The tourists, mostly from Sweden and Russia, were puzzled because they had carried the sunbeds and mats from their resort and believed they were permitted to ''bring your own'' equipment to Phuket's beaches.
The shock arrival of men in the uniforms of volunteers of the local Thalang district disturbed the tourists, who were mostly dressed in swimsuits.
Some said they wouldn't be back to Phuket after the unexpected interruption to their holiday by the sea.
There was no English speaker among the 30 officials involved in the operation. This Phuketwan reporter was deputised to explain to the tourists what was happening.
Local councils that oversee Phuket's prime tourist beaches are under orders from the island's governor to enforce an experimental rule to limit umbrellas and other equipment to ''10 percent zones'' at all beaches.
Today at the beach near the Banyan Tree, officials took possession of seven sunbeds, 76 padded mats and four chairs. A spokesperson for the resort admitted ownership of the sunbeds and the mats, but not the chairs.
The serene sight of tourists relaxing in the shade of a grove of trees was quickly disturbed with the arrival of the squad of raiders in pickups.
In the argy bargy that followed, some tourists were so upset they headed back to the resort immediately. Children seemed bemused.
All that tourists who stayed on were allowed to keep at the beach were towels or thin, traditional cane mats.
The sunbeds and mats were carted off in the pickups to council offices.
A complaint will be made at Cherng Talay Police Station about Banyan Tree breaching the governor's experimental beach rule.
All of Phuket's beaches and shorefronts were cleared of most private commercial activity, beach clubs and restaurants after the military took control in Thailand in May last year.
The beaches - all public space - had been used for decades by some individuals to become wealthy. Keeping the beaches clear of commerce would have made sense.
However, in an effort to find jobs for ''poor beach workers,'' Phuket Governor Nisit Jansomwong ordered umbrellas, mats and provision of food and drink to be restored to ''10 percent zones.''
The other 90 percent of the beaches were intended to be kept totally clear of umbrellas and padded mats - everything except tourists and their towels or thin mats.
At most of Phuket's most popular beaches, the edict has yet to be carried out and tourists continue to bring their own umbrellas, mats and beach chairs.
Beach chairs and sunbeds are banned entirely - even if tourists bring their own.
Enforcement has been erratic and half-hearted, with police in destinations such as Patong, Karon, Kata and Kamala reluctant to be the ones who are forced to confiscate beach chairs from veteran tourists.
Photographs of one occasion when umbrellas were seized from tourists were republished around the world, diminishing Phuket's reputation as a safe, welcoming holiday destination for sunlovers.