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Phuket Gazette Thailand News: Chiang Mai, Hua Hin best for retirees; Phuket’s best Raceweek

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Phuket Gazette Thailand News: Chiang Mai, Hua Hin best for retirees; Phuket’s best Raceweek | The Thaiger
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PHUKET MEDIA WATCH
– Thailand news compiled by Gazette editors for Phuket’s international community


Chiang Mai, Hua Hin best
The Nation / Phuket Gazette
PHUKET: The Live and Invest Overseas website has ranked Chiang Mai and Prachuap Khiri Khan’s Hua Hin district as a couple of the world’s best places to retire due to the low cost of living and beautiful beaches.

The website recently revealed its first annual “retire overseas” index which used several criteria to name the best places, including the cost of living, local people’s English skills, entertainment venues, environment, public health, infrastructure, real estate, residential areas, safety and taxes.

Chiang Mai and Hua Hin were included in a list of 21 other cities, including Abruzzo in Italy, Ambergris Caye and Cayo in Belize, Boquete in Panama and Cebu in the Philippines, because of the low cost of living with 37,500 baht per month.

Moreover, the cost of insurance and medical service are not too expensive for foreigner.

While Hua Hin was picked up because of the precious beaches and low cost of living.

Aussies plunder trophies in Phuket
The Nation / Phuket Gazette
PHUKET: Winds gusting to 20 knots made for a perfect end to what turned into one of the best Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Raceweek’s yet.

The weather conditions delivered fast and exciting racing throughout the four days.

Two races for all except the Classic class made for a hectic schedule on the final day and, with some classes undecided, there was plenty still to play for.

Wan Ma Rang in IRC Racing I closed out the regatta with two second places. However, it wasn’t enough to overhaul Katsu, who sailed consistently and held onto their second place by three points.

Class honours went to Australian Peter Ahern and his all-star crew on Oi! who with seven wins from eight races were untouchable. Formerly Team Premier, Oi! were bought by Peter Ahern, Scott Bailey and Fergus Wilmer recently and Phuket Raceweek was their first competitive event. Having got some early points on the board in the 2013/14 Asian Yachting Grand Prix Championship, Oi! now heads to Hong Kong to compete on the circuit.

IRC Racing II has been dominated by fellow Australian Peter Sorensen and his crew on Fujin, and that continued through to the final race. Eight wins from eight races speaks for itself, and as sailing star Steve McConaghy, who was racing onboard the former Ichi Ban, said, “you could sail this thing backwards and still win.”

The battle, however, was for second and third places in the class, with Stuart Williamson’s Skandia Endeavour of Whitby and Neils Degenkolw’s Phoenix neck and neck. Despite struggling with their starts and being called OCS on more than one occasion, a good performance on the final day for Williamson and his crew (a 2,3 scoreline), saw them secure second overall and relegate Phoenix to third.

In IRC Cruising, Irish entry Windstar, helmed by Peter Woods, revelled in the conditions to finish the last day with two more wins, and win the class by four points.

The doggedly-determined Aussie team, Rob Azzopardi’s Dreamtime, with two second places on the final day, could not overhaul the leaders and had to stay in second place overall, four points back. Mike Crisp, helming Sail in Asia Venture, finished third overall on 11 points.

Reading the conditions best and sailing consistently has been Twin Sharks, skippered by Briton John Newnham, who didn’t compete in the last race yesterday having already won seven from seven to become the clear class winner in the super-fast Firefly 850 sport catamarans.

However, second and third was a much closer battle, between Hans Rahmann’s Voodoo and Roger Kingdon’s Moto Inzi. Voodoo came into the final day with a slight edge, and a 2,1 scoreline on the day saw them complete a strong Series and place second ahead of Moto Inzi by a single point.

The Multihull Racing class saw a remarkable comeback by Phuket skipper Mark Pescott, with a second and a first in the last races that secured victory for DaVinci (12 points), who defended their title by just one point from the week’s leader, Alan Carwadine’s Asia Catamarans Hurricane. Third was another early leader, John Coffin’s Java, on 16 points.

The Classic class maintained its week-long pattern to the end, with Simon Morris’s Sirius (three points) at the front, Laurie Piper’s Atlanta (seven) in second and the German maxi classic, Letizia, skippered by Bernd Gundel (eight), third. Perennial regatta entry Seraph was relegated to fourth place, although equalling Letizia on eight points.

While the Aussies took home a lot of silverware from this year’s regatta, what was noticeable was the large number of high-scoring boats and winners from Ao Chalong Yacht Club.

