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In memory of “Mrs Palmer of the Phuket Hash House Harriers’

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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In memory of “Mrs Palmer of the Phuket Hash House Harriers’ | The Thaiger
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Well-known local healer and Phuket triathlete Richard Patrick Cracknell, 66, passed away in Hawaii in the care of his son Jesse on October 24. He succumbed to complications arising from an idiopathic degenerative motor neuron disease (MND).

PHUKET: This singular American athlete and healer, known by the Phuket Hash House Harriers (Phuket HHH) as Mrs Palmer, arrived in Phuket in the early 90s. He quickly started cracking backs, banging guitar strings, surfing and running in the rubber groves with the Hash.

He quickly set up a makeshift outpatient office, created the extraordinary one-man-band “Mrs Palmer and the psychedelics”, created the Phuket surf scene and was our resident mature-aged tri-athlete champion.

Once met, never forgotten – Richard Cracknell broke the mold.

The first chiropractor naturopath to establish himself on the island, Richard was a true health and fitness nut. A raw food aficionado and natural remedy healer, he established “The Wellness House” and “Living Food Café” in Nai Harn, cracking backs upstairs while creating raw organic vegetarian concoctions downstairs. Dr Cracknell retained a dedicated returning client base throughout the region.

Blessed with excellent diagnostic skills and healing hands, his unique style of rough magic helped hundreds. Many famous sports stars and celebrities called him up to their Amanpuri villas year after year for treatment. His banged-up old pickup truck was a regular sight on that exclusive headland in Surin during the Christmas chaos.

Richard moved in completely differing socio-economic circles without ever breaking character. An easy-going, long-haired hippie with six-pack abs, he was equally at home mulling with millionaires and movie stars as he was hanging out with seasoned professional athletes, bleached surfers, aging rockers, pimply teenagers, druggies, fatties, and the terminally ill.

He enjoyed sharing his well-researched knowledge of alternative medicine, and regularly gave tutorials on nutrition, health, diet and fitness – especially on his personal passion: triathlon and endurance race coaching and training.

He marched, or should I say swam, biked and ran through life to the beat of his own drummer, finishing on the podium in hundreds of triathlon races all over the world. A regular winner at the Laguna Phuket Triathlon in his age group, Richard never had enough cupboard space to store all his trophies.

Richard will be remembered by many as a kind and generous man, supremely comfortable in his own skin. Although possessing a wonderful comedic core, he didn’t suffer fools gladly and this sometimes made him appear impatient, dismissive and even a tad arrogant – especially on matters regarding health, diet and triathlon racing. However, he always forgave others quickly and laughed off his inability to satisfactorily correct some of his own character defects.

He would say, “We’re all human and, as such, we’re incomplete works in progress – the good with the bad, the yin and the yang all mixed up inside this primitive reptilian-minded meat sack. It’s best we forgive ourselves and others permanently and do it quickly – so we can get on with this joy of living.”

Richard is survived by his sister Kerry Ann Nagel, his son Jesse Cracknell, and three daughters: Cynthia Hamilton, Ray-lee Cracknell and Rikki Cracknell.

— Bill Oleary

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

Phuket

4 billion baht medical hub planned for Phuket

Maya Taylor

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4 billion baht medical hub planned for Phuket | The Thaiger
Mai Khao beach in north Phuket. PHOTO: Booking.com

Phuket officials are setting aside around 4 billion baht to transform medical tourism in the southern province of Phuket, by developing a state-of-the-art treatment hub in the north of the island. The Bangkok Post reports that the Treasury department is planning to give the Public Health Ministry permission to use 141 rai of government land in the sub-district of Mai Khao, close to Phuket International Airport. It’s not the first time the proposal has come to light.

The concept is gathering support as Phuket battles to diversify its attraction beyond a tropical holiday island.

The aim is to develop Phuket as a world-class health and wellness destination, with facilities that will attract medical tourists from all over the world, as well as providing a high standard of treatment to the local population. It’s understood the facility will provide a full range of health services, including long-term care, and hospice and rehabilitation services.

The island already has a well-developed medical tourism market, but has been based around local hospitals and clinics linking up with foreign marketing companies in the past. “The International Medical and Public Health Service” has been conceived to create more long term financial security and diversification, and value-added tourism in Phuket, as the island has taken a heavy financial hit over the past 7 months.

