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Party for the Little People

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Party for the Little People | The Thaiger
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PHUKET: Parents around Thailand today have their hands full as the nation celebrates Children’s Day. To mark the annual event, free activities, prizes and entertainment are being held for youngsters around the island.

Here, the Gazette has compiled a roundup of where to go and what to do to keep Phuket’s little people entertained on this special day. However, this list is by no means exhaustive. Please keep an eye out for other events being held around the island.

Phuket City: Students from Phuket City schools will be holding stage performances at Saphan Hin from 8:30 am to 3:30 pm with free food and drinks. The Land Transportation Office will have a road-safety exhibition and a demonstration of safe bicycle riding.

Computers will be available for children to use, along with a range of other activities, games and free gifts. For more information call Phuket City Municipality at 076-250163.

Patong: Patong students will be putting on some of the 10 stage shows scheduled from 8 am to 3 pm at Loma Park. There will also be a lucky draw, painting and other activities organized by a variety of government and private organizations, plus 5,000 gift boxes, as well as snacks and drinks. For more information call Patong Municipality at 076-342078.

Cape Panwa: Budding sailors will have the chance to climb aboard Royal Thai Navy ships HTMS Chao Phraya and HTMS Tayan Chol between 9 am and 4:30 pm at the Royal Thai Navy Third Naval Area Command post.

Highlights will include a helicopter and naval-weapons display, a sea-rescue demonstration, a parachute show, plus live entertainment, free gifts, drinks and sweets for kids. For more information call 076-391826.

Phuket Aquarium will be opening its doors to children and students for free from 9 am to 4:30 pm.

Other activities include quizzes for prizes and games. One-hundred-and-twenty children aged between 10 and 13 years old can take part in a digital photography workshop supported by Sony.

Applications for the workshop and photo shoot can be made in advance by visiting the aquarium’s website at www.phuketaquarium.org

A three-hour workshop will be held in the afternoon.

Visitors will also be able to take a look at the photos taken on last year’s Children’s Day photo shoot in Phang Nga. For more information call 076-391126 ext 15.

Mai Khao: Phuket International Airport, in co-operation with the Third Naval Area Command, Aeronautical Radio of Thailand Ltd and Thai Airways International (THAI), PTT and several airlines, will stage activities at the airport’s multi-purpose building and the parking lot from 8 am to 3 pm.

There will be a “Dun-Dar-Ra” (impressions of famous people) competition for individuals and teams. There will also be games, shows, free gifts, plus food and drinks.

A Destination Air aircraft will be on display in the parking lot, along with a Navy helicopter, airport emergency-response vehicles and fire engines. There will also be a fire-fighting demonstration. For more information call 076-351570.

Kamala: Phuket FantaSea will host games and activities from 3 pm to 5 pm and put on a traditional Thai mini-concert at the Viva Bangkok Stage Theater in front of the Similan entertainment center. The day will also mark the opening of a new themed attraction, the Tiger Jungle Adventure. For more information call 076-385000.

Cherng Talay: Laguna Phuket will hold activities from 1 pm to 4 pm under the theme “Laguna Party Be good guys for the King”.

Other activities will include shows, games and quizzes with prizes. Stalls will be selling second-hand items, the proceeds from which will be donated to the Vachira Phuket Hospital AIDS-elimination campaign.

Karon: Some 80 scholarships will be handed out by the Mayor of Karon at Karon Circle to begin Children’s Day activities. Students from Baan Kata School and other Karon schools will be performing with dancing and other live entertainment.

Thirty lucky children will ride away on bicycles from a lucky draw. There will be games during the day with free snacks available. For more information call Karon Municipality at Tel: 076-330478.

Kathu: Prince of Songkla University (PSU), Phuket campus students will be holding activities, including a lucky draw and free snacks. For more information call Kathu Municipality at 076-321500.

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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’s annual Vegetarian Festival lowers flags, spirits return to the heavens

Caitlin Ashworth

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Phuket’s annual Vegetarian Festival lowers flags, spirits return to the heavens | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Marina Krasnopolska

WARNING! Content below contains photos of self-mutilation that some may find disturbing.

The flags on Go Teng poles were lowered on Monday, ending Phuket’s annual Vegetarian Festival and symbolising that the spirits have returned the heavens. The flags are raised at the start of the festivities each year at participating shrines, calling on the spirits to descend from the heavens.

This year, 2 men were electrocuted while taking down the festival flags. A steel pole with the flag touched a power pole, electrocuting and burning the workers as they were trying to lower the flags. They were taken to the hospital.

During the festival’s street processions and ceremonies so-called “mah songs” channel the descended spirits. They enter a trance-like state and many practice self-mutilation to channel the spirits. “Mah” means horse in Thai, and some say the mah song acts as a horse for the spirit to ride.

