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A tourist takes a chair to Patong: who will pull it out from under?

Phuket Governor Kills Patong Mayor's Plan to Permit Tourists to Bring Beach Chairs

Friday, March 13, 2015
PHUKET: The Mayor of Patong wants to allow tourists to bring beach chairs to Phuket's favorite swimming beach but the holiday island's governor yesterday nixed the idea. Cigarettes are also staying banned.

Mayor Chalermluk Kebsub said she had been listening to tourists and they wanted to bring their own beach chairs.

Governor Nisit Jansomwong insisted, however, that he wants his ''10 percent zone'' idea imposed at all of Phuket's popular holiday beaches, no matter what.

The beach chairs - in fact, chairs plus byo umbrellas of any kind - are banned.

But mats and umbrellas can be hired in the ''10 percent zone.''

''Please change your signs to remove the part that says the beach chairs are permitted,'' the governor told the mayor yesterday at a beach summit involving all three vice governors, the island's mayors and about 80 local authorities and police.

The mayor has also prepared her own version of the Dos and Donts signs that the governor insists must be placed at Patong, Karon, Kata, Kamala, Nai Harn, Nai Yang - all of the Thai island's best-known west coast beaches.

Phuket's Deputy Police Commander, Colonel Saman Chainarong, said that officers were already having problems because the governor's ''10 percent zones'' were not clearly defined.

Officers cannot tell whether umbrellas and mats are in an approved zone or not. Governor Nisit admitted this was still a problem, especially at Patong.

[Phuketwan has observed that it's presently impossible to know what's within the proposed zone and what's not at Patong. Our prediction: a lot more chaos before the issue is resolved. Better to allow tourists to bring beach chairs and umbrellas and sit wherever they like. Ban the jet-skis instead.]

''No kind of chair is allowed at any beach,'' the governor said yesterday.

This may come as a surprise to the jet-ski operators, masseuses and taxi drivers sitting on the sand on plastic chairs at Patong and other beaches, and to the officers who may one day have to pull them out from under.

Governor Nisit said that last week, at the ITB Berlin travel show, he encountered agents from Germany, Denmark and Scandanavia.

But he said those markets had been more affected by the economic downturn in Europe than what was happening on Phuket's beaches.

The long list of what's banned and what's not includes cigarettes.

Phuket's police have been extremely reluctant to take on the added responsibility of enforcing the governor's new beach lore.

Representatives from resorts were absent yesterday's meeting.

The governor says he has consulted everyone with a vested interest in the beaches, yet he hasn't met with the island's honorary consuls since becoming governor in October.

The consuls are regarded by most people as the representatives of the tourists and expat residents.

Governor Nisit said he expected millions more tourists from China will be coming to Phuket.

He told the meeting that he wanted only the poorest of the beach workers to be given jobs back on the beach.

All commercial activity was cleared from the sands by the Army and Navy last year but instead of keeping private profit-takers away, the governor has compromised by allowing the hire of mats and umbrellas in 10 percent of beaches.

It's difficult to know how this will work in the full-on crowd of a Phuket high season. It's also hard to understand why mats and umbrellas have been allowed to return, but the comfortable sunbeds remain banned.

Colonel Saman asked Mayor Chalermlak yesterday why well-known Patong businessman ''Prab'' Keesin was listed to have a licence as a vendor at three of the Patong region's beaches.

Mayor Chalermlak said the list of 59 authorised vendors was an old, outdated list, from the time when Khun Prab's late father Pian Keesin was mayor of Patong.

Phuket's Public Beach Regulations

Clean Beach Zone 90%
Beach Mattress
Water & Light snack
No beach bed
No Umbrella
No Massage
No Littering
No Smoking
No Food Vendors

Special Zone 10%
Beach Mattress
Water & Light Snacks
No Beach Bed
No Littering
No Smoking
No Food Vendors


Comments have been disabled for this article.


If the governor wants 10%, give him his 10%.

Posted by Bob Reader on March 13, 2015 10:53


What do you call it when a joke has gone beyond a joke - Phuket's attitude towards tourists!

Posted by Mister Ree on March 13, 2015 11:03


Will it ever end. Just insanity. Although happy with the no smoking rule, I am sure many will not be. can't wait to get there in 2 weeks and see for myself what self destructive management looks like. Governor Nisit Jansomwong can not possible believe his plan is helping, can he? Looks like less time on the beach and more looking around the island, not all bad I suppose.

