Month: September 2008

  • Phuket NewsAmerican assault victim thinks she has found her attacker | Thaiger

    American assault victim thinks she has found her attacker

    RAWAI: One of two American women brutally assaulted by motorcycle-borne snatch bandits in recent months called the Gazette late this afternoon to say she is “100% certain” that the man who assaulted her was the same man arrested by Chalong Police early Sunday morning. For background on the case, see the two previous stories here and here: Sheila McCormick, who…

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  • Phuket NewsVeggiefest 2008 underway

    Veggiefest 2008 underway

    PHUKET CITY: Phuket Governor Niran Kalayanamit yesterday celebrated the first official day of the Phuket Vegetarian Festival like thousands of other Phuket residents, by dressing up in white and enjoying a meat-free meal at a local shrine, in this case the Jui Tui Shrine on Soi Phuton. Gov Niran intends to refrain from meat and observe other rituals throughout the…

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  • Phuket NewsAre you ready to Walk & Run? | Thaiger

    Are you ready to Walk & Run?

    PATONG: The local office of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) and the Phuket Walk & Run Association will hold the 2008 Phuket Walk & Run in Patong on October 12. The event is being held for fun and to promote Phuket as a sports tourism destination, said Nongnit Tengmaneewan of the Phuket TAT office. There will be three races:…

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  • Phuket NewsChalong cops nab snatch-and-run bandit

    Chalong cops nab snatch-and-run bandit

    KATA: With the wave of snatch-and-run robberies in Chalong Police District making national television news in recent days, police there have been under intense pressure to put the guilty behind bars. Their first break came early yesterday morning with the arrest of a construction worker whose crime spree came to an abrupt halt at about 4 am when he crashed…

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  • Phuket NewsMuggings in Rawai continue | Thaiger

    Muggings in Rawai continue

    RAWAI: A year after the still-unsolved murder of Norwegian Simen Knudsen, violent robberies against foreigners on motorcycles continue in Rawai – with the the perpetrators now carrying out attacks in populated areas during broad daylight.The latest victim is 38-year-old Sandra Ullrich, who suffered two fractures to the back of her skull when a pair of Thai men on a motorcycle…

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  • Phuket NewsPAD vows no further disruptions to Phuket tourism | Thaiger

    PAD vows no further disruptions to Phuket tourism

    PHUKET: Although there were attempts at Suratthani Airport to disrupt Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat’s visit to Nakhon Si Thammarat yesterday, Phuket International Airport (PIA) will not be closed again. The Director of PIA, Wing Commander Wicha Nernlop, said that Phuket’s airport security has been increased and that no protesters are expected to disrupt operations there again. Phuket’s airport was shut…

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  • Phuket NewsRenowned awards see Bangkok best for leisure | Thaiger

    Renowned awards see Bangkok best for leisure

    LONDON: Bangkok has been named “Best Leisure Destination” in the Asia-Pacific Region, and Phuket came in second best in the rankings by readers of Business Traveller Asia Pacific magazine in its Annual Travel Awards 2008. Bangkok’s Ascott Sathorn and Fraser Place Langsuan were voted first and third, respectively, in the category of “Best Serviced Residence” in Asia-Pacific, while Novotel at…

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  • Phuket NewsNorwegian passes away in Rawai | Thaiger

    Norwegian passes away in Rawai

    RAWAI: A Norwegian expatriate resident of Phuket was found dead in the kitchen of his home Tuesday evening from what appeared to be natural causes. Chalong Police Duty Officer Lt Col Chana Suthimas identified the deceased as 51-year-old Terje Eilert Myking, who lived in Soi Samakkee 4 in Rawai. “We didn’t find any evidence at the scene to suggest murder,…

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  • Phuket NewsUnlicensed foreigners in 60% of Patong motorbike accidents

    Unlicensed foreigners in 60% of Patong motorbike accidents

    PATONG (TNA, Gazette): The poorly-regulated “motorbike for hire” industry in Patong has contributed to an alarming number of motorcycle accidents in Kathu district, where more than half of the 500 accidents reported to Kathu Police involved unlicensed foreign motorcyclists, the government’s Thai News Agency (TNA) has reported. With many motorcycle rental shops in Patong, foreign tourists and expats can easily…

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  • Phuket NewsKamala hillside projects halted; others under investigation | Thaiger

