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Korean tour operators shy away from action on illegal guides

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Korean tour operators shy away from action on illegal guides | The Thaiger

PHUKET CITY: Only eight of 57 Korean tour operators invited by the local office of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) to discuss the hotly-debated topic of illegal Korean tour guides in Phuket were represented at a meeting on Tuesday organized by Phuket Governor Niran Kanlayanamit’s office.

Being a tour guide is a profession reserved for Thais, yet many Koreans continue to work illegally as guides, last year serving some of the 239,093 Korean tourists who came to Phuket and spent more than 16 billion baht.

In a bid to at least restrict the increasing number of illegal Korean guides, the governor’s office announced at the meeting a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that requires Korean operators to employ Korean-speaking Thais as guides.

On August 29 and 30, about 300 Thai guides will sit a Korean-language test set by the provincial administration and the Professional Guide Association (PGA).

According to the MOU, those who pass the test, which will be overseen by Korean-language experts, will begin working immediately for Korean tour operators.

The PGA called on the governor’s office to charge operators who illegally employ Korean guides and refuse to sign and abide by the MOU.

Korean tour operators at the meeting raised concerns that after employing Thai guides, many of them would quit and set up their own companies or work freelance, leading to staffing shortages.

The MOU is due to be signed August 14, though it is unclear how many Korean tour operators will sign the agreement.

Korean operators at the meeting said that they would hold a separate meeting to discuss the proposed MOU, informing other operators who were not able to attend Tuesday’s meeting.

The MOU is the latest development in a series of events that have seen the TAT and the governor’s office criticized for failing to crack down on Koreans working illegally as tour guides in Phuket.

Last November, some 25 Thai tour guides marched on Phuket Provincial Hall demanding the resignation of Suwalai Pinpradab, director of Tourism Authority of Thailand’s Southern Region 4 office.

In a letter written to Governor Niran, the Thai guides alleged that government officials had been taking bribes from Korean tour operators to allow them to continue hiring illegal guides.



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Phuket

Police investigate motorbike hoons in Patong

The Thaiger

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Police investigate motorbike hoons in Patong | The Thaiger

PHOTOS: Patong Police

Patong Police are investigating alleged foreign motorbike racing gangs in Patong after a viral video clip in local social media.

The Patong Police report that the clip of tourists who have been driving their motorbikes at high speed around the streets of Patong has been very popular and provided them with a lot of information about the locations, the bikes and the riders.

Police are now investigating the incident to find the people on the bikes so they can charge them and take legal action.

Every month they say there are about 2,000 cases as Patong Police enforce the road rules around the tourist town. Patong Traffic Police say they are strictly enforcing traffic rules to prevent road accidents and protect tourists.

Police investigate motorbike hoons in Patong | News by The Thaiger Police investigate motorbike hoons in Patong | News by The Thaiger Police investigate motorbike hoons in Patong | News by The Thaiger

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Phuket

“Self-myofascial release” – what is foam rolling?

The Thaiger

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“Self-myofascial release” – what is foam rolling? | The Thaiger

by Krix Luther

The word is out about self-myofascial release – foam rolling – and, no, Thailand people, this doesn’t have to do with a ‘soapy’ or ‘happy-endings’.

So what is foam rolling you ask? Well, it was once a secretive technique used by professional coaches and therapists but has become a regular practice for people across the spectrum of all fitness levels.

Self-myofascial release is just a fancy term for a technique of self-massage that helps deal with muscle tightness and trigger points.

With a massage parlour never being farther than a kilometre away, and decent one-hour massage costing you less than 500 baht, it might be difficult to see the point of learning the technique – which would explain why I always see a bunch of rarely used foam rollers in the corner of Nai Harn Gym in Phuket (one of the places I work).

Nonetheless, the understanding of your body and muscle structures that comes with practising the technique can offer many benefits.

  • Increases flexibility and range of motion
  • Improves blood circulation
  • Prevents chances of DOMS
  • Reduces post-workout stress
  • Helps with post-workout cooldown
  • Reduces recovery time
  • Prevents training-related injuries
  • Reduces chances of overtraining

The practice can be done with a foam roller, lacrosse ball, Theracane or your own hands by simply applying pressure to specific points on your body, aiding in the recovery of muscles and assisting in returning them to normal function. We can think of ‘normal function’ as when your muscles are elastic, healthy and ready to perform at a moment’s notice.

Foam rolling after a workout will provide deep compression that will help relax tight muscles and adhesions (fibrous bands) between muscle layers and their surroundings. The benefits of foam rolling are outstanding, in addition to increasing blood flow, which will speed up muscle recovery. Foam rolling can be used for a variety of corrective bodywork.

It can loosen muscles to re-balance posture, re-establish proper movement patterns, enhance performance and help create pain-free movement.

Stretching alone is not always enough when it comes to releasing the tightness, which makes the technique very helpful. Additionally, you are able to feel exactly what is happening and adjust the pressure so that it is uncomfortable, but not unbearable – not always the case when it comes to the toes of your Thai masseuse digging into your back.

Krix Luther has been a Personal Trainer in Phuket for more than 10 years, he specialises in weight loss, strength & conditioning, TRX and CrossFit. For more information about Krix and his services, visit krixluther.com

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Phuket

Elderly motorbike driver dies in Thalang crash

The Thaiger

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Elderly motorbike driver dies in Thalang crash | The Thaiger

A 74 year old motorbike driver has died after colliding with a high speed taxi in Thalang this morning.

The Thalang Police headed to the accident near an intersection of Thepkrasattri – Nai Yang Road in Thalang at 7.40am.

When they arrived they found a damaged taxi. Nearby they located the damaged motorbike.

74 year old Somchai Uttasaha, the motorbike driver, was taken to the Thalang Hospital but was later pronounced dead as a result of his injuries.

Police report that the taxi was traveling at high speed. The driver was 48 year old Prasert Malitong.

When the taxi arrived at the location of the incident, the motorbike was allegedly traveling outside his proper traffic lane.  The taxi collided with the motorbike at speed.

The taxi driver has been charged with reckless driving causing death.

Elderly motorbike driver dies in Thalang crash | News by The ThaigerElderly motorbike driver dies in Thalang crash | News by The Thaiger

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