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Phuket puts sun loungers back on Patong Beach

PHUKET: Sun loungers returned to Patong Beach today (Feb 27) under a new campaign driven by Patong Mayor Chalermluck Kebsup to “bring happiness to Phuket tourists”.

patong, tourism, military,

Tanyaluk Sakoot

Monday 27 February 2017, 05:25PM

Workers started unloading the beach chairs and placing them inside the “10% zones” at 11am, Mayor Chalermluck confirmed to The Phuket News.

“Yes, this is first day of beach chairs being brought back to Patong Beach. This has been approved by the Maj Gen Pornsak Poonsawat, Deputy Commander of Royal Thai Army Region 4,” Mayor Chalermluck said.

The Army Region 4 base in Nakhon Sri Thammarat is the military unit responsible for all of Southern Thailand.

Gen Pornsak, who last conducted inspection visit to Patong Beach on Feb 10 (see story here), was back on Patong Beach to oversee the beach chair restoration in person, Mayor Chalermluck added.

“At first, we set out the beach chairs at 11am as a trial, but the tourists saw them and appreciated them and were happy, and they started to sit down using the beach chairs,” she explained.

“Gen Pornsak saw the good feedback from tourists himself, so I asked him to allow beach chairs to stay on the beach, not just for a trial – and he approved it,” Mayor Chalerluck said.

“This will help tourists to be no longer confused about why sun loungers are not allowed on the beach, and will make it more comfortable for elderly tourists who want to enjoy sitting on the beach,” she added.

Lucky 13 Bar and Grill

However, the use of sun loungers on the beach is restricted to the “10% zones”, which are the only areas on the sand where vendors may provide services, Mayor Chalermluck explained.

“In Patong, There is five 10% zones, with 180 umbrellas and 360 beach chairs in each zone,” she added.

“Beach chair rental prices are limited to not more than B200 per a chair,” she said.

“This is in line with the original policy set out in 2014, which allowed beach chairs in the 10% zones only, which is flexible and better for elderly tourists,” she said.

“Also, with actual sun loungers allowed back on the beach, the rule to ban ‘sand loungers’ (sun loungers moulded from sand on the beach) will remain in force. The ‘sand loungers’ were not attractive anyway,” she added.

Asked whether beach chairs would be allowed at other beaches in Phuket, Mayor Chalermluck said, “I don’t know yet. The official provincial ‘beach management’ committee and army officers will visit other beaches this week.

Mayor Chalermluck’s success in getting sun loungers back on Patong Beach follows her previous attempts being stymied by provincial officials (see story here) and then by Royal Thai Navy officers, who overruled her and banned the “sand loungers” just before Christmas and repeated their ban just last month (see story here).



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Foot | 01 March 2017 - 16:53:21

@Kurt.  Thais came here for the B9,000 jobs because they weren't available back home.
And, about Bangkok.  Was the crackdown on Phuket's tourism industry by order of Bangkok?  Why didn't the same occur in Pattaya?
It's beginning to look like it was a move done by the governor at the time and the Army commander in Phuket.

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Christy Sweet | 01 March 2017 - 08:03:27

Capt'n Jack, I agree enforcement is the problem with the sun loungers (and pretty much much every other woe Thailand suffers.) But I have to add greedy officials are the real problem- without their acceptance of graft, there would be far fewer problems. Business-folk will always try to get around rules, it's up to authorities to see that they do not. It's that failure that makes Thailand akin to a banana republic.

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Kurt | 28 February 2017 - 20:03:24

@Foot,  Of course there were since May 2014 not hundreds 'making nothing' at empty beaches. All of them went home ( off Phuket), functioning in other jobs in their own province or in the other many available jobs on Phuket.
The big bucks, millions, are going to flow again in the pockets of the rich, powerful influential people, like before. ( they call them 'vendor')
The 9000 thb boys remain the 9000 thb boys, born for a baht, remain a baht.

Run the numbers ( the daily millions) with Jome's comment here.
And that is just only the 10%!
Imagine if the 10% become the 100% again?

I am still speechless about this sudden 180 degrees change in beach policy.
Is it with permission of 'Bangkok'?

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Eagle | 28 February 2017 - 17:13:15

Kurt,i have to congratulate you.Your comments regarding the return of the sun lounger are a real masterpiece!6 comments till now with an uncountable amount of words in just under 24 hours.You did not gave us only your personal view of the return,you gave us a complete view behind the scene.And calling your point of view a comment would be an insult.What you wrote was a doctoral thesis!Your precise writing makes the weekly PN opinion look like a 3rd class school essay.I have to admit that i underestimated you.Sorry for that!Yours sincerely,Eagle

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Foot | 28 February 2017 - 16:48:56

@Kurt.  Yes, B9,000 isn't a lot.  But, it's more than nothing that the hundreds were making with empty beaches.
Kurt, you seem to really think that all money ends up in the hands of the already rich and the government officials.  While much does, just as much ends up in the vendor's hands.  And, this money is spent in local business'.
A robust tourist industry benefits the financial fortunes of all of Phuket whether it's condos, food stall and restaurants, hotels, sight seeing, souvenirs, bars, or Bangla Road ... everyone benefits.

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Rorii | 28 February 2017 - 16:06:10

Kurt, thnx, I must have misinterpreted the 10% rule, I was under the impression, even with your own lounger/umbrella, you were still required to use the 10%, which meant, now it is under the vendors control, you would risk life and limb. Thnx for clearing up my misunderstanding.

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Kurt | 28 February 2017 - 13:59:20

Anyway, it seems some how that the Patong Mayor beats the Thai Royal Navy Admiral, with the help of a thai general?

The Patong Mayor talk about 'original 2014 policy' is nonsense, as the Governor mentioned already, shortly after he took office.
The new rule ban sand loungers. What rubbish talk is that?
After 1 day Patong Mayor was trying to push sand loungers they already were declared illegal and removed.

Astonishing, all this officials nonsense talk for the benefit of their own wallets.

Seems that Phuket officials do not understand the power of international internet 'socials', 'apps', and 'virals'.
A world wide happening. Stripping nonsense to the bone.

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CaptainJack69 | 28 February 2017 - 13:36:32

No one can deny tourists want sun-loungers. The problem is, no one can deny the unabashed greed of Thai beach vendors. Without proper control the loungers will soon spread back out across every square inch of sand. What steps is Gen. Pornsak taking to regulate the number and density of loungers?

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Kurt | 28 February 2017 - 12:53:22

This whole thing probably means that the Government in Bangkok loose control over Phuket.
Were the Thai Navy Vice Admiral on Phuket stands in this development?
Money making local officials + influential civilians are bypassing the Phuket Navy and Central government in Bangkok.

Looks like a 'sub coup'.  hahahaha
Under the umbrella of  'new campaign'?
Give it a name and you are half way ( in Thailand).

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Kurt | 28 February 2017 - 12:07:46

@ Foot, you describe well how things on Phuket will become normal again.
However, I not believe very much that is will make Phuket prosperous again.
It will make Phuket officials and Phuket 'influential' people better off.

Most of birmese/thai workers just have to remain happy with their 9000 thb salary every month. ( + a little commission/service charge)

The rich Phuket thai influential vendors can breath again and restart traveling business class to overseas holiday destinations.

And when the thai Phuket influential people are home, they will invite Phuket officials to come over for having a 'tea'.

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