As you may have heard or witnessed yourself, since mid-January this year, beach operators have been prohibited from setting up deckchairs and umbrellas, or provide any other services, on the beaches of Pattaya and Jomtien every Wednesday.
Other than on Phuket however, where the deckchair ban applies seven days a week and hasn’t only seriously p*ssed off tourists but also made international headlines, it’s only once a week that sun worshippers in Pattaya are required to bring their own mats or towels to an otherwise object-free beach and lounge under the burning sun.
Of course, this is part of a military government-initiated campaign to “return public beaches to the people“, so it was obvious that criticism of the campaign would be relatively muted domestically and largely restricted to foreign media outlets.
On January 15, a couple of days after the weekly one-day deckchair ban had been enforced for a first time, Pattaya One reported euphemistically that the campaign was generally “welcomed” by “beachgoers we spoke with”. Pattaya Daily News even quoted unidentified “foreigners” as saying that the project to make the beach a “nicer and cleaner place to stay” was “really good” and “could attract more tourists from foreign countries”.
PDN now did a follow-up and reported that last Wednesday, April 1, the atmosphere on Pattaya beach wasn’t only “relaxed” but the beach also “more attractive for the tourists”. Guess what, “the people on the beach seemed to be happy with the beach being clear”, and an anonymous tourist allegedly
revealed that Pattaya beach on Wednesday is really beautiful because it looks so peaceful and natural (…)
“Peaceful and natural”, wow! Not a single critical voice it seems – which is actually in stark contrast to what we’ve heard of many people, especially elder tourists and Europeans, in the last couple of months.
Let’s face it: While the deckchairs at the beaches of Pattaya and Jomtien are certainly not the pinnacle of convenience and are in dire need of some kind of upgrade, many tourists (certainly not including the majority of Russian budget travelers who often prefer to sit on their own mat for the simple reason that they can save the 30 or 40 Baht rental fee for a deckchair) simply don’t want to lie on a mat or a towel and now skip their usual visit to the beach every Wednesday.
Yep, some folks do actually avoid the beach on Wednesdays because there are no deckchairs to sit on and no umbrellas to protect them from the burning sun …
So what do YOU think about the weekly deckchair ban on Wednesdays? Would you agree that the beaches sans deckchairs and umbrellas now look much more “peaceful and natural”? Or do you find them just empty and less inviting?
Like or dislike? Feel free to tell us your opinion in the comments section below.