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Readers react to “Phuket Destruction” letter to editor



PHOTO: Visions of Patong that will haunt locals for years - Dive Magazine

Have a read then vote at the bottom of the article.

“We are just back from last week’s trip to Phuket and I could not have imagined the destruction going on. Boarded up shops and restaurants, interiors torn out, even hard to find a place to have a dinner. Eerie streets that you felt uncomfortable walking at night time and I a not talking about the small sois, but main beach streets.

The contrast is striking with Hua Hin, where you have weekenders from Bangkok and a large retired expat community to support the community.

Attracting long-staying retirees should obviously be part of the solution but the focus seems to be on elite cards and high-spending, short-term tourists that will disappear once the next catastrophe arrives. Alongside Thailand’s excellent hospitals and with the right policies it should not be too hard to promote Thailand as a retirement destination.”

Readers react to "Phuket Destruction" letter to editor | News by Thaiger

This letter to the Editor in the Bangkok Post from “Dr Hannson” has triggered off a robust response amongst expats and external commentary from people that want to return to Thailand.

We assume that Dr Hannson was speaking of Patong in Phuket (although his comments could equally apply to other west coast tourist towns – Kata, Karon, Kamala, Surin). It also needs to be said that Phuket also has a large contingent of expats living there although Patong is not their primary ‘hang out’ and tend to be spread around the island.

Still, the fact remains, Phuket has been gutted by the loss of tourists as a result of the government’s lockdowns and ban on foreign tourists. As the writer correctly notes, Hua Hin (and Pattaya and some of the ‘spots’ closer to Bangkok) have fared better due to their proximity to the capital and can be reached easily in a car. Phuket requires more expensive flights and has not benefitted from the promotion of domestic tourism.

As a place to retire, Phuket has already been a popular choice but, as Dr Hannson says, the government could make it a lot easier for people to retire in Thailand, and the island, so Phuket’s economy could better survive future exogenous events like this that cut off the tourist dollars.

You can click on as many of the below ideas you believe apply…

[poll id=”10″]


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  1. Toby Andrews

    Thursday, August 27, 2020 at 12:34 pm

    Yes I believe he really is a Doctor. He used the word exogenous. I had to look it up.
    Anyway, Dr Handsome gives a clear account of Phuket’s decline.
    If I had a chance to vote in the survey above, I would have voted let the island suffer.
    Tourist were already shunning the rip off, overpricing, and bad deals of Phuket. July 2019, visitors were down 20 to 30 percent.
    Some people might love it, but some people love running out of a sauna and rolling in snow.


  2. gary

    Thursday, August 27, 2020 at 1:17 pm

    Ok for Thaiger to run this but will it get to government ears in Bangkok? There are many retirees in Phuket, lots of golfers, most owning properties, who support the local community all year round not just a few weeks escaping northern winters most years.
    Some easing of paperwork and recognition at airport immigration counters would help.

  3. Perceville Smithers

    Thursday, August 27, 2020 at 3:00 pm

    Are gov officials waiting for a vaccine? The Oct 1 pilot project will be no better than the “Domestic Only” tourist experiment in Jul.

    Also, these are desperate times and foreigners might be hesitant going to a ghost town where they could be victimized or the number of people forced to beg is 4x the amount they’d normally see.

    • Gabby

      Sunday, August 30, 2020 at 1:35 pm

      Yes, that is definitely something to worry about. I’m not sure tourists will be safe in that environment.

  4. Joe

    Thursday, August 27, 2020 at 3:57 pm

    The authorities in Phuket need to urgently do something about some of the police rip offs in certain areas, they are getting worse all the time. There is even a page on Facebook called ‘bear’on which you can find out about the latest police scams and where they are.The police will stop and fine anyone for just about any reason, like even when your foot is not on your moped pointing the right way.And it doesn’ t matter if you have totally valid international drivers license, you will get fined, you must have Thai one, something someone on a tourist visa can’t get with the result being that people are getting stopped on a daily basis and paying 1000 baht fines. It’s making people very angry and negative towards Thailand.

  5. James

    Thursday, August 27, 2020 at 5:44 pm

    Hahaaaa. Poo ket is a shit place to go. The ripoffs are ubiquitous and most places catering to tourists are far overpriced. Let those assholes who rip off tourists suffer and go broke. I’ll take Samui or Phangan any day over Poo ket.

  6. bobby m

    Thursday, August 27, 2020 at 6:35 pm

    No vote I am afraid,.

    Because there are no choices for opening all the boarders and getting on with life.

  7. Bill H

    Saturday, August 29, 2020 at 7:43 am

    I worked in Thailand for 12 years ( I have worked/ lived in four other countries during my career.) When I reached age 65 years I decided to make Thailand my place of retirement. Now that I no longer have the company’s expeditor to do the immigration requirements, I find the 90 day reporting a pain in the arse since I already have a retirement visa. The strong baht makes things more expensive than 16 years ago when I first arrived. And getting a credit card from your local Thai bank can be difficult ( fortunately I could get one when I had my work permit.) Yes, the government and businesses need to do more to make Thailand a more attractive place for retirement.

  8. JJ

    Saturday, August 29, 2020 at 3:01 pm

    Let Phuket long term / long stay residents to arrive to their own properties with self quarantine option. Get needed medical services from local hospitals to their properties(temperature checks, covid tests, etc).

    Foreigners will follow self quarantine rules for sure and Government can enforce these with harsh penalties.

    Phuket long term resident return should be 1st phase. Normal tourist wont come with 14days quarantines with western european prison conditions..

  9. Terry

    Sunday, August 30, 2020 at 12:18 pm

    Here is the thing people, do you think they bother listen to Farangs and work with them? Good luck!

  10. Terry W

    Sunday, August 30, 2020 at 12:20 pm

    Here is the thing people. Do you really think they care about your opinion as they always seems to know best and don’t work very well with farangs to solve or improve things.

  11. J. Jones

    Sunday, August 30, 2020 at 2:00 pm

    update…Phuket town is actually open. Malls, Thai Clubs, Restaurants, Groceries. Just mask up… Actually, few people leave the mask in place, and somehow it all is working. Had a great time in Rawaii last night. The doctor mistakenly went to Patong, without looking around. Curious how they are keeping the infection rate close to zero! Seriously, most of the businesses are wearing the mask on their chins or half way on.

    • Peter

      Wednesday, September 23, 2020 at 6:08 pm

      “Curious how they are keeping the infection rate close to zero!” No need to be curious, they are achieving near zero infections by keeping diseased foreigners locked out

  12. Patrick

    Sunday, August 30, 2020 at 7:00 pm

    Let’s be honest – Thailand simply doesn’t know what to do, wants and desperately needs the tourist dollar and is too afraid to take even a small risk.

    Add to this the fact that they are conspiring, even know, to benefit Thai-owned insurance companies and hotel operators, the only airline likely to be able to fly tourists i and out of the Kingdom has a monopoly on one of the most badly affected destinations (Koh Samui) s actually going bankrupt. What an absolute shambles.

    Add to this an unelected government cobbles together from the remains of a military junta, civil unrest growing daily, the influence of a certain someone waining and crime going though the roof. Dangerous times for Thailand.

  13. John C.

    Monday, August 31, 2020 at 12:20 pm

    All the poll options are r3tarded. Where is the option for “just open up the country again and to hell with the hoaxvirus”.

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