Connect with us


Phuket locals victorious in battle to save Nai Harn trees



PHUKET: The plan to construct the controversial Nai Harn Movie Museum was dashed at a public meeting last night, confirmed Rawai Mayor Aroon Solos.

“We of course listened to what the community had to say,” Mr Aroon told the Phuket Gazette.

Mr Aroon explained that after the public hearing, it was clear that a new location would need to be found for the 40-million-baht facility.

“Though I was not able to attend the meeting, I understand that the consensus was that the community did not want the project to move forward, despite it having already been approved,” said Santi Pawai, director of the Ministry of Tourism and Sports Phuket Office. “I now have to meet with the Department of Tourism on Monday to explain why the project will not go ahead.”

More than a hundred Thai and foreign members of the southern Phuket community joined the meeting at 7pm last night to voice their concern about the project, which had been slated to start earlier this month.

The project came into the limelight when a number of trees in the beachfront grove at Nai Harn were marked to be cut down to prevent their roots damaging the yet-to-be constructed facility.

The fast growing trees are about 30 years old and very important to the community, explained 41-year-old Sayjai Mueller. Locals set out to prevent the destruction of the trees by wrapping them with pieces of saffron-colored fabric and protesting the planned construction.

In response, Mr Santi agreed to have the construction company redesign the building in order to do no harm to the trees (story here). However, even this did not meet with local support.

“Both Thais and foreigners joined the meeting to tell the government that we don’t want any changes to our beautiful beach,” said Ms Sayjai.

“If the museum was built, our narrow roads would be inundated with buses and cars. I don’t want to see our community end up like Promthep Cape, which is overcrowded.

“Think about it. Even if only five buses a day came to our beach, it would be ruined. Who in the community could enjoy it then? We would no longer be ranked as one of the best beaches in Asia.”

In February, Nai Harn Beach made TripAdvisor’s list of the top 10 beaches in Asia (story here).

“We had no intention of causing harm to the area. We just wanted to build a new tourist attraction for visitors. A place where they could rest and also use the facilities,” said Mr Santi earlier this month. “We don’t want to get pinned as the bad guys in this situation. There was simply a misunderstanding.”

— Chutharat Plerin


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:

Press Room9 hours ago

Best island boat tours from Phuket – must-visit islands and unforgettable experiences you should not miss out on

Thailand11 hours ago

Thailand News Today | Foreigners anger Chiang Mai locals for kissing in temple

World11 hours ago

Former Coventry footballer seriously ill in Thai hospital

Crime11 hours ago

Weapons used by jealous Thai man to murder and chop up lover found

Guides11 hours ago

Foodie Zone: Should you try Keto diet? 2022

Chiang Mai11 hours ago

River in Chiang Mai overflows, floods spread

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Thailand12 hours ago

3-year jail term for carrying crops, fruit & veg into Japan

Thailand12 hours ago

Bank repossesses the wrong house in central Thailand

Thailand12 hours ago

Innocent man jailed 7 months for 15.8 million baht theft demands justice

Weather12 hours ago

Thailand’s cold season expected to hit in late October

Thailand13 hours ago

ฺThai boxer blackmails 20 women into sending nude pics

World13 hours ago

South Korea gives North Korea a warning

Visa14 hours ago

Philippines offers attractive alternative to Thailand’s 10 year LTR visa

Phuket14 hours ago

Thousands join Chinese ceremony at Phuket Vegetarian Festival

Coronavirus (Covid-19)15 hours ago

Bang Sue’s Central Vaccination Centre officially closed

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