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Kapek almost kaput in Phuket

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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PHUKET: A rare type of wild rice introduced to Phuket more than 60 years ago is in danger of disappearing from the island, officials say.

Four years ago there were seven farms growing Manchurian wild rice – known locally as kapek – for commercial purposes. Now there are only two left, said Pradub Chusakulvong of Kathu Agricultural Office.

“The main cause of the falling number of farms is people selling off their land to real estate companies or landlords trying to profit from water resources in other ways,” he said.

Sod Roongsawang is the 72-year-old owner of one of the two farms that grow the crop. He first planted kapek around seven years ago.

Although the crop has not made him rich, it has provided him and his family with a good living, he said.

“In the wet season I earn around 1,000 baht per day. In the dry season there’s not enough water and a lot of rats, but I never earn less than about 300 baht a day,” he said.

Mr Sod’s family sells kapek in markets at 20 baht per bunch of eight stems. It sells out every day, he said.

“I’ve supported my children’s education right through to graduation just by selling kapek,” he said.

Mr Pradub said a small number of households grew the rice for their own consumption, though not for trading.

“There’s quite a large chance kapek will become extinct in Phuket,” he said.

Kapek has been cultivated in Kathu for a long time, where it is still available in restaurants and some markets.

“I think farmers who have suitable land should grow it because it provides a very good income and has no natural pests, except rats,” Mr Pradub said.

Kapek is known as nor mai nam in Central Thai, which means ‘water bamboo’. Its Latin name is Zizania latifolia Turez.

Originating in China, it is one of only four types of wild rice in the world.

People do not eat kapek grains, but its stems. These are cut above the roots and the tops are sliced off, leaving a piece around 10 inches long.

Nipa Manakarn, a nutrition teacher at Phuket Vocational College, said only the white material on the inside of the stem is edible.

“The best way to cook kapek is stir-fried with oyster sauce, mixed with any kind of meat you fancy,” she said.

— Sitthipong Nongkaew

 

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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

Phuket sets quarantine requirement for those entering the province, some exempt

Tanutam Thawan

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Photo via PR Phuket

A 14-day period in quarantine is required for those entering Phuket who are either not vaccinated against the coronavirus or have not been tested for Covid-19 within 72 hours of arrival.

Phuket Vice Governor Piyapong Choowong made the announcement yesterday, adding they will no longer require Covid-19 tests on arrival. Phuket News notes that the required tests were problematic, particularly for truck drivers who were delivering essential items to the island on a regular basis.

“If you stay in Phuket shorter than 14 days, then you will be in quarantine as long as you stay on the island… From today on, no rapid tests anymore. Arrivals without any documents must get the quarantine order at the checkpoint.”

Piyapong says staff from the Phuket Public Health Office will hand out quarantine orders to those entering the province. The a copy of the order will be sent to the Emergency Operation Centre, which will follow up with those who are in quarantine at their homes or hotels.

The main Phuket checkpoint will only be open from 8:30am to 8:30pm. Only delivery vehicles can enter outside of those hours.

Those only entering Phuket for a short day trip are exempt from the quarantine rule, according to the Phuket News.

SOURCE: Phuket News

 

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Phuket

Fishermen find space debris off the coast of Phuket

Tanutam Thawan

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Photo via Facebook/ Phuket Andaman News

Local fishermen found space debris, possibly from a satellite or space shuttle, on the seabed just 6 metres below the surface by Koh Ael in Phuket. At first, no one knew exactly what it was.

Specialists from a Navy explosive ordinance disposal unit were first called to look at the round, hollow metal object which was about 45 centimetres in diameter. 3rd Naval Area commander Vice Admiral Choengchai Chomchoengpaet told reporters at a press conference that the team took photos of the object and found it appeared to be a rocket fuel tank, possibly used to launch a satellite or shuttle into space. He said it matched photos online.

Both the Geo-Informatics and Space Technology Development Agency, or GISTDA, and the National Astronomical Research Institute of Thailand, agree that the object was most likely a fuel tank for a rocket.

Since the fuel tanks usually contain harmful chemicals like ammonia or hydrogen, divers examined the space debris to make sure there were no chemical leaks before bringing the object to shore and taken to the navy headquarters. The space debris will be taken to the GISTDA to be studied.

“If other objects similar to this one are found elsewhere, people should not touch them. They could contain hazardous chemicals. They should immediately inform Region 3 Thai-MECC or local officials.”

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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Phuket

Phuket police search for foreigners who were seen drinking beer at a restaurant

Tanutam Thawan

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Stock photo by Tembela Bohle for Pexels

Phuket officials are serious about disease control orders banning parties and gatherings with friends, especially when alcohol is involved. They’re so serious, that apparently they’re searching for 4 foreigners who were seen drinking beers at a restuarant in Rawai.

Police raided the restaurant yesterday at a complaint from a woman who works for the local district office. She was out on a campaign pushing for locals to wear face masks when she noticed that some people were sitting at the Roxanne restuarant, having a beer. Photos as well as a video was sent to the police showing a group of 4 foreign men and 2 Thai women sitting at the restaurant together.

Along with police officers, local officials from the Muang District Office and Rawai Municipality showed up to the restuarant. Reports say the men were seen driving off on motorcycles just as as the team of 10 officers and public officials arrived. The beer was still on the table when police arrived.

Officers took the owner of the restaurant and 4 of the employees to the Chalong Police Station. The owner is facing charges of breach of the provincial order banning the sale of alcohol and allowing the consumption of alcohol on the premises.

Just last week, police raided a home in Cherngtalay, breaking up a gathering of 6 people. 2 men from the UK who work in Phuket were taken to the police station and fined 6,000 baht whilst police were still waiting for another 4 people to present themselves at the police station.

As part of the disease control measures to contain the spread of Covid-19, preparing Phuket for a possible Covid and quarantine-free reopening in July, officials have banned social activities and gatherings, with the expection of traditional events like funerals. Phuket authorities have warned that foreign residents who break the rules could be subject to being deported.

SOURCE: Phuket News

Phuket police search for foreigners who were seen drinking beer at a restaurant | News by Thaiger

 

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