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Plant your  umbrella where you like, Phuket's governor tells sunlovers

BYO Beach Umbrellas, says Phuket Governor

Thursday, November 5, 2015
PHUKET: Tourists may bring their own equipment to Phuket's beaches and sit on chairs under umbrellas wherever they like, Governor Jamleran Tipayapongtada said yesterday.

In a reversal of previous policy, the governor told a ''meet the media'' gathering at Phuket Provincial Hall: ''If you are hot, bring an umbrella. When you are finished, take it off the beach, take it home. It's simple.''

Until yesterday, one of several problems with the proposed ''10 percent zones'' being introduced at all Phuket beaches was that tourists who brought chairs or sunbeds would be obliged to sit in the delineated zones.

Governor Jamleran, who recently took on the job of the holiday island's top administrator, clarified what tourists can expect after many months of confusion since the military cleared commerce from Phuket's beaches in June last year.

In response to a question from Phuketwan he said: ''If you are a tourist, you may bring your own equipment and sit anywhere on any beach. We will not arrest tourists who bring their own equipment. We will not do that.''

Phuketwan had asked whether the new rules were designed to suit the tourists, or local vendors.

At yesterday's meeting, it was also made plain that the ''10 percent zones'' would be for local workers only. People from other provinces would not work in them, providing tourists with hire mats and umbrellas, food and drink.

''Window shopping'' vendors selling sunglasses and other items are also banned from all beaches. In the past, Burmese or Cambodians have often taken on these roles.

The governor said that the numbers of umbrellas available for hire would be very carefully limited, but the number could increase or decrease depending on demand.

The plan is for the registered beach vendors in the ''10 percent zone'' to be obliged to form an association, so they pay tax.

''We are trying to help the vendors,'' the governor said. ''If the businesspeople cannot follow the rules, it will be the end of the 10 percent zones.''

Land Titles officials will peg out five ''10 percent zones'' at Patong beach on Friday. Patong beach is to be the role model for implementing the idea at all Phuket beaches by November 15.

Phuketwan has been an advocate of the ''sit where you like'' concept for sunlovers on Phuket's beaches.

Comments

Comments have been disabled for this article.

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It's a start! Will be interesting to see how it works.

Posted by Michael on November 5, 2015 09:24

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It is impossible to sit where one likes. The Jet ski and parasail gang(s) control much of the beach. They will not allow tourists to encroach on the beach that they have seized. Will the police be on hand to protect the tourists who wish to sit in these areas?

Posted by Ryan on November 5, 2015 09:26

Editor Comment:

If tourists are permitted to put umbrellas wherever they like, one assumes the police will arrest any jet-ski operator or speedboat parasail tout who tells them: ''You can't sit here.''

It's a public beach.

Let's hope the governor is aware of what's happening at Patong and aims to end the takeover.

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My gosh!... a rational decision! While it is incredible that it took so much wrangling to get to this point, it is a good thing. But, if tourists are actually to be the winners, Governor Jamleran must certainly address the elephant in the living room, and relegate the jetski thugs and dangerous boat operators to a designated motorized activity area at the far south end of the beach, and must prohibit the co-mingling of those dangerous activities in recreational swimming areas.

Posted by Richard Vickers on November 5, 2015 09:44

Editor Comment:

And reduce the revenue stream? Really?

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At last a little bit of common sense. Wasn't that hard was it. Patong will always be an issue with jet skis and para sailors. At least this announcement gives some hope to an eventual answer to all the other issues.

Posted by Davemc60 on November 5, 2015 09:45

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If tourists are permitted to put umbrellas wherever they like, one assumes the police will arrest any jet-ski operator or speedboat parasail tout who tells them: ''You can't sit here.''

Oh yeah right!...I'm laughing hysterically...In a million years this will never happen!

Posted by zig on November 5, 2015 10:49

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Good that governer started to think more realistic.
Everything so far worked out in Phuket airco offices ( treat tourists regimental) would not work other than by force.
Force tourists is killing Phuket tourism.
Now the next chapter: Jet skies and para sailing.
Step by step .

Posted by Kurt on November 5, 2015 10:51

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a good decision but in regards to Patong..a calamity waiting to happen when people start to sit on jetski and parasailing turf...

Posted by sky on November 5, 2015 11:44

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Are we really expecting tourists to take back their belongings after use or are we back to beaches covered with business operated large aligned plastic chairs and parasols that destroy the natural view ?

