Phuket

Tourist fined for washing feet in public sink

PHUKET: A Chinese woman was fined for washing her feet in a public sink on Phi Phi Don yesterday, following a recent change in policy on the tourist-popular island.

Within half an hour of officers posting a “no foot washing” warning sign at the public restroom, the tourist, who police declined to name, started washing her feet in the sink.

“She didn’t pay any attention to the sign directly in front of her,” said Koh Phi Phi-Nopparathara National Park Chief Chaithat Boonphupantanti. “Our officers took photos of her breaking the law before informing her that she was committing a crime.”

The woman was given a 1,000-baht fine and her tour guide was informed of the incident.

Mr Chaithat explained that an area for tourists to wash their feet used to be in front of the toilets, but it had been moved behind the building in January because it was making the bathroom slippery and dirty.

“The sign is in English with clear pictures of what is prohibited. We will be looking to include Chinese-language warnings as well,” Mr Chaithat said. “We were not rude or aggressive when we were dealing with the tourist. We are just trying to establish rules that will keep the place clean and beautiful.”

Mr Chaithat explained that he understands that there are cultural differences to be overcome, but that it is essential for tour guides to inform their guests of the rules and encourage them to help keep Thailand beautiful.

— Kritsada Mueanhawong

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