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Phuket Gazette Sports: Baseball opening day – a celebration of hope and renewal

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Phuket Gazette Sports: Baseball opening day – a celebration of hope and renewal | The Thaiger
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Baseball opening day – a celebration of hope and renewal
Reuters / Phuket Gazette
PHUKET: The crack of the bat, packed crowds and the smell of hot dogs on the grill signaled Major League Baseball’s Opening Day, a celebration of hope and renewal giving teams and their fans a fresh start to a new season.

It is a rite of spring for millions of Americans, who view Opening Day as tangible evidence that the chill of winter will soon fade into memory.

It is also a clean slate for fans of even the most humble of teams. Hundreds of thousands of fans take the day off from work and kids miss school to celebrate the renewal of the Summer Game on the perfectly manicured green diamonds.

It is a day that has been marked in the past by U.S. presidents tossing out the first pitch and cities throwing parades to mark the beginning of a new six-month drama about to unfold.

At Yankee Stadium, a new installment to the century-long rivalry with the Boston Red Sox began with the visitors claiming an 8-2 victory over the New Yorkers in front of an audience of nearly 50,000.

“Every Opening Day is met with a lot of anticipation,” first-year Red Sox manager John Farrell, who took over a club that finished last in the American League East in 2012, told reporters before the game.

“At 3 o’clock I woke up. Today is a great day all around the game, particularly here.”

Twelve teams hosted their season openers on Monday following Sunday’s Opening Night game in which the Houston Astros beat their intra-state rivals the Texas Rangers 8-2.

In Washington, the Nationals, who won a major league-best 98 games last year, set a home park record with more than 45,000 fans, who roared during player introductions and all the way through their 2-0 win over the Miami Marlins.

With televised coverage of games from afternoon to midnight, another Monday marquee match-up was taking place on the Pacific Coast as the World Series champion San Francisco Giants faced their arch rivals, the Los Angeles Dodgers, with a mouth-watering pitching match-up in the offing.

Matt Cain, coming off a season that included a perfect game and the championship clinching victory, was going against Clayton Kershaw, arguably the game’s best young pitcher for a Dodgers franchise that has loaded up their roster with a record high payroll in their zeal to overtake the Giants.

Festivities at Yankee Stadium began on a somber note, as first responders to last December’s fatal shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, were honored.

During a moment of silence, the victims’ names were displayed on the centerfield video board.

Once the game began, Yankees fans did not have much to cheer as Boston seized control with four runs in the second inning off New York ace CC Sabathia, who did not have the customary zip on fastball.

New York scored a pair of runs in the fourth against Red Sox starter Jon Lester to make it 4-2, but a Boston run in the seventh, before the traditional singing of Take Me Out To The Ball Game, and three more in the ninth turned it into a rout.

What started out as a mild afternoon that held the promise of sunny summer days ahead, turned cold and rainy in the Bronx and the sold-out crowd disappeared into the New York City rush hour by the time the Yankees took their last turn at bat.

“It got kind of raw in a sense. It is a school night as well and it started raining,” said Girardi, hoping there would be sunnier days ahead for his Yankees who were out-hit 13-6.

Today two other AL East contenders play their season openers when AL Cy Young winner David Price starts for the Tampa Bay Rays against the visiting Baltimore Orioles, while the much-improved Toronto Blue Jays host the Cleveland Indians.

— Phuket Gazette Editors

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

Thailand

UPDATE: Confusion over Covid-19 tests for visa extensions

Caitlin Ashworth

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UPDATE: Confusion over Covid-19 tests for visa extensions | The Thaiger

Confusion reigns today over whether Covid-19 tests will be required for visa extensions. While The Phuket News spoke with an immigration official who said “no… you don’t need a Covid-19 test to extend your visa or apply for a work permit”, Khaosod English wrote an article headlined “Covid-19 test will be mandatory for all visa extension”.

The Thaiger also contacted a respected visa agent who said Covid-19 tests are, indeed, now required for applying for both visa extensions and work permits, even renewals.

The Thai Immigration Bureau has not made any official announcement regarding Covid-19 tests. Talk about Covid-19 tests for foreigners was brought up after a rule was published in the Royal Gazette last month, officially adding Covid-19 to a list of dangerous diseases, prohibiting those infected with any of the listed illnesses from entering the country.

Immigration Police Bureau spokesperson Archayon Kraithong told Khaosod English that proof of a negative Covid-19 test will be required for visa extensions, regardless of how long a foreigner has stayed in Thailand. On the other hand, Phuket immigration deputy chief Nareuwat Putthawiro told The Phuket News that Covid-19 tests will not be required for visa extensions or work permit applications.

