Cozy Beach clean-up 1, vendors 0!

Officials from Pattaya and Banglamung together with the army have begun demolishing illegal bars and dwellings on Cozy Beach. This land is for public use only. Vendors have also been illegally pruning trees to make space for their now temporary constructions.

The Banglamung District Chief, Mr. Chakorn Kanjawattana, and soldiers from the 14th Military Circle in Chonburi raided the beach area on 1st July in an effort to bring order to the 1-kilometer beach off Kasetsin Road at the foot of Pratamnak Hill.

There they found 18 illegal vendors set up along the staircase that you have to use to access the beach, many have been conducting business here for years, some for 30 years! It was also noted that speed boats moored where ever they liked and not in designated areas and there were shacks that had been built over a span of 100 meters on the publically owned land.

This is the latest operation undertaken by the Thai military against encroachment on public land.

Phuket, Phi Phi, Hua Hin and now Pattaya are under scrutiny. Military troops have either come in and cleared illegal properties and vendors or have ordered local authorities to do so in these popular beach locations. This includes the removal of beach umbrellas, deck chairs, Jet Ski operators and all other private business that profits from selling on the public owned beaches and land.

The problem now on many Thai beaches is that there are no umbrellas to shade tourists. In some locations when foreign tourists have taken their own umbrellas and deck chairs to relax in the shade, they have been told to remove them. Maybe a better alternative would be to license vendors and suppliers of umbrellas and deck chairs rather than making them outlaws. Also Jet ski operators could be licensed and made accountable in order to prevent the scams. These draconian measures not only destroy many local family incomes, but will have a notable effect on tourism.

Pattaya officials have been told by the military to bring order to publically owned locations, in particular a re-organisation of umbrellas on the Pattaya and Jomtien beaches. It was implied that if the local authorities do not deal with this, the army would. Re-organising also implies that there could be some licensed umbrella vendors, this sounds hopeful at least.

Cozy Beach is a fairly private area with minimal access, so had been left alone for a long time. However, it looks like the party is over for local vendors there.

What really brought attention to Cozy Beach was the issue of the illegal shacks and residents flushing untreated wastewater into the sea. There is also a serious issue of other waste on the beach too, litter is often cleared here by a local foreign volunteers together with Pattaya City Hall staff, but the litter soon returns. These illegal residents literally s*** in their own back yard, which is not nice considering this is meant to be a 5 star hotel beach destination!

What was apparent also is that although the vendors on the beach complained about their business being ruined, they were quick to point out where all the illegal shacks were and who was involved.

Their ship was clearly sinking! Women and children first? Not in this case!


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