Surat Thani bans beach parties on two popular islands

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SURAT THANI, Oct 27 – Authorities here have banned all beach parties, except the iconic full moon party, on Ko Phangan and Ko Tao in the Gulf of Thailand in order to prevent crimes, according to an urgent letter sent to the Ko Phangan district officer. 

Issued by Surat Thani Governor Chatpong Chatphut, the letter said all beach parties including the Black Moon Party, the Half Moon Party and all beach party-related activities except the Full Moon Party normally held monthly, must not takew place on the two islands.

The order was issued following the murder of British tourists Hannah Victoria Witheridge, 23, and David William Miller, 24.

Their bodies were found on a beach of Ko Tao early on September 15. Both were brutally murdered while Miss Witheridge was also raped.

To date, two suspected Myanmar migrant workers have been apprehended. Police are gathering more evidence and plan to send them for a court trial later.

Upon learning of the order banning party activities on the two islands, Wannee Thaipanich, president of Ko Phangan Tourism Association, said the order is considered positive as it could help prevent crimes in tourist destinations.

Ms Wannee, however, said tourism would be slightly affected but it would be positive for people living on Ko Phangan.

If criminal activities are seriously tackled by authorities, the image of Ko Phangan and Ko Tao would definitely improve in future, she added.