Connect with us


National park booze ban “well received’ by Phuket tourists



PHUKET: The directors of several national parks in the Andaman region have told the Phuket Gazette they have received good compliance with the ban on alcohol inside parks. The ban came into effect late last month.

Natural Resources and Environment Minister Suwit Khunkitti issued the ban immediately following the December 26 stabbing murder of a student by a group of drunken schoolmates camping at Khao Yai National Park in Surat Thani.

Nontawit Jaturabundit, chief of the Sirinat National Park in Mai Khao, said, “Some people are still bringing alcohol into the park at night. We keep asking them to not bring alcohol and to refrain from drinking anywhere in the park, but we have yet to fine or prosecute anyone.”

“Many people were informed of the regulation during the new year period. They all seem to understand and have given us very good co-operation. The situation is under control,” he said.

Most of those warned about drinking in the park were Thais, but a few were foreigners.
“As the park is quite expansive, sometimes people might be drinking inside without our being aware of it,” he added.

Two signs declaring the park an alcohol prohibition zone are now being constructed and should go up at both entrances very soon, along with a third sign to go up in the middle of the park.

Under the law, offenders face a maximum fine of 1,000 baht or a jail sentence of not longer than one month, or both.

Chaitat Bunphuphantanti, director of Khao Sok National Park in Surat Thani, said, “We stopped selling alcohol about two years ago when the department issued a new regulation and then restricted people from bringing alcohol into the park on December 27.”

Standard procedure is for staff to ask people trying to bring alcohol into the park to leave it with officers during their visit, he said.

“We prefer to ask people for their co-operation rather than threatening them with punishment. It seems our public relations campaign is going well, as most people just drink Coke or water,” he said.

“Most foreigners understand quite well. Not many of them drink whiskey, but some like to drink beer. But they don’t seem to have any problem with alcohol being unavailable inside the park and they tend not to bring their own alcohol with them like Thais do,” he said.

Signs in Thai declaring the park alcohol-free are posted at the national park office and at Ratchaprapa Dam, he said.

Phi Phi Islands National Park chief Niroot Puttapong admitted that beer still finds its way into the park by speedboat.

“Most tourists visiting the national park are foreigners. We have officially informed tour business operators by letter and asked them to stop bringing in alcohol aboard boats. We seem to be getting a good response,” he said.

“People come to visit during the day. It is not an overnight destination, so there aren’t problems with people getting drunk.

“But we keep telling people not to bring alcohol on shore,” he said.

Chief Niroot quipped that many visiting tourists are mao (drunk) upon arrival by speedboat, mao reua being the Thai term for seasickness.

“The national park doesn’t have any problems at all with tourists being mao. They have to sit in a boat for a long time to get here from Phuket.

“If they are already a bit sick when they arrive, alcohol will only make them worse,” he said.

All of these factors made it highly unlikely that drunken mayhem of the kind that transpired at Khao Yai would ever take place at the park, he said.

“Some tour operators provide beer with their clients’ meals to relax them, but they don’t want them getting drunk while still on the speedboat.

“We will warn them first not to bring alcohol ashore before fining them,” he said.

The park plans to put up signs.

— Atchaa Khamlo


Get more from The Thaiger

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Thailand11 hours ago

Thailand News Today | Storm Noru causing floods, death in northeast Thailand

Thailand11 hours ago

Airspace over Bangkok airport closed for airforce parade

Phuket11 hours ago

Four alleged investment scammers arrested in Phuket

Sponsored2 days ago

Segafredo Zanetti Coffee teamed up with Bangkok Airways and hosted “Bangkok Airways Surf Festival 2022”

Thailand12 hours ago

1 year old child allegedly snatched while parents slept

Air Pollution12 hours ago

For health reasons – Bangkok’s proposed congestion charge

Bangkok12 hours ago

As rain pours down on northern Thailand, Bangkok ups its canal drainage

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Cannabis12 hours ago

Traditional Thai medicine clinics offering cannabis treatments in Thailand

Health13 hours ago

Fizz buzz – Will kratom drinks ever hit the spot?

Patong13 hours ago

Four suspects admit they assaulted US tourist in Patong

Hot News14 hours ago

Doctor’s “sorry, not sorry” attitude after alleged hit-and-run of students lands him in hot water

Thailand14 hours ago

Police ignore cheating antics of drunk Bangkok cabbie

Pattaya14 hours ago

Third baby elephant of the year born at Pattaya garden

Thailand14 hours ago

Thai doctor warns against eating bats after ‘bat hunter’ sells for 100 baht per kilo

World14 hours ago

Kamala Harris visits South Korea a day after North Korea fires missiles

Events15 hours ago

Spartan Race to hit Phuket in November

Thailand1 year ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism2 years ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism2 years ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism2 years ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11