THE STAR – The Royal Thai Navy has removed a sign banning bikinis on Chon Buri’s Samae San Island after it caused a backlash on social media. However, the bikini ban appears to still be in place.
A new sign would be erected to create a “better understanding among visitors”, Navy spokesman Vice Admiral Pokkrong Monthatphalin said on Friday.
He insisted that there was no dress code for tourists visiting the island but said the Navy asked for their cooperation in dressing “properly” according to “Thai tradition”.
“Please avoid wearing bikinis, for the sake of orderliness and respect for Thai culture and tradition,” he said. The spokesman added that Samae San, which lies 18 kilometres off the Chon Buri coast, is an eco-tourism destination.
Visitors are not allowed to stay overnight and must follow rules similar to those in other natural tourist sites, including no loud noise.
Samae San came under the spotlight after photos of the sign reading “No bikini. Please respect our culture” went viral on social media.
The island is mostly undeveloped, with no construction other than a small military building. Tourists visit for snorkelling, cycling and trekking.