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Are all the restaurants closing along the beach?

Cardiff, United...
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Are all the restaurants closing along the beach?

Hi, We have stayed at the Dusit Thani & then the Angsana Laguna for the past 3 years and have absolutely loved it! One of my main pleasures has been dining at night along the beach front enjoying wonderful Thai food, under the stars listening to the waves lap against the shoreline. We dined at Lotus, Tum, Green Leaf and Tony's to mention but a few. I have been told that the Lotus has been closed and that all the beach restaurants have been shut down. Has anyone been lately or can explain what is happening? A friend said that the Military have closed them all down. Have booked already for next February but am now worried that the holiday will not have the same appeal and all in all be "disappointing". Any news would be most welcome. Thank you.

Poulton Le Fylde...
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for Khao Lak, Khao Sok National Park
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1. Re: Are all the restaurants closing along the beach?

All beaches in Thailand are regarded as "the King's Beaches" which means they are public beaches, owned by no-one and it has always been illegal to undertake any commercial activities on them. However, Thailand has not been particularly renowned for enforcing all its laws and there have been allegations of corruption in relation to establishing those businesses which have mostly been unlicensed and not paying rent or taxes. The extent of this has varied throughout Thailand. When the Military Coup occurred last May, the junta claimed that it was going to eradicate corruption and, among other things, return the beaches to their natural state. It established the NCPO (National Council for Peace and Order) to oversee all the changes to take place along with local administrations. One of its first actions was to issue Orders to remove all illegal activities on public land, primarily the beaches and National Parks, which includes restaurants, bars, sun

bed and umbrella hire, massage places, beach clubs, beach shops etc. and started on Phuket. Orders were served on all the businesses identified as illegal with a date by which the owners should remove or demolish them or after that date the Military would do it. These Orders have now been extended to other Provinces and will apply ultimately throughout the country.

Restaurants and other businesses that operate from private land adjacent to beaches are not affected and will continue to operate. So there ill till be places to go with uninterrupted views across the beach instead of over rows and rows of sunbeds.

The Military also took action together with Phuket's administrators to break up the monopoly of the Taxi and Tuk Tuk Mafia, to ban illegal unlicensed taxis, introduce and enforce the use of meters in all taxis and other measures and to introduce new lower rates throughout the island but particularly to and from the airport.

That's my take in a nutshell and I hope it is not too inaccurate.

Cardiff, United...
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2. Re: Are all the restaurants closing along the beach?

Thank you - that was very helpful.

South Australia...
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for Phuket, Ko Lanta
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3. Re: Are all the restaurants closing along the beach?

The restaurants you have mentioned are gone. Tuk tuks are another story, nothing has really changed at all, prices are the same, they are still taking up the majority of parking spaces and their little huts that have been pulled down are now plastic hairs and umbrellas.

Cathy

Noosa, Australia
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4. Re: Are all the restaurants closing along the beach?

Hi We loved Lotus restaurant also. Is that definitely closed now?

South Australia...
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5. Re: Are all the restaurants closing along the beach?

Yes Lotus has been demolished.

england
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6. Re: Are all the restaurants closing along the beach?

It just won't be the same there will it unless some legal restaurants can start up. I am wondering where everyone will eat otherwise, it will be more crowded at the hotels if people have to dine there.

I love all those places that the OP mentioned and can't imagine a holiday there now that they have gone.

Cemaes Bay
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7. Re: Are all the restaurants closing along the beach?

They are all gone demolished, unfortunetly the rubble has been left behind and looks a real mess. We stayed at the outrigger although the concrete shops are still standing everything else has been taken down and rubble left behind. To eat you can catch the hotel shuttle to Laguna Waters you then have few minutes walk to some nice food outlets. We tried Siam Supper Club it was excellent quality but not much cheaper than the hotel but far superior. Other outlets are also available.

Cannock, UK
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8. Re: Are all the restaurants closing along the beach?

My wife and I are planning our first trip to Thailand and I'm a bit confused now. We're usually spending our holidays on the beach and it looks like there is no point to go to Thailand now. I'm guessing beaches are completely empty. Do you know if any hotels are providing sunbeds in this situation? Sitting by the pool it's not an option for us.

Poulton Le Fylde...
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9. Re: Are all the restaurants closing along the beach?

Thailand is a very big country and there are many places where legal beach restaurants still operate and where loungers are available so long as they are hired on public beach which is illegal. There are also many beachfront restaurants which provide loungers at the edge of their property on their own land.

You are also guessing wrong that the beaches are empty but if you have only been looking at Phuket you will probably have got the wrong impression for two reasons:

First, May to October is Wet Season on the Andaman (West) Coast which covers Phuket, Khao Lak, Krabi, Ko Lanta and Phi Phi, so there are less visitors at this time of year and,

Second, it was the actions of the Military Government to clear Thailand's beaches of commercial activities and structures and Phuket was the main focus of their attention.

In Khao Lak, where we have stayed for many years for most of the Dry Season (November to April) and which is just over an hour north from Phuket Airport and has 25km of beaches, most of which had beach restaurants and loungers/umbrellas before the action still have them after and they are free to customers. Some restaurants were demolished and rebuilt further back with loungers on non-public land. Others were already built off the public beach.

This is the case in other beach destinations. Phuket's problem was that there wasn't room to move back off the beach because the land had already been developed.

So there really is a point to go to Thailand but perhaps not where you had been considering so far.

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10. Re: Are all the restaurants closing along the beach?

Of course new restaurants will open up the only difference is these will be legal ones.

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