Posted by Zgouid on November 5, 2015 11:47

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"the number (of beach chairs) could increase or decrease depending on demand".
Very good news indeed, would even be better if the same rules were applied on jet-skis.

Posted by Sherlock on November 5, 2015 11:57

Editor Comment:

There are no beach chairs for hire, only mats.

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Dear Governor,
Thank you for your common sense and allowing customers to bring their own chairs, umbrellas and sit wherever they want.
wm

Posted by wm on November 5, 2015 12:01

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Great news and will take pressure off police who must be confused

Don't like jet skis and parasailing but why not an offshore platform

Posted by Michael on November 5, 2015 12:31

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Land Titles officials will peg out five ''10 percent zones'' at Patong.

so these 5 - 10% zones covers 50% of the beach ?

or do we get 5 - 2% Zones ?

Posted by Oliver on November 5, 2015 14:26

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[quote]
At yesterday's meeting, it was also made plain that the ''10 percent zones'' would be for local workers only
[/quote]

Fair enough, but what is a 'local worker'?

Is that someone who was born in Phuket?

Is it a non-Phuketian who now lives and works on the island with a Tabian Bahn in Phuket?

Is it the person who can pay the most money for their stake in the 10% zone?

Posted by Simon Luttrell on November 5, 2015 14:39

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From my point of wiew, the best news in a long time.

Posted by ToKi on November 5, 2015 15:16

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True this article says mats and umbrellas. Just wonder what is the legal difference of rented mats and rented chairs?

Posted by Sherlock on November 5, 2015 17:16

Editor Comment:

One is banned by law, the other is not.

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So, when I'm back in Australia packing for my next Phuket holiday, will I need to pack a beach umbrella and a lounger?
What's next? Will Phuket hotels require us to bring our own beds and fridges?
The old system of having loungers and umbrellas available for hire on the beaches worked for me.

Posted by Joe Tourist on November 5, 2015 17:50

Editor Comment:

Yes Joe, it worked for you. And for the major beneficiaries, putting their children through private school and sending them on European holidays.

But it didn't work for the beach.

Umbrellas and chairs are cheap, light and easy to carry.

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When tourists are alllowed to bring their own equipment it's only a matter of time before tourists can rent chairs and umbrella's again. Unfortunately many tourists visited Phuket last winter for the last time. They will not return. So bring the bring the possibility to rent a sunbed back asap.

Posted by Rene on November 5, 2015 18:52

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''Umbrellas and chairs are cheap, light and easy to carry''

Yes, and when the tourists go home, they'll leave it here. Wonder what Phuket will do with those thousands of cheap old used chairs & umbrellas

By the way, we know many vendors. None of them ever has been in Europe, nor do they send their children to private shools. We really don't understand why this editor allways posts this hatefull statements against the beach vendors.

Posted by Frank on November 5, 2015 19:00

Editor Comment:

Tourists will bring them from resorts and guesthouses, Frank. And leave them for others when they go.
You've probably never met the rich people who run the vendors and earn the bulk of the money from your sunbed, Frank. The police have. We've seen the police records.
Are people in your country allowed to use public space for private profit? Hmmm . . . that's an unusual scam.

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So is this about to help the poor beach workers or the vendors, who made millions on the chair business?

Seems that these two groups are mixed up. Just to clarify, then the workers are the people, tourists meet on the beach and the chair rental vendors are local families, who had the privilege to use public space in decades for private business.

The whole society on Phuket's west coast is dependant on tourists, who want to rent chairs, and nobody knows if the governor speaks about helping workers, who probably already have another job or helping a few rich local families?

Why is the finansial survival for Phuket's tourism industry not on debate here?

Then rental chairs are banned by law, but rental mats are not. Not to mention jet-skis and para-sailing. Dear authorities please forgive the tourists and the entire working population on Phuket's west coast, if they are confused and frustrated about this matter.

Posted by Sherlock on November 5, 2015 20:33

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''Are people in your country allowed to use public space for private profit? Hmmm . . . that's an unusual scam''

Thank you for your friendly repy, but oh yes, they are. They rent it and pay tax. At Germany's beaches you can rent everywhere a Strandkorb.

Posted by Frank on November 5, 2015 21:53

Editor Comment:

Order and responsibility are not so evident on Phuket, Frank. Progress in developing nations is unlikely if tourists encourage different standards to suit themselves.

