Pattaya residents and netizens were peeved after a famous restaurant situated on a beachside reportedly put chairs and tables on the Na Jomtien Beach to accept customers.
Pictures of the concerned beachside restaurant with about 30 sets of tables and chairs being placed on Jomtien Beach went viral after being posting on Facebook by the Pattaya Watchdog page on February 5th.
The tables were covered with blue cloth and the chairs with white cloth. A group of customers were seen chilling and dining on the beach, drawing widespread criticism from Pattaya residents and netizens. The name of the restaurant was withheld, however, pending full official investigation by Na Jomtien law enforcement.
Some people stated that the restaurant had been operating on the beach for over a month, adding it was illegal because the beach was restricted to public use only. Beaches in Thailand are considered public land and there are often debates over encroachment of buildings built and situated on beachfronts.
The netizens also said that the restaurant had privilege over small vendors who had previously been barred from operating on the beach and relocated.
On June 21st, the Na Jomtien Municipality Office officials put up a big sign on the beach banning the sale of food or beverages on Jomtien Beach, walkway, and beachside road, saying they are only for public use.
The sign said encroachment or occupying the beach area for personal business without permission is considered a violation according to Article 9 and Article 108 of the Land Act, or Article 38 of the Maintenance of the Cleanliness and Orderliness Act.
Offenders will face strict legal action, according to the sign, however, it remains to be seen if any action will be taken.
The markets and vendors on the beach in 2022 drove heavy traffic and praise from tourists but angered local residents and caused a long showdown between both parties before the beach market was shut down and vendors moved to new market areas like the Big Market near Rescue Coffee.