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Chinese New Year celebrations stark reminder of Covid’s impact on Phuket

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Chinese New Year celebrations stark reminder of Covid’s impact on Phuket | The Thaiger

The hope of Phuket reviving tourism for the Chinese New Year is dimming with each passing hour today as streets remain quiet with only locals visiting the area’s Chinese shrines in a stark reminder of the Covid pandemic having lasting effects on Thailand. Even decorations seem to be less vibrant than previous years as Thai-Chinese placed minimal decor outside their homes in the Phuket Old Town area.

Thalang and Phang Nga roads signify the decline in festivities according to the Phuket office of the Public Relations Department. Pud Cho Shrine on Soi Phuthon, off Ranong Road has also seen less visitors turning out to take part in the annual blessing ceremonies that include making merit. Of those that did show up, the color red, an auspicious color for the Chinese, didn’t seem to make it into their wardrobe choices.

When asked about why they wore other colours, visitors responded to PR Phuket by saying that financial reasons were the main driver in choosing to not buy new, red Chinese New Year clothing. And, when asked about the somewhat thin gathering of visitors, their responses pointed to financial troubles again, saying they could not afford to travel home to celebrate the holiday with their families.

“Most of them have only a small ritual, and give red envelopes [ang pao] to the children in the family.”

Despite the dwindling numbers of those celebrating the holiday, PR Phuket is reminding its residents that they are invited to join the Annual Worship Festival 2021 as part of the Chinese New Year celebrations. The event at the Phuket Thai Hua Museum on Krabi Rd, Phuket Town, will be held on Friday, February 19, from 10:30pm.

Those who are interested in attending the event can contact the Tourism Development and Promotion Division at Phuket City Municipality at 076-214306.

SOURCE: The Phuket News

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14 Comments

14 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Brian

    Friday, February 12, 2021 at 3:03 pm

    The virus did not have that effect. The virus did not have the power to do that. Government did that. Please, stop speaking as if the virus had the power to stop plane flights and things like that.

    • Avatar

      Geoff

      Friday, February 12, 2021 at 5:55 pm

      Yes it did. Same the world over.

    • Avatar

      Terrence

      Friday, February 12, 2021 at 6:10 pm

      The government has a responsibility for public health. When you have a highly contagious and deadly virus, it makes sense to try and prevent movement between communities of people.

      If it were not for the intervention of public health measures, the impact of this pandemic would be far worse than what it is now.

      • Avatar

        Patrick

        Friday, February 12, 2021 at 7:40 pm

        Contagious? Yes
        Deadly? No
        Selective reporting (aka propaganda): Yes
        Make it socially unacceptable to talk different and be ignored: success (incl validated and respected Dutch IC doctors with a more realistic different opinion about the whole one sided narrative)

        I never could have made-up that a mild flu-like spreading virus could cause the world to act like this. Mild? Yes, to most. A ridiculous high amount of asymptomatic people and no-one questioning this. Flawed statistics. Heck, a German leaked discussion even talked about how to upsell/dramatize the situation with made up future numbers so people would agree. Always talking about hospital IC capacity while many countries cut down that same capacity the last decade. Well, I can go on and on. The media is very one minded and constantly bombarding us with the same stories. Manipulation. While whole economy sectors go down the pipe and small shops bye bye while the big ones smile. Say bye bye to open borders and choice.

        In the future we hear “We thought we did the right thing and didnt know better” as lame excuse.

        • Avatar

          JJ

          Friday, February 12, 2021 at 11:44 pm

          Patric!
          You should join as volunteer to hospitals taking care of covid patients.
          As it’s just seasonal flu.. It’s as seasonal as Spanish flu..

          • Avatar

            Kalim

            Saturday, February 13, 2021 at 1:52 am

            In Ireland the death rate is.
            For the under 65 age group 0.15% of cases.
            65 to 79. 5.2%
            80+ 18.3%
            The median age for death is 82.
            The average life expectancy in Ireland is 82!
            Your overall health plays a massive part in how sick you are as does obesity!

      • Avatar

        vic

        Friday, February 12, 2021 at 9:40 pm

        Deadly? 80 old and sick persons in one year?
        How you define road accidents, then? It’s 45 young persons PER DAY.

