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Want to go to prison? Thailand’s prisons may become tourist attractions

Caitlin Ashworth

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Want to go to prison? Thailand’s prisons may become tourist attractions | Thaiger
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Yes. Really. Prisons could become more like zoos in Thailand as those locked behind bars could become part of a grand plan to turn dozens of prisons into tourist attractions. Sounds bizarre, but it’s a real proposal from the Justice Minister Somsak Thepsuthin who announced the idea yesterday.

72 of Thailand’s 143 prisons could be open to tourists as soon as the next 12 months. The proposal includes nearly half of the country’s prisons that may become part of an attraction for those fascinated with the Thai prison system (there’s already been entire TV series about the subject, and some Netflix documentaries as well). The Corrections Department has already been working on an attraction they call “chefs behind bars.” They say it’s a prison cooking contest. Prisons also plan to have their own souvenir shops with handcrafted items by the inmates.

Around 4 to 5 prisons have already started the tourism scheme as a pilot project. Somsak says prisons in Trat, Rayong, Ratchaburi and Nakhon Ratchasima are involved in the startup project. By next year, 67 more will have their attractions underway.

Somsak says he hopes some attractions, like the cooking contest, will motivate inmates to learn skills to help them get a job once they’re released. He also says the wants to change the image of prisons from what he calls a “twilight world” to a “world of opportunities.”

Inmates would also make money by participating in the prison’s attractions, but it’s unclear how much the inmates would be earning and how much of a cut the Corrections Department would get.

Somsak says he plans to work with the Tourism and Sport Ministry in the future to promote the prison project. Thailand has been working on ways to recover the tourism industry after the coronavirus pandemic, but we’re not sure if this is the idea tourism officials had in mind.

SOURCES:Chiang Rai Times| Bangkok Post

 

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3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Perceville Smithers

    Tuesday, August 25, 2020 at 12:23 pm

    Not good! Someone at their lowest should not be entertainment for tourists. They can be used as a deterrent (field trip visits) for underage offenders like the Scared Straight in some places in the U.S.

  2. Avatar

    Preesy Chepuce

    Tuesday, August 25, 2020 at 1:00 pm

    Utterly bizarre idea. Are we going to see unemployed queuing up outside prisons to get a break on a reality TV show?!

  3. Avatar

    Mike Frenchie

    Tuesday, August 25, 2020 at 6:14 pm

    Why, why, why did I invest in a country whose top managers are drafting such lunatic plans? This is borderline sadism, voyeurism and total lack of consideration for the prisoners! After all, if they plan to lock down the tourists for a while, bringing them to a real prison is the logical next step!

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Caitlin Ashworth is a writer from the United States who has lived in Thailand since 2018. She graduated from the University of South Florida St. Petersburg with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and media studies in 2016. She was a reporter for the Daily Hampshire Gazette In Massachusetts. She also interned at the Richmond Times-Dispatch in Virginia and Sarasota Herald-Tribune in Florida.

Songkran

Sawasdee pi mai – The four days of Songkran 2021

Tim Newton

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Sawasdee pi mai – The four days of Songkran 2021 | Thaiger

Despite the annual celebrations, water fights and parties being mostly side-lined this year, Songkran goes on for 2021, albeit in a much-subdued form. Many Thais have decided not to head home, but others have already headed out of the city centres to their homes to be with their families. They are being confronted with new restrictions and delays as they reach home province with many provincial officials now imposing quarantine or negative Covid tests to cross provincial borders.

And today, the Bureau of the Royal Household announced the Grand Palace and the Temple of the Emerald will be closed from April 13 due to the current rise in new Covid infections. Other royal palaces are also closed until further notice including Bang Pa In Summer Palace.

Even airlines are having to stop their food and beverage services, again. A January CAAT ban was only lifted a month ago (but some of the discount airlines will still ferry you to your flight in a cramped bus!).

The best we can do for Songkran 2021 is be happy, smile at our Thai hosts on their special day, buy an outrageously colourful Songkran shirt from a road vendor and say Sawasdee Pi Mai to everyone we meet. Let’s do our best to add a few smiles to Songkran this year.

Here are some of the original traditions for the Thai New Year celebrations…

Tuesday, April 13 – Wan Sangkhan Lohng

On this day residents clean their houses in preparation of the New Year’s festivities. Many provinces have street parades and gatherings at temples or get-togethers at relative’s homes.

Wednesday, April 14 – Wan Nao

In preparation for the Buddhist celebratory merry-making the following day, people spend this day preparing cooked meals and preserved cuisine. Buckets of sand were commonly collected and brought into the temples to construct sand chedis, or sand shrines that are then decorated.

