The present yellow lines simply disappear at night.

Posted by Toby on February 25, 2010 13:18


"There's a new sheriff in town - ??and his name is Colonel Arayapan"!

That's a bold opening statement from a newbie to "Phuket - Pirate Island of The Andaman"!

Let's see if he can win the power struggle with the local gung ho's!

Posted by BOM on February 25, 2010 13:39


Wow, that all sounds very positive.

A good governor and a good Patong police chief. Dare I revive a heretofore near-dead glimmer of hope?

Posted by D on February 25, 2010 13:43


Toby: Do we really need more money grabbing helmet checks? There must be way more important issues where real force of law is needed. Security for tourists and long-time residents must be a top-priority. Right now the police don't give a hoot when a farang house is robbed! Thai-logic: "If the Farang weren't staying here, there wouldn't be a robbery". Meaning: The Farang is at fault, always...

Posted by BOM on February 25, 2010 16:07


'Money-Grabbing' helmet checks??? If you see the posters around town the fine should actually be B500. As people are always banging on about Pattaya its a posted B1000 up there and pillion passengers have to wear helmets.

Helmets are a safety issue and if a measly B300 fine doesn't make you buckle up I would happily see it rasised to B1000. Oops,I forgot - you're on holiday so the rules don't apply! 4 deaths on Monday (alone) that could possibly have been prevented shoot holes in your moan.

Posted by Mister Ree on February 25, 2010 19:59


Is it me or is the announcement only precise on minor issues? Ok. Safety of tourists. Do not forget the Thai there also. If they work in a Taxi and pick up some one at Patong Beach Road.

Fight corruption in Patong. Breakdown on drugs. Get the black taxis out. Counterfeit products on sale, and? The unclear situation of prescriped but buyable medications like valium. And ok, all what you like to do is ok. But looks strongly like window dressing.

Patong without a good old police work will is like a potemkin town of world class tourism.

And btw. get real tools to find and fight drugs. Not this hoax witchcraft instruments. A constant vicarious embarrassment for me...

Posted by Lena on February 25, 2010 23:21


Lena/Mister Ree: Experts are we, eh?!
The best advise I would give - and pls. hold your breath - IS TO STOP EXPECTING ANYTHING FROM THIS COUNTRY! Not satisfied here, well go back to where you came from. Talk about helmets! Get real: You live in a m**** infested rathole and you talk about helmets, wake up.

Posted by BOM on February 27, 2010 02:46


Nice one BOM. Welcome to the rathole.

Lena can you please put the thesaurus away, I can't understand half of what you are going on about.

Posted by Bobby Brown on February 27, 2010 11:20


BOM, I think you're wrong. A lot of my Thai friends would like it changed. They can't go elsewhere, I mean Dubai - the sunny place for shady people - is mostly out of reach. And as you will know, Thais are masters in showing a friendly face. But if you close your eyes you can feel the tide rising.

And I think a lot of this red shirt movement get its steam from the anger against this situation, where the guys at top can do as they wish and the police is talking about use your helmet or pay me a fine.

I think you know enough about Patong, a lot of people could name the ones. These people and their pawns may fear what could be happen as it seems. A lot of Thai people are angry against this decades lasting system that favors not the bright but the ruthless. That keeps Thailand from becoming a tiger nation.

If they want to stop this tide, they have to clean their dirty stables. As is Patong a nice place to start. So again, Colonel Arayapan, make a plan to clean out your backyard and honor with your work this great country.

Or the hollow facade of Patong as a world class tourist destination will fell apart pretty fast.

Posted by Lena on February 27, 2010 14:05


There only seems to be one person unhappy here BOM and that would be YOU. I'm perfectly happy with the imperfect system. You are the one with the 'money grabbing' persecution complex, maybe time to pack YOUR bags? leave your helmet at home and you'll have more room!

Posted by Mister Ree on February 28, 2010 12:36


Mr. Ree: I have left already.

I'm now enjoying the view from my high-rise condo here in Bangkok, where you can drive across the city (30 km) in a taxi for about. 200 THB.

A soengtaw ride is 6.50 THB, motosai-taxi 20-30 THB, and a night out with dinner for two is 300 THB! Why in the world would I live in a tourist-dump like Phuket?

Posted by BOM on February 28, 2010 14:14


All hot air and wind ... come on people get real. How many times have you heard the same old stuff? New guy in town always makes the same claims.

1. Going to clean it up
2. Going to stop Tuk Tuks from parking where they like
3. Going to make it safer for tourists

Seriously if I had a buck for every time this one was spun out I'd be a wealthly guy.

Give him a couple of years ... he'll be outta here and you'll get the same story all over again.

Posted by Noddy on February 28, 2010 15:15


Hope the police have a happy Songkran on our tourist baht! The cops have gone crazy fining people. So much in fact that the queue to pay off fines now rivals the lines during the January Sales! Sadly, I won't be coming back to Phuket again when the police are biting the hands of the tourists that bring so much money to the island. Thankfully, there are better and less developed places to waste my money.

Posted by Peter on April 8, 2010 16:36

Wednesday December 6, 2023
Horizon Karon Beach Resort & Spa


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