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Phuket Live Wire: True 3G dongles all the way

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Phuket Live Wire: True 3G dongles all the way | The Thaiger
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PHUKET: I dropped by the True office in Phuket Town and discovered a number of changes. If you want “3G” HSPA service in Phuket, here’s what you need to know.

In Phuket, 3G service (more accurately, HSPA service) is only available from True. True is in the process of extending 3G service on the island. In spite of what you may have read, or what a sales clerk may have told you, most of Phuket can’t get 3G signals.

If you own a 3G iPhone, iPad, Android phone, or USB dongle, there’s a specific set of steps you have to go through in order to get 3G. No, it isn’t enough to buy a phone with “3G” printed on it.

To get 3G, take your computer, phone or pad to the True office that’s in front of Robinson’s department store in downtown Phuket Town. You can set up 3G at True offices elsewhere, including Big C, but I’ve heard complaints that the staff at the other locations may not know what they’re talking about. The people at the main office in Phuket Town know their stuff.

In order to get 3G, you have to get a telephone number. In order to get a telephone number you must have either (1) a valid Thai ID card, or (2) a valid work permit. If you’re a foreigner and don’t have a work permit, take a Thai national with you. They’ll have to sign up for the phone number, and they’ll be on the hook to pay your bill.

Tell the folks at the True office that you want 3G, and hand them your PC, phone or pad. They’ll have you fill out a form, sign a bunch of papers, including a copy of your passport. You get to choose a telephone number from the list provided.

If you’re putting 3G in a phone or tablet, the staff at True will set it all up for you. Note that some devices – notably iPads and iPhones – require special half-height “mini” SIM cards. The folks at True can set that up for you, too.

If you’re putting 3G on your laptop, True will sell you a USB dongle that’s guaranteed to work with their 3G system. Note that not all USB dongles – in particular, ones you buy in Singapore or Europe – will work with True’s HSPA system. The dongle will set you back about 2,000 baht.

True’s 3G service costs 699 baht per month, plus VAT, but there’s a catch. True limits your account to a maximum of 3 GB of data (up and down) per month. If you go over 3 GB (3 billion characters) of data, True automatically drops you off the 3G network for the rest of the month, and you’ll be stuck running at old-fashioned EDGE mobile phone speeds. 3 GB is plenty for email and normal web surfing, but if you download big files or use torrents, you won’t get very far.

True doesn’t have a map of its service area in Phuket, but the service extends along the west coast of the island, from Kata-Karon all the way up to Mai Khao. Recently – just last week – True got a tower working on top of Bangkok Phuket Hospital, so if you’re in line of sight of BPH, you should be able to get a signal.

I’ve also heard that an HSPA “3G” signal is available in Koh Kaew, near the British International School. I’m not sure where the tower for that signal is located, but it could be the new one at BPH, or the signal could be leaking over the hill from a tower on the coast.

True has plans to get more towers going later this year. I’ll keep you posted as I hear about them. If you want to know what kinds of download speeds people are seeing with their 3G lines, go to phuketinternetspeed.com.

Live Wire is Phuket Gazette columnist Woody Leonhard’s weekly snapshot of all things internet in Phuket. Woody is Senior Contributing Editor at InfoWorld and Senior Editor at Windows Secrets Newsletter. He’s written more than 40 computer books including, most recently, ‘Windows 7 All-In-One For Dummies’.

To see what Woody’s up to in the international press, and to keep on top of the latest patches and problems with Windows and Office, drop by AskWoody.com. Follow Woody on Twitter: @PhuketPC.

— Woody Leonhard

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Phuket

Phuket’s Soi Dog Foundation opens Humane Education Centre at Mai Khao shelter

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Phuket’s Soi Dog Foundation opens Humane Education Centre at Mai Khao shelter | The Thaiger

The Soi Dog Foundation has officially opened its Humane Education Centre, the first of its kind in Thailand dedicated to the welfare of stray animals. The centre, located at the Soi Dog shelter in northern Phuket, forms part of the foundation’s Humane Education program. Rolled out in 2017, the program sees a team visit Thai schools to teach the next generation the basic principles of animal welfare and promote empathetic attitudes towards both owned pets and free-roaming strays.

The program has reached a total of 15,058 students and 861 teachers to date. With a dedicated classroom as well as educational tools and resources now on site at the shelter, Soi Dog will be able to expand the programme and reach an even greater number of young minds.

Co-founder and president of Soi Dog Foundation International John Dalley said, “The cornerstones of what we do – what I believe very firmly are the answers to the stray dog problem throughout Asia – are large-scale sterilisation of stray dogs and cats and education of, particularly, the next generation.

“We see all the time the problems that are being caused through us not respecting the environment and not respecting the other animals with whom we share this planet. That’s why education is so important.”

John also thanked the supporters and donors who made the construction of the centre possible. After cutting the ribbon, the students filed into the brand-new facility for the very first on-site class – a fun and interactive hour of roleplaying, brainstorming and problem solving.