Thursday, April 15 – Wan Payawan

As the first day of the New Year, people would gather in the early morning at the wat to offer the food prepared the previous day along with new robes, fruit and other goods to the temple monks. In the past, this was the day where subdued water play began.

Friday, April 16 – Wan Paak Bpee

On the last day of Songkran, people paid their respects to their forebears and poured scented water over the hands of their elders who would then bless those taking part in the celebratory tradition known as rod ‘naam daam hua’.

Sawasdee pi mai - The four days of Songkran 2021 | News by Thaiger

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Thailand News Today | Covid surge continues, possible changes to 90 day reporting | April 12, 2021

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Thailand News Today | Covid surge continues, possible changes to 90 day reporting | April 12, 2021 | Thaiger

Thailand’s CCSA has announced 985 new Covid-19 infections today – a rise in new case numbers but not as drastic as in the past week when there has been a steady climb. In the past 4 days there has been an increase of more than 100 new infections.

Out of the 980 local infections announced today, most were in the northern city of Chiang Mai with 246, Bangkok with 137, Chonburi which includes Pattaya with 92, Samut Prakan just south east of Bangkok with 83 and Prachuap Khiri Khan, which includes Hua Hin, with 52. 10 new Covid infections announced in Phuket today. A total of 74 new infections since last Monday when the first case was announced involving the 3 big parties on the previous weekend.

The Department of Disease Control says the policy limits the number of patients who go on to transmit the virus to friends or family, thereby controlling the spread more effectively. They insist there are no plans to allow patients to self-isolate at home, despite reports that many hospitals have run out of beds.

As a Thailand Navy admiral accuses a Netflix documentary of using outdated with inaccurate information about the country’s fishing industry, a number of global environmental experts are also chiming in with similar criticisms. ‘Seaspiracy’ has been slammed for being full of inaccuracies and twisting the science behind the damage to the world’s oceans, minimising the role of climate change and plastic pollution.

Possibility of a review to 90 day reporting and some other immigration and investment changes in Thailand. As of today only 0.5% of the Thai population has been vaccinated. Thailand is in 8th position among the ASEAN nations.

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28,000 daily Covid-19 infections possible without “decisive action”

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28,000 daily Covid-19 infections possible without “decisive action” | Thaiger
FILE PHOTO: Mask up! Covid-19 infections could be surging this month.

Without swift and decisive action, Covid-19 infections could surge to 28,000 people per day within the next month . This according to expert warnings and computer predictive modelling. The Department of Disease Control warns that the current spike is more infectious and deadly than the previous 2 waves and extreme action is needed. 967 new infections were reported by the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration yesterday, the highest single-day number Thailand has ever seen.

The DDC’s epidemiology division, working with the International Health Policy Program, calculated models to predict the arc of future infection rates if Covid-19 safety measures were not enforced. The model’s worst-case scenario predicted a maximum of 28,678 daily cases.

This is the worst-case scenario, however, as the minimum number of infections could be around 1,300 people. But a reasonable average without safety measures could be about 9000 daily infections, not a great situation for Thailand, a country that had until now done a great job avoiding a heavy wave of Covid-19 infections.

But for the UK variant (B117) newly arriving in Thailand, much like many new tourists arriving before it, Thailand’s hedonistic nightlife scene may be where it all goes wrong. Of Bangkok’s 1,114 infections, 823 of them were traced to entertainment venues. Across Thailand, a total of 140 bars and clubs in 15 provinces have been identified as virus-transmission locations.

Krystal Club in Thong Lor, now infamous amidst a swirl of news of politicians and powerful elite spreading infection there, tops the list of the 85 Bangkok infected clubs, with 211 infections this month. Chon Buri, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Pathum Thani, and Chiang Mai all had less than 10 Covid-19 infections linked to nightlife venues. In total, Covid-19 cases linked to nightlife outbreaks have spread to 70 provinces all over Thailand.

As a result, we’re facing a party-free Songkran with 41 provinces closing all entertainment venues for 2 weeks and the 36 other provinces are following stringent screening and mask-wearing, poised to lock down the same if the pandemic comes knocking.

Bangkok intends to ready 10,000 field-hospital beds in preparation for any possible surge of the more infectious B117 strain spreading through Thailand now. The DDC does reassure though that the situation is still manageable if everyone works together and takes swift and strong actions.

The third wave of Covid-19 infections might be contained, but it will take a lot of personal discipline from everyone, and a sacrifice of Songkran’s joyous celebrations, unfortunately.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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