Connect with us

Phuket

Activist injured, Governor slams “gangsterism”

Legacy Phuket Gazette

Published 

 on 

Activist injured, Governor slams “gangsterism” | The Thaiger
  • follow us in feedly

PA KHLOK: The new Governor of Phuket has warned that he will confront gangsterism in the province after an environmental activist was critically injured in what appears to have been an assassination attempt. The activist, Siripoj Cheechang, 35, was run over by a pick-up truck that knocked him off his motorcycle, and then turned around and ran over him. Visiting Siripoj in hospital today, Governor Pongpayome Vasaputi, who arrived in Phuket on Saturday, said, “The thing I hate most is gangsterism and lawlessness. When I was in Narathiwat, there was also this kind of situation. “K. Siripoj is fighting for our environment, and protecting the environment is one of my priorities. Anyone who tries to do anything against the environment will be against me as well. “We will do everything we can about this case, though it must all be done according to the rules of evidence and truth.” K. Siripoj, who is a member of the Tambon Pa Khlok Administrative Council (OrBorTor) in Thalang, and managing editor of the local Thai newspaper “Andaman Post”, was on his way to work by motorcycle with his niece, Wanna Petyawa, 18, on the back. According to K. Wanna, when the two were in front of the Sitthi Soonthornbumrung School in Pa Khlok, a pickup truck crashed into the back of their motorbike, knocking both of them to the ground. The pickup went past, then turned around and ran over K Siripoj. “I was only slightly injured on my knees, face and arms. Someone shouted, ‘The car’s turning around.’ I ran to the side of the road, but my uncle was still lying in the road because his head had hit the ground and he was unconscious. “The pickup truck accelerated and ran over Uncle Siripoj’s left leg. Then it sped off,” K. Wanna said. Pol Capt Suwarit Prommul of Thalang Police Station said that two hours after the incident, Buncha Noppawong, 34, from Songkhla, a prawn farm worker, turned himself in to the police. Buncha admitted that he was the driver of the pick-up and said that he ran over the victim a second time because he was frightened and did not know what else to do. Siripoj’s wife Ampai said her husband had been in a dispute with a big investor over incursion into protected mangrove swamps. Jakrapan Kankanok, a close friend and fellow member of the Pa Klock OrBorTor, said that he and Siripoj were working together to save 600 rai of mangroves from incursion by an investor who wanted to occupy the land and establish a tiger prawn farm. K. Siripoj had tried to prevent the incursion by reporting it to the Phuket Provincial Forestry Office, to police in Thalang, and to journalists. He also published stories about it in his newspaper. “Several days ago, Siripoj told me that a Mercedes Benz tried to run over him. When he went to investigate the land, he saw the same car parked inside. He also heard gunfire,” said K Jakrapan. Today, members of the Phuket Reporters’ Club protested about the incident to the new Governor, and urged him to ensure that a thorough investigation takes place. They also demanded that the press receive daily updates on the case. The Governor told K. Ampai that he would do his best to help, and assured her she need not fear “mafia” people. Dr Niran Taweekul, a neurosurgeon at Wachira Phuket Hospital, told the Gazette this afternoon that K. Siripoj has improved, but that he is still in critical condition. “The patient sometimes moves his hands, but he is in a coma and still needs to be on the respirator. He is suffering from bleeding and contusions in his brain. There is also a very large wound on his thigh. “We will know in about four days whether he will survive.”

Keep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.
Never miss out on future posts by following The Thaiger.
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



Read more headlines, reports & breaking news in Phuket. Or catch up on your Thailand news.

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Tourism

What has the pandemic taught hotels about luxury. Is ‘less’ more?

The Thaiger

Published

on

What has the pandemic taught hotels about luxury. Is ‘less’ more? | The Thaiger
PHOTO: The Naka Island - The Luxury Travel Expert

by Anthony Lark

“Let’s say goodbye to all that stale pretence and manufactured pomp”

Until the collective nightmare that was 2020, many of the so-called high-end hotels had a reputation for trying to convince guests to pay for often dingy guestrooms lacking any real views inside an otherwise ornate structure with a storied, celebrated past, where the first impression was a check in often akin to applying for a bank loan. Defined as “luxury”, in the good old days they got away with it.

