Connect with us


Officials scramble to resolve ban on tourists bringing own beach umbrellas

Legacy Phuket Gazette



PHUKET: Officials are scrambling to get beach umbrellas and mats on the sands at the island’s key beaches this tourism high season before hordes of visitors arrive for the Christmas and New Year holidays.

The push comes as an island-wide ban on all umbrellas at Phuket’s beaches saw a Swedish family on holiday last week being told they were not allowed to bring their own umbrella to provide shade for their 18-month-old baby.

“We are trying to get beach umbrellas provided by local municipalities at all key tourist beaches. The high season has begun and we are trying to get this done as soon as possible,” Phuket Vice Governor Chamroen Tippayapongtada confirmed to the Phuket Gazette this week.

“The umbrellas will definitely be provided for free, but we are looking at having people who used to work as beach vendors provide mats for tourists to rent. There will be no more sun loungers. They will not be allowed back on the beach.”

Hundreds of vendors were forced out of work earlier this year by the beach cleanup campaign ordered by the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO).

The campaign resulted in the revelation that vendors had sold their rights to operate businesses on the sands for amounts that totalled billions of baht (story here).


“We have held several meetings with vendors and officials from every beach in Phuket about getting umbrellas and mats back on the beaches. However, we cannot just give them permission to ‘own’ the beach like before,” said Vice Governor Chamroen.

“Local authorities have to find suitable places where vendors can rent out their mats. Every vendor must wear a uniform. They will be issued permits year by year, and they cannot pass the permit rights on to any third party.

“Each booth will be looked after by local government staff to make sure beach vendors do not break any regulations.”


Swedish tourist Thomas Tagheim brought his family to Phuket on holiday, but last week was refused permission to bring his own umbrella to provide shade for his infant grandson’s delicate skin.

As of Wednesday, the popular Accuweather website reported a UV Index of 8 (very high) for Patong Beach. The US Environmental Protection Agency defines a UV Index reading of 8 to 10 as “very high risk of harm from unprotected sun exposure.”

The key environmental agency advises: “Take extra precautions because unprotected skin and eyes will be damaged and can burn quickly… If outdoors, seek shade and wear protective clothing, a wide-brimmed hat, and UV-blocking sunglasses” (click here).

Regardless, the Tagheim family was forced to leave Patong Beach on November 5 – after days of ignoring warnings from local officials to remove their umbrella – after Tourist Police officers confirmed that it was not allowed.

“We bought our own umbrellas in Phuket Town because no umbrellas were provided at the beach,” Mr Tagheim told the Gazette.

“On November 1, two police officers told us to move our umbrella from the beach back to the tree line, and so we did. The next day a man in government uniform told us to remove our umbrella from there.

“My daughter told him we needed shade for her child, who is one-and-a-half years old. The man did not care at all. He then went away and we stayed under our umbrella.”

On November 5, the official returned, this time accompanied by two police officers.

“After that we went to the Tourist Police office, and they told us that we cannot use our umbrella on the beach or at the tree line. We did not get any explanation as to why we had to remove our umbrella except that it was the new law from the government,” Mr Tagheim said.

“We have been coming here twice a year, in October and January, for seven years. If we cannot use our own umbrellas on the beach, we will not come back to the island – even though we love it so much. And I know that many of my friends and other tourists feel the same.

“What will Phuket be without family tourists? How can the government allow jet-skis on a public beach but not allow parents and grandparents to protect their children from overheating and sunburn?”

Tentative moves

V/Gov Chamroen on Tuesday confirmed to the Gazette that he was aware of the incident.

“We would like to apologize for any inconvenience. We are working on this problem, but until we have found a solution I would like to ask all people not to bring their own umbrellas to the beach. It will only cause arguments and misunderstandings. We must uniformly enforce the laws for everyone,” he said.

“We are trying make as many people as happy as we can. We need to find a way for locals to earn a living, but we must make sure that no one occupies the beach like they have done in the past.”

— Chutharat Plerin


Want more Thailand news from the Thaiger family?

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS for instant updates on your mobile
📝️ Join the conversation on Thaiger Talk - discuss news & life in our Thailand forums
📧 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🔔 Subscribe to or Join our YouTube channel for daily video updates


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.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

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

Follow Thaiger by email:

Coronavirus (Covid-19)7 hours ago

PM Prayut asks everyone to work together towards reopening

Coronavirus (Covid-19)10 hours ago

Bangkok restrictions lifted on 8 categories, including swimming

Patong11 hours ago

Tar balls spreading in Phuket hit Patong Beach

Phuket Sandbox July 1st


Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in July - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages in June!

Phuket12 hours ago

Officials predict 600,000 tourists to Phuket following reopening

Phuket13 hours ago

Technician electrocuted to death while trying to fix jacuzzi

Pattaya13 hours ago

Pattaya pushes for August 1 Sealed Route reopening plan

Thailand13 hours ago

Mother alleges that Doctor mistakenly gave her 10 year old sleeping pills

Bangkok14 hours ago

1 million Sinopharm doses arrive today

Tourism14 hours ago

Full reopening guidelines for Phuket and Samui

Coronavirus (Covid-19)15 hours ago

Covid UPDATE: 3,682 new cases, 20 covid-related deaths, provincial totals

Thailand15 hours ago

Poll shows schools, students, parents, “not ready” for online learning

Chon Buri16 hours ago

Man returns lost parakeet, gets rewarded with BBQ

Thai Life16 hours ago

Thai Lion predicts football matches, other abilities currently unknown

Tourism16 hours ago

Reopening details for Phuket, Samui and beyond laid out

Coronavirus (Covid-19)18 hours ago

Multiple Chiang Rai schools to close after infections found

Thailand4 months ago

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

Tourism4 months ago

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

Phuket4 months ago

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

Tourism4 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand4 months ago

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

Tourism4 months ago

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

Thailand5 months ago

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

Thailand5 months ago

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

Thailand5 months ago

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

Thailand5 months ago

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

Thailand5 months ago

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

Thailand5 months ago

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

Thailand5 months ago

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

Thailand5 months ago

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

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8