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Urs Fehr’s Beachfront Misunderstanding in Phuket: A Lesson in Public Spaces and Apologies

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Imagine the tranquility of a beachfront villa in Phuket, Thailand, a paradise where azure waters meet pristine sands and life seems to slow down just enough for you to catch your breath. This is where we find Swiss national Urs Fehr and his wife Khanuengnit, whose life took a dramatic turn following an incident that not only caused a stir in their quiet beachside community but also catapulted them into the limelight for all the wrong reasons.

On a peculiar day, the peace of their idyllic living was shattered when they encountered two individuals sitting on steps near their villa – steps they believed belonged to their property. What followed was an unfortunate series of events, fueled by a misunderstanding, that would see Urs Fehr mistakenly kick one of the sitters, thinking she was trespassing. The twist? The trespassers were actually enjoying a serene moment under the full moon, and the steps? They weren’t on the couple’s property but encroached onto public beach land, a fact later confirmed by the authorities.

Fast forward to a busy meeting room filled with officials, police, and a buzzing crowd of reporters and curious onlookers at the Phuket provincial hall. The couple, under a cloud of virally fueled criticism and a video that left little to the imagination, sought to clear the air. They recounted the incident of that fateful night on February 24th, against a backdrop of an earlier trespassing inconvenience that had left them wary of unexpected guests.

Khanuengnit, with an air of regret, spoke of a previous unsettling encounter with tourists who had rudely intruded upon their sanctuary, heightening their sense of security. On the night in question, Urs, spurred by the fear of a reoccurrence, sprinted towards what he perceived to be intruders, only to slip and fall, an act that was meant to be a protective, albeit misguided, attempt to safeguard their home.

The meeting, attended by the likes of Phuket deputy governor Adul Chuthong and provincial police chief Pol Maj Gen Sinlert Sukhum, turned into a dramatic unfolding of events. The couple accepted full responsibility, with Urs earnestly apologizing, stressing his lack of harmful intent towards Dr. Thandao Chandam, the unexpected centerpiece of this debacle, who had merely sought a quiet spot to admire the full moon’s beauty after dinner.

Dr. Thandao’s experience, however, was anything but peaceful. An assault complaint she filed painted a picture of a night marred by fear, confusion, and threats, underscoring the stark difference between the evening she had envisioned and the reality she faced.

As the dust settled and the steps were ordered demolished, a wave of realization swept over the involved parties – a realization about the importance of communication, understanding, and the need to coexist peacefully within our shared spaces. While the incident may have ended with bulldozed stairs, it opened up a pathway to rebuild bridges between neighbors, authorities, and the community at large, all under the watchful gaze of the Phuket moon.

In the end, life in the villa by the beach goes on, but with a newfound awareness and a tale that, while marred by misunderstanding and missteps, serves as a poignant reminder of the delicate balance between privacy and public space, the complexities of cultural interactions, and the unforeseen adventures that await us just outside our doorstep.


  1. Jenny_W March 1, 2024

    Honestly, I think Urs Fehr’s reaction was completely justified. In today’s world, you can never be too safe. His property, his rules.

    • GlobalMind March 1, 2024

      Jenny, I have to disagree. Just because you’re scared doesn’t give you the right to attack someone, especially when they’re on public land. Misunderstanding or not, violence isn’t the answer.

      • Jenny_W March 1, 2024

        I see your point, but imagine if it were your home? Wouldn’t you want to protect it at all costs? The way I see it, Urs was trying to do just that, albeit in a flawed manner.

        • Frank Murrey March 1, 2024

          Jenny, Have you seen the video clip that Urs Fehr was scolding to the poor girls “get the fuck of” while there were 2 young women sat on the step “in her back”!!!! He was protecting what? What was the prominent danger ???? more over this is a renting villa !!!! It is not your own property!!! Protecting what??? This is raciest !! This is hate crime! To be honest I think you and your husband should be in Jail!!! There is only one woman in this world who try to protect this stupid dude and you know so well who that is?

        • Peter March 2, 2024

          Absurd. If you are this scared of people — two women sitting on the steps on a beach — then you have problems. This is not a complex situation — the guy assaulted a woman. It’s a crime.

