Phuket: Sand beds ordered off the beach (Updated)

Phuket: Sand beds ordered off the beach (Updated)

Sand beds replace deckchairs on Patong beach. Authorities will discuss the legality of sand beds at a meeting of local and provincial officials. (Photos by Achadtaya Chuenniran)
Sand beds replace deckchairs on Patong beach. Authorities will discuss the legality of sand beds at a meeting of local and provincial officials. (Photos by Achadtaya Chuenniran)

Local authorities on Friday ordered vendors on Patong beach to level the sand beds they have created in defiance of government policies to keep beaches clear for the public.

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Saturday update

Sand beds wiped off Phuket beach

Achadtaya Chuenniran

PHUKET: Local authorities on Friday ordered vendors on Patong beach to level the sand beds they have created in defiance of government policies to keep beaches clear for the public.

Local administrators and officers from the Third Fleet of the Royal Thai Navy met on Friday to discuss how to deal with vendors who have been piling up sand and spreading soft mats to woo tourists. The move violates a ban on beach chairs and umbrellas imposed with varying degrees of success at popular tourist spots throughout the country.

Most tourists and local residents have applauded the ban, as it addresses a common complaint about unsightly clutter on the beaches. Some beaches had come under the control of "deckchair mafia" groups bent on squeezing as much money as possible out of every square centimetre of sand.

Under the ban that took effect two years ago in Phuket, vendors were limited to using 10% of the space on Patong beach for their services including umbrellas, mats, food and beverage sales. Beach chairs were prohibited.

They must not place any object on the beach until a tourist approaches to seek their service. Only mats and umbrellas are allowed to be served when there are requests.

The sand beds emerged recently after a few big vendors on Patong created about 100 of the structures to rest the response.

Friday's story

Authorities now target sand beds on Patong beach

Achadtaya Chuenniran

PHUKET – Sand beds built on Patong beach by wily entrepreneurs trying to get around the ban on deckchairs and which they claim serve the needs of elderly tourists have local officials scratching their heads.

They are not sure if they are legal or not, but are still determined to oppose them.

Patong mayor Chalermluck Kepsap said on Thursday the appropriateness of the sand beds would be raised with the committee that regulates beaches in Patong, and with the new Phuket governor.

Operators had explained to the Patong municipality that they had erected the sand beds in the zoned area to serve tourists, particularly the elderly and those with disabilities. They would be far more comfortable sitting on a sand bed with a cushion on top and an umbrella to offer shade than they would be sitting on the bare sand.

But after reviewing the beds, the municipality felt they were an eyesore and would ruin the natural beauty of Patong beach.

“In my view, beach chairs would be better on the beach as sand beds will erode the beauty of Patong beach. I have asked the district-level committee tasked with regulating beaches to discuss the matter with the provincial-level panel," Ms Chalermluck said.

Thewan Promyang, 44, disagreed. He said the sand beds he had built on Patong beach were there to serve certain groups of tourists – people with illnesses or disabilities, and the elderly. These people had problems when sitting on the beach.

There are about 100 sand beds on Patong beach. Each took 20 to 30 minutes to build. The charge for a sand bed with a cushion and an umbrella was 300 baht, and 200 baht for one without a cushion. Tourists could use them for the whole day, from 8am to 6pm, he said.

“Foreign tourists ask us why we have to make sand beds. We told them that it’s a government policy to remove deckchairs from the beach. So we have to make sand beds instead," said Mr Thewan.

