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Battle for Phuket’s Surin Beach goes on

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Battle for Phuket’s Surin Beach goes on | The Thaiger

PHUKET: The saga over the stalled clearing of a restaurant encroaching on Surin Beach continues, with the restaurant owners refusing to remove structures and local authorities planning to file yet another report.

Pla Restaurant was spared from a raid on Wednesday morning when a multi-agency task force of no less than 30 officers acting under an order from the Governor was expected to arrive and take action.

Organized to coincide with the passing of a 30-day notice to vacate, the raid was called off after a last-minute missive from Thalang District Chief Narunart Suwanpratheep requesting that no action be taken against the restaurant at this stage.

Oddly, it was Mr Narunart who instigated the investigation into the restaurant’s encroachment on the beach back in July this year, when he asked Cherng Talay Tambon Administration Organization (OrBorTor) president Manote Panchalad to inspect the site.

Thus far repeated attempts by the Phuket Gazette to contact Mr Narunart to find out why the raid was called off have proved fruitless. Mr Narunart has been unavailable for comment.

Yet Cherng Talay OrBorTor President Manote told the Gazette yesterday that he had not given up.

“Now I have to file a report within 15 days,” he said.

The fight over the right to extend the restaurant up to the water’s edge has resulted in accusations over double standards and influence by “mysterious” people.

“They said we are encroaching on public land, but you can see all along Surin Beach right up to Bang Tao Beach that the beach is being encroached upon,” said Charoen Singkaew, who helps run the family-owned restaurant.

“We are just trying to make the beach look better. This sand we dug from the water right in front of the restaurant. When we remove our tables and decorations [each night when the restaurant closes], everything is fine. We didn’t destroy anything,” he added.

“We have been trying to contact the OrBorTor chief, but he has been ignoring our calls. Now that we have an official letter from Thalang District Chief Narunart Suwanpratheep, I dare anyone to remove any part of our restaurant against this order. I will file a complaint over removal of private property,” Mr Charoen warned.

Somsak Boontapatipa, the head of the family-run restaurant, was just as angry. “Why do we have to be the only restaurant to be pulled down? Everyone builds on the beach,” he told the Gazette.

“They said we have ruined the beach environment and the view, but we are actually trying our best to make it better. We built the wall to protect our restaurant and the environment.We even planted some trees and put some more colorful lights to make Surin Beach more beautiful so tourists who come to the beach will tell everyone how beautiful it is,” he added.

Mr Somsak alluded to unspecified “local complexities” that were influencing the issue.

“I know who filed the complaint, but I do not want to name anyone. I would like to hear an explanation from the Cherng Talay OrBorTor,” he said.

Yet Mr Manote stands resolute in taking action.

“There is no reason to hold off on this. You can see it with your own eyes and they know what they are doing.

“I know they want to talk to me privately, but this is not up for negotiation. They cannot build anything on the beach. If you see anyone else do it, please report it to me,” he said.

“And if they are accusing someone of receiving some benefit from this, please feel free to speak up and name who that person is,” he added.

— Chutharat Plerin

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

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People

‘Always Smile Journey’ raises fund to provide free English classes for underprivileged people

Nattha Thepbamrung

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‘Always Smile Journey’ raises fund to provide free English classes for underprivileged people | The Thaiger

On October 18, the ‘Always Smile Journey’ group and its partners will host an exhibition with plenty of fun activities at the Yak Yai Market, near Chalong Circle, in Phuket. This event was designed to raise funds to provide free English classes for underprivileged people on the island of Phuket on Saturdays and Sundays. The group does not accept donations but aims to raise money through the sales of the products available at the event.

‘Always Smile Journey’ raises fund to provide free English classes for underprivileged people | News by The Thaiger

From 2 pm to 8 pm, there will be a number of artists, musicians and performers who will keep the attendees entertained along the way. There will be a short film about His Majesty King Rama 9 as well as fun activities and games for kids and families, which are all free of charge.

The big bike crew is also a part of this event. They will ride a parade from Rawai Beach heading to the market and showcase their gorgeous two-wheel buddies.

