Thailand Bans Photos On Some Beaches

Listen up: this could save your life.

Gone are the days of sipping cocktails and reading books: to get that social media ‘cheese’, more and more people are taking off overseas to get the perfect ‘gram rather than the perfect tan.

Unfortunately for aeroplane enthusiasts and Instagram influencers alike, there is now one less location to take a FOMO-inducing beach shot (or to check out the seductive undercarriage of a 747), as Thai officials have begun cracking down on tourist activity at Mai Khao Beach.

The beach, notorious for its close proximity to Phuket International Airport (and stunning views), has become known in the travel community as “Unseen Phuket”, serving as a highly sought-after backdrop for tourist selfies thanks to the low-flying planes which can be frequently spotted in the area.


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As you can see from the 23,765 photos uploaded to Instagram with the hashtag Mai Khao Beach, snapping a picture with the aircraft has become a popular bucket list item. However, airport officials say this type of photography can be extremely hazardous, and have extended the airport’s safety zone to include some of this popular stretch of beach.

They’re so serious, in fact, that—as reported by Chanel 9 News—people caught taking photos inside this newly-built safety zone could face the death penalty.

“People and tourists will not be allowed to enter this area to take photos,” Wichit Kaeothaithiam, Deputy Chief at Phuket airport told the Bangkok Post. “Authorities must apply strict safety rules as required by the International Civil Aviation Organisation.”


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So, after so many years, what made the Thai officials decide this location was dangerous? According to Chanel 9 News, “Mr Wichit’s warning comes following reports that the activity on Mai Khao beach has caused distractions to pilots (and that) those found taking photos inside the safety zone are in violation of Thai law, and are subject to punishments under the Air Navigation Act.”

“The maximum penalty is the death sentence,” (Mr Wichit).

While we recommend you steer absolutely clear either way, there are also some less severe punishments too, The Sun reports, including a fine of up to $1,765 (40,000 baht) or a jail sentence of up to 20 years.


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