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The conversation: A Swedish tourist tells the vice governor what's wrong

VIDEO Phuket Tourist Explains What's Wrong

Wednesday, November 18, 2015
Kamala Beach VIDEO

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XIGLa6UdUjs
PHUKET: It was one of those classic encounters where more was conveyed by what was not said than by the conversation itself.

During the visit by Vice Governor Chokdee Amornwat to Phuket's Kamala beach yesterday, a bronzed Swedish tourist came forward to explain his dislike for the present beach arrangements.

Vice Governor Chokdee is trying to establish ''10 percent zones'' for umbrella hire and food and drink services. He has visited Patong, Kata-Karon and Surin and yesterday it was the turn of Kamala beach.

The Swedish tourist in the swim trunks, we think, made his point eloquently in hand expressions.

Pointing to the beach and to the resorts behind the beach, he tells the vice governor how he has been coming to Kamala for years.

Then he taps his head as if to say: ''Something crazy is happening now, I can no longer contact a vendor when and where I need one.''

The vice governor assures the tourist that within a month or two months, everything will be sorted.

However, tourists have seldom been consulted in what's happened on Phuket's beaches since the beaches of the holiday island were cleared after the military takeover of Thailand last year.

There appears to have been a breakdown in communication.

The vice governor and his team, establishing ''10 percent zones'' on all Phuket beaches, move on to Nai Harn today.

Comments

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Clearly a major breakdown in the vice governor's security staff occurred, if a foreign tourist was able to get close enough to make hand signals to him.

Posted by Simon Luttrell on November 18, 2015 15:16

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Poor Swedish tourist.
He better talked to a tree.

The vice governor sure not understood him.( language and subject wise).
Thai mind setting gives no room for tourist opinion ( actually bringing in the beach money).

Posted by Kurt on November 18, 2015 15:18

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All those people and no one can translate. So many Thais in uniform probably intimidates and even frightens some tourists. So glad I left the place is going from bad to worse. Cheap Chinese holiday destination the Europeans are not coming so much and the few that do might not return. Why does Thailand want so many cheap Chinese, spitting and being rude. They used to descend on a 7/11 like a plague of locusts from black smoke pumping buses horrible. Dive boats full of Chinese who wants to share with them, they are so rude.

Posted by Wow on November 18, 2015 17:18

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Ah God help the poor tourisst - no chair for him awhhhhhh

Posted by Ciaran on November 18, 2015 17:26

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Tip: Go Home!

Posted by Jimmy James on November 18, 2015 19:39

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well any man who wears a suit to the beach complete with tailored jacket on clearly does not know beaches at all was this 10 percent idea dreamt up in a air conditioned office from afar.

Posted by slickmelb on November 18, 2015 20:15

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These government officers are meant to be dealing with Tourists matters on this occasion. Don't any of them speak English, the classic Thai "stand there and smile" is not quite up to UN standards. Thailand is so behind the curve it is scary. No wonder the economy is in a mess. Keep pumping billions into Thai Airways.....but hold on tourist number are up.

Posted by English on November 18, 2015 20:44

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This blowhard Swede is not a spokesman for all farang. Me and many other ex-pat residents like very much the state of the beach (except the jet ski punks). There is a large commercial area right where this gy was standing...food, drinks, everything he needs. In fact, there are so many vendors there that almost all public parking is gone. Stick to your guns Vice Governor, and keep the beach chairs from overwhelming the beach like the vendors do the parking lot.

Posted by Richard Vickers on November 18, 2015 23:33

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Vice Governor Chokdee Amornwat of Phuket one of the richest provinces in Thailand either does not speak English or does not show much respect to the ATM aka tourist. Then the Thai government wonder why they only have mainly low class tourist or cheap Chinese.

Posted by Where you come from? on November 19, 2015 00:52

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Considering the type of economy Phuket relies on it should be mandatory for all mid and upper level officials to be proficient in English.

How can you possibly make informed decisions when you don't even understand what the main source of Phuket income is saying ?

Posted by Herbert on November 19, 2015 10:31

Editor Comment:

English is no more important these days than Chinese or Russian, Herbert.

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It is really funny.
See Phuket Authorities so serious busy with their regimental setting of 10% zones at beaches, while they know on forehand that Vendors will not respect that setting unless you have full time law enforcement at place.

Surin beach approves that already, it is already a 50% zone by vendors.
A real loose face blow for the Phuket Authorities.

Posted by Kurt on November 19, 2015 11:25

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maybe you could give us a transcript, ed.. most of that was inaudible..

Posted by another steve on November 19, 2015 15:26

Editor Comment:

If it is inaudible, how would you expect us to transcribe it, another steve?

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The photograph clearly states the vice governor's stance on the matter at hand.
Hands in the pockets. V G, "Not care about your problem tourist".
Manners sadly lacking.

Posted by Duncan B on November 19, 2015 18:09

Editor Comment:

Going shirtless in Thailand in public is a cultural no-no so the vice governor's awkwardness is hardly surprising. He does not have his hands in his pockets. The jacket sleeves are long. There is certainly a lack of awarding any value to the opinions of tourists and Phuket is likely to suffer if its future is committed to meeting the needs of one country. Diversity is what's required for success. Switching off the European market would be a costly error of judgement, if not today then certainly in the future.

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Ed, I agree. Going shirtless to Tesco Lotus or on motorbikes is unacceptable, as I have seen many times.
However, in a beach environment, I think it is quite acceptable.
The officials on Phuket have never listened nor shown any interest in listening to the Tourist, nor expat ideas or suggestions. I have witnessed this for over ten years now of living here.
I fear Phuket has only money and greed as the main objective.
Money or lack of it, will become the new crying game on Phuket.
Will the officials blame themselves for their shortsightedness, or will it once again be the fault of the tourists?

Posted by Duncan B on November 19, 2015 19:11

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Not 10%. Its more like 50% at Surin beach.

Posted by Sam Hayman on November 20, 2015 07:14

Editor Comment:

Perhaps the coming of the Starfish Enterprise markers will change that, Sam.

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* UPDATE * - Surin beach's 10% rule is not up to 50% covered with umbrellas and commercial uses. I was there yesterday, and it is more like 80%...looking very close to the good'ol days. Everywhere I stopped my motor bike along the beach road, I was instantly pounced on by umbrella clowns...grown men acting like they actually had jobs. I say give it a couple weeks, and we'll likely see the 2nd and 3rd row of beach chairs. Oh...although Surin is supposed to be free of jet-skis, the thugs were there yesterday telling swimmer to get out of the way so they could beach their obnoxious machines. CALL IN THE NAVY !!!

Posted by Richard Vickers on November 22, 2015 12:22

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@Ed

..." the coming of the Starfish Enterprise markers"...HAHA!

Posted by Paradise on November 22, 2015 22:11


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