Posted by Davemc60 on March 13, 2015 11:11


Nobody at Patong Beach has a clue about, where the 10% zone is. Jet-skis and their trailers are everywhere on the beach now. The rules for their presence should be mentioned on the Public Beach Regulations.

Posted by Sherlock on March 13, 2015 12:01


I am planning a party at a beer making facility and I need someone to help me organize it. Who should I ask ?

Posted by Soupdragon on March 13, 2015 12:26


Get rid of the Beach chairs and increase Jet skies. What a joke this has turned out to be. I have an idea, get rid of the Jet skies and bring back Beach chairs. Problem solved and without university certificate.

Posted by Speedy McAndrew on March 13, 2015 12:31


Ok,let leave alone for a moment sunbeds and umbrellas.

I just curious, how allocation nominally 40% of beach shore ( in reality 60%) is allocated for entrance and exit of jetskis and parasailing/banana boats, is supported by following the best practice from other destination, scientific research, a kind of calculation or may be just by "wisdom man" logic?

Since Governor's office promulgate??, as an experiment, such allocation, which, because of my limited travelling to beaches experience, I failed to see at any other destination, am explanation of rationale by the Governor's office, would eb very helpful.

Unfortunately, what I have seen, and what is made in a law in my country back to Europe in regard of jetskis, that
- pockets of entrance/exits by jetskis within Designated Swimming Zones are allowed only 20m wide,
- jetski are allowed to drive only 200m-10km off shore,
- no driving within Designated Swimming Zone;
- max. 5km/hr speed if 30m or closer to Designated Swimming Zone.

Posted by Sue on March 13, 2015 12:51


So, in Phuket, the public beaches are not so public as we thought. And to PhuketWan: i wouldn't worry too much about the 10% and how this will work in the full-on crowd of a Phuket high season. The next so called high season(s) will be not as busy as we might hope.

Posted by Carl on March 13, 2015 13:27


He told the meeting that he wanted only the poorest of the beach workers to be given jobs back on the beach.
Does he ask for tax returns to decide who is rich and who is poor?
This nonsense goes on and on.

Posted by slickmelb on March 13, 2015 16:23


Governor Nisit Jansomwong insisted, however, that he wants his ''10 percent zone'' idea imposed at all of Phuket's popular holiday beaches, no matter what.

No matter what
No matter what
No matter what

Governor Nisit Jansomwong is not doing what the tourist want.

He is not doing what the Thai people who who live and die by the tourist dollar in Phuket want.

Even the police dont want this nonsense.
Phuket's police have been extremely reluctant to take on the added responsibility of enforcing the governor's new beach law.

Posted by ben on March 13, 2015 17:06


We only speak of the prohibition of chairs and umbrellas!
Why not over jetski and parasailing?
I think the governor is working together with the watersports grouping because nobody speaks about this operators and they can do what they want!
He just has to see the importance of the areas they occupy.
The well being of the tourist, which bring a lot of money to the community is very important and the authority does not do anything in this direction to attract the consumer. WHY?

Posted by Manu on March 13, 2015 17:29


Surely another 10% should at least be reserved for Bungy jumping and a rifle range

Posted by Manowar on March 13, 2015 18:36


The governor not hear well he should visit the best hear specialist on the island at Intern hospital.
Of course chinese visitors they will not be the problem as they not sit at the beach. I hope for Phuket that we get a elected goverment very soon.

Posted by Eric on March 13, 2015 19:26


Just go anywhere else for a holiday why bother with this North Korean style power crazed BS on phuket . People in Europe think I'm joking when I tell them about this nonsense but when they see your articles they all say they'll never be visiting the island

Posted by Scunner on March 14, 2015 05:46


"...offers they could not refuse perhaps?.." Surely not...peace and order,happiness yada yada...

Posted by david on March 14, 2015 09:30


why the governor is proptecting jetskis that concerns few tourists and the cause of a lot of problems , NACC should have a look in this business

Posted by petermach on March 14, 2015 10:38


Interesting times!! Wonder what the rest of the world thinks???

Posted by Paul James on March 17, 2015 12:24

Thursday July 18, 2024
Horizon Karon Beach Resort & Spa


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