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About chub

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  1. The Hotel Act (2008) requires any place that provides accommodation for less than one month in exchange for payment is defined as a “Hotel”, regulated by the Hotel Act, and requires a hotel license, but there are important exceptions. Regarding short-term lets by condo owners, perhaps the Governor is not aware that (according to advice recently published by a prominent local law firm) a hotel licence is not required for any premises that: 1) have less than five rooms; and 2) cannot accommodate over twenty guests at a time; and 3) the income being earned for such is merely “additional income”, In these cases a license is not required but the owner must report to such accommodation activity to the relevant local authorities. Thus, operators who are providing rentals of less than 5 bedrooms for less than 30 days AND only for “additional income”, could comply with the Hotel Act by simply reporting their activity to the relevant local authorities.
  2. Without wishing to detract from the heroic image projected by our lifeguard contractor, it's obvious to anyone who spends time on Karon Beach that the men who operate the parachutes, jet skis and mats and umbrellas are wearing the 'lifeguards' uniform shorts. They bring the 'No Swimming' flags into disrepute by arranging them to keep people out of the wide swathes of beach that they reserve for their operations. Either the lifeguards are doubling up as beach business operators or more likely, the beach operators are wearing lifeguard uniforms to satisfy the numbers. What is clear is that no lifeguards are manning the lifeguard stations, watching swimmers or patrolling the beach.
  3. I should add that the area outlined in yellow in the previous post lies between 110 metres and 140 metres above sea level.
  4. There is some interesting data on the new Google earth scans. The area of the foothills behind Karon, outlined in yellow in the attached screen shot, has been developed in the last two years with villas and roads. We understand that no development is permitted above 80 metres, so how did all this development get approved? The steep hillside site outlined in red was cleared and extensively excavated 2 or 3 years ago to form a platform, obviously in preparation for a building. An access road has also been gouged out of the hillside. Google Earth shows this platform to be 110 metres above sea level. It probably exceeds the maximum gradient for development too. Construction has not started but the site remains a scar on the hillside and soil is falling down the slope. We can assume someone thought it would be OK to develop this site. What hope is there for Phuket's forested hills?
  5. Perhaps Nai Harn will soon have a monumental black concrete tombstone like the one blighting Karon Beach.
  6. Let me add my experience to this discussion. I'm a regular walker on a west coast beach for more than ten years. I believe there are four sources of beach debris: 1. When it rains heavily all the garbage thrown into upper reaches of the streams ('drains') that run through all the west coast beaches is carried into the sea and then dumped on the beach by the onshore winds. This garbage include most of the local litter: plastic bags and bottles, food containers, shoes, M150 and Carabou bottles, rotten vegetables, cut vegetation, soil, tree branches and small timber running off construction sites. When the drains flood heavily the freshwater eels that live in these fetid waters also end up on the beach. 2. At all times except full moon, there are dozens of boats anchored off shore catching squid using bright lights. Other boats are trawling. Crews are mostly Burmese who discard all their waste into the sea so the on-shore wind blows it on to the beaches. This probably accounts for half the beach garbage and it consists of lengths of nylon rope, netting, round net floats, toothbrushes, oil cans, plastic Burmese cigarette cans, light bulbs, rotten vegetables and fruit, bottles cut in half for use as funnels, M150 bottles and a wide variety of other domestic-type waste. The local fishermen also lay bamboo traps marked by buoys made of clusters of water bottles. These wash up often forming big tangles of bamboo, traps, rope and nets. Fish of no commercial value such as puffer fish are thrown into the sea dead, and rot on the beach. 3. Garbage left by beachgoers and vendors includes beer bottles, plastic water bottles, hats and clothes, toys, cigarette ends, polystyrene containers and plastic bags from convenience stores. Also a lot of coins. The land behind the beach is used as a toilet by the tuk tuk driver encampments. 4. Ocean garbage. There is a huge amount of floating garbage in the oceans. When the summer westerly winds blow across the Andaman, a lot of it is washed on to Phuket's beaches. The long-distance garbage can be recognised by the shellfish that attach to floating objects which take months to form a colony. Garbage that can float for months includes heavy mooring ropes, baulks of timber and tree trunks, bits of boats, lumps of insulating foam and a wide variety of mostly plastic debris and fishing gear. Among this garbage are the ocean-crossing plastic bottles. I often pick up un familiar-looking plastic bottles to see where they originated. yesterday I found one from South Africa. Bottles from the Maldives are quite common, and of course from Malaysia and Myanmar. Yesterday I found a washing machine tub and a cathode ray tube TV. So that's what you can expect to find on Phuket's beaches at this time of the year.
  7. At last, the bus service between the beaches we have been waiting for so long!