'No ban, but bikinis are just not Thai'
The navy has said it is not explicitly prohibiting women from wearing bikinis on its beaches in Chon Buri but is asking visitors for their cooperation in not doing so, out of respect for Thai culture, a spokesman said yesterday.
VAdm Pokkrong Monthatpalin said the navy is asking that visitors not wear bikinis on its beaches for the sake of "order and in accordance with Thai culture and tradition".
He was responding to a July 27 Facebook post on the "Quotidien de Thailande" account of a photo showing a "No Bikini" sign on Koh Samae San, off Chon Buri's Sattahip district. The island is navy territory.
VAdm Pokkrong said such signs were aimed only at persuading tourists not to wear bikinis and did not imply or reflect a navy ban of any kind.
The signs are being replaced with billboards that more clearly explain the navy's endorsement of conservative seaside fashion, the spokesman said.
Koh Samae San is a tourist attraction but it remains under the jurisdiction of the navy, he said.
The number of visitors to the island is limited and they are not allowed to stay overnight, drink alcohol or gather in noisy groups.