    Kamala hillside projects halted; others under investigation

    KAMALA: A special adviser to the Minister for Natural Resources and Environment (MNRE) on September 16 toured several sites in Kamala to inspect reports of encroachment and other building violations on projects there, as well as work on two hillside projects in the area that had already been ordered halted pending further investigation. Maj Gen Intarat Yodbangtoey toured the sites…

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  • Phuket NewsCourt denies bail for motorcycle taxi driver | Thaiger

    Court denies bail for motorcycle taxi driver

    PHUKET CITY: Chainart Yuyen, the Patong motorcycle taxi driver arrested for the September 13 shooting murder of another motorcycle taxi driver from a rival queue, has been denied bail by the Phuket Provincial Court. Accompanied by relatives, Chainart, 31, turned himself over to police on September 15. He has allegedly confessed to the murder of 31-year-old Pornchai “Ko-Cherd” Suwannakin, who…

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  • Phuket NewsAmerican drowns off Karon Beach | Thaiger

    American drowns off Karon Beach

    KARON: Despite relatively calm conditions at the time, an American man drowned at Karon Beach Wednesday afternoon.Chalong Police Duty Officer Sanguan Muangtham identified the deceased as 54-year-old Michael Stephen Jones, holder of an American passport. At around 4:30 pm on Wednesday, tourists and members of the Phuket Provincial Administration Organization (OrBorJor) Beach Guard noticed Mr Jones was in trouble about 20…

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  • Phuket NewsMasseuse fire attacker out of prison

    Masseuse fire attacker out of prison

    PATONG: The man who set alight a beach masseuse at Loma Park last year returned to the scene of his crime yesterday morning, where he was immediately assaulted by the victim’s father and brother. The attack was quickly stopped by Kathu Police, who released the pair after fining them 500 baht each. Few Gazette readers will forget the horrific tale…

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  • Phuket NewsTwo injured at Patong construction site

    Two injured at Patong construction site

    PATONG: Two construction workers were lucky to escape with their lives when the floor of a building they were working on suddenly collapsed on the afternoon of September 18. Kathu Police Duty Officer Patak Khwunna, who was informed of the accident at about 12:20 pm, rushed to the scene with Kusoldharm Foundation rescue workers. The site of the floor collapse…

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  • Phuket NewsPhuket’s “Android Humanoid’ shuts down

    Phuket’s “Android Humanoid’ shuts down

    PHUKET CITY: Phuket lost one of its local characters on Friday when Andrew Newman passed away in Bangkok Hospital Phuket, aged 57, presumably of a heart attack. Andrew, a well-loved member of the local sailing community, was responsible for several local websites as he was first and foremost a computer programmer known as “Android Humanoid”. This self-penned nickname came from…

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  • Phuket NewsPhuket divers unite for underwater cleanup

    Phuket divers unite for underwater cleanup

    PHUKET: Several boatloads carrying teams of experienced divers visited local reefs over the weekend, taking part in the International Coastal Cleanup Day 2008 activities organized by the UN-affiliated Green Fins Thailand initiative. Off Koh Maiton, about 10 kilometers southeast of Cape Panwa, some 30 divers led by Sea Bees Diving tour operator Stefan Hinterberger descended on an open-water dive site…

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  • Phuket NewsPatong Hospital creaking under workload | Thaiger

    Patong Hospital creaking under workload

    PATONG (The Nation): Medical workers, including the director at Patong Hospital in Phuket, have quit the Public Health Ministry due to the enormous workload in the area, the hospital’s director, Dr Taveesak Netwongse, said. As Phuket attracts many tourists, Patong Hospital was forced to expand from a 10-bed hospital to a 60-bed one to treat the increasing number of locals…

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  • Phuket NewsMan executed in Thalang forest | Thaiger

    Man executed in Thalang forest

    THEPKRASATTRI: Thalang Police are investigating the murder of a man found dead from a single gunshot wound to the back of the head in a remote part of Bang Khanoon Forest in Village 5 on Wednesday afternoon. Thalang Police Duty Inspector Anukul Nuket identified the victim as Lor Ramphang, a 45-year-old resident of Thepkrasattri Village 1. Local residents discovered the…

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  • Thailand NewsMorning of the living dead