Humane Education Manager Nuttawut “Film” Kumngern. said… “We want to encourage kindness toward animals, especially free-roaming dogs and cats, and teach youngsters to be responsible pet owners. This will sustainably reduce animal cruelty and pet abandonment.”

“We hope to one day see animal welfare incorporated into the curriculum in Thai schools, and our education centre is a great start.”

Soi Dog is ready to welcome school groups from Phuket and other provinces to the centre which can accommodate up to 40 students at any one time. Schools interested in participating are encouraged to email film@soidog.org

Phuket's Soi Dog Foundation opens Humane Education Centre at Mai Khao shelter | News by The ThaigerPhuket's Soi Dog Foundation opens Humane Education Centre at Mai Khao shelter | News by The Thaiger

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International Schools

Police have yet to investigate illegal hiring of foreign teachers at international school in Phuket

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Police have yet to investigate illegal hiring of foreign teachers at international school in Phuket | The Thaiger

Chalong police in Phuket say they have yet to start investigating the illegal hiring of foreign teachers at an international school in Rawai, south of the island. Palm House International School allegedly hired foreign teachers illegally in which 2 were arrested by Phuket Immigration police on November 4.

Somkiet Sarasin, the leading investigator of the case, says the 2 Brits were informed that police were processing a charge of working illegally in the country against them, in which both denied the charges. Somkiet says the 2 were released on bail, but did not confirm the amount of bail that was set by the police.

“They are still staying in Thailand. I am not worried. I have their passports. I am not available to explain [any details] because the investigation is still ongoing.”

“This is normal for an investigation when the suspects deny the charge against them. I have to check more information against their claims. This case will probably be concluded next month.”

However, the investigation has yet to begin, with Somkiet saying he has not even questioned the owner of the school, despite his claims the case would be finished next month.

“The investigation into the school will take time. The investigation into the two British people must be finished first.”

Such allegations of foreign teachers working illegally have recently been in the news after Sarasas Witaed Sainoi Pitiyakarn School, in the central province of Nonthaburi, saw 7 foreign teachers probed for being hired illegally. That school, along with others in its private network, made nationwide news after CCTV caught a Thai teacher hitting, pushing and dragging a young student in the classroom. Such widespread violence against students has long been a sad component of many Thai schools, in which some of the teachers are unqualified and unlicensed to teach, but are hired anyway.

SOURCE: The Phuket News

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Tourism

Phuket sees 300 million baht boost over long holiday weekend

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Phuket sees 300 million baht boost over long holiday weekend | The Thaiger

The Tourism Authority of Thailand says that Phuket has received a much-needed 300 million baht boost over the 4 day long weekend with around 54,000 tourists flocking to the island from last Thursday through to yesterday.

Phuket Office Director Nanthasiri Ronnasiri, reports that the average expenditure per visitor was about 5,500 baht, which was higher than the average spend for a Thai tourist to Phuket 2 years ago. She also noted that random checks on hotels showed that occupancy rates climbed to about 35%, with most guests staying 2 nights. But most of Phuket’s hotels remain closed.

Nanthasiri also says that many of the tourists concentrated themselves in the Phuket Old Town area, especially around Thalang Road, Phang Nga Road, and Dibuk Road in order to enjoy at the Sino-Portuguese shophouse architecture and historical locations. In fact much of Phuket Town, including its many markets and alley eateries, were doing roaring business, The Thaiger can vouch for the heavy traffic, on the roads and footpaths, over the past 4 days.

“This special holiday made Phuket tourism livelier, even though it was not as same as the situation before the Covid-19 pandemic.”

In fact, despite the welcome surge of visitors, it was still a long, long way from its previous tourist levels with much of the west coast, which has largely catered for the international tourist traffic, was still very quiet in places like Patong, Kata and Karon.

Phuket wasnt the only destination that has profited off of the long weekend as Chiang Mai saw droves of Thai tourists visiting its Royal Park Rajapruek as well as the northern city’s other nearby national parks and tourist areas. Visitors came from all over to see the blossoming of flowers in a beautiful display at the park as well as enjoying the air-purifying flowers as they relaxed. Tourists were able to rent a bicycle for 60 baht if they wanted to exercise while taking in the scenery and could also pay a visit to the orchid greenhouse, which hosts a variety of orchids in bloom. TripAdvisor recommends to set aside 2 hours to visit the park.

Next holiday weekend, on November 27 and 28, Pattaya is expected to get a tourism boost as its annual fireworks festivalis set to bring in travellers who have taken advantage of package deals offered by some beachside hotels. Such packages were offered for advance bookings, where holidaymakers could view the firework shows on the rooftops of their hotels. The firework displays are said to be long with breaks of entertainment-packed shows, featuring live music and student bands amongst others.

Phuket sees 300 million baht boost over long holiday weekend | News by The Thaiger

SOURCE: The Phuket News

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