      • PeaceMaker88 March 1, 2024

        There’s a difference between protecting your home and being aggressive towards people who aren’t even on your property. Communication first, always.

    • WatcherOnTheWall March 1, 2024

      It’s all about boundaries. If someone was near my home, I’d probably act out of fear too. But, learning from this, it’s clear: know your property lines.

      • LawLover March 1, 2024

        Knowing your property lines is Property Ownership 101. This could have been easily avoided with a little bit of knowledge and a calmer approach.

    • SarcasticSam March 2, 2024

      Imagine feeling justified assaulting someone in public outside your home just because you feel scared. The doctor and her friend appeared to be peacefully observing the moonlight when they were attacked. If you feel frightened by that scene, I suggest you call the police and not resort to assaulting them.

  2. TravellerJoe March 1, 2024

    This is why I’m always cautious when traveling. You never know when cultural misunderstandings might lead to conflict. Always respect local customs and land rights.

  3. CultureVulture March 1, 2024

    I can’t believe they had the steps demolished. Isn’t there a better way to solve property disputes without destroying something that could be used by everyone?

  4. TimH March 1, 2024

    Apologies are fine, but actions speak louder than words. I wonder what reparative actions were taken beside the demolition of the steps.

  5. SerenityNow March 1, 2024

    I’m just here for the comments, but gotta say – people need to chill out. It’s a misunderstanding that got out of hand. Let’s learn and move on.

    • Murray March 3, 2024

      Uhh…move on and ignore a man beating a woman? Wow…where are you from that allows men to assault a woman?

  6. LegalEagle March 1, 2024

    The legal implications of this are fascinating. From trespassing to assault, public land use… it’s a complex situation. Would love to know more about Thai property law in this context.

    • LearnerOfTheLaw March 1, 2024

      From what I understand, Thailand has very specific laws about land use and property. This incident highlights the importance of being informed, especially in a foreign country.

      • LegalEagle March 1, 2024

        Absolutely. It’s crucial for expats to familiarize themselves with local laws to avoid these kinds of situations. Ignorance isn’t a valid defense in the eyes of the law.

  7. BeachLover123 March 1, 2024

    As someone who loves the serenity of a beach, this whole situation just saddens me. Beaches are for everyone to enjoy. Let’s not spoil them with our conflicts.

  8. Nomad March 1, 2024

    Makes you think twice about buying property in a foreign country. You might think you understand all the laws and customs, but there’s always something that can catch you off guard.

    • DreamChaser March 1, 2024

      True, but living in a new country is all about adapting and learning. Mistakes happen, it’s how we respond and learn from them that counts.

    • SarcasticSam March 2, 2024

      Ah yes. We couldn’t have possibly fathom foreign countries have obscure laws against assault. Should really be careful before going out. What other crazy laws would these people come up with next?

  9. FullMoonGazer March 1, 2024

    Dr. Thandao just wanted a peaceful moment under the moon, and it turned into a nightmare. I feel for her. We need more empathy and less knee-jerk reactions in this world.

  10. MindfulTraveler March 1, 2024

    It’s stories like these that remind me the world is so complex. Different beliefs, laws, and a simple misunderstanding can lead to life-changing moments. Always tread lightly and respectfully.

  11. Peter March 2, 2024

    Commenters here are being WAY to generous to this utter a-hole. Talking about your “property” and being “scared.” This man is an a-hole. Period. The women were sitting on the beach and were assaulted by this jerk. Then his wife played the “I know a cop” card to scare the women more. This is not a confusing situation.

    As a farang I am sick and tired of a-hole farangs in Thailand. You come here as a guest — stop acting like you own the f-ing country regardless of what your deed says. Have some humility and common decency. Or LEAVE.

    • Peter March 4, 2024

      This guy was blocking an ambulance late last year, threatening the driver by forming a gun with his hand and showing him the middle finger. What a great character and personality!

  12. Peter March 2, 2024

    If you come here as a foreigner / guest and cannot behave yourself you should leave. Simple. Most farangs understand this, but many are under the illusion they can behave like jerks and mai pben rai.

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