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The results are in for Thailand’s annual ‘beach star rating’ study by the Pollution Control Department. 13 beaches around Thailand have been awarded five-star ratings.

Not a single one of them is in Phuket, not even close.

According to the Pollution Control Department, this year’s beach evaluation was based on four important criteria. The Department studied water quality that included both solid waste and pollution in the sea; plastic and oil pollution and residue; coastal and beach trash management; condition of reefs and national park resources; environmental control, and tourism management.

This year, the Department has rated 13 beaches around Thailand as five-star. These include:

• Toei Ngam Beach in Sattahip (under the supervision of the Royal Thai Navy) Chon Buri

• Laem Sala Beach in Sam Roi Yot National Park, Prachuap Khiri Khan

• Ao Manao (under the supervision of the 5th Aviation Division), Prachuap Khiri Khan

• Ao Ka Beach, Sam Sao Beach and Tham Rang Beach in Mu Ko Ang Thong National Park, Surat Thani

• Thai Mueang Beach in Khao Lampi

• Hat Thai Mueang National Park

• Ao Kuek Beach in Mu Ko Similan National Park

• Mai Ngam Beach in Mo Ko Surin National Park, Phang-nga

• Laem Tanot Beach and Ko Rok Beach in Mu Ko Lanta National Park

• Bileh Beach in Than Bok Khorani National Park, Krabi

• Li Di Beach in Mu Ko Phetra National Park Satun

Most of the winning beaches are in Thailand’s National Parks that are closed off during the low season to allow for natural rejuvenation over six months of the year.

The Pollution Control Department launched its beach star rating in 2002. Bileh Beach in the Than Bok Khorani National Park, Krabi has been one of the top rated beaches every year.

SOURCE: The Nation

- Tanutam Thawan