I recently discovered that a lot of common tourist photos from around the world are actually highly illegal and could land you in jail, and I was mildly shook. Mainly because I had more than one of the list in my own photo library. But now it seems Thailand has taken the whole thing one step further.
You know that beach where the planes fly crazy low to land at Phuket International Airport just behind it? You’ve seen the pictures, like this one:
Well, the beach is Mai Khao and the Thailand powers that be do not find it as fun as the tourist do. They’ve decided that the hoardes of people taking these pics are dstracting to the pilots, which is reasonable. The area is now a safety zone and tourists won’t have access to it anymore, which is also reasonable.
But they’ve threatened the death penalty for anyone who tries it from now on, which seems very not reasonable. Just one woman’s opinion.
Speaking to local publication, Bangkok Post, deputy Phuket airport chief Wichit Kaeothaithiam broke the news.
“People and tourists will not be allowed to enter this area to take photos,” he said, “The maximum penalty is the death sentence.”
Yup, not much wiggle room there I’d say. According to the article, he went on to claim that the intense penalty was purely about safety.
“The airport wants to boost tourism revenues, but at the same time, it must make sure there will not be any problem with aviation regulations … Tourism and safety must coexist.”
Again, all reasonable in theory, I’ve definitely said ‘omg why is that allowed’ basically every time I watch one of those videos. They’ve totally got me on board, right up until that ‘or face death’ part.
Side note, the death penalty is also on the table for flying a drone or pointing a light at the planes anywhere in a 9-km radius of the airport. So yeahhhh, maybe just don’t hey?