When visiting Thailand, it is very easy to forget the country’s recent civil unrest. You look at the beautiful beaches, the expansive landscapes and gorgeous resorts and poof, you forget that the military took over the government in May 2014. But the Phuket Beaches have an obvious mark of this government transfer. Can you guess what it is? Well, one of the first courses of action of the newly minted military regime was to launch an anti-corruption campaign. First on the agenda – The Phuket Beach Clean Up. So, what does that mean exactly? Well, as you can see from the pictures, there are no beach lounge chairs, no umbrellas or private vendors selling items on the beach. The government felt that by removing all illegal activity on the Phuket Beaches, they were giving the beaches back to the people.
Prior to the Phuket Beach Clean Up, the beaches had umbrellas and lounge chairs five rows deep. There were restaurants lining all edges of the sand. From what I learned, the response to the clean up has seen mixed results. Some felt that the relief of enjoying a day at the beach without the constant flow of people trying to sell them things makes the clean up worth it. Others not so much. The government takes this clean up seriously, so you cannot even bring your own lounge chair to the beach, for fear of having it taken away. Although there has been a mixed response to the Phuket Beach Clean Up, we can all agree how beautiful Kata Beach looks, unencumbered with the affects of tourists.
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