4 billion baht medical hub planned for Phuket | News by The Thaiger

PHOTO: Phuket Andaman News

The plan was first suggested in 2017, by then governor, Noraphat Plodthong and confirmed by the director of Phuket’s Vachira Hospital, Dr. Chalermpong Sukontapol, in July. At that stage, the estimated budget was 3-4 billion baht. The director-general of the Treasury department, Yuthana Yimkarun, says the plot is being offered to the Health Ministry for free. The land is thought be worth around 1 billion baht.

Yuthana says the ministry will manage investment, with approximately 2 billion baht required for the first stage of the project. Construction of the facility is expected to be completed over 2 years.

Meanwhile, it’s understood that unused government land that is currently managed by various government agencies may be moved under the remit of central government, with a view to increasing its worth. According to the Bangkok Post report, just 4% of government land is directly managed by the Treasury. The other 96% is controlled by various government agencies. Yuthana says the plan is to increase the percentage of state-owned land under the Treasury’s management to 10% within 2 years.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

“Open the borders, safely”, Bill Heinecke, Minor International interview – VIDEO

The Thaiger

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“Open the borders, safely”, Bill Heinecke, Minor International interview – VIDEO | The Thaiger

Bill Heinecke speaks to Bill Barnett. The two heavy-hitters of Thailand’s hotel and hospitality sector, mull over the current Covid situation and the reopening of Thailand’s borders to some form of tourism. Bill Heinecke is the Chairman and Founder of Minor International.

Bill Barnett is the Managing Director of c9hotelworks.com

Now the Thai government has approved the special long-term tourist visa scheme (STV), hoteliers are remaining skeptical about reopening due to the lack of clarity in the recent announcement, which will reportedly take effect next month. The president of the Thai Hotels Association’s southern chapter says more hoteliers will consider reopening if the government gives further information about the plan in terms of prospective markets, arrival dates, origin countries, and flights.

Such details would allow hotels to prepare themselves ahead of time to offer services as alternative state quarantine premises as at least 60 hotels in Phuket are awaiting approval to operate such facilities.

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Bangkok

Now they’re coming… Special Tourist Visa flight set for Tuesday – Tourism and Sports Minister

Caitlin Ashworth

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Now they’re coming… Special Tourist Visa flight set for Tuesday – Tourism and Sports Minister | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Unsplash: Suhyeon Choi

After much confusion and a few apparent ‘misunderstandings’, Chinese tourists on the Special Tourist Visa will actually arrive on October 20 and 26. At least that’s what Tourism and Sports Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn says, according to the Bangkok Post. The first group is said to arrive 4 days from now in Bangkok (if they actually applied for the visa this time).

Reports circulated for weeks about a flight of 120 to 150 tourists set to arrive in Phuket on October 8 from Guangzhou, China. An announcement was made shortly after the flight was due to arrive with Tourism Authority Governor Yuthasak Supasorn saying “administrative issues” had caused the delay.

It was later reported that no one from Guangzhou had actually applied for the visa and it was all just a misunderstanding after the Tourism Authority of Thailand reportedly passed off a list of those “interested” in the visa as actual applications.

This time, the Post is reporting the first group of 120 tourists from Guangzhou will arrive at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport on Tuesday. Another group of 120 tourists, also from Guangzhou, will arrive on October 26, but the Post didn’t say where that flight will land.

It’s apparently the same group that was planned to arrive in Phuket on October 8, but the minister claims the trip was postponed due to the Vegetarian Festival which is planned to run until October 25. Both the Phuket governor and National Security Council secretary general had claimed the festival was the reason for the delayed flight and was intended to ease fears of Covid-19 for the festival-goers coming in from the rest of Thailand.

Even though the new long stay tourist visa is good for 90 days, and can be renewed twice, the tourists will only stay in the country for 30 days, with 14 of those days in quarantine. Phiphat says the Tourism Authority of Thailand will find activities to keep the tourists occupied while in quarantine.

The visitors will be the first international tourists after a 6 month ban to prevent the spread of Covid-19. Thai officials have been discussing plans for months about how to safely reopen borders to revive the country’s economy which is heavily driven by the tourism industry. Officals are now talking about cutting down the mandatory time for quarantine from 14 days to 7 days to help entice people to visit.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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