— Phuket Gazette Editors

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Chiang Mai

Russian man allegedly stabs Chiang Mai park officer, tries to break into tourist bungalow

Caitlin Ashworth

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Russian man allegedly stabs Chiang Mai park officer, tries to break into tourist bungalow | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Thairath

A Russian man has been arrested after he allegedly tried to break into tourist bungalows and stealing property at a Chiang Mai national park and stabbed a park officer with a pair of scissors. The incident follows months of complaints from Thai tourists at the national park reporting missing property.

Thai media reports the 32 year old Russian man as ‘Cemnh Semin’ allegedly tried to rob a tourist bungalow at Doi Suthep-Pui National Park. Cemnh allegedly stabbed a night patrol park officer in the neck and head with a pair of scissors and ran off. Other park officers on duty were able to catch the man and call Chiang Mai Police. The wounded park officer was taken to a local hospital where he has been reported as being in a stable condition.

For months, Thai tourists at the Doi Suthep-Pui National Park say they’ve woken up in the morning with some of their belongings missing. Park officers stepped up their night patrol after the complaints. The officers say they were surprised at finding out the alleged robber was a Russian man.

The man will face a range of charges following further investigation.

SOURCES: Chiang Rai Times | Thai Residents

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Thailand

Thai Chamber of Commerce urges visa amnesty to be extended after today’s deadline

The Thaiger

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Thai Chamber of Commerce urges visa amnesty to be extended after today’s deadline | The Thaiger

The Thai Chamber of Commerce is urging the government to extend the visa amnesty for the country’s 400,000 tourists after today’s deadline but has so far been turned down. The move comes as such provinces like Chiang Mai’s immigration office sends messages giving tourists until Monday to sort out their visas (which is under the law as Saturday, the final day of the visa amnesty, is usually closed).

“For the foreigners that visas will expire on September 26, 2020, if come to continue the visa on Monday, September 28, 2020, no need to pay for overstay. If you haven’t been able to sort through the queues and online bookings for an appointment, you also have Monday (at any immigration office) to get things sorted. Many of the country’s immigration offices are open today. Good luck.”

TCC chairman Kalin Sarasin says they have repeatedly asked the Immigration Bureau to extend the amnesty by 90 days but have been met with unclear answers as the deadline for sorting visas hits today.

“We were told that this agenda was in the process, but there’s been no progress so far.”

Kalin says the deadline will bring even more chaos to those who await flights out of the country as they are not yet fully allowed. Furthermore, such provinces as Chiang Mai attribute stranded tourists as helping generate revenue at a time when the country desperately needs it. As these tourists need long-term accomodations, they undoubtedly bring revenue to the domestic tourism sector at a time when hotels and other types of accommodations are struggling.

“Instead of blacklisting those foreigners, the government should accommodate them with a more flexible period, particularly when the country cannot reopen for inbound tourists. The uncompromising stance towards visa extension scares tourists away despite the fact that they help drive the local economy in these tough times.”

This week has been the busiest on record for stressed out Immigration officials who have been trying to cope with the last minute influx of tourists and expats whose visas had expired and were trying to extend, or apply for, visas to stay in the country.

Anantorn Hochindarat, president of the Tourism Association of Chiang Mai, says some businesses have received recurring revenue from international tourists which can help a lot when facing difficult times.

Although the profits from such tourists are much lower now, Anantorn says it can help businesses stay afloat. Despite such calls for an extension of visa amnesty, the Immigration Bureau has yet to announce any leeway to be given after today’s deadline.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Air Pollution

PM to tackle Northern Thailand’s seasonal haze… again

Caitlin Ashworth

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PM to tackle Northern Thailand’s seasonal haze… again | The Thaiger
FILE PHOTO

The Thai prime minister says he’s working on a plan to tackle Northern Thailand’s seasonal haze problem by cutting back manmade bushfires known to largely contribute to the air pollution. The issue has been broadly covered in Thai and foreign media for years, and been followed up with ministerial visits, promises, and little else.

PM Prayut Chan-o-cha spoke with governors of 17 northern provinces affected by seasonal haze, saying that he plans to supply villagers and local organisations with equipment, but reports did not go into much detail about what tools locals would get. He says authorities and state agencies need to step in to help combat the haze problem, suggesting that provincial governors head the local fight against wildfires.

“It’s important to eradicate the root cause of wildfires that result from villagers’ way of life… Even more farming space should be provided to farmers who need it to protect natural resources from being destroyed.”

Prayut added that it’s important for state agencies to collaborate on the firefighting effort and said members of the public can help raise awareness about wildfires.

The annual haze/smoke/air pollution problem is not just a Thai issue with the neighbouring countries, particularly Myanmar, causing their fair share of the illegal plantation fires, as shown in sharp detail in the satellite images.

Read The Thaiger’s take on the annual ‘smoke’ problem HERE.

SOURCE: Chiang Rai Times

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