Over the thirty years I spent running Amanpuri and Trisara on Phuket, I heard hundreds of people complain of feeling ripped off at “legendary” and “iconic” hotels by staff that rudely treated them as anything but guests.

How many of us did not tip the head waiter after dinner on the first night, to return the next evening and find ourselves stashed at a table by the kitchen door, or getting ushered past the prime and utterly empty deck chairs (with a book on them) by an indifferent pool boy rushing to count his bounty at the pool bar.

As we in the hotel business look towards vaccine jabs while collectively praying for people to start travelling again, let’s say goodbye to all that stale pretence and manufactured pomp. Emerging from the darkness that was 2020, we hoteliers need to consider that life will not bounce back to all that, nor should it. Good riddance to the seller’s market when hotels could charge like the light brigade for sub-par accommodations and indifferent service while expecting our guests will automatically keep coming back for more.

Merriam-Webster ‘luxury’ definition #1: a condition of abundance or great ease and comfort.

“There will always be people willing to pay,” said the late, great Natale Rusconi of the Cipriani in Venice and Splendido in Portofino.The size of the room didn’t matter, he observed, nor did the price of a cup of coffee, as long as they felt cocooned in an ‘exclusive’ world with an established reputation of being the “best.”

A classic negroni or a plate of risotto on the terrace at Cipriani is luxurious, not so much because of the ingredients of the food and beverage (although it is the best), but because it’s a rare experience.

Sonu Shivdasani, owner of Soneva resorts, hits it on the head when describing luxury.

He points out “Our external communication focuses much more on our brand proposition of “Inspiring a Lifetime of Rare Experiences”.

For example, we touch upon the point of our guests being able to walk barefoot for a week. This is rare and hence a luxury.

Change is in the luxe-wind

There is definitely change in the post-covid wind. In virtual conversations with many wealthy, well-travelled former guests of mine living in the northern hemisphere, they are explicit about what they yearn for on the other side of their drawn-out lockdowns.

These people are the ones who every year asked me for the largest villa with the bluest views and the most kitted out yacht for a day on the Andaman Sea and now I sense they seek something distinctly less material. While I am not surprised to hear them in their Bel Air mansions and apartments overlooking the River Seine asking for deals, what they say next piques my interest. “Anthony, I don’t need the presidential suite when we come back,” they say without a whiff of disappointment to downgrade. They are increasingly asking not for the specs on yachts but for news of wellness offerings and rare, secret local experiences.

One company already excelling in this beyond luxury space is Six Senses, purchased in 2019 by the behemoth InterContinental Hotels brand but left to run relatively independently under CEO Neil Jacobs. In interviews and on panels throughout the pandemic, Jacobs has spoken often of his personal aversion to the very word ‘luxury’ as well as to ‘exclusivity,’ which he sees in direct opposition to Six Senses’ holistic ethos.

Community engagement, he argues, is not only an aspect of the brand’s sustainability guidelines but also critical to “the intrinsic value of the content around what is being offered” at each individual property.

Like Jacobs, I noticed even before Covid that bragging rights back home no longer focus solely on price-tagged acquisitions. Those same guests who regaled me during lockdown with tales from their past travels, talked about meaningful encounters with Bhutanese textile weavers, Portuguese sourdough bakers, Colombian coffee farmers or Thai fishermen with whom they shared meaningful encounters on immersive, often unexpectedly transformative journeys. Perhaps we all learned in lockdown that these memories endure far longer than we can linger on even the most decadent bed linens or the hotel’s fluffy-as-a-cloud bathrobes.

Even before any of us had given a thought to wet markets in Wuhan, our industry was abuzz with these ‘experiential’ and ‘transformational’ travel offerings, and we see smaller, more nimble independent hotels and resorts luring guests away from staid grand dames of the past, while commanding higher rates.

I suspect we will now enter a new era, best described by Morris Sim, one of the smartest marketing minds I know.Travellers he predicts, will be embracing the idea that “ luxury is the outcome of an experience, not a product.”

Merriam-Webster luxury definition #2: something adding to pleasure or comfort but not absolutely necessary.

