Tourists in Phuket have been told to bring their own beach umbrellas after a military clean-up that has forced vendors and stalls to move away from the area.
Thailand’s military government has some pretty strict rules when it comes to beach rules and one thing is for sure: tourists can bring their umbrellas to the beach, despite some local officers thinking different. There is a ban on Thai residents coming to the beaches and renting or selling umbrellas and other beach accessories, but it does not affect tourists.
Ma-ann Samran from the Cherng Talay Tambon Administration cleared things up by explaining,
“For now, tourists are allowed to bring their own umbrellas to the beach. Mats are allowed too, but not sun beds. There must be no services provided by local vendors on the beach.”
The ban was first implemented on the following beaches: Surin, Layan, Laypang and Bang Tao in June, seeing dozens of food vendors, masseuses, bars and sun bed renters removed by force.
Many fear the ban is having a negative effect on tourism to the area, with some beach clubs even shutting down since the summer. But with high season around the corner, there’s still plenty of travellers with cheap flights to Phuket to fill the beaches on their way.