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Phuket

Bigger budget needed to boost Phuket image

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Bigger budget needed to boost Phuket image | The Thaiger
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PHUKET: The central government needs to reassess how it determines Phuket’s budget due to the vast number of tourists for which the island’s infrastructure needs to cater, said Phuket Honorary Consul for Nepal Pranee Sakulpipatana at a seminar on the island’s image on Friday.

“The central government calculates the budget for the island based on its registered residential population of about 380,000 people. They fail to factor in the need for the island to take care of more than 12 million tourists, as well as unregistered Thai citizens and expats – all of whom consume resources and put pressure on the infrastructure,” said Ajarn Pranee.

“We need space to breathe; we need more infrastructure development; we need the central government’s help to better develop the image of Phuket,” she said.

Pakpoom Intharasuwan, the provincial chief administrative officer for Phuket, explained that he had been doing his best to secure a larger budget for the island in order to ensure the safety and well-being of tourists and locals.

“We have explained the situation to the central government. This is part of the reason that we have been given such large budgets for the underpasses and flyover projects,” Mr Pakpoom said. “These infrastructure development projects might be an inconvenience now, but they are good for the future of Phuket.”

The on-going infrastructure improvements on the island were also highlighted by Apinan Juntarungsri, the director-general of the Public Relations Department (PRD).

“The airport-expansion project and other development projects show the island is moving in the right direction. These are excellent ways to improve the image of Phuket in the long run,” said Mr Apinan.

“Phuket is already very famous as a tourist destination, and has bolstered the reputation of Thailand. There are countless good aspects about the island: the sun and sand; the smiley, friendly people; and the recent gastronomy award,” he added.

On December 11, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) dubbed Phuket a ‘City of Gastronomy’, honoring the island’s rich culinary history and unique cuisine (story here).

The Phuket Old Town Festival, which was held over the weekend and ends today, is one example of the island’s unique culture (story here).

During the festival, locals and tourists alike are urged to visit the statue of Guan Yin – the Goddess of Mercy – for good fortune, as well as a traditional Hokkien Chinese ceremony held on the last day of the festival at 10pm in Queen Sirikit Park.

Despite the onslaught of cultural events underway this month, Rangsiman Kingkaew, the secretary-general of the Phuket Tourism Association, asked that the provincial Public Relations Department find and present more positive news stories.

Backing Mr Rangsiman’s request, Mr Apinan urged all media outlets to publish more positive stories about Phuket, as well as the rest of Thailand.

“The media can help build a stronger, positive image of Phuket. Good-news stories are important. And it is also important that people think about the validity of a story that might harm the island’s reputation before sharing it on social media sites,” Mr Apinan said.

— Kongleaphy Keam

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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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Koh Samui

Top 10 islands to visit in Thailand (2020)

The Thaiger

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Top 10 islands to visit in Thailand (2020) | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Thailand is abundant with beautiful tropical islands - Conde Nast Traveller

Thailand is famous for its outstanding island experiences and there are many to choose from. From sweeping stretches of clear golden sands to islands where you can dive, snorkel and stay, Thailand’s islands and beaches are as diverse as they are plentiful. Let’s count them down…

10. Koh Tao & Koh Nang Yuan

Koh Tao is an island that is well-known for being a great diving destination. It is also known as Turtle Island by the locals and boasts of various small and beautiful beaches that serve as the perfect holiday destinations. Diving is a pleasurable sport to be carried out on Koh Tao as it can be carried out more leisurely in a less crowded environment due to the availability of various diving spots around the island. As diving and snorkelling are the main activities to be experienced here on Koh Tao, one should be aware of the best period to travel to the island with the best conditions.

The best time to visit is during the dry season, between March and September, where the water is said to be calm, and high visibility for more fabulous diving and snorkeling experience. It is highly recommended for tourists to visit Koh Tao in October as the sea is the calmest, and water is the clearest. There are various locations that are worth visiting within reach from Koh Tao, with Koh Nang Yuan being one of those destinations. This island is unique in that three different islands are joined by white sand, making a unique experience to travel between islands or island hopping.

Top 10 islands to visit in Thailand (2020) | News by The Thaiger

9. Koh Pha Ngan

Koh Phangan is a unique destination that one should not miss, as seen in its unique blend of both natural beauty and exciting activities. The unspoiled beaches on Koh Phangan cater to the needs of tourists who wish to relax and escape from their busy lifestyle, while those seeking an exciting and unique experience should not give the Full Moon beach parties a miss. The Full Moon beach parties are according to the lunar calendar, where many party-goers gather and have a fun and exciting time. Altogether, one can experience a hippy vibe when traveling to Koh Phangan, and it is truly an experience that one can only find on this island.

Known as one of the destinations that aim to cater to the needs of all tourists alike, one can expect relaxing activities such as yoga and wellness retreats and not surprisingly, parties, which are what one would not expect from its many natural beauty. Tourists are often left amazed by the gorgeous sceneries that one can experience on the beautiful beaches on Koh Phangan, such as Haad Salad, Thong Nai Pan, Malibu, and Bottle Beach. The best time to visit Koh Phangan is during the dry weather, which falls between March and September, where one can simply relax while sunbathing under the sun on beaches and around the island.

