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Phuket Live Wire: iPad2 in Thailand is a steal

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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PHUKET: The Tourism Authority of Thailand should take out a full-page ad in the New York Times. “Fly to Thailand,” it could say, “and get a 20 per cent discount on a new iPad 2.”

Hard to believe, but the iPad 2 is significantly cheaper in Thailand than in the US – and the savings are even greater if your point of reference is in Europe.

I wrote about the iPad 2 a couple of months ago. People who lined up for the iPad 2’s initial release in the US at that time still, with rare exception, sing its praises: faster, lighter, two cameras (not particularly good ones, but good enough), and that glorious display.

Apple’s iMovie only works on iPad 2, and Real Racing 2 HD crawls on the original iPad, so there are reasons – besides Angry Birds Rio – for upgrading.

In Beijing, a fistfight broke out in the Apple store during the iPad 2 launch there on May 7: four people injured and a demolished glass door. Apparently a scalper tried to cut in line, and an Apple employee took umbrage. Hey, in China, even fake iPad 2s sell out.

Here in Thailand, all of the major Apple shops in Bangkok sold out of iPad 2s on the first day (May 6), some within hours of opening. Surprisingly, several Phuket locations still had full stock available last Saturday. I checked the PowerBuy at Jungceylon and they had all of the models available (WiFi and “3G” HSPA), with all of the memory options (16 GB, 32 GB and 64 GB), and both colors (white and black).

At the Computer Clinic, I heard that several other Phuket Apple shops had stock as well. If you want one, grab it quick.

Here’s how the pricing turned out.

In the US, Amazon.com lists many retailers with the entry-level 16 GB iPad 2, WiFi only, at US$599, plus shipping. That’s 18,100 baht at current exchange rates. Plus shipping and/or local sales tax. In Thailand, the 16 GB WiFi iPad 2 lists at 15,900 baht – and they’re widely available at that price.

Do the math, and you’ll see that buying an iPad 2 in Thailand is 12 per cent cheaper than in the US. Moreover, the list price here includes VAT, so if you’re a tourist and you claim the VAT refund at the airport, you get a discount of just under 20 per cent compared to the US.

If you commonly buy your electronics in UK, hold onto your Bowler.

Amazon.co.uk lists the iPad 2 16 GB WiFi at GBP489, plus shipping. That’s a whopping 24,200 baht. Buy the same iPad – exactly the same, no differences at all – from your local Phuket dealer and you save more than 34 per cent. Add in the VAT difference, and local Limeys save more than 40 per cent by buying in Thailand.

The TAT should take out two full pages in The Times or The Guardian. It’ll probably get more attention than page 3 of The Sun.

People commonly ask me why the iPad is cheaper here than in the US, UK or Europe. As best I can tell, Apple set the price of the original iPad back when exchange rates weren’t as “friendly” (depending on how you look at it) as they are now. Apple has continued to sell iPad 2s at the original iPad price, all over the world. The result is a windfall for buyers in Thailand.

See, there are hidden benefits to living in Phuket.

Cuttings

There’s one truly amazing local app for the iPad that you don’t want to miss – and I’m not saying this because I’m biased: Right now, you can get the full content of the Phuket Gazette free on the iPad using the Gazette’s iPad App (details here).

The news is updated constantly, and you can use the app to place ads or make entries in the Events calendar or to comment on articles (like this one) in the Gazette’s forum. It’s the first app you see when you type “Phuket” into the iPad’s AppStore utility.

If you know of any other Phuket-specific apps, either available now or in the making, respond to the online version of this article in the forum, and let me know. I’ll take them for a whirl.

Facebook 101 Seminar – coming soon in Thai

Able Wanamakok’s third Facebook 101 seminar is currently under way. The three-part series started on May 14 and will continue on May 21 and 28.

Facebook 101, you may recall, takes attendees through the basics, from setting up a business (or organization or charity) page, designing it, drawing attention to it, and then using the page to reach out to Facebook users.

Johan Lofgren helps with the more technical parts in these seminars, but you don’t need any experience with Facebook to attend them – and they’re free of charge. The seminars are sponsored by Khun Woody’s Sandwich Shoppes, Able’s AW PR and Marketing, and Johan Lofgren’s onsite.in.th.

We’ve had so much interest in the seminars that Able’s going to run the fourth Facebook 101 seminar in Thai, on June 4, 11 and 18. Sign up by going to www.facebook.com/SandwichShoppe and on the left click the link marked Facebook Seminar. Yes, the sign-up sheet is in English, but the fourth seminars will be presented in Thai.

