Phuket officials have set sights on returning Phuket’s beaches to the public. In the last weeks they have formed teams to rezone the beachfront in order to battle encroachment. Officially the beaches in Phuket belong to the public, but in the last years there have been so many (illegal) stalls, restaurant terraces and beach chair operators on the beach, that there is hardly a place left for tourists to enjoy the beach without paying for a place to sit. This was the main reason for the government to do something about this issue.
Moving forward, they have been re-zoning the beachfront the last week; vendors who have permission from the local government can only use areas that are not reserved for public space.
Now that the zones are established, vendors with permission from officials will be allowed to move their shops to the designated areas. All other shops will face charges and have their shops torn down. The shops where given 7 days to vacate their plot, or face forced eviction and legal action. At this moment mote than 70 per cent of illegal structures were removed, and some of the restaurants have received additional time to remove their structure if they’ve proven they are unable to clear within the given time (they are not allowed to operate the restaurant during this time though).
Look at what a huge change this has made at Surin Beach:
All of a sudden you can see the beach, sea, trees and the surrounding. Issn’t it beautiful? I for one am very happy that this has happened. We can now truly enjoy the beach. Just hoping that the beach will stay this way in high season too!
What do you think? Should we have the beach back for everyone to use? Or would you rather have all the beach chair operators and bars back on the beach?