AS well as the beaches, night life and shopping, a selfie under low-flying aircraft on Mai Khao beach has become one of the drawcards of a trip to Thailand’s largest island of Phuket for selfie-mad tourists.
Thousands of beachgoers – most recently convicted drug smuggler Schapelle Corby and her boyfriend Ben Panangian – have posted images of themselves on Mai Khao as planes approach Phuket International Airport, which is located right beside the hot spot on the island’s north-western coast.
However Thai authorities claim the selfies are dangerous for tourists and distracting for pilots and have warned travellers will now face harsh penalties for posing for close-up plane pictures.
Deputy Phuket airport chief Wichit Kaeothaithiam told the Bangkok Post that authorities were setting up a new safety zone near the airport which would take effect soon.
“People and tourists will not be allowed to enter this area to take photos,” said Mr Kaeothaithiam, according to the publication.
Mr Kaeothaithiam said those who violated the warning could face harsh punishments under the Air Navigation Act.
"The maximum penalty is the death sentence," he told the outlet.
“The airport wants to boost tourism revenues, but at the same time, it must make sure there will not be any problem with aviation regulations.
"Tourism and safety must coexist.”