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Supply and demand set the price of services in Karon

Trends: At 20 Baht, Tourist Toilets are Hit and Miss

Tuesday, March 11, 2008
INFLATION, who needs it? Especially when you're caught short and you just have to go . . .

Well in Karon, as our photo shows, a visit to a public toilet could cost you 20 baht. Karon probably has some of the cleanest public toilets on the island.

But at 20 baht a visit, we venture to suggest that many people will look for alternatives that may not be quite as healthy.

Why is it 20 baht? Isn't that a high price to pay for progress?

We seem to remember the good old days when a visit to a sit-down toilet was five baht at most.

To have to part with a crinkly green paper note for something that once cost coins shows, in the most basic yet important way, how rapidly the cost of living is rising on the island.

The administration in Karon apparently auctions off all seven of its toilet concessions to sub-contractors through a tendering process.

Different rates are then set by the sub-contractors for each of the concessions.

The lovely clean toilet block in the photo, just near Tony restaurant at the northern end of Karon beach, costs the winning contractor 44,280 baht a year.

So the contractor has calculated that 20 baht is required per visit to make sure that, when the time comes to pay the big bill, they are not caught short.

Wouldn't it be wonderful, though, if like most sophisticated destinations around the world, Phuket had clean toilets everwhere for locals and visitors . . . and they were free.

Case For One Casino
THAILAND needs just one casino, and it should be built on Phuket. If that single casino works on the island, then perhaps one or two others might work elsewhere in Thailand.

But the idea needs to be tested properly on Phuket first.

Entry to the casino should be restricted to foreigners and Thais with passports who are content to pay a high entrance fee, the way Singaporeans will have to when the first of their casinos opens next year.

All the profits should be ploughed into creating a world-class entertainment, cultural and sports centre, to be built, like the casino, on public land at the north of the island.

Phuket only has one shot at getting the quality entertainment, cultural and sports centre it needs, and that's suddenly alive, through the casino option.

With entry restricted and poker machines (also known as slot machines) banned there is little risk of socio-economic damage and only a limited danger of addiction.

Everybody, especially the tourist industry, stands to benefit from the creation of some real venues for world-class entertainment and sport on Phuket.

It's a win-win for the island, and a once-only chance to gain real assets. An opportunity like this probably will not come again.

You Have Been Warned
A WELL-TRAVELLED English couple really take delight in visiting Phuket but their fears are for the future. Here's what they had to say to Phuketwan:

''About eight years ago now we bought a house in Spain, down on the Costa Del Sol near Gibraltar.

''When we bought it, it was a green pleasant piece of land and we had a lovely view of the beach, with the golf course down the road.

''After a world trip we decided living in Spain for six months of the year wasn't really for us. Why would we want to confine ourselves to one place when there's so much of the world to see?

''So we sold it. But we've been back since.

''That little green and pleasant part of Spain is now a concrete jungle. I just hope Phuket doesn't go the same way.

''I've got a worry that it will.''

Additional reporting: Maewmong

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Thursday December 9, 2021
Horizon Karon Beach Resort & Spa

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