To be clear, this is not a rallying cry to spend amidst an economic crisis. Luxurious experiences may be as humble as a thoughtful gesture or act of kindness by a staff member. It’s surprising our guests on their return to the hotel room to find their laundry cleaned, folded and tied with a beautiful bow, or that feeling of being cared for to discover one’s toothpaste, sunscreen and deodorant arranged like tiny soldiers on the bathroom vanity.

Going forward, those hotels that also help guests to make meaningful, immersive connections with the surrounding culture and environment while also delivering unpretentious, anticipatory service with thoughtful human touches will redefine luxury.

Merriam-Webster luxury definition #2b: an indulgence in something that provides pleasure, satisfaction, or ease

Throughout the heady 1990s, we opened a new Amanresort every year or so. While now considered places of beauty that were undeniably desirable, they were initially revolutionary upstarts compared with the most famous resorts of the 70’s and 80’s where gold sink taps stood out against bathrooms laden with Carrera marble.

Into this arena where remote controlled toilets that blew air on your arse were regarded as luxurious, Adrian Zecha’s vision for each Aman was unashamedly simple in design and utterly lacking in superfluous finishing’s. The late architect Ed Tuttle, who mastered this design of understatement used to tell his team (including his lead designer Pin Tan, who now holds that title at Six Senses) and clients that “it’s not about embellishment, it’s about owning the space.”By this he meant that humans are most at ease in spaces that function well when for them rather than for shelter magazines and marketing brochures.

As we look towards leaving hibernation behind, I strongly believe our guests will gravitate to uncluttered places where simplicity reigns, where they can look better and feel better about their emergent selves and where they can enjoy consequential encounters with fascinating strangers, after feeling cut off for so long.

At Trisara Phuket, the team here serves local residents and Bangkokians down for the weekend gourmet Thai-inspired lunches prepared by chefs under a Thai carved sala roof overlooking a charming lake at the resort’s nearby working farm, engaging with locals tending the farm while keeping comfortably cool and exquisitely sated.

My personal view is that successful hotels must throw off any remaining shackles of our industry’s past definitions of ‘luxury’ and pivot towards delivering authentically local guest experiences and anticipative service that surprises and delights.

Are we headed towards a new paradigm where our job is to nurture the “outcome of the experience” rather than the showmanship of counting threads of Egyptian cotton and embroidering initials on pillowslips?

What has the pandemic taught hotels about luxury. Is 'less' more? | News by The Thaiger

Anthony Lark is the founding and current president of The Phuket Hotels Association. He also runs his own luxury hospitality company focused on resort and residential villa design & master plan concepts, plus management auditing of existing properties as hotels prepare for a post-covid world.

Keep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.
Never miss out on future posts by following The Thaiger.
Continue Reading

Thailand

Thai Airways to resume flights from Bangkok to Chiang Mai and Phuket

Caitlin Ashworth

Published

on

Thai Airways to resume flights from Bangkok to Chiang Mai and Phuket | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Thai Airways

After nearly 9 months on the ground due to the coronavirus pandemic, along with problems balancing their accounts, Thai Airways will resume flights between Bangkok and Chiang Mai as well as Bangkok and Phuket later this month. The flights will start back up on Christmas day.

Flights from Bangkok to the 2 key tourist provinces have been grounded since April 1. Starting December 25, the airline will run 3 flights a week on both routes. A source told the Bangkok Post that the new schedules will run until at least February 28.

Thai Lion Air, Thai Air Asia, Nok Air, Thai Smile, VietJet Air and Bangkok Airways have returned to the domestic skies since July and slowly adding frequency to their routes.

In addition to resuming the domestic flights, the Thai Airways is relaunching some international flights from January 1 to March 27 including weekly flights to Frankfurt, London, Copenhagen, Sydney, Seoul, Manila, Taipei and Osaka. Flights from Bangkok to Tokyo will be available 3 times a week and flights from Bangkok to Hong Kong will be available every day.

Thai Airways has been tackling bankruptcy throughout the lockdown and trying to make up for more than 300 billion baht in losses. Since many flights were suspended due to travel restrictions, Thai Airways has tried to make money by business ventures on the ground, like a pop-up restaurant serving in-flight meals and selling off unwanted equipment from their warehouse. There also disposing of much of their older fleet, including all of their Boring 747-400s.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

Catch up with the latest daily “Thailand News Today” here on The Thaiger.

