Umbrella Rental

Phuket Tourist Information Guide

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If you haven’t been keeping up with the umbrella rental saga on Phuket’s beaches lately, we’ll give you a little rundown on what has happened. Years ago, and it seems like forever now, there were no real rules about beach umbrellas and beach chairs – recliners, on the beaches. They were everywhere, and everyone loved it. We certainly did! Tourists loved the convenience of being able to rent a chair and umbrella for 50 to 100 Thb for as long as you wanted to stay. Every beach chair and umbrella outlets also sold fresh fruit and ice cold drinks – sodas, coconut juice, fruit juices, bottled water, and anything else they could sell. As we said, everyone loved it, and yet there were problems behind the scenes. Apparently, some beaches were regulated by people with control over the beach. Not saying who! Ha! But, people with beach chairs and umbrellas paid a fee in cash to someone each week or month to keep their stuff there. It was all technically illegal. Shortly after the military took over Thailand with the coup, there were non-stop crackdowns on laws which were in place but weren’t followed by everyone. They have since ripped out massage tables from the beaches, destroyed restaurants, and even taken out the beach chairs and umbrellas. For a couple of years after that, Phuket was without chair and umbrella rental on the sand. People weren’t happy about it and hoped to find another solution – but for a long time none was coming. Today there are beach chairs and umbrellas in Kata and Karon, and supposed to be all over the beaches of Phuket. The plan, and it is a trial, is that 10% of the beaches will be allocated to chairs and umbrellas as well as the selling of alcohol and food. That is the limit. The government is stressing that there are to be no more mafias controlling the beach chair vendors – which in the past amounted to billions of Thai Baht. * As you will see below, we mention a few beaches where umbrellas might be available these days. Please make sure to ask locally what is the situation for any particular beach as it seems to be changing nearly as often as the days turn into nights every 24 hours. 😉 *

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