“They are banned. Sun loungers are not allowed on any beach in Phuket,” a resolute Phuket Vice Governor Snith Sriwihok told The Phuket News this week.
“If the authorities will not allow sun or sand loungers, then they should at least clearly write the beach rules denoting what is – and what isn’t allowed – in the 10% zones at all Phuket beaches,” Mayor Chalermluck told a meeting at Provincial Hall last Thursday (Jan 12).
“The vendors created these ‘sand loungers’ for the tourists. If the tourists did not ask for them, the operators would not have made them,” she said.
“I request that the provincial authorities give 10% (of the beach area) to allow operators to provide beach chairs and umbrellas,” she added. (See story here.)
Mayor Chalermluck’s call for provincial authorities to allow sun loungers with umbrellas back on at least part of Patong Beach came after the Royal Thai Navy on Dec 23 ordered vendors at the beach to remove “sand loungers” – sun beds sculpted from the beach sand itself – as the Navy had deemed the creative sun beds to be in breach of the “beach-management rules”.
The Navy then issued a slew of orders to vendors at all beaches where the 10% rule apply, with a deadline of Jan 15 to comply.
On Tuesday (Jan 17), V/Gov Snith met with leading officials for Kata-Karon, as well as Navy officers and local police.
One issue was that the 10% zones still had not been marked out at Kata or Karon beaches, which V/Gov Snith ordered be done as a priority.
He also called on police to enforce the beach-management rules.
“After today, I repeat, officials and police must take action against the people who do not want to follow the rules,” he said.
“For their first offence, give them a warning. For their second, arrest and fine them, and record their details. For their third offence, arrest, fine, record their details and seize the offending property.
“For their fourth offence, prosecute them,” V/Gov Snith ordered.