Keep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.
Never miss out on future posts by following The Thaiger.
Continue Reading

Coronavirus (Covid-19)

97 police officers investigated for fiddling Covid-19 payments

Maya Taylor

Published

on

97 police officers investigated for fiddling Covid-19 payments | The Thaiger
PHOTO: www.newsbeezer.com

97 police officers, from 41 police stations, are currently being investigated for an alleged scam involving Covid-19 payments meant for officers who worked extra shifts during the crisis. The case was assigned by national police chief Suwat Jangyodsuk in November, when it came to light that some officers may have fraudulently claimed allowances meant for others.

In one incident, an officer responsible for transferring extra payments to police on the southern island of Phuket transferred the money to his own accountant instead. At the time, the transfer was dismissed as a mistake (in his favour), with the officer in question receiving a warning, and payments then made to the qualifying officers.

Wissanu Prasatthong-Osot from the National Internal Affairs Police says the investigation should reach a conclusion within the next 10 days.

“The result of the investigation should be ready in 10 days. Currently, 97 officers in 41 police stations ranging from non-commissioned to generals are under investigation for being involved in the swindle. The bureau aims to provide justice to all policemen involved. After the investigation concludes, the victims will receive their full allowance, while the offending officers will be punished under the law and disciplinary standards.”

Nation Thailand reports that a full list of alleged offenders has been sent to Suwat, with Wissanu promising that none will escape prosecution.

“The National Police chief had also ordered the transfer of offending officers at the commander and sub-commander levels out of their areas as per the investigation procedures.”

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

Keep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.
Never miss out on future posts by following The Thaiger.
Continue Reading
No vaccine, no entry – the next Covid challenge | The Thaiger
Coronavirus (Covid-19)6 days ago

No vaccine, no entry – the next Covid challenge

Thailand will remain closed to general tourism until at least the 2nd quarter of 2021 – Minister | The Thaiger
Tourism4 days ago

Thailand will remain closed to general tourism until at least the 2nd quarter of 2021 – Minister

Ban on sales and promotion of alcohol online starts December 7 | The Thaiger
Expats5 days ago

Ban on sales and promotion of alcohol online starts December 7

Re-opening Thailand to tourism will be vaccine dependent | The Thaiger
Coronavirus (Covid-19)6 days ago

Re-opening Thailand to tourism will be vaccine dependent

An international Digital Travel Pass could be the magic bullet to restart global tourism | The Thaiger
Coronavirus (Covid-19)5 days ago

An international Digital Travel Pass could be the magic bullet to restart global tourism

The Thaiger needs an excellent English-speaking vlogger and TV presenter | The Thaiger
Bangkok5 days ago

The Thaiger needs an excellent English-speaking vlogger and TV presenter

Thai woman tests positive for Covid in Chiang Mai, 72 people found to be in close contact | The Thaiger
Coronavirus (Covid-19)6 days ago

Thai woman tests positive for Covid in Chiang Mai, 72 people found to be in close contact

From plandemics to sheeple – making sense of the Covid conspiracy-speak | The Thaiger
Coronavirus (Covid-19)5 days ago

From plandemics to sheeple – making sense of the Covid conspiracy-speak

2 more cases identified in the northern Thailand Covid-19 mini outbreak | The Thaiger
Coronavirus (Covid-19)5 days ago

2 more cases identified in the northern Thailand Covid-19 mini outbreak

Ron Howard to direct cave rescue feature film ‘Thirteen Lives’ in Australia | The Thaiger
Chiang Rai6 days ago

Ron Howard to direct cave rescue feature film ‘Thirteen Lives’ in Australia

Health Ministry teams up with Agoda to offer quarantine hotel packages | The Thaiger
Coronavirus (Covid-19)7 days ago

Health Ministry teams up with Agoda to offer quarantine hotel packages

No lockdown in Chiang Mai after local Covid-19 case | The Thaiger
Coronavirus (Covid-19)4 days ago

No lockdown in Chiang Mai after local Covid-19 case

18 Bangkok motorbike taxi drivers get prison for 2019 mass brawl killing a bystander | The Thaiger
Bangkok4 days ago

18 Bangkok motorbike taxi drivers get prison for 2019 mass brawl killing a bystander

Thailand News Today | No ‘tourism’ until Q2, Tiger smuggling, Win drivers jailed | Dec 1 | The Thaiger
Thailand4 days ago

