Alcohol, sunbeds to be banned on Phuket hideaway beach

Alcohol, sunbeds to be banned on Phuket hideaway beach

Alcohol, sunbeds to be banned on Phuket hideaway beach
Freedom Beach is seen from afar on Monday, the day that operators of beach beds and umbrellas were ordered to remove them from the area. (Photo: Achadtaya Chuenniran)

PHUKET: Provincial and park authorities will kick off regular joint patrols on Freedom Beach on Tuesday with strict checks on alcoholic drinks part of the mission, an MP on the resort island said on Monday.

Move Forward Party MP Chalermpong Saengdee said personnel from the Royal Forestry Department will combine with provincial counterparts to wipe out sales of alcoholic drinks on the beach.

Mr Chalermpong attended a meeting in Phuket on Monday to seek measures to stamp out commercial intruders on the beach.

Freedom Beach was once dubbed a hidden gem as it is a small, quiet beach located between two famous beaches – Patong and Karon.

It is below Nak Kerd Mountain and part of a national reserve forest but operators were regularly found offering beach beds and umbrellas to beach-goers without permission.

Phuket governor Sophon Suwannarat said after the meeting that forestry authorities would take the lead in patrolling the beach starting on Tuesday, while officials and law-enforcement volunteers from the province would join them.

The department plans to open the beach for commercialisation and it is in the process of forming a team responsible for the plan, according to the governor.

Unauthorised beds and umbrellas were removed from the beach on Monday after pictures appeared in the media.