    Morning of the living dead

    NAKHON RATCHASIMA: Anyone calling in to Wat Pa Satharuam on August 22 could be forgiven for thinking they’d stumbled upon the aftermath of a natural disaster, seeing row after row of coffins lined up on the the temple grounds.Anyone waiting a little longer, however, would get even more of a shock when, after watching the death rites, the occupants of…

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  • Phuket NewsCanadian warship ports in Phuket | Thaiger

    Canadian warship ports in Phuket

    CAPE PANWA: The HMCS Calgary arrived in Phuket yesterday from Oman, where its mission was to boost security against pirates, Vuti Jitratkosol, ordinary consul to Phuket for the Canadian Embassy in Bangkok, told the Gazette today. Although the advanced warship’s crew of 230 sailors were called back to the ship yesterday, the seamen were allowed to resume their RnR (rest…

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  • Phuket NewsZebra shark dies; grim prospects for sea turtle

    Zebra shark dies; grim prospects for sea turtle

    CAPE PANWA: Despite efforts by fishermen and marine biologists to save the life of a 1.8-meter zebra shark found off Sapan Hin on Monday, the fish died on Tuesday. An examination carried out at Phuket Marine Biological Center (PMBC) failed to determine the exact cause of death. “The animal’s abdomen was swollen and discolored. We thought it might have been…

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  • Phuket NewsPatong motorbike taxi killer in court today | Thaiger

    Patong motorbike taxi killer in court today

    PATONG: Low-season desperation for passengers took a deadly turn Saturday night, when a motorcycle taxi driver gunned down a rival from a competing queue in Patong. The alleged killer, who turned himself in the following day, was no stranger to being handcuffed: he was out on bail for the May 19 shooting murder of another man inside a 7-Eleven store…

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  • Phuket NewsHeartbroken man takes own life with pesticide | Thaiger

    Heartbroken man takes own life with pesticide

    PHUKET CITY: In what appears to be yet another case of suicide, the decomposing corpse of a Thai-American man was on Sunday found in a small apartment on Phang Nga Rd, where he took his own life by drinking insecticide. Phuket City Police Investigations Inspector Pitakpol Sompong identified the deceased as 60-year-old Narong Yingyongrattana, who was born in Thailand but…

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  • Phuket NewsTwo men found hanged; one in a police cell | Thaiger

    Two men found hanged; one in a police cell

    PHUKET: Two men were found hanged in separate incidents on Saturday, one while in police custody after he was caught for robbing a German neighbor. Tung Tong Police Superintendent Arayapan Pukbuakhao identified one of the deceased as 26-year-old Anurak Prohmwiharn, unemployed and listed as living in Soi Namtok, which leads to the Kathu Waterfall. Mr Anurak’s death was initially reported…

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  • Phuket NewsNok Air suspends Phuket flights | Thaiger

    Nok Air suspends Phuket flights

    PHUKET: In further bad news for the island’s immediate tourism prospects, the Gazette has confirmed that low-cost carrier Nok Air has suspended its remaining flights to Phuket, most likely for the rest of the low season. In an email reply received by the Gazette this morning, Nok Air’s Chief Executive Officer wrote, “Yes, we have suspended flights to Phuket for…

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  • Phuket NewsApirak angry, avers arrest over Aussie attack

    Apirak angry, avers arrest over Aussie attack

    PHUKET CITY: Phuket Provincial Police Commander Apirak Hongthong has stepped in to personally oversee the investigation into the brutal stabbing attack of an Australian expat and his Thai girlfriend in their home in Rawai before dawn on Wednesday (click here for our original report). Maj Gen Apirak told the Gazette today that he was so unhappy with the Chalong Police…

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  • Phuket NewsPatong steps up surf safety | Thaiger

    Patong steps up surf safety

    PATONG: Strong waves creating dangerous swimming conditions in Patong have prompted officers from Patong Municipality to volunteer to keep watch along Patong Beach for tourists who may get into difficulty in the heavy surf. The move follows a weather warning issued yesterday by the Meteorological Department urging people in risk areas along the Andaman Coast to beware of flash-flooding and…

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  • Phuket News“State of Emergency’ order must go: Weerasak | Thaiger