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Editor i would just like to know what is the difference in the 10 % zone to rather use sunbeds than mats, i know u say one is banned and the other one not , but whats is the difference really, why should u pay 200 baht for 2 mats flat on the ground and 1umbrella if u can bring your own umbrella and lie flat on the ground on your own mat or towel, people are willing to pay for sunloungers not mats, and what about all the older people that cant get of the ground on there own, please bring back sun loungers in the 10% zones to rent from the people that has been appointed by the Govener , and the rest of the beach u can bring your own towel umbrella chair

Posted by Jacques on November 6, 2015 00:23

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So,if you bring your own Beach Umbrella and Chair/Lounger you can sit wherever you like on the beach BUT if you bring your own chair/Lounger AND hire an umbrella, what then? Do you have to sit in the 10% zone or tell a "white" to the "Umbrella Police" and say it's your own! Before too long I think (hope)it will be back to the way it was and common sense prevails.

Posted by Farang tourist on November 6, 2015 14:15

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Hope sunbeds and umbrellas will soon be available for hire on the beach. We cannot bring our own. We are tourists from Norway. We have decided to wait for it to happen before we come to Thailand again, because it is very important for us.

Posted by Anonymous on November 6, 2015 15:23

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Congratulations, at last some common sense and i welcome Governor Jamleran Tipayapongtada's initiative as it is a step in the right direction. The problem has often been to actually enforce these plans.

Posted by LES on November 6, 2015 15:50

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I do not understand well. Now, in beach: CHAIRS or BEDS... property of tourists are allowed or not? or only mats?

Posted by tiziana on November 6, 2015 17:50

Editor Comment:

Only mats (and umbrellas) are available for hire but you may bring your own equipment.

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An advocate of the sit where you like concept? What happened to the acvocate for back to the nature? Not Phuketwan wins but common sense does. Before the end of the season we are back to the rent where you like concept. At that time (Songkran 2016) Phuketwan is history.

Posted by Farang on November 6, 2015 18:59

Editor Comment:

Phuket's beaches looked best immediately after the military clearances. They will look great without all commerce. Patong is proof of that. What should be one of the world's great public beaches is being screwed by commercial compromises. That's a shame. We' ve always endorsed the idea of allowing sunlovers to bring their own equipment and use it where they like. Nothing unnatural about that.

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Not sure if this is correct or not but if you believe everything you read but other news outlets are reporting that basically the Deputy Governor has stated publicly that tourists can not sit where they want only in the 10% if they bring umbrellas & chairs. Sounds like there might be a power struggle happening.

Posted by Leigh on November 7, 2015 17:15

Editor Comment:

Our information cam straight from the governor. We wouldn't relying on anything a vice governor said.

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(moderated)
who is correct??

Posted by zig on November 7, 2015 17:19

Editor Comment:

The rival site you mention did not have a reporter on the beach yesterday. Many of their articles are simply translations from the work of Thai-language sites. It's odd that no check was made with the man who would know for sure - the governor. A reputable organisation would do that. Being contrary and creating discord is the aim.

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The tourists don't agree with your view editor. With the coming changes you must feel like Don Quichote.

Posted by Farang on November 7, 2015 17:53

Editor Comment:

How would you know what the views of all tourists are, Farang? Are you a politician who speaks for everyone without asking their opinions?

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Thanks for the clarification. All a bit silly really, still some progress has been made and that is a good start.

Posted by Leigh on November 7, 2015 18:14

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I think I got it !!!

The 10% zones are not for the tourists.
The zones are to regiment local vendors!

Original vendors were banned from the beaches. But these poor people have to feed families.
Now they may occupy 10% of the beaches ( and start to pay taxes?). The local councils will control the tax flows.

The tourists, however, can ignore that 10% rule, it is not for them, according the Governor and the Phuket police Commander.
The tourists, with their own stuff, can sit everywhere they want.

So, all the trouble is over, and no more confusion.

Posted by Kurt on November 15, 2015 12:22

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P.S. it is just the vice governor who confuse things by 'inviting' tourists to the regimental 10% zones.
But we can ignore that.

Anyway, the vice governor is new, probably came from a province without beaches and he himself never been a day in swim shorts at a beach.

Posted by Kurt on November 15, 2015 12:30


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