  2. Avatar

    SIso

    Friday, February 12, 2021 at 5:07 pm

    What was the point of building up and decorating everything in the first place.. everyone knows local people don’t have the money to spend and tourism is pretty much decapitated right now

    All these efforts to revive tourism are idiotic and completely useless, people need to start to understand that this covid circus is here to stay for atleast another year or so, also the real economic impact and consequences of all the restrictions and lockdowns will be coming around the corner in a delayed fashion overtime and will hit society like a sledgehammer in the face like a cherry on a pie in the end

  3. Avatar

    Jim kelly

    Friday, February 12, 2021 at 8:29 pm

    OMFG!!! People on here, yet again,…doom merchants!! Terrance.. it’s people like you, running scared that are perpetuating this flu virus!! You’re going to have to live with it I’m afraid. Let’s STOP all this over-reacting, believing the press, believing the Government, believing the ‘timid’ folk on here… all masked up and socially distancing I bet (I HAVE NEVER WORN A MASK AND NEVER WILL… MY CHOICE AS A HUMAN!!)

    • Avatar

      Paul

      Saturday, February 13, 2021 at 9:26 am

      Well if you have never worn a mask you are a selfish self centered and careless individual.. my guess is you don’t put your hand up when you cough and don’t do so when you sneeze . That was developed during the plague . Masks make sense to stop those ( like you that have no manners ) that don’t think of others . Do wear deodorant so others can’t smell you ? ..I guess not … With regards to covid, karma might come knocking on some but for I will just take care and let nature decide my fate . Refusing to wear a mask is the same as refusing to wear a condom .. pathetic and stupid it’s odd you admit your stupid

  4. Avatar

    Ian

    Friday, February 12, 2021 at 9:14 pm

    Well you lot are a bunch of selfish dicks

  5. Avatar

    George

    Saturday, February 13, 2021 at 2:41 am

    In my opinion a mask should be worn as well as washing you’re hands regularly, which I think I do every time I go to the bathroom. The amount of times I’ve gone to the bathrooms and seen people just walk out without cleaning is crazy, not in our house btw. I hope all the keyboard warriors that say covid isn’t real are correct but when you have friends and family die of it, maybe they’ll not type too much. Too everyone in every country I hope you and you’re families and friends are safe, peace

  6. Avatar

    James Pate

    Saturday, February 13, 2021 at 5:20 am

    I think what’s missing from this article is that a lot of folks probably had a really good time with small get-togethers, incense and red envelopes. When times are tough, it’s good to remember that family, friends and community are the most important things in life. Families with surnames a yard long who can’t speak a lick of Chinese understand this!

  7. Avatar

    JM

    Saturday, February 13, 2021 at 6:24 am

    switch off your tv, switch on your brain

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Ann Carter is an award-winning journalist from the United States with over 12 years experience in print and broadcast news. Her work has been featured in America, China and Thailand as she has worked internationally at major news stations as a writer and producer. Carter graduated from the Walter Williams Missouri School of Journalism in the USA.

Events

Houseowner discovers 3,000 year old skeletons on land in Ang Thong province

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Houseowner discovers 3,000 year old skeletons on land in Ang Thong province | The Thaiger

A houseowner in the central province of Ang Thong, has discovered 3 skeletons on his land that are thought to be over 3,000 years old. 54 year old Somkiat Briboon says this most recent discovery isn’t the first, as the first lot of bones was found last year after preparing his 17 rai worth of land, in Sawang Ha District, to be rented out for sugarcane farming.

It was then that he found 9 skeletons, only later to find 6 more. The skeletons were found with bowls and other kitchen utensils found laying on top of them. He transferred the skeletons to his home, wrapping them in blue sheets, describing some of the bones as smaller in size, resembling that of women or children.

He says he also found ancient artifacts with the bones and arranged to have them shipped to Bangkok’s Fine Arts Department for research purposes. But he says he wants to eventually build his own museum housing the display of bones and artifacts for educational purposes.

Although the discovery is exciting, its creepiness factor has repelled Somkiat’s friends from visiting him as many are afraid of ghosts or spirits. To add to his friends’ concerns, he says ever since the skeletons and artifacts were moved into his home, strange things have been happening.

One of those unsettling things is the feeling that there are many people walking around inside his home at all hours of the day. He says when he tries to search for the source of the eery sounds, he finds nothing. Somkiat says he isn’t afraid of the spirits and even talks to them often. He even says his sleep isn’t disturbed as he sleeps well at night while the skeletons are in his home.

