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Ferrari 488 Spider debuts in Phuket

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Ferrari 488 Spider debuts in Phuket | The Thaiger
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PHUKET: The Ferrari 488 Spider officially made its debut in Phuket – its first appearance in Southeast Asia – following the premiere at the Frankfurt International Motor Show in September.

The Ferrari 488 is the latest chapter in Maranello’s ongoing history of open-top V8 sports cars, a story that started with the targa-top version of the 308 GTB – the immortal 308 GTS – and which ultimately resulted in the full convertible Spider architecture.

The replacement for the Ferrari 458 was showcased in ‘Blu Corsa’ rather than classic Ferrari Red at the JW Marriott Phuket Resort and Spa on Friday. The metallic particles suspended in the Blu Corsa paint have an unusual iridescent effect that is created by the two-layer paintwork.

“We are choosing it for Phuket as we are by the sea. And it also reflects that freedom and lifestyle and leisure [associated with Ferrari],” Dieter Knechtel, Ferrari Far East managing director, told the Phuket Gazette.

The launch represents preparation to enter the model in the five Southeast Asian markets that Ferrari operates in late next year.

“Thailand is a great place to come for Ferrari. We have a very strong partner here [Cavallino Motors Co Ltd] that is very supportive. It’s a market that is gaining in importance. So, for this reason we wanted to give back a little,” Mr Knechtel said.

Simon Inglefield, head of ASEAN – Far East Ferrari, was also at the launch. He explained that there were a number of reasons that Phuket was an ideal location in Thailand to debut the 488.

“In Bangkok, we found the traffic to be quiet heavy, so why not come to a beautiful location like Phuket, which really reflects the car: the blue color with the blue sky you have here and the scenery,” Mr Inglefield said. “That’s also why Phuket was chosen, because of the roads here. It’s the perfect location to test drive the car.”

The Southeast Asian region has proven to be a very volatile market for Ferrari, with strong results in one country, while another goes through a transitional period. However, the last five or six years have seen the Thailand market opening up, confirmed Mr Knechtel.

“We are very happy with Thailand. We are, step-by-step, seeing results in every aspect of the business. The California T [model] is working very well in Thailand. We are confident about any other model coming to Thailand, because the structure [here] is very strong and the customer base is getting stronger,” he explained.

“There are not too many [Ferraris in Phuket], but that is not a reason to do something for them. I think if the situation continues like this, we need to think about building stronger structures in Phuket and other areas within Thailand.”

The popularity of the Ferrari 458 Challenge racing event in Thailand continues to help boost the company’s presence in the Kingdom. Next season will again see the 458s raced. However, the 488 is expected to take the track for the 2017 season, confirmed Mr Knechtel.

The 488 is the most high-performance Spider built by the Prancing Horse and is powered by the coupé’s 3902cc turbo-charged V8, which punches out a maximum of 670 CV with the variable torque management system, guaranteeing smooth, progressive torque delivery in the higher gears.

The car, with blistering acceleration 0 to 100 km/h in three seconds and 0 to 200 km/h in 8.7 seconds, has a throttle response time of just 0.8 seconds, which essentially eliminates the turbo lag typical of this kind of engine.

Though replacement for the Ferrari V12 range is coming soon, Mr Knechtel was unable to confirm or deny whether a similar turbo solution would be put in place for the larger engine.

The 488 has a retractable hard top, which debuted on the 458 Spider as the world’s first such solution on a mid-rear engined car. The retractable hard top has rendered traditional soft-tops obsolete, as it is not only lighter, but also provides better protection from noise and the elements. Equally significant is the fact that the retractable hard top can be raised or lowered in 14 seconds, even when the car is in motion.

In line with Ferrari’s tradition and drawing on the harmonics typical of Prancing Horse cars with this kind of architecture, this 8-cylinder has its own absolutely distinctive soundtrack, thanks to exhaust headers with longer, equal-length piping and the flat-plane crankshaft. The sound was crafted to be seductive, but never invasive when the top is dropped, with both volume and clarity increasing in signature Ferrari fashion.

— Isaac Stone Simonelli

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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.

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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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