Thailand is knownall over the world for its beautiful beaches and warm temperature. Every year, millions of tourists flock to the islands to spend a few days by the beach and enjoy water activities like swimming, scuba diving, snorkelling and sailing. There is never a dearth for accommodations because Thailand offers beach villas in Koh Tao and 5-star hotels in Bangkok and other islands.
However, in spite of the beauty of beaches, people forget their responsibilities to protect the natural environment. Natural resources are under heavy pressure from the piles of garbage and cigarette butts that threaten local marine life. Since it is academic that the mounting beach and ocean pollution will be blamed on humans, authorities started to enforce a smoking ban on 24 beaches in 15 provinces.
The smoking ban covers beaches located in Hua Hin, Phuket, Koh Tao and KohSamui in the Gulf of Thailand. These are the islands that attract the most number of international tourists. These areas will start the pilot programme that will be rolled out to ban smoking. The smoking ban carries a maximum punishment of 1 year imprisonment and/or a fine of up to 100,000 Baht. However, there is a 90-day grace period wherein penalties will not be meted out to violators.
Koh Tao is a popular destination for scuba divers who are in search for the elusive whale sharks. There are beach villas in Koh Tao Thailand for luxury travellers who prefer less crowded beaches. Chalok Ban Kao, the third longest beach in Koh Tao is included in the pilot programme as well as BorPud beach in KohSamui.
In order to eliminate the cigarette butts that pollute beaches, hotels were asked to remove the ashtrays placed on deck chairs. The law also prohibits people from throwing their trash and untreated water on the beaches.
Koh Tao is becoming a popular alternative for tourists who prefer peaceful and less crowded beaches. There are a number of beach villas in Koh Tao Thailand that allow guests to relax and watch the clouds pass by. Those who want to experience adventure can scuba dive, snorkel, climb the rocks or hike on the mountain trails.