Phuket beaches opening, finally! by Anniina

Phuket beaches opening, finally!  by Anniina

Anniina's Blog

Keeping the beaches closed for months has heated up emotions, especially on Western forums. It would seem that most commentators have considered the beach ban completely absurd and have not understood at all how the beaches has anything to do with the spread of the virus. Thailand eased the restrictions same time as Finland, but the beaches remained closed. This did not stop us or many others from wondering nearby the beachs, especially at sunset. I admit to myself that I miss beach walks immensely. And now the moment to sink your toes into the sand has finally arrived.

Phuketin uimarannat

Kata Beach is certainly one of the most popular and famous beaches in Phuket. Popularity is easy to understand; all services and activities are conveniently at your fingertips. There are several restaurants near the beach, you can rent SUPs, jet skis or try paragliding. Unlike many other beaches, Kata Beach stays busy all year round, even in the low season. The moment the winds on the west coast turn to blow to the beach, the first surfers also appear on the scene. One could even argue that Kata is the best beach for surfing in Phuket due to its versatility. At least Khun Chaliao Srisut, a lifeguard by profession, a surfer by heart, thinks so.

Normally at this time of year, Khun Chaliao is a busy man. The work is coming from the dangerous currents typical of the season and by the constant flow of surf students. He has to test his skills several times a week as he brings swimmers surprised by the power of the current safely back to shore. Now, however, hes has been on duty for more than two months on a completely empty beach and struggled with distance learning for children at home. Currently, Kata has eight lifeguards on duty every day. Their role has been to maintain public order and to receive any alerts from fishing vessels when the beaches are closed.

The lifeguards also has to keep fit all the time as one of the pictures below shows. Time can also be spent with the Sepak Takro ball, which is played in a ring and whose authentic style of play is not meant to score points and therefore there are no winners or losers either; the purpose is just to have fun together. The outfit seems quite welded together and family-like.

According to Khun Chaliao, there hasn’t been bigger problems during the ban. However, once they had to play cat and a mouse: a swimmer trying to swim to a nearby island and a lifeguard on a jet ski trying to catch him. This nearly a two-hour chase was an isolated event: In general the beaches have been allowed to rest.

Phuket rannat koronavirus

Most of the lifeguard team have been on the same beach for a long time, Khun Chaliao for fifteen years. He thinks that opening the beaches too quickly is complicated; The beaches are a popular gathering and picnic spot and the size of groups on the beaches are difficult to control. It’s also impossible to find out the infection chains of possible virus cases, unlike, for example, in shopping malls that use the Thai Chana registration system. However, Khun Chaliao believes that allowing activities on the beaches are important so people can get into their hobbies, jog and, most importantly, surf. After we’ve been chatting for a while he raises his hands in the air, looks out to sea, and shouts out loud, “I don’t care about anything else, I just want to surf!”

Phuket auringonlasku

On the other hand, it has been understandable that the beaches have been kept closed but also why so many miss them. Phuket equals to beach life and people shout in the social media their urge to be on the beach. Nothing beats watching the sunset on the beach and especially at this time of year when the daily show is at its best. You can be sure I’ll be sitting on a prime spot watching it on Tuesday.

Check Thailand Covid-19 statistics


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