Prachuap Khiri Khan’s popular Ao Manao Beach reopens July 1 with its air force stewards imposing capacity limits to prevent overcrowding during the coronavirus pandemic.
Royal Thai Air Force Wing 5, which owns the beach located on its base, said visitors will be limited to 1,700 people – 1,200 on the sand and 500 at its hotel.
Visitors will only be able to access the beach through the north entrance near the sunbeds and tables, allowing officials to regulate traffic. Opening hours will be 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The air force also is instituting other social-distancing rules, such as reducing the number of lounge chairs and tables available, requiring check-in via the Thai Chana app and checking temperatures.
As its protected and maintained by the military, Ao Manao is considered one of Thailand’s best beaches. Stetching along Ao Manao Bay and offering beautiful scenery featuring striking limestone rocks, the shoreline is lined with trees and devoid of beach vendors.
Ao Manao also offers numerous facilities including toilets and showers, two food centers, bars, restaurants, souvenir shops plus horseback riding, archery and quad biking. There’s even a small farm that is home of a family of goats and ostriches.
The beach is exceedingly popular with Thais from Bangkok and has drawn about 8,000 people for festivals. With the upcoming four-day weekend, air force officails stress that visitor numbers will be strictly regulated and gates closed once the sand reaches the 1,200-person limit.