The Fine Arts Department has been notified of the most recent finding, but it is unclear on whether they will move the new skeletons to Bangkok to join the others.

SOURCE: Thai Residents

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Thailand

Social distancing for Songkran, Thailand’s New Year water festival

Caitlin Ashworth

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Social distancing for Songkran, Thailand’s New Year water festival | The Thaiger
Songkran 2019 in Koh Tao / Photo by Caitlin Ashworth

Thailand’s massive water festival Songkran, celebrating the Thai New Year, got the “okay” as long as the festivities are in line with Covid-19 prevention measures. PM Prayut Chan-o-cha says people need to abide by social distancing rules during the Songkran holiday from April 13 to 15… So make sure your water gun shoots at a long range.

For long distance water fights, the Super Soaker CPS 2000 is recommended by Wirecutter for the New York Times. They say it’s the most powerful mass-produced water gun in history, shooting at a 15-metre range at nearly a litre per second. The CPS 2000 is around $150 USD, so a more affordable option would be the plunger-style water gun from Steam Machine, which cost around $20 USD. While the Steam Machine water launchers can shoot at a range of up to 21 metres, it needs to be refilled often and is best used near a pool or a barrel of water.

Social distancing for Songkran, Thailand's New Year water festival | News by The Thaiger

Songkran 2019 in Koh Tao / Photo by Caitlin Ashworth

Allowing Songkran to take place this year is intended to help stimulate the economy which was battered over the past year due to the pandemic. Along with the prime minister, Culture Minister Itthiphol Kunplome also insisted that disease prevention measures must be strictly maintained, adding that social distancing and capacity limits are “chief” among the measures.

Popular spots for Songkran celebrations, like Bangkok’s Khao San Road, are given the “okay” to hold events, as long as they abide by the rules to prevent the spread of Covid-19. For Khao San Road, famous among foreign backpackers, the festival can give a boost to local businesses and vendors who have been struggling to earn an income due to the lack of tourists, according to president of the Khao San Business Association Sanga Ruangwattanakul.

“We know that it won’t help much as there are still no international tourists, but at least it is a good starting point to reignite business activities on Khao San Road… At the moment, we can only count on the support of local tourists to survive.”

He says 80% of the business activities on the street rely on foreign tourists. Many businesses that rely heavily on tourists, like massage shops and souvenir shops, there are “no customers at all.”

“For pubs and bars, there are just a few customers per night. Out of 500 entrepreneurs on the road, only 50 are still operating.”

Travel restrictions are likely to be eased in time for Songkran, Prayut says, adding that the government is still reviewing the rules for the holiday.

“The government is in the process of considering what can be allowed, whether to permit some activities or all of them. But if the virus spreads, the government might be blamed for it…So I call for your understanding. Easing restrictions is not an easy call to make since the government has to take responsibility for the whole country.”

Director of the Health Science Centre of Emerging Diseases at Chulalongkorn University, Thiravat Hemachudha, said he was concerned with the government’s plan to relax restrictions during the water festival. While the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration reported a decline in the number of daily coronavirus infections, he says the CCSA did not report on 100 infections at a plant in Samut Sakhon.

SOURCES: Bangkok Post | Wirecutter

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Events

Phuket Monopoly game creators need your help with token designs

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Phuket Monopoly game creators need your help with token designs | The Thaiger

Phuket is set to get its own version of the popular game MONOPOLY and its creators want your help with ideas for the specialised tokens. ‘MONOPOLY: Phuket Edition’ was announced last month which will see the street art on the board game replaced with that of famous places around Thailand’s famous tourist destination. Such art will include beaches, hotels, shops, markets and other popular attractions.

Jennifer Lau from Winning Moves UK, is producing the game under official license from Monopoly brand owners, Hasbro. Lau says the tokens will feature a holiday theme. The token’s departure from the original theme of wheelbarrows, boots, iron, and thimbles as well as popular sports cars and hats.

“We have had a wealth of emails and suggestions coming in for Phuket, so thank you for each and every single one of them! We are taking them all into consideration whilst putting together the design of the game.”

“We wanted to change the tokens so that they would be more suitable for an island like Phuket, where so many people like to go on holiday to.”

“There will be six themed tokens that replace the original and we want to hear your suggestions for what these tokens should be!”

Bangkok has already been featured in the Monopoly game as it came out for purchase back in 2018.

SOURCE: The Phuket News

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