Restaurant encroachment threatens Hua Hin’s sandy shores

Photo courtesy of The Nation

Yamu Beach in Phuket may have just played second fiddle to an encroachment crisis engulfing the pristine sands of Hua Hin.

Evidence surfaced on the Prachuap News Facebook page, showcasing a long line of eateries and guesthouses that have sunk their claws deep into Hua Hin’s main beach. Witnesses describe a scene akin to invasion, with some structures extending a staggering 20 metres into the sea, leaving beachgoers with nowhere to tread but upon these encroachments.

According to the page, this dire situation dwarfs even the recent fiasco at Phuket’s Yamu Beach. Shockingly, local authorities in Hua Hin seem to be turning a blind eye to the brazen land grab, prompting a furious outcry from the public.

The Facebook page took a satirical swipe at the sluggish response from Hua Hin officials compared to their swift counterparts in Phuket.

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“The seas may be salty in both Phuket and Hua Hin, but it seems only one is stirring the pot.”

The root of this beachfront battleground traces back to an altercation in Phuket’s Yamu Beach, where a Swiss expat’s clash with a Thai doctor ignited a powder keg of discontent. The expat, claiming trespass, found himself embroiled in a scandal when it was revealed his luxury villa encroached a metre into the beach, leading to its swift demolition.

While fingers point and accusations fly, the crux of the issue lies in the murky depths of bureaucracy. Despite calls for action, Hua Hin’s authorities seem paralysed, with no tangible steps taken to protect public interests. Even Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin’s new year sojourn failed to rouse any meaningful intervention, reported The Nation.

Local Anuwat Pongdee laments the government’s inertia, highlighting the stark contrast between lavish holidays and tangible action to reclaim public spaces.

Sources allege that many of these encroaching buildings boast connections to influential figures, stymieing efforts for justice. Even attempts by the military regime to reclaim the beachfront have been thwarted by the squatters’ defiant stance, citing lucrative gains.

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Mitch Connor

Mitch is a Bangkok resident, having relocated from Southern California, via Florida in 2022. He studied journalism before dropping out of college to teach English in South America. After returning to the US, he spent 4 years working for various online publishers before moving to Thailand.

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