No Selfies Allowed! Tourists at This Phuket Beach May Face Death Penalty for Taking Photos

You may want to leave your camera at home if you're planning a visit to Mai Khao beach in Phuket

Portrait beautiful woman on the beach, Landing aircraft above the beach at Phuket Airport. Mai Khao beach
Photo: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Sometimes getting the perfect selfie just isn’t worth the cost.

In an effort to increase the safety at Thailand’s Phuket International Airport, tourists at Mai Kho beach could face some seriously strict punishments — including the death penalty — for taking selfies in front of the popular low flying planes.

In recent years, the beach has become known as “Unseen Phuket,” serving as a backdrop for countless tourist selfies and photos because of the novelty of incoming planes than can frequently be seen flying very low over the beach while en route to the runway, reported

According to the Bangkok Post, authorities are concerned about the potential safety risks the photo takers pose to the pilots and aircrafts, and are developing a new safety zone near the runway.

“People and tourists will not be allowed to enter this area to take photos,” deputy Phuket airport chief Wichit Kaeothaithiam said on Thursday, according to the outlet.

The airport official went on to issue an additional warning to anybody living or staying within 9 kilometers of the airport, urging them against flying drones or shining lights at the incoming planes, according to the Chiang Rai Times.

Those who violate these rules, which are established under the Air Navigation Act, could face the country’s maximum punishment.

“The maximum penalty is the death sentence,” he shared.

Less severe punishments include a fine of up to 40,000 baht (about $1,253) or a jail sentence of up to 20 years, according to U.K. outlet The Sun.

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Although the punishment may seem extreme, there’s no denying that taking the perfect selfie can be incredibly dangerous.

According to a study from the Journal of Family Medicine and Primary Care, 259 people across the world have died since 2011 while taking selfies.

Researchers found that the majority of victims were under the age of 30, and that 72 percent were men.

Noting that women tend to take more selfies than men, the study went on to note that men were more inclined to go for risky shots.

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