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Nai Yang Beach restaurant operators fight eviction

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Nai Yang Beach restaurant operators fight eviction | The Thaiger
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NAI YANG BEACH: The owners of 13 beach-side restaurants located inside Sirinath Marine National Park are refusing to relocate to new premises that were built for them at the park’s visitors center, saying that the new shops are too small and distant from the sea.

The latest dispute in the area is only the latest chapter in a decades-old dispute over the right to use the Nai Yang beach front, the southern half of which is administered by the Sakoo Tambon Administration Organization. The other half is located inside Sirinath National Park, which covers 22 square kilometers south of the airport.

Sirinath National Park built a “food center” style facility with 10 shops to accommodate some of the 13 vendors who currently operate on land inside the park, but the vendors are refusing to relocate.

Restaurant owner Somjit Lakbarn said that the new premises offered by the park, each just three meters wide and four meters deep, are too small.

Her current operation, started more than a decade ago, has seating for ten customers and offers a wide assortment of dishes, including somtum, roast chicken and a variety of grilled seafood, along with beer, whiskey and other beverages. Under the rules of the new food center, each vendor would be restricted to a single type of food. Location is also a problem, she said.

I am not confident I can attract customers and make a profit at the new place because it is more than 100 meters from the beach. Also, all the vendors will have to pay to buy plates, bowls and cutlery, and pay the cleaning and dish-washing staff hired by the food center,” she said.

Ms Somjit said she had raised these issues with Park Chief Charuay Inchan, but that he dismissed them and said the vendors were not in a position to negotiate.

He just said it was park policy to make the beach more beautiful,” she said.

The restaurant owners have already sent a petition to Phuket Governor Preecha Ruangchan asking that they be allowed to remain. Some of the vendors have been operating there for twenty years.

I believe the governor will give me the justice. We earn a living in an honest way, offer a good service and don’t take advantage of people,” she said.

As part of the petition, the restaurant owners outlined steps they would take to keep the beach beautiful if they are allowed to continue operating there.

I promise I will do my best to keep the beach beautiful. I just beg the governor not to force me to move from here,” she said.

The former park chief allowed us to set up our business here under the promise that we would protect the trees and keep the area clean. We have been operating here happily and without incident for a long time,” she added.

Current park chief Charuay Inchan isn’t budging. He said, “The law is on the side of the National Park and I have already informed the National Parks Region 5 Office in Nakhon Sri Thammarat, which is preparing to take legal action against the encroachers.

“When the court orders the eviction of the vendors, they will have 30 days to comply. If they fail to do so, the shops will be removed by the state and they will be charged for the work in removing them. As for the ten new stalls completed in October, only one is currently being used. The other stalls are available to the existing beach vendors on a first-come, first-served basis,” Mr Charuay said.

Nai Yang National Park needs to develop the area in a standardized way. We have been getting lots of complaints from people about the state of the beach. The new food center will also improve hygienic conditions for tourists who come here to eat,” he added.

Outside the park boundary, south of the closed-down Crown Nai Yang Suite Hotel, some 33 roadside shops and stalls line the beach road. The days also appear to be numbered for these small-scale entrepreneurs, who are also encroaching on public land.

Sakoo Tambon Administration Organization President Surapomg Panyawai, now in his second term, told the Gazette that he agrees with Governor Preecha’s plan to tidy up the entire 2-kilometer Nai Yang beach front and make it more attractive to tourists.

The administration has already submitted a proposal for 23 million baht in provincial funding to construct a single-story building to house all 33 shops.

We have already held a meeting with the shop owners and they agreed with the plan. We will begin construction as soon as the governor gives his approval. The vendors agree to move into the new facility as soon as it is completed,” he said.

After the building is finished, I will not allow the construction of any new shops near the beach,” he added.

In 2005, the Sakoo Tambon Administration Organization spent 15 million baht in funding that was provided by the Tourism Authority of Thailand to build 30 single-story shops for the vendors on National Park Land.

The park halted construction in August of that year, pointing out that permission had only been verbal and that the structures, by then 60% complete, did not follow the originally specified design.

Then Phuket Governor Udomsak Uswarangkura visited the site and ordered the buildings torn down, agreeing with the park authorities that they were an eyesore, blocking sea views from the road.

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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.

Catch up with the latest daily “Thailand News Today” here on The Thaiger.

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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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