Some mah song pierce their cheeks and other parts of their body with steel spikes and sometimes swords or other bizarre choices (we’ve seen petrol pumps, javelins, samurai swords and kitchen utensils). During the street procession, they walk for hours with the self-inflicted piercings, seemingly posessed by ‘spirits’ and muttering all sort of strange chants, verging on mild cases of Tourette syndrome. A team of devotees for each mah song wipe away blood and keep the wounds clean. Some mah songs even slice their tongue for the street procession. Blood drips on their chest and the ground. Waiting bystanders line the streets hoping for the blessing of a passing mah song. Some mah songs carry a black flag.

The event is an annual spiritual ‘cleansing’ for those in watching the processions. Onlookers lining the street bow their heads and place their hands in the “wai” position as the mah song waves flags and banners over their heads. Businesses along the procession route often set up an altar outside their shop and mah songs stop at each one to do a short ritual.

The Phuket government gave the festival organisers the “okay” to hold this years event with hopes that it would increase domestic tourism and generate much-needed revenue after the Thai government’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic crippled Phuket’s tourist economy. Before this year’s festival, Phuket City Mayor Somjai Suwansupana asked that the mah songs “limit the level of torturing.” He also called for a limit on the number of people at ceremonies to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

His calls were largely ignored.

The spirits will again return in 2021 to Phuket again cleanse the island’s large Thai-Chinese community.

Photos of the 2020 Vegetarian Festival by Marina Krasnopolska.

Phuket's annual Vegetarian Festival lowers flags, spirits return to the heavens | News by The ThaigerPhuket's annual Vegetarian Festival lowers flags, spirits return to the heavens | News by The ThaigerPhuket's annual Vegetarian Festival lowers flags, spirits return to the heavens | News by The ThaigerPhuket's annual Vegetarian Festival lowers flags, spirits return to the heavens | News by The ThaigerPhuket's annual Vegetarian Festival lowers flags, spirits return to the heavens | News by The ThaigerPhuket's annual Vegetarian Festival lowers flags, spirits return to the heavens | News by The Thaiger

SOURCE: Phuket News

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Phuket

Phuket told to prepare “response plan” in case of second Covid-19 outbreak

Caitlin Ashworth

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Phuket told to prepare “response plan” in case of second Covid-19 outbreak | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Daily News

As Phuket awaits foreign tourists, city officials are told to prepare a “response plan” in case of a second wave of Covid-19. An official from the Ministry of Tourism and Sports held a workshop in Phuket today to discuss the risk of another outbreak as the country opens up to those on the Special Tourist Visa.

The ministry’s permanent secretary Chote Trachu says now that the country is allowing tourists (who are required to quarantine upon arrival) an infection “may somehow slip through.” He says a response plan needs to be in place in case this happens, adding that there should be corporation from the Ministry of Public Health and Ministry of Defense.

“If any tourists are found to be infected, the disease must not be allowed to spread among the people. There should be no panic, and public health officers will investigate the case. Tourist Police will track down the suspected person in an investigation with the Ministry of Public Health.”

Chote says all provinces – not just Phuket – should have a response plan. Although tourists must go through a mandatory 14 day quarantine upon arrival, Chote says there are some cases where the incubation period for Covid-19 is longer than 14 days.

“There are a variety of cases. Sometimes, the infection does not show after 14 days, or even 15 or 16 days. Each situation is different.”

Recently, a woman in Koh Samui tested positive for the coronavirus 5 days after she was released from a Samut Prakan quarantine facility. Traces of the virus were found on gym equipment the woman used at the quarantine, leading health officials to suspect she was infected before arriving to the island.

“We urge Thai people to not let their guard down. Everyone must wear masks, wash their hands and take care of personal hygiene. This will help prevent them from contracting the disease.”

SOURCE: Phuket News

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Business

Approval sought for multi-billion-baht Phuket medical hub

Maya Taylor

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Approval sought for multi-billion-baht Phuket medical hub | The Thaiger
Mai Khao beach in north Phuket - PHOTO: www.makemytrip.com

Industry officials are seeking the go-ahead for a project to transform over 140 rai of government land in Phuket into a world-leading medical hub. The project is budgeted at 3 – 4 billion baht, depending on which report you read. Kitkong Tantijaraswarodom, from the Federation of Thai Industries, believes the development of a medical and wellness hub in the sub-district of Mai Khao, north Phuket, will help revive the southern island’s battered economy. Phuket has become increasingly reliant on a steady flow of tourists over the past 2 decades.

The southern division of the FTI covers Phuket, Krabi, Phang Nga, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Trang, Patthalung, Surat Thani, Ranong, Satun, Chumphon, and Songkhla.

“The FTI will ask the government to green-light the project during the scheduled mobile cabinet meeting on the island on November 3.”

Kitkong says businesspeople in the south are anxious for the government to approve the project, which will provide both locals and foreign medical tourists with state-of-the-art medical care. The facility is expected to include long-term care, hospice and rehabilitation services, in addition to a dental hospital, sports therapy centre, and a medical training school for doctors, nurses, pharmacists and medical laboratory scientists.

The chair of the FTI’s southern chapter is also calling on officials to provide small and medium-sized businesses with additional support, in the form of access to loans, in order to deal with cash shortages.

“In the short term, the FTI wants the government to help SMEs, especially those in the tourism sector.”

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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