For many travelers, taking selfies is one of the most important elements of their trip. Snapping the perfect shot of your destination is one of the best ways to share with everyone back home and show off your surroundings. However, at one beach in Thailand, this is no longer an option. At the Mai Kho Beach in Phuket, selfies were recently outlawed. Not only that, but the punishment for doing so may lead tourists to get the death penalty. Definitely not worth the risk for a nice photo.
The reason that selfies were so popular in this area to begin with, is that the beach is right around the corner from the Phuket International Airport. Plus, it offers the perfect backdrop to see all the low-flying planes heading in for a landing. Thailand officials have decided to shut the beach down to tourists due to dangerous interference with the landing planes. Things like flashing lights, drone cameras, and excessive photo taking have proven to affect the pilots and cause a significant safety risk to the aircraft.
The government has created a new safety zone around the airport, extending 9 kilometers and covering the entirety of the Mai Kho Beach. Since this new law falls under Thailand’s Air Navigation Act, the punishment for violating it ranges from a large fine, up to 20 years in jail, and maybe even the death penalty, which is Thailand’s maximum penalty.
The law comes on the heels of many other countries’ new selfie and photo-taking regulations. With travel becoming more and more accessible, new issues have arisen from the amount of foot traffic and photos being taken at popular destinations around the world. These laws are all meant to keep everyone safe and avoid unnecessary deaths for both the photo takers and those around them.