Thailand News Today | No ‘tourism’ until Q2, Tiger smuggling, Win drivers jailed | Dec 1

Thailand News Today | Digital Travel Pass, Chiang Mai outbreak, Alcohol ban | November 30 | The Thaiger
Thailand5 days ago

Thailand News Today | Digital Travel Pass, Chiang Mai outbreak, Alcohol ban | November 30

Thailand News Today | Burmese border #&#!!!, Charges for Penguin, 9 dead in floods | Dec 4 | The Thaiger
Thailand13 hours ago

Thailand News Today | Burmese border #&#!!!, Charges for Penguin, 9 dead in floods | Dec 4

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways corruption, Southern floods, Border Covid outbreak | Dec 3 | The Thaiger
Thailand2 days ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways corruption, Southern floods, Border Covid outbreak | Dec 3

Thailand News Today | Prayut acquitted, Chinese probe, Speed limit 120 kph | December 2 | The Thaiger
Thailand3 days ago

Thailand News Today | Prayut acquitted, Chinese probe, Speed limit 120 kph | December 2

Thailand News Today | No ‘tourism’ until Q2, Tiger smuggling, Win drivers jailed | Dec 1 | The Thaiger
Thailand4 days ago

Thailand News Today | No ‘tourism’ until Q2, Tiger smuggling, Win drivers jailed | Dec 1

Thailand News Today | Digital Travel Pass, Chiang Mai outbreak, Alcohol ban | November 30 | The Thaiger
Thailand5 days ago

Thailand News Today | Digital Travel Pass, Chiang Mai outbreak, Alcohol ban | November 30

Thailand News Today | Army deny Twitter spin, “Don’t Reopen”, English proficiency low | Nov 27 | The Thaiger
Thailand1 week ago

Thailand News Today | Army deny Twitter spin, “Don’t Reopen”, English proficiency low | Nov 27

Thailand News Today | Shots fired, the yellow ducks, “no coup” promise | November 26 | The Thaiger
Thailand1 week ago

Thailand News Today | Shots fired, the yellow ducks, “no coup” promise | November 26

Thailand News Today | No vaccine, no flight, protest latest, smoking ban | November 25 | The Thaiger
Thailand1 week ago

Thailand News Today | No vaccine, no flight, protest latest, smoking ban | November 25

Thailand News Today | Holiday road toll, protests tomorrow, GDP recovery | November 24 | The Thaiger
Thailand2 weeks ago

Thailand News Today | Holiday road toll, protests tomorrow, GDP recovery | November 24

Thailand News Today | Dinosaurs in BKK, BOT tackles Baht, Special K isn’t special | November 23 | The Thaiger
Thailand2 weeks ago

Thailand News Today | Dinosaurs in BKK, BOT tackles Baht, Special K isn’t special | November 23

Thailand News Today | Bangkok exodus, Pattaya air pollution, Vaccine next month? | November 20 | The Thaiger
Thailand2 weeks ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok exodus, Pattaya air pollution, Vaccine next month? | November 20

Thailand News Today | Protests to escalate, Domestic violence, Tourist visa exemptions? | Nov 19 | The Thaiger
Thailand2 weeks ago

Thailand News Today | Protests to escalate, Domestic violence, Tourist visa exemptions? | Nov 19

Thailand News Today | Emergency Decree, Protesters shot, Baht boost temporary | Nov 18 | The Thaiger
Thailand2 weeks ago

Thailand News Today | Emergency Decree, Protesters shot, Baht boost temporary | Nov 18

Thailand News Today | Protesters v Police, Quarantine reduction, VietJet passenger arrest | Nov 17 | The Thaiger
Thailand3 weeks ago

Thailand News Today | Protesters v Police, Quarantine reduction, VietJet passenger arrest | Nov 17

Thailand News Today | The RCEP reset, Hotel Talkfest, Protesters to be arrested | November 16 | The Thaiger
Thailand3 weeks ago

Thailand News Today | The RCEP reset, Hotel Talkfest, Protesters to be arrested | November 16

Follow The Thaiger by email:

Trending