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Bikers descend on Phuket

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Phuket NEWS Hound

– A daily, pocket-sized packet of news from around the world, compiled by Phuket Gazette reporters for foreigners who want it short, sharp and straight to the point.

PHUKET: More than 3,000 big bikers from across Thailand and nearby countries will gather in Phuketduring ‘Phuket Bike Week 2010’ and celebrate the ThaiWater Festival of Songkran, Phuket Deputy Governor Teerayut Eamtrakul, announced yesterday.

This year Bike Week will take place April 8-13, with the Songkran festival starting on the 13th and running through the 15th.

The main organizer of Bike Week, Witaya Singkara, stressed the highlights of the event, which include the bikers’ carnival and 210 bikes displaying the shape of (the year) ‘2010’ on the soccer field bordering Patong Beach.

Training for big bike Highway Police Volunteers will also be arranged during the week, Mr Witaya explained. Other activities will include Bike Week exhibitions, Miss Phuket Bike Week contests, and concerts.

According to the Thailand National News Bureau, the local organizer estimates there will be over 700 million baht in circulation during the Songkran Festival in Phuket this year.

More bombs in Bangkok, Phuket quiet

The Nation
Shortly before 7pm yesterday, an M67 grenade was lobbed at the Army-run Channel 5 television studio, wounding seven people, four of them seriously. Two of the wounded were soldiers guarding the compound.

At about 9.30pm, an M79 grenade was fired into the state-run NBT (Channel 11) studio located on Vibhavadi-Rangsit Road.

The bomb exploded at the tent where soldiers were on guard, wounding four of them. They were taken to Phra Mongkut Hospital. Police investigators said the grenade might have been tossed from the elevated tollway in front of the TV station.

Yesterday’s attacks coincided with a march by the red-shirt protesters earlier in the day to several locations in Bangkok to force soldiers stationed temporarily there to move out.

Last night’s blasts against TV stations followed a bomb explosion inside the Customs Department compound in Klong Toey District at about 6 am, damaging glass windows and a van parked nearby.

The casualty toll from yesterday’s attacks was the highest since four grenades were fired on March 12 into the First Infantry Regiment base, wounding two soldiers. It was followed by a series of grenade attacks targeting government buildings like the Defense Ministry, the National Anti-Corruption Commission and the Public Health Ministry.

Meanwhile, Phuket, like all other Thai provinces outside the ‘Greater Bangkok’ area, has remained calm, with no protests, bombs, or other events or activities designed to express dissatisfaction with the current government.

Thai protesters trying to turn military

BBC
Thailand’s anti-government protesters yesterday massed at eight points in the center of the city. Troops have reportedly abandoned some of their positions after threats to tear down barbed-wire barricades.

The government has extended special security legislation and brought in extra troops to man check-points.

“We will meet with the military and police in a spirit of friendship, and talk with them to convince them to return to their barracks, and invite them to join us in calling for democracy,” said protest leader Veera Musikapong early yesterday.

Another leader, Nattawut Saikua, shouted to the crowd: “If we lose, we will probably go to jail. If we win, then we get a democracy back.”

The BBC’s Rachel Harvey in Bangkok says the protesters are no nearer their stated goal of forcing fresh elections, but there is no sign of them giving up either.

Peaceful Thai protests good for economy

The Jakarta Post
Analysts say protest leaders in Thailandare facing a dilemma: either maintain their non-violent approach and fail to rattle the government, or raise the ante and risk sparking clashes that could cost them their fast-growing support and credibility.

The lack of violence combined with PM Abhisit’s steadfast military backing has encouraged foreign investors lured by cheap shares with high dividend yields to pour into Thailand’s stock market in recent weeks.

On Friday, foreigners bought Thai stocks for a 24th straight session, spending a net 1.01 billion baht. They have purchased about 47 billion baht since February 22 as hot money continues to flow into regional bourses.

Thai Finance Minister Korn Chatikavanij says capital inflows into the Thaibourse should continue for the foreseeable future, although any escalation in political tension could trigger outflows.

— Gazette Editors

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

Thai Life

Happy Loy Krathong Phuket. Where to launch your krathong tonight

Tim Newton

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Happy Loy Krathong Phuket. Where to launch your krathong tonight | The Thaiger

Happy Loy Krathong Phuket. But this year authorities are saying ‘only floating Krathongs thanks’. No polystyrene, no steel pins – keep it natural and plant-based please. This year Loy Krathong in Thailand co-incides with the annual Halloween celebrations on October 31.

Authorities are also urging people to choose, or make, their krathongs using natural materials only. The latest craze for “edible” krathongs is also causing problems. Read about that HERE.

Loy Krathong is a festival celebrated annually throughout Thailand The name could be translated as “to float a basket”, and comes from the tradition of making krathong or buoyant, decorated baskets, which are then floated on a river. Loi Krathong takes place on the evening of the full moon of the 12th month in the traditional Thai lunar calendar so the exact date of the festival changes every year.

In Phuket, the Provincial Office says fireworks, fire crackers and sky lanterns are prohibited “for people’s safety” (but be assured there will still be a few sky lanterns seen flying off the islands beaches this evening).

 

Happy Loy Krathong Phuket. Where to launch your krathong tonight | News by The Thaiger

Loy Krathong is celebrated at many of the island’s popular waterways and at many of the beaches. Many hotels also host their own celebrations for their tourist customers. Here are a few of the locations you will be able to launch your own Krathong or buy one on site and watch families and couples launching Krathongs.

