Natthapong Seedam, 31, a native of tambon Wichit in Muang district, informed local police after finding the body at about 1.30pm.
Police found the body of a woman, about 164 centimetres tall, lying face down in the water among rocks about one kilometre from the entrance of the Ao Yon waterfall in tambon Wichit. Her body was covered with a black sheet. Her feet emerged above the water.
She wore a pink T-shirt, a jacket and a necklace with a silver-like coin. Police estimated she had died at least three days ago. They also found what appeared to be her passport and name card.
Near the body, police spotted jean shorts and a pantie. Black Nike trainers and a mobile phone were dropped nearby.
Police said the woman had arrived at Phuket airport on July 13 under the Phuket Sandbox reopening scheme, which began on July 1. The project was the government’s bid to revive tourism, the lifeline of the southern island province’s economy.
An immigration police source said the woman had arrived alone from Singapore and stayed at Dusit Thani Laguna Hotel from July 13 to 27 before moving to The Mooring Resort Hotel. A witness saw her walking out of the hotel towards a beach at about 2pm on Tuesday.
She had visited Phuket in 2019 and later left Chiang Mai province for Singapore.