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Farang tourists became infuriated and cried foul after police prohibited them from putting up their own beach beds on popular beaches of Phuket, including Patong and Kamala.
Photos of police telling western tourists to clear the beds from Patong Beach and a video clip of tourists complaining about the rule were posted on Facebook pages, P news Phuket and Decha Sithidej, on Sunday.
P news Phuket also showed photos of farang tourists storming the Kamala police station on Sunday to complain about the rule that prohibits them from carrying their own beds to the beach.
As a gesture of protest, the tourists carried flyers handed over to them by police, which state the rule that no beach bed is allowed from February 12 onward. After the tourists at the Kamala beach cried foul and complained very nosily, the police allowed them to put up the beds temporarily.
But western tourists on the Patong beach were not loud enough and were told to take out the beds. One of them carried a paper with printed words apparently prepared by local Thais, saying “No summer dream on beach starting from 12 Feb 2015”.
A video clip posted by Decha Sithidej on his Facebook wall showed a farang saying he has been visiting Phuket for 20 years and he was disappointed over the new rule. He was sorry he could not use his beach bed and was forced to lie on the sand although he had spent a lot of money travelling to the island province. He might not come back next year.
But on Monday, Phuket Governor Nisitjan Somwong claimed that it was a misunderstanding. He said police did not evict tourists from the beach but they just told them to move to the 10-per-cent zone of the beach where beach beds are allowed.