Top 10 islands to visit in Thailand (2020) | News by The Thaiger

8. Koh Samui

Koh Samui is yet another wonder that most tourists would love to explore when choosing a destination for a holiday as known by its unique blend of beautiful nature and modernity. This tropical island boasts of a vast stretch of beautiful beaches often lined with tall coconut palms, which adds to the tropical vibe along with a massive land of rainforests. Koh Samui is a well-developed island with the tourism scene always on the bloom thanks to the adequate facilities available for the convenience of tourists such as an international airport, high-end resorts, and wellness retreats. Nevertheless, tourists can still experience the natural state of Koh Samui.

Perfect for those who wish to get closer to nature, one can find many choices of activities to be carried out on Koh Samui. The many viewpoints on the island promise great photographs, while those who are seeking for more adventurous activities can give hiking a try. There are also many hidden beaches and waterfalls that one can explore. Besides the fun and exciting night parties and events, Koh Samui is a favorite choice among honeymooners. Visitors often visit between March and October, where the seas are said to be calm, allowing many water activities. Diving is fun during this period, where you can even swim with the whale sharks.

Top 10 islands to visit in Thailand (2020) | News by The Thaiger

7. Koh Lipe

Koh Lipe is a small island that does not disappoint despite being a tiny one. Do not be deceived by its size as this island provides the perfect destination for you to relax and put your hair down. The colorful coral reefs are one of the best, making the island to be one of the best diving destinations in the country. Koh Lipe has national parks and is under the protection of the marines. Therefore, tourists can experience the beauty of nature in an environment that is said to be raw and untouched. Although one can simply find pleasure by relaxing on the beach, many water activities will leave the more adventurous ones amazed where sports such as diving by beautiful coral reefs and magnificent marine creatures.

Tourists often visit Koh Lipe between November and April, but the peak season has to be in January, where many tourists come. Despite all that, Koh Lipe is still a favorite place for relaxation, as seen by its chill atmosphere. Those who are seeking more active pleasures can opt to visit the many neighboring islands around Koh Lipe, such as encountering the friendly yet cheeky monkeys on Monkey Island or rock climb on Koh Khai. Another beautiful destination that is within reach from Koh Lipe is Langkawi Island.

Top 10 islands to visit in Thailand (2020) | News by The Thaiger

6. Koh Rok & Koh Haa

Koh Rok and Koh Haa are islands that offer the best experience when looking out for a holiday destination which is different yet does not disappoint. These small islands provide a lot of surprises despite the size, and they are untouched and undiscovered, appealing to those who wish for something different for a memorable holiday. The local government takes various initiatives in maintaining the underwater ecosystem here on Koh Rok and Koh Haa. Therefore, tourists can get the opportunity to encounter a variety of vibrant marine life and beautiful underwater topography with both soft and hard corals.

The best time to explore Koh Rok and Koh Haa is between November and April, where avid divers and snorkelers gather due to the best condition to explore the underwater world surrounding the islands. One such place for the best diving experience is on Koh Lanta. It is worth mentioning that the marine park is not open outside this period. Boasting as one of the most beautiful destinations in the country, one can experience gorgeous beaches and exciting water activities on Koh Rok and Koh Haa. Snorkeling on Koh Rok Noi to experience the majestic Koh Rok waterfall or diving while exploring the underwater caves and caverns are pleasurable activities to be carried out. Another place to snorkel with high visibility is Koh Haa Yai, where stunning pictures and the experience of swimming with marine creatures such as manta rays and whale sharks makes for a great underwater experience.

Top 10 islands to visit in Thailand (2020) | News by The Thaiger

Check out the top 5 islands HERE

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Phuket

64 year old Singaporean found dead in Thalang, Phuket

Greeley Pulitzer

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64 year old Singaporean found dead in Thalang, Phuket | The Thaiger
PHOTO: A 64 year old Singaporean man was found dead inside a house in Thalang - Chiang Rai Times

A 64 year old Singaporean man was found dead inside a house in Phuket’s Thalang district on Thursday morning. Police say they were called to Yucharoen housing estate by neighbours who found the man dead in his bathroom. The man’s name is being withheld pending notification of relatives.

Police say there were no bruises on the man’s body and that it appears he had been dead for at least 3 days before his body was found. They also found his will in the bedroom, according to the Bangkok Post.

A neighbour living opposite told police she had taken food to the man and chatted with him last Monday, but on Thursday she went to his house again and there was no response to her knocking. She said she could hear water running inside the house and called her husband.They found their Singaporean neighbour decease inside the bathroom.

Police suspect he died of a yet-unspecified illness.

SOURCE: The Bangkok Post

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Phuket

Unsecured pickup falls off of ferry bound for Phuket

Greeley Pulitzer

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Unsecured pickup falls off of ferry bound for Phuket | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Ferry crew try to salvage the unsecured pickup truck which fell into the sea - Chiang Rai Times

In another case of a truck ending up in the ocean, a pickup truck is getting an unscheduled washing after it rolled off a ferry leaving Phang Nga Island bound for Phuket on Wednesday afternoon. The truck, which was unsecured, quickly sank and remains on the seabed.

The owner of the inter-island ferry has agreed to compensate the owner of the truck.

Wiwat Chidcherdwong, the Phuket Marine Office chief, says the pickup truck owner did not apply the hand brake after parking it on the ferry at Koh Yao, and added that the boat crew forgot to secure it with deck blocks.

“Crew members tried unsuccessfully to salvage the floating truck after it fell into the sea, but it sank.”

Unsecured pickup falls off of ferry bound for Phuket | News by The Thaiger

A spokesman for the Marine Police reports that rough seas may have tipped the vehicle from the deck. The pickup is still on the sea floor with a buoy attached, warning boats to keep clear.

SOURCE: The Chiang Rai Times

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