Popular locations in Phuket include…

• Saphan Hin Park Lake, Phuket Town

• Suan Luang Park (off Naka Market Road)

• Bang Wad Dam, Kathu

• The recreation lake near Ket Ho Temple in Kathu (The Thaiger ‘local’)

• Tin Mine Museum Lake on the Kathu back road, near BIS International School

• Nai Harn Lake and Nai Harn Beach

• Bang Maruam near the Alan Cooke Cricket Ground in Thalang

• Laguna (the main lake just inside the entrance)

• Just about anywhere along Patong Beach

Happy Loy Krathong Phuket. Where to launch your krathong tonight | News by The Thaiger

On the night of the full moon, Thais launch their krathong on a river, canal or a pond, making a wish as they do so. The festival may originate from an ancient ritual paying respect to the water spirits.

We would urge people to consider the environment if you’re making your own Krathong or try and select Krathongs that are made from natural products. Many of the ‘commercial’ Krathongs use polystyrene and pins that end up scattered along our waterways and provide a hazard on the island’s beaches when the Krathongs eventually wash ashore and disintegrate.

Same goes for the new fad of bread and “edible” krathongs. Officials say these can be dangerous for the fish and cause long term problems for water catchments.

Happy Loy Krathong Phuket. Where to launch your krathong tonight | News by The Thaiger

If you’d like to make a krathong, here’s a very quick guide…

If you want the easy way out, you will find hundreds of stalls on the way or near any waterway around the island that is participating in the event. Try and pick ones that appear to be made from natural materials.

Happy Loy Krathong Phuket!

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Phuket

Phuket tops travel destination list of cheapest hotel prices – Dertour 2020 Price Index

Caitlin Ashworth

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Phuket tops travel destination list of cheapest hotel prices – Dertour 2020 Price Index | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Phuket Hotels Association

Phuket tops a list of the cheapest travel destinations with a 1 night stay at a hotel costing on average less than $30 USD, according to a study by the German travel company Dertour. Phuket is going through what some say is a “crisis”, certainly a current tourist vacuum. The island province largely relies on income from foreign tourists, but with travel bans over the last 7 months, hotels and other businesses in the tourism industry have been at a loss.

For domestic tourists, Phuket currently offers a serene, peaceful tropical stay where you’ll have a lot of the island to yourself. There are plenty of daily flights to the island, but all from domestic locations at this stage – the international terminal remains closed.

Along with being listed as hotels with the lowest price, Phuket also made the top 5 cities with the largest price drop from 2019 to 2020, according to Dertour’s 2020 Accommodation Price Index. The company studied hotel prices for 75 popular tourist destinations around the world. Bangkok was just above Phuket at the fourth city with the largest hotel price drop. Bangkok hotel prices dropped by 34.6% while Phuket’s hotel prices dropped by 33.8%.

Prices will continue to be low, CEO DER Touristik Central Europe Ingo Burmester says…

“Travel itself will be cheap in 2021… Although it has been a challenging period, we have seen a great deal of interest in domestic travel. We also predict a major catch-up effect for Mediterranean destinations, European trips and long-haul routes in 2021 as soon as travel restrictions are lifted.”

Phuket ranks as the destination with the cheapest accommodation prices at an average price of $29 USD, according to the list. Average prices for 3-star hotels are $26 USD and an average of $54 USD for 5-star hotels.

Bangkok followed, ranking fifth on the list of cities with the lowest hotel price at an average of $43 USD per night. 3-star hotels in Bangkok average at $30 per night and 5-star hotels average at $93 USD.

Top 5 destinations with the lowest price in accommodation

  1. Phuket: Average of $29 USD per night
  2. Delhi: Average of $34 USD per night
  3. Kuala Lumpur: Average of $36 USD per night
  4. Bali: Average of $36 USD per night
  5. Bangkok: Average of $43 USD per night

Top 5 destinations with the largest price drop in accommodation

  1. Amsterdam: Dropped by 51.6%
  2. San Francisco: Dropped by 39.2%
  3. Vancouver: Dropped by 37.1%
  4. Bangkok: Dropped by 34.6%
  5. Phuket: Dropped by 33.8%

To read Dertour’s full report, click HERE.

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

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Phuket

Man arrested after allegedly slicing a man’s face with sickle

Caitlin Ashworth

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Man arrested after allegedly slicing a man’s face with sickle | The Thaiger
FILE PHOTO

A man was arrested on charges of grievous bodily harm after he allegedly sliced his friend’s face with a sickle, causing a gash about 25 centimetres long.

3 men, identified as Saeng, Ta and Rop, had been drinking at a shanty in Phuket’s Rassada district where Rop lived. An argument broke out over money. A bank transfer was apparently made, but no one received any money, according to Rop as he related the story to police.

The men didn’t come to an agreement and ended up going to bed. Ta stayed awake and slapped Saeng twice while he was falling asleep, Rop says. Saeng then got up, grabbed the sickle and swung the hooked blade across Ta’s cheek, Rop says.

Reports don’t go into detail about Ta’s condition, but photos of the scene by the Phuket News show a significant amount of blood on the concrete floor.

SOURCE: Phuket News

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