“We do not require any medical documents for an application to renew a visa, because there are few foreigners’ movements outside Phuket. Most of them live and work in Phuket, and have done so before the new wave of Covid-19… So they do not have to worry about it. Everything is still the same.”

Medical exams are currently already required for most work permit applicants (including tests for Syphilis and Elephantiasis). A visa agent told The Thaiger that Covid-19 tests have been added to the medical examination requirements for work permit applicants. But, on the other hand, Phuket immigration says they DO NOT require Covid-19 tests for work permit applicants.

“We have not received any notices about Covid-19 requirements for processing applications to renew visas. If we do receive any such orders, we will let the public know.”

It isn’t the first time there has been conflicting statements coming out of different officials, in different immigration offices on different days.

SOURCES: Phuket News| Khaosod English

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Visitors to Phuket from “highest risk” areas must show Covid-19 test results

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Visitors to Phuket from “highest risk” areas must show Covid-19 test results | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Chiang Rai Times

People arriving Phuket from the “highest risk” areas are required to take a swab test by the staff at emergency operation centres (EOC) or show the test result document endorsed by the EOC staff made within 72 hours of their arrival. The revised order is effective from now until January 31, according to the Phuket Governor.

Those people who are on a brief business trip to Phuket need to show certificates from their employers describing the reason and necessity of their trips. If they want to leave their accommodations, they have to make a request to the EOC and clearly explain the reason as well as the time and destination. Visitors are also asked to avoid going to the community areas to avoid crowded gatherings.

It is noted that the revised order by the governor has not been officially promoted by the Phuket office of the Public Relations Department. However, all visitors are still asked to register online via the Mor Chana contact tracing application and via www.gophuget.com according to the order re-issued on Friday.

SOURCE: Phuket News

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Tourism

The road less travelled – trekking to the Kalim Viewpoint

The Thaiger

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The road less travelled – trekking to the Kalim Viewpoint | The Thaiger

There are two well known ways to get from Kathu to Kalim or Kamala – one is across the Patong Hill, and the other is much longer, through Srisoonthorn and along the coastal road from Surin the Kamala (very scenic too).

But there’s also another way. Also very scenic but will take you about 2 hours through dense forest although there is a well-worn walking track. The track will take you from Kathu up to the Kalim Viewpoint. From here you can head back to Kathu along a different path, or down into Kalim, near Patong.

Starting about halfway down Soi Namtok in Kathu, you head up a nondescript road past the Flying Hanuman zipline attraction, although there’s no sign at the entrance to the soi (below). About the first kilometre is paved but then becomes increasingly ‘agricultural’ as you get higher into the hills, heading towards the Kalim Viewpoint. There’s also a small temple on the way up.

The road less travelled - trekking to the Kalim Viewpoint | News by The Thaiger

PHOTO: The start of the trek, a small soi off Soi Namtok – Google Maps

It will take around 2 hours to trek up to the Kalim Viewpoint. The walking is quite strenuous and you’ll need to be wearing the right shoes and take plenty of water – there’s no 7/11s on the way! As you get nearer the top, to the viewpoint, the track becomes less drivable although the track is still quite open and easy to follow. If you’re feeling a bit lazy you can take a motorbike about halfway up the road until you’ll need to proceed on foot from there.

From the Kalim Viewpoint you can see across Kalim to Patong Bay and the land that stretches along the bay south of Patong Beach. From the top you can either make your way down to Kalim or another exit along the Kalim-Kamala Road, just near the Iguana Beach Club.

You can also head back another way to Kathu, a longer return track that skirts around the top of the Kathu Waterfall. A lot of that track gets very narrow and parts of it are up and down the hills, some of it very steep.

The views are amazing and you get to see a vast swathe of Phuket, still very close to popular locations like Patong, Kamala and Kathu, but untouched by any civilisation.

You’ll need to be in reasonable health to take on the trip but, just to go up to the Kalim Viewpoint and back, or down into Kalim, should take around 5 hours in total. On a scale of 1 – 5 for difficulty, we’d rate it a 3. An easy trek for experienced people but will need a bit of planning if you’re not an experienced trekker.

Even on a hazy day, as it was today, the views were amazing. But best to start off early morning when the weather is cooler. Well worth the time for the views and the opportunity to see more of Phuket, away from the bars and beaches.

Thanks to BT for the pics and information.

The road less travelled - trekking to the Kalim Viewpoint | News by The Thaiger

The road less travelled - trekking to the Kalim Viewpoint | News by The ThaigerThe road less travelled - trekking to the Kalim Viewpoint | News by The Thaiger

The road less travelled - trekking to the Kalim Viewpoint | News by The Thaiger

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