One of the highlights of the Always Smile Journey exhibition is the ‘Happening’ artists group, who will draw and paint a picture of the His Majesty King Rama 9 under the name ‘Street Art King Bhumibol’ on a 4×10 meter sign live at the event so the guests will experience this large-scale art in action. The Happening will also offer portrait sketching for the participants.

‘Always Smile Journey’ raises fund to provide free English classes for underprivileged people | News by The Thaiger

One of the works created by the Happening team; a painting of HM the King Rama 9 on a huge wall (Photo credit: Chawat Chumpasan)

There will also be some western menus available at the event which will be donated to underprivileged children.

This free English class project has over seven years of experience through its cooperation working with individuals and other charity organizations. Throughout the years, the group visited several areas such as Ban Laem Hoy School, Ban Bopud School and Ban Angthong School in Samui, Surat Thani province, Ban Bueng Ao Oun School and Ban Kakoh Rayong, in Surin province, Jalae Village of Lahu (Muser) in Chiang Rai province, as well as community education centers in Siem Reap, Cambodia and in Luang Prabang, in Laos.

This event is a cooperation between several groups, including Happening, Yak Yai Market and Arrow Media, Tattoo artist group, Thonburi Art School Alumni, International School of Tourism, Suratthani Rajabhat University, big bike group from Phuket, artists/performers/musicians from many provinces as well as several businesses across Phuket.

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Bangkok

The world’s fastest growing tourist destinations

The Thaiger

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The world’s fastest growing tourist destinations | The Thaiger

PHOTO: Hello Phuket – destined for huge tourist growth in the next six years – fodors.com

In 2018, international tourist arrival traffic grew by 6% to reach a total of 1.4 billion world tourists, according to research by UNWTO World Tourism Barometer. And there’s a lot more to come with international travel predicted to increase by a massive 35% over the next six years to 2025.

But where is all that extra traffic going to go? Which destinations are quiet now that might be swarming with tourists in the years to come? Two destinations in Thailand are set for a prosperous future, according to the data. Whilst almost all the growth is excepted to be to Asian destinations, an under-visited resource for world tourism so far.

Euromonitor data has been used to simulate tourist growth models and reveal the fastest growing projected visitor arrivals in major cities and destinations around the world for 2025, compared to arrival figures in 2018.

In Thailand, Phuket’s tourist traffic is poised to increase up to 85% in the next six years, from nearly 12 million arrivals in 2018 to over 22 million in 2025. Bangkok is predicted to see the 8th most prolific rise in tourist traffic, with arrivals in Bangkok set to swell an additional 68% during the same period. Doha, the capital of Qatar, is set to explode with 104% increase in traffic over the next six years.

The data also predicts that both Bangkok and Phuket will rebound big time in 2020, Phuket in particular with a growth of around 20% for the next year, accord to the data from TravelSupermarket.com.

By 2025 the data predicts that Bangkok will be the world’s #1 tourist destination, a position it’s held before in recent years. The Thai capital will be followed by Singapore, Dubai, Phuket and Kuala Lumpur, making South East Asia the world’s emerging tourism hotspot.

Some of the world’s favourites – New York, Paris, London – will continue to grow their tourist numbers but not at the rate of most Asian destinations.

You can read the full list HERE.

The world's fastest growing tourist destinations | News by The Thaiger

Stats compiled by travelsupermarket.com

The world's fastest growing tourist destinations | News by The Thaiger

Stats compiled by travelsupermarket.com

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Phuket

Rawai beachfront water shut-off tomorrow for mains works

The Thaiger

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Rawai beachfront water shut-off tomorrow for mains works | The Thaiger

The Phuket Provincial Waterworks Authority says Rawai’s mains water supply will be shut off tomorrow (Tuesday, October 15) as new water pipes are fitted in front of The Title Beach Front condo resort complex on the town’s beachfront.

The mains water supply will be shut off from 9am until 4:30pm along the beachfront strip.

The PWA says the areas affected will be along Wiset Road along the Rawai beachfront road, as well as Soi Yanui and Soi Ruafaed.

Residents and businesses are being urged to collect water for use during the day today, before tomorrow morning’s shut-off.

As usual, the PWA say…“We apologise for any inconvenience caused.”

Contact the Phuket Provincial Waterworks Authority on 076 319173 or 082 7901634 for more details.

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