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Sun loungers to return to all Phuket beaches

PHUKET: Sun loungers will be allowed back on Kata Beach from tomorrow (Mar 3) and later will be allowed back onto all nine Phuket beaches with “10% vendor zones”, Phuket Governor Chockchai Dejamornthan has told The Phuket News.

By Tanyaluk Sakoot

Thursday 2 March 2017, 11:23AM

Tourists enjoy sun loungers at Patong Beach on Monday (Feb 27). Photo: Patong Municipality

Tourists enjoy sun loungers at Patong Beach on Monday (Feb 27). Photo: Patong Municipality

However, as with Patong, where sun loungers were allowed to return to the sand on Monday (Feb 27), the loungers must remain inside the 10% zones, Gov Chockchai warned.

“For now the sun loungers are allowed back on the beaches. There are no changes to any of the other beach rules – for example alcohol and food vendors must remain inside the 10% zones,” he added.

Gov Chockchai asserted that the return of the sun loungers was a “trial”, but gave no hint as to any deadline for the trial to come to an end.

He also claimed that the return of the sun loungers came with his approval, though attempts by Patong Mayor Chalermluck Kebsup to bring the beach chairs back were shot down at every turn late last year.

The sun loungers were allowed back onto Patong Beach on Monday only after Maj Gen Pornsak Poonsawat, Deputy Commander of Royal Thai Army Region 4, the military unit responsible for all of Southern Thailand, gave his direct consent without any provincial officials present. (See story here.)

“I permitted this trial in Phuket. The sun loungers is only a trial. This week, the sun loungers’ trial has been approved for two of nine beaches in Phuket,” Gov Chockchai told The Phuket News yesterday (Mar 1).

“This approval has come from the Phuket provincial (beach management) committee that I assigned Vice Governor Siwaporn Chuasawad to chair. Maj Gen Pornsak has joined this committee, and Maj Gen Pornsak will join the inspection at Kata Beach this Friday (Mar 3),” he said.

Asked to clarify how long the trial would be for, Gov Chockchai said, “We are still assessing that.”

Of note, shortly after he arrived in Phuket, Gov Chockchai on Oct 17 last year called for all vendors, umbrellas and beach chairs to be cleared from all Phuket beaches. (See story here.)

“Actually no laws which allows 10% zones on beaches,” he said at the time.

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“Also, it appears that we still have issues with the umbrella and beach chair mafias. There will be no more mafias. It is my duty to work out who will manage Phuket’s beaches, but I can assure you it will not be mafias and they will be run in accordance with the law,” he added.

Wanchai Saetan, Public Works Chief at Karon Municipality, welcomed the return of the sun loungers at Kata Beach.

“This trial is in response to tourism needs,” he told The Phuket News. “I am redrafting the 10% zones at Kata and Karon beaches to be horizontal areas (along the beach). If this is approved the sun loungers will be back on Karon Beach too

“There are 73 umbrellas and 146 beach chairs in each 10% zone at Kata Beach, but the sun loungers must stay inside 10% zones only,” Mr Wanchai explained.

“I don’t know how long this will be allowed, we must see what happens on Friday,” he added.

Mr Wanchai also noted, “Right now Karon Municipality does not own any sun loungers or directly operate any rental of them, but in the future we will have our own.”

However, Mr Wanchai did not elaborate on whether the municipality would provide them freely for tourists or rent them out directly themselves – or rent them out en masse to beach chair rental operators under a concession.

Police in 2014 revealed to the public the illegal beach sunbed industry on Phuket and details of the cases they had built against Karon Mayor Thawee Thongchaem, who surrendered to police on June 4 that year to answer to a variety of corruption and ‘”mafia taxi” charges.

Central to the investigation was how officials offered dozens of government “concession” contracts to allow vendors to work on Kata and Karon beaches, with contracts totalling billions of baht. (See story here.)

None of the Karon officials called have yet stood trial for the charges against them.



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DeKaaskopp | 25 January 2019 - 16:16:47

LOL,"This message now goes all over the world" Probably thousands of future tourists will cancel their trip now,because a complaining lady didn't get the privacy she was wishing for.And who knows who loud she did complain. I guess that other clown witnessed everything.

Rorri_2 | 25 January 2019 - 06:30:37

"Funny if a tourist think that the beach belongs to her," be funny if she was saying they had exceeded the 10% rule... funny on you. And I guess you believe it is ok for an attendant to be intimidating and aggressive, to anyone, even a 70 yo lady... I can only say one thing lowlife.

Kurt | 24 January 2019 - 18:30:01

Oh oh, P. How about the rudeness, the aggression and intimidation of the beach staff? This message now goes all over the world. Probably you not realize that. A 70 year old lady doesn't write this during a holiday  when she is not very shocked by behavior of Patong beach staff. A sett back of Phuket tourism. Thai Government calls it:.. Well, you know what thai government calls it.  

Pascale | 23 January 2019 - 22:33:02

Funny if a tourist think that the beach belongs to her and beach attendants don't have the right to add more chairs.Good decision to not return.

ig1948 | 23 January 2019 - 16:57:22

Beach attendants at Zone 5 Patong Beach are the rudest people I ever encountered.  I was rudely told to sit down & be quiet when I complained  they were adding more chairs to the end of the row. I had specifically gone so I could rent an end chair. I am 70 year old female & was intimidated by some young fellow who was extremely aggressive. Other attendants did not help me.  I will never re...

skip | 04 March 2017 - 06:00:47

the money collected by the tessabaan for the lease to the chair renters should go directly into a fund to purchase a beach cleaning tractor and also pay for the lifeguards. governor, there is your lifeguard budget deficit solved instantly.

eric dekegel | 02 March 2017 - 21:08:27

Its clear that the governor is soon leaving and want to leave on a popular note and probably everyone has find his profit on it but thats the country his culture. Now to pay 200 baht for a chair is not the end of the world, if you can pay 9000 for a hotelnight what is 200 baht a day in 2 weeks?Peanuts, everything is going up I am here 12 years and have always known the price 100 baht so it was tim...

marcher | 02 March 2017 - 19:29:23

Nasa 123, I thought the article was about loungers on the beach not immigration? So 90% of the beach will remain as now? So expats cannot put a chair and parasol in the main Area? I can guarantee that there will be no B100 loungers any more. The price just for a mat now seems to be B200

KCPhuket | 02 March 2017 - 19:08:27

Gov Chockchai has a severe case of \"I\" strain. What an ego!
The more things change the more they remain the same...especially here.55555

Nasa123 | 02 March 2017 - 15:11:01

110% agree with you Kurt, And what I missing in the News are about all the Corruption in Immigration in Patong and Phuket Town. You have some volunteer they are afraid and stop working fore free in Immigration in Phuket. They are thrown out of the country they have seen too much in Immigration about money +++ in Phuket, I know two of them very personally.

Kurt | 02 March 2017 - 14:24:14

Very interesting article.

.."Actually no laws which allow 10% zones at Phuket beaches"..said Phuket Governor last October 2016.
---Now the Phuket Governor legalise the 10% zones? Is that correct? 
I not understand Phuket Governor's switch in thinking.
Law and rule wise it doesn't make sense. I did not read about it in Royal Gazette.
---Karon officials, criminal charged ...

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