Holidaymakers on Phu Quoc, a popular tourist island off the southern Vietnamese province of Kien Giang, were stunned to read a sign erected in front of a local restaurant telling them that they were not allowed to lie on the beach.
According to a photo posted to Facebook on Sunday, the bizarre sign is written in both Vietnamese and English, reading “Don’t lie on the sand, only beach chair for rent. 60.000 VND/1 person/1 times (sic).”
The price is equal to approximately US$2.5.
The tourist who posted the photo on his Facebook page said the sign was erected at the Bai Sao beach in An Thoi Town on the island.
The sign sparked outrage amongst social media users, with many pointing out how unreasonable it was to ban beach-goers from lying on the sand.
One Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper correspondent arrived at the scene on Sunday to witness Tran Van Hue, head of the local neighborhood and a police officer, removing the controversial sign.
Hue said he was taking his noon break when he saw the photo on Facebook. “I immediately briefed the An Thoi Town chairman of the situation and was directed to come here and remove the sign right away,” he told Tuoi Tre.
|Tran Van Hue is pictured with the sign before removing it.|
Hue said the beach where tourists are ‘banned’ from lying on the sand is under the management of a major company, which has leased the area to another business.
“I have contacted the restaurant manager but failed to meet anyone,” he said.
“For now we will take the sign away and will decide upon further sanctions for the one who put it up.
“We cannot let these things ruin the reputation of local tourism.”
Many restaurants along Bai Sao offer umbrellas and beach chairs to tourists for hire so they can take a rest and watch the ocean.
“The sign may have been put up as many beach-goers just lie down whenever they want instead of leasing chairs from the restaurant,” one tourist named Tran Van An told Tuoi Tre.
“But it’s absurd to place a ‘lying ban’ there as the beach is for public use.”