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Crucial Phuket road deteriorating

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Crucial Phuket road deteriorating | The Thaiger

PHUKET: The state of the Patong-Karon road has gotten worse over the years and accidents are now an everyday occurrence, local residents say.

The name of the winding road, dubbed Route 4233, changes from Sirirat Road on the Patong side to Patak Road after passing into tambon Karon near Le Meridien Phuket Beach Resort.

Three sections are particularly hazardous due to poor road conditions that include potholes, warping and folding.

The first is a 50-meter stretch near the Secret Cliff Resort, about one kilometer north of Le Meridien, where several large patches of asphalt in the northbound lane have become dangerous due to an uneven road surface, particularly at night.

Further south are two more treacherous sections, one near the Baan Karon Hill Resort and Spa and another near the Karon Cliff Boutique Bungalows.

A staff member at the Baan Karon Hill Resort said, “I have been working here less than a year, but I have seen many accidents – as many as two a day in the rainy season when the road gets slippery.

Most of them are foreigners who aren’t familiar with the roads. I haven’t seen anyone die yet, but I have seen many sent to hospital for broken bones,” he said.

Efforts to repair the danger spots haven’t solved the problem in the long term, he said.

“They are always out here fixing it, but after about 20 days it becomes damaged again,” he said.

A tuk-tuk driver who plies the route between Patong and Kata-Karon said he has seen many accidents along the road.

“Most of them are foreigners unfamiliar with the road and many of them are speeding when they crash,” he said.

“It’s been going on for about two years and it happens year round, not just in the rainy season. There are many danger spots on the road and many people lose control of their motorbikes trying to avoid them,” he said.

Efforts to improve the most dangerous sections have only brought about temporary relief, he said.

“We always call the governor’s complaint number asking for the Highway Department to come out and make repairs. Sometimes we have to wait up to 10 days. When they do come, they just cover the problem spots with asphalt, so before long the problems re-emerge. It just goes on like this over and over again,” he said.

Despite the temporary patches the overall condition of the road continues to deteriorate and in many spots has become so bad that nobody dares drive over them.

“There is damage all the way to Patong. If I am driving my tuk-tuk and the damage is in my lane I cross over and drive on the wrong side of the road because I don’t want my tuk-tuk to get damaged,” he said.

Phuket Highway Department chief Arun Sa-nae admitted the road was in a sorry state, but said in the end all road users have to assess road conditions and be responsible for their own safety.

“Bad driving and failure to maintain motorbikes properly are also part of the problem. It’s not just about whether the road is good or bad. Accidents will always happen if drivers are careless.

Accidents occur not only because of the condition of the road surface, but also because the road is curvy and narrow,” he said.

Roads in hilly, coastal areas are notoriously difficult to build and maintain and the problems in Phuket are exacerbated by rainy season erosion and poorly regulated roadside development, he said.

Budgeting is also a problem, he admitted.

The cost of sending out a team to do temporary repairs can run as high as 100,000 baht per job, but this is still far less expensive than rebuilding the entire road.

As the department can’t afford to fix the entire road, they have to focus on the problem spots, he said.

— Atchaa Khamlo

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Crime

Now you see him, now you don’t… Patong Police hunt foreigner over $30k theft

Greeley Pulitzer

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Now you see him, now you don’t… Patong Police hunt foreigner over $30k theft | The Thaiger

PHOTO: Patong Police

Patong Police have yet to develop any tangible leads tracking down a foreigner who made off with US$30,000 in cash from a currency exchange booth in Kalim, north of Patong in Phuket, last Tuesday.

The man is about 168 centimetres tall with grey hair and around 60 years old, Patong police told The Phuket News.

“We have no clue what nationality he is.”

He was last seen at the currency exchange booth wearing a purple polo shirt, blue jeans and black cap. Police have checked hotels in the area, police stations across the island and Phuket Immigration, but have yet to join the dots and come up with firm leads.

“Investigators have checked CCTV in the area and collected what evidence we have but we still do not know the man’s name or where he was staying.”

The man had visited the booth several times before Tuesday, when he disappeared with the $30,000 in US banknotes, according to police.

“It was always small amounts”, he added, noting that the amounts didn’t warrant staff at the exchange booth to check the man’s passport before making the exchange.

The man arrived at the booth again at about 1pm on Tuesday, saying that he had 900,000 baht cash to exchange.

SOURCE: The Phuket News

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Crime

Mystery surrounds security guard found dead in his Phuket room

The Thaiger

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Mystery surrounds security guard found dead in his Phuket room | The Thaiger

PHOTOS: Phuket Hot News

The security guard of a hotel in Nai Yang, northern Phuket, 52 year old Yingyot Butsabong, from Maha Sarakham province, was found dead yesterday (October 16) in his room. Police remain mystified how the man came to grief.

A woman named Supattra received a call from the hotel he worked at and was informed that he didn’t show up at work yesterday, so she went to his apartment to check on him.

She saw that his room was locked from the inside, so used the key she had in her possession to open the room and found Yingyot laying on the floor, face down. She thought he was just sleeping so she tried to wake him up but once she flipped him, she found that he already passed away.

She immediately called Saku police, and once on the scene, police found that there was some blood on the floor. The man had a 2 centimetre wound on his left eyebrow which was deep into his skull. There was also a wound on his chin about 1 centimetre long and about a centimetre deep. His left eye had a bruise which looked like he was attacked by a hard object.

Police report that he had been dead for around four hours in the room.

The room was not ransacked and there was no sign of fighting or theft. His body has been sent to Thalang Hospital for a detailed autopsy and to look into the cause of death.

SOURCE: Phuket Hot News

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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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