    “State of Emergency’ order must go: Weerasak

    PHUKET: Tourism and Sports Minister Weerasak Kowsurat arrived in Phuket on Wednesday with New Zealand Ambassador to Thailand Brook Barrington and an entourage of foreign media in a bid to restore tourist confidence in Phuket after a People’s Alliance for Demorcacy (PAD) protest forced the closure of Phuket International Airport (PIA). Mr Weerasak’s visit followed his call on Tuesday for…

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  • Phuket NewsOne-Two-Go grounded until October | Thaiger

    One-Two-Go grounded until October

    PHUKET: Controversial low-cost carrier One-Two-Go will remain grounded until at least October, but its owner is certain the airline will eventually resume services. Udom Tantiprasongchai, founder and chairman of One-Two-Go, told the Gazette this week he was confident the airline will resume its Phuket service. “We have done everything we have to do. It is now up to us to…

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  • Phuket NewsChalong Circle: Going, going, gone”¦

    Chalong Circle: Going, going, gone”¦

    PHUKET CITY: Instead of removing and preserving the fountain that has been the centerpiece of Chalong Circle for years, workers today demolished the landmark that local residents had affectionately nicknamed “the birdbath”. The decision follows years of complaints of traffic jams at the critical southern junction. However, progress on the decision whether or not to remove the roundabout stalled as…

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  • Phuket NewsThai-Aussie couple survives fight with knife-wielding intruder | Thaiger

    Thai-Aussie couple survives fight with knife-wielding intruder

    RAWAI: An Australian and his Thai girlfriend are both recovering from surgery at Bangkok Hospital Phuket after being attacked by a knife-wielding cat burglar in their home in Rawai early yesterday morning. The Swiss-born Australian, a retired teacher who asked that his name and address not be published, said he and his girlfriend underwent surgery yesterday and were “slowly on…

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  • Phuket NewsWet, wet, wet | Thaiger

    Wet, wet, wet

    PHUKET: Residents hoping for some sun to dry out the laundry might have to wait longer, as the Meteorological Department (MET) has issued a warning that Phuket and the other five Andaman Coast provinces remain at risk of heavy rains and flooding for the next two to three days. All ships should proceed with caution during this period, the weather warning…

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  • Phuket NewsCMI finally paid for Coral Reef Squadron transport | Thaiger

    CMI finally paid for Coral Reef Squadron transport

    PHUKET CITY: Following threats of a lawsuit, the company that transported 10 decommissioned military aircraft from Lopburi to Phuket in April finally received 2.4 million baht in payment for its work in the Coral Reef Squadron artificial reef project.Chuchard Santikanant, Managing Director of Cargo Marketing International Co Ltd (CMI), yesterday confirmed to the Gazette, by email, that he had received…

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  • Phuket NewsTsunami warning does not include Thailand | Thaiger

    Tsunami warning does not include Thailand

    THAILAND: The Thai Meteorological Department, which runs the National Disaster Warning Center in Nonthaburi, has not issued a tsunami warning – or even a preliminary tsunami warning (advising that a tsunami may strike Thailand) – on its website following major earthquakes in Indonesia and Japan this morning. The US Geological Survey (USGS) Department on its website reports that the earthquake…

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  • Phuket NewsMemorial service for One-Two-Go victims | Thaiger

    Memorial service for One-Two-Go victims

    MAI KHAO: To mark the one-year anniversary of the One-Two-Go flight OG 269 tragedy and to honor its victims, there will be a memorial service on Mai Khao Beach, near the end of the runway, at 3 pm on Tuesday, September 16. Some spirit houses have already been installed at the service site, and Christy Sweet will be putting one…

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  • Phuket NewsSamak’s out, but PAD protests to continue in Phuket

    Samak’s out, but PAD protests to continue in Phuket

    PHUKET CITY: Despite the Constitution Court today ordering Samak Sundaravej to resign his post as prime minister, the People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD) in Phuket will continue to protest at Saphan Hin to add pressure on the coalition government to step down.PAD Phuket leader Natjarong Ekpermsup told the Gazette, “The PAD will not leave Saphan Hin. Although Samak and his…

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  • Phuket NewsPM Samak forced to step down | Thaiger

    PM Samak forced to step down

    Bangkok (The Nation): Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej has lost his post and his cabinet will function as a caretaker cabinet following this afternoon’s Constitution Court verdict that the PM is guilty of violating the nation’s charter. Six judges considered Samak to be the “employee” while three others considered him a “business partner” of a TV studio, a constitutional offence in…

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