Trang pier poses problems
TRANG, 22 March 2012: A pier used by tourism operators to transfer clients to Trang’s famous islands is in bad shape and requires urgent repairs.
Pak Meng pier in Trang province needs urgent repairs, or a replacement, but officials admit nothing is being done as it is located in a national park area.
Trang Tourism Association president, Prateep Jongthong, said that there are just too many tourists heading for the islands and Pak Meng pier is inconvenient and poses problems for tour operators.
His comments reflect the downsides of developing tourism beyond sustainable levels particularly when transport facilities are located in national parks.
Pak Meng pier is the most convenient point to depart to Mook, Kradan, Chuek, Ma and Waen islands, but there have been recommendations to move tourist boats to another pier that opened last year.
The islands are famous for scuba diving and fishing.
Trang Chamber of Commerce president, Salil Totabtiang, wants the route changed to Tung klong Son pier, which is a new pier owned by Trang Provincial Administration that opened last year.
However, Tung Klong Son pier still lacks back-up facilities such as electricity and water supply. Very few boats depart from Tung Klong Son pier, despite the administration’s investment in the project.
Checking the reports, TTR Weekly found that Pak Meng Pier remains open and has a brisk trade in boats heading for the islands, but comments by the trade confirmed the pier is dilapidated and in need of serious repairs to bring it up to standard and safe for tourists.
The pier is the closest landing spot for ferry boats serving the islands.
Boats serving the island are chartered at Bt1,000 to Bt1,500 per trip for long-tail boats and around Bt7,000 to Bt8,000 per trip for speed boats. There are no boat services sold by seat.
Earlier this week, Trang province said it would ask for a Bt4.2 billion budget for infrastructure developments mainly in transport and tours. One of the listed projects in the budget plan is the renovation of Pak Meng pier.