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Phuket’s new ‘model beach’ rules start in Patong

PHUKET: Patong became the epicentre of the new beach rules that will govern the sands at the island’s key tourist beaches today (Nov 6) as Phuket Vice Governor Chokdee Armornwat marked out the new beach vendor sections and free zones for tourists.

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By Saroj Kueprasertkij

Friday 6 November 2015, 06:49PM


The mapping out of the designated beach zones is to be carried out under the banner of “Phuket Beach Model: One Beach, One Rule, One Map and One Organisation”, he said.

“The ‘10 per cent rule’ is still the guiding principle, but not every beach will be the same. Small modifications will be introduced where deeemed appropriate so that the best combination is created for each beach,” V/Gov Chokdee said.

Accompanied by Navy personnel, V/Gov Chokdee took the time to explain to local beach vendors where the new designated areas will be – and the potential consequences of being caught providing services outside of those areas

The previous plan dedicated 200m zones on Patong Beach expressly for vendors, including food and drink vendors, umbrella rental operators and massage services, V/Gov Chokdee explained.

“This has now been reduced to 70m each,” he said. “The remaining 130m of each 200m zone are ‘free zones’ where beach operators are banned on the sands, but tourists may swim anywhere in the water within each of these 200m zones”

The math was easy, he added. “The beach length is about 3,500m long, so 10 per cent of is 350m. Divide by five zone leaves 70m each,” V/Gov Chokdee explained, noting that the previous calculations likely tried to factor the area of sand present at low tides.

However, in between each 200m “beach vendor plus tourist” zone are 200m zones where the famed jet-ski rental operators and parasail boats may operate, he added.

The five “beach vendor plus tourist” 200m zones plus the four “jet-ski and parasail operator” 200m zones cover the busiest 1.8km of Patong Beach. The Phuket News has yet to learn what the 1.7km of beach to the north and to the south of the main 1.8km stretch of sand will be dedicated to.

Markers will be installed on either side of each zone.

“Each marker’s position will be recorded by GPS. Any attempt to move these markers will result in legal action,” warned Kathu District Chief Sayan Chanachaiyawong.

“Later, we could even make these markers attractive for tourists, such as having nice designs on them featuring starfish or dolphins,” he added.

In another welcome move to re-organise Phuket’s key tourist beaches, Phuket Governor Chamroen Tipayapongthada on Thursday (Nov 5) announced hat beach goers should be allowed to put their loungers and umbrellas anywhere on the beach. (See story here.)

 

 

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Benjaml1 | 10 November 2015 - 03:46:38

Having been a part of beach operations in the Bahamas, I concur with Christy Sweet. Their silence is also another issue. As long as these operations are clearly marked ( ropes/buoys) away from the bathers the risks are reduced. These services are another popular attraction to support the local economy. However, I do understand they being a blight to some...

Christy Sweet | 08 November 2015 - 10:24:24

Richard Vickers, Catamarans and other sailboats are not safe to operate around swimmers, either. Such a craft cannot be maneuvered quickly enough to avoid collisions. 

Benjaml1 | 07 November 2015 - 17:10:22

Those who have operated a parasailing service know that it is wind direction dependent. To place the service at the ends of a beach limits its use & indeed its safety. In other words, you need a clear open space. However on another issue I have heard from many older ( less agile) tourists that they have great difficulty in sitting down/standing up without the aid of a lounger/ beach chair. Sad...

BigA | 07 November 2015 - 16:57:53

Come  on guys,we did not come to Thailand for the beaches,there are better ones in the Caribbeans but there are stinking black woman,so stop wining. Horst

Richard Vickers | 07 November 2015 - 13:18:05

Also amazing that the safe and quiet catamaran had to be removed, but not the obnoxious, dangerous and polluting jet-skis. While we have to welcome the progress...stupidity and corruption associated with jet-skis still reigns supreme.

spider | 07 November 2015 - 07:23:22

I give up.Why not put the jet skis and parasailing at the ends of the beach and have 2500 m of prime beach for tourists. This also gives you a very safe swimming zone 

Gat Huckle | 06 November 2015 - 20:13:15

What a joke. The jet-skis and parachutes still own the best parts of the beach. The section of beach that should be the crown jewel in all of Thailand, the 100 meters of Patong Beach running south of Bangla Road, is considered unsafe for swimming due to careening jet-skis and speedboats and can't be used by sunbathers because of hurtling bodies and ropes attached to parachutes. Shameful, but t...

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