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Luxury hotel’s beach ‘belongs to hotel and not public’

January 17, 2018 Headline News 2 Comments Email Email

Disputes over who owns beachside and forested property are common in Thailand, where questions often arise over ownership of prime land.

The Nation newspaper in Thailand has quoted a land official in the seaside province of Phuket confirming that the beach in front of a luxury hotel on Phuket belongs to the hotel, rather than being public property as earlier believed.

The paper said Yongyuth Kanjananurak, of the Land Department’s Thalang branch, inspected the site, the land rights documents and the boundary markers of Lepang-Bangtao beaches before acknowledging ownership of the area by Dusit Thani Laguna Phuket Hotel.“We found that the land title deeds of about 17 rais [2.72 hectares] of land of the hotel are legitimate and the hotel’s lands cover the beaches in question,” he said.

The Phuket Gazette cited a Facebook post that appeared to show a tourist with two children sitting on a mat on the beach in front of the hotel being told to leave the area as it was private property.

The tourist was heard replying that the beach “cannot possibly belong to a hotel”. The video went viral – but it seems now that the beach is indeed private.

The resort says staff didn’t ask the tourist to leave, only to obtain a day pass.

The Land Department has agreed to the hotel owners’ request for it to officially demarcate the hotel’s areas to prevent a similar incident from happening.

In another dispute in November, it was reported that Thailand’s Supreme Court had given nine hotels 15 days to vacate two beaches in Phuket after ruling that they had encroached on 28.5 hectares of public land. See: Hotels given short notice to quit two tourist beaches

Just out of interest and for comparison, here is the situation in Australia. The following is an extract from the official Australian Government website,

There are no privately owned beaches in Australia – beaches are public places for all to enjoy. Australians make use of the coast as a destination for relaxation and fun. Many people live close enough to a beach to visit regularly, and others use the beach for annual holidays.


Written by Peter Needham

Currently there are "2 comments" on this Article:

  1. bruce weston says:

    hmm – not so sure this advice is correct , maybe large public beaches but lots of properties , my own included, have deeds which clearly state they own to the high water mark and therefore not public

  2. Peter says:

    Thanks for that Bruce. Further research does indicate that the situation is more complicated than that statement on suggests. The high-water mark is often mentioned There is discussion of it here and here
    – Peter

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