Royal Thai Navy personnel stationed on Koh Pai island off the coast of Pattaya told 19 visiting naturists, who had arrived on Sunday 28 July for their regular monthly beach visit, that there was a new policy no longer to accept visitors being nude on the beach. Politely, but not willing to discuss the issue, they simply said:
"Sorry, new policy, no nudity from now on."
The 19 naturists accepted the sad fact, picked up their towels and packed up and left the island back to Pattaya. Meanwhile, a Russian party boat that recently started using the island for beach paties, approached the beach. The tour boat sends in loads of tourists in landing crafts and set up grill sets, tables, umbrellas and chairs on the beach. Maybe it was about time we got out of the way of their business anyway.
"We are seeking an explanation from the commander supervising the island," says Disraporn Yatprom of Naturist Association Thailand.
"We have been enjoying our monthly trip to this eco-tourist island for many years and we have always had a good relationship with the stationed navy staff. It has been our sanctuary, since the navy sets the rules for the island. We would like to know if there has been an incident that has caused this policy change - or if there actually has been policy chaange. It would also have been kind of the soldiers if at least they could have allowed us to stay the rest of the day this last time, since we had already arrived."
Naturist Association Thailand will also ask the navy, if it would be possible to use another island under their management for the regular month beach outing. Prior notice for each visit could be given, since the beach visit dates are fixed one year in advance as the last Sunday in every month.
While this dialogue is being arranged, the association has started to look for alternatives, private resort beaches north and south of Pattaya, possibly also along the Rayong coast, where an arrangement can be made for the members to sunbath clothesfree without offending other people.
A dialogue will also be opened with the Department of National Park, Wildlife and Plant Conservation to seek permission to establish a regular schedule for visiting waterfalls inside one of the national parks that are not normally visited by the public. A similar dialogue could be opened with Royal Forest Department of the Ministry of Agriculture.
Thousands of naturists from mainly Europe, Australia, USA and Canada have in recent years discovered Thailand as a top quality naturist destination and the growth in the sector is over 25 percent annually.