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  • address: to deal with a problem - จัดการปัญหา
  • administrator (noun): someone whose job is to manage a business, organisation, institution or website - ผู้บริหาร
  • applaud: to praise an action, idea, activity, etc. - ชมเชย,ยกย่องนับถือ
  • approach: to move closer to someone or something - เข้าใกล้
  • appropriateness: whether something is suitable or right for a particular situation or occasion - ความเหมาะสม, ความสมควร
  • authorities (noun): people or government agencies who have the power to make decisions or enforce the law - เจ้าหน้าที่ผู้มีอำนาจ
  • ban: an official statement ordering people not to do, sell or use something - การห้าม
  • bare (adj): not covered with or protected by anything - เปล่า
  • beauty: the quality of being beautiful or very good to look at - ความสวยงาม
  • bent on: determined to do something (usually something bad) - พยาบาท
  • claim: to say that something is true although it has not been proved and other people may not believe it - อ้าง
  • clutter: too many things in one place that look messy and untidy - รกรุงรัง, เกะกะ
  • committee: a group of people who are chosen, usually by a larger group, to make decisions or to deal with a particular subject - คณะกรรมการ
  • common: ordinary; not unusual or special - ที่เกิดขึ้นทุกวัน, ธรรมดา
  • complaint: when someone says that something is wrong or not satisfactory - การร้องเรียน
  • deal with: to take action to solve a problem - จัดการปัญหา
  • deckchair (noun): a folding chair with a seat made from a long strip of material on a wooden or metal frame, used for example on a beach -
  • defiance: the refusal to obey - การขัดขืน
  • degree: an amount of something - ระดับ
  • determined: having made a firm decision to do something and to not let anyone prevent you - แน่นอน,ซึ่งตัดสินใจแล้ว
  • disability: an illness, injury or condition that makes it difficult for someone to do the things that other people do - ความพิการ
  • elderly: (of people) old - สูงวัย, อาวุโส, อายุมาก
  • emerge: to appear - ปรากฏออกมา
  • entrepreneur: someone who starts their own business, especially when this involves risks - นักลงทุนทางการเงิน
  • erect: to put the parts of something together so that it stands upright - ตั้งขึ้น
  • erode: to rub or be rubbed away gradually - กร่อน, กัดกร่อน
  • eyesore: something that is ugly or unpleasant to look at - สิ่งที่ไม่สวยงาม (ตึก, สถานที่)
  • fleet: a group of ships, or all of the ships in a country's navy - ขบวนเรือ
  • governor: a person who is chosen to be in charge of the government of a state or province or a government agency - ผู้ว่าการรัฐ, ผู้ว่าราชการจังหวัด
  • impose: to introduce something and force people to accept it - กำหนด,บังคับใช้
  • legal: allowed by the law - ถูกต้องตามกฎหมาย
  • level (verb): to make something flat or smooth - ทำให้เรียบ
  • local: in or related to the area that you live, or to the particular area that you are talking about - ท้องถิ่น
  • mat (noun): a small piece of thick carpet or strong material that is used to cover part of a floor or the ground - เสื่อ, พรม, สาด
  • mayor: the most important elected official in a town or city - นายกเทศมนตรี
  • municipality: a town, city or district with its own local government - เทศบาล
  • natural: existing in nature; not made or caused by humans - เป็นธรรมชาติ, ตามธรรมชาติ
  • officials: people who have the power to make decisions or enforce the law - เจ้าหน้าที่ผู้มีอำนาจ
  • operators (noun): people or companies that run a business - ผู้ดำเนินกิจการทางธุรกิจ, ผู้ประกอบธุรกิจ
  • oppose: to disagree with or not approve of a plan or policy - คัดค้าน
  • panel: a group of people who make decisions or judgments - คณะกรรมการ
  • pile: to put objects one on top of another; objects positioned one on top of another - กอง
  • policy (noun): a set of plans or action agreed on by a government, political party, business, or other group - นโยบาย
  • popular (adj): a situation in which someone or something is liked by many people - เป็นที่นิยม, เป็นที่ชื่นชอบ
  • prohibited (adj): not allowed; to banned - ถูกห้าม
  • raise: to bring up a subject for discussion - ยกขึ้นมาเป็นประเด็น
  • recently (adverb): not long ago - เมื่อไม่นานมานี้, เมื่อเร็วๆ นี้
  • regulate: to control an activity officially by using rules - ควบคุม
  • residents: people who live in a particular area - ประชาชนที่อาศัยในท้องที่
  • review: to carefully examine or consider something - ตรวจสอบ
  • ruin: to damage something so badly that it loses all its value, pleasure, etc; to spoil something - ทำลาย
  • shade: an area that is dark and cool under or behind something, for example a tree or building, because the sun's light does not get to it - ร่ม
  • squeeze: to press something firmly, especially with your hands - คั้น, บีบ
  • structure (noun): a thing that is made of several parts - โครงสร้าง
  • success (noun): achieving the goals you wanted to achieve or made a lot of money - มีผลสำเร็จ, ประสบผลสำเร็จ, ประสบชัยชนะ
  • target: to direct something at someone or something - ตั้งเป้าหมาย
  • task with: to give somebody a task (job) to do - มอบภารกิจให้
  • took effect: began to be used or required - ส่งผล
  • unsightly: ugly, not pleasant to look at - น่าเกลียด, ไม่น่าดู
  • vary: to be different in different situations - ปรวนแปร, เปลี่ยนแปลง, แตกต่าง
  • violate: to do something that is against a law, rule or agreement - ฝ่าฝืน, ละเมิด
  • wily (adj): clever and smart, good at strategy and tactics to win - มีเล่ห์เหลี่ยมมาก
  • woo: to try to persuade people to support you - โน้มน้าวใจ  จูงใจ
  • zone: an area that has an important or typical feature; an area where a particular activity is allowed or not allowed - พื้นที่, บริเวณ, เขต
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