FREE Computer Clinics

The next Computer Clinic will be 10am to midday on Sunday, June 5, at the Sandwich Shoppe in Patong, in Aroonsom Plaza, opposite the Patong Language School and near BYD Lofts.

As always, the clinics are free, and open to anyone interested in (or bothered by) computers in Phuket. There’s a lengthy question and answer period, and lots of help from kindred souls. So if you have a question about computers in Phuket – or PCs in general – drop by and we’ll get you some world-class answers.

The clinics are sponsored by the Phuket Gazette and Khun Woody’s Sandwich Shoppes.

Live Wire is Woody Leonhard’s weekly snapshot of all things internet in Phuket. Woody’s a Senior Editor at Windows Secrets Newsletter, and is Senior Contributing Editor at InfoWorld. He’s written more than 40 computer books, including 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 tightens restrictions: No parties, no visits from friends

Tanutam Thawan

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Photo by PR Phuket

No, your friends can’t come over. No parties. No drinking with friends. No large gatherings. As part of Phuket’s efforts to stop the spread of Covid-19, local authorities have tightened restrictions and say friends are not allowed to gather at private homes.

“No parties of any kind allowed… No house party, no friends gathering in the residence.”

Along with temporary closures of some businesses and venues, the order says, parties involving alcohol are banned and gatherings of more than 30 people are banned. The only gatherings allowed are religious ceremonies like weddings and funerals.

Foreigners who violate any of Phuket’s disease control measures could be deported and lose their permission to stay in Thailand. On Sunday, 2 British men in Phuket were each fined 6,000 baht for having a “party.” Only 6 people were gathered at the home. Police from the Cherng Talay station came by the home after a call from a neighbour.

Phuket tightens restrictions: No parties, no visits from friends | News by Thaiger

 

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

3 organisers of Phuket’s Kolour superspreader event charged

Neill Fronde

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FILE PHOTO: 3 managers involved in the Kolour superspreader event have been charged.

As Thailand still wrestles to control the third wave of Covid-19, much of which stems from entertainment venues in Bangkok and a massive party in Phuket, Patong police announced that the managers of the Phuket venues that hosted the Kolour superspreader event will be charged under the Emergency Decree. The case report was filed with the public prosecutor yesterday according to the Patong police chief, confirming that 3 people will be prosecuted for the event.

The Kolour Beachside Festival was held April 2 and 3 with events at Café Del Mar Phuket in Kamala, and Shelter Phuket Dance and Night Club and Illuzion Nightclub, both in Patong. Before the festival, Phuket had gone more than a hundred days without any new Covid-19 infections, but by April 7 the Phuket provincial Public Health office announced 8 new infections, half of which had been at the Kolour parties. In the following weeks, officials plead for attendees to be tested as infections spread.

Charges were delayed in being filed to the Phuket Public Prosecutor’s office as a special investigation committee was ordered to be created to oversee the investigation at the request of Region 8’s Police Commander. That committee brought together officials from various law enforcement in the area including the Patong Police, Kamala Police, Phuket Provincial Police, and the Region 8 Police to investigate the Kolour event before anyone was charged.

The manager of Café Del Mar, along with the managing director and the manager of Shelter and Illuzion, which are under the same management team, will be charged for the Kolour festival violating Thailand’s Emergency Decree that was declared to help protect the country from Covid-19 outbreaks. A breach of the Emergency Decree can be held liable for up to 40,000 Baht and 2 years in jail under Section 9 of the Decree.

The latter 2 are also facing charges of operating an unlicensed entertainment venue. This carries the possibility of another year in prison and a fine of up to 60,000 baht, in accordance with Thai Law under Section 26 of the Entertainment Place Act.

SOURCE: The Phuket News

 

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Road deaths

Phuket woman impaled by steel rod in motorbike accident

Neill Fronde

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PHOTO: CCTV footage shows the Woman impaled in a motorbike crash.

Police were called to the scene of a gruesome motorbike accident just after midnight in the Kathu area of Phuket, where a woman was impaled by a steel rod. The 34 year old woman crashed her motorbike into a concrete power pole on Wichit Songkram Rd between the Kathu Shrine and Kathu Municipality. rescue workers responded, and together with police, they arrived to find the woman still hanging from the power pole.

Khanuengnit Onoaun was driving a black and pink Honda Click motorbike and may have been speeding just before being impaled by the rod on the electric pole. Her motorbike was lying nearby the pole with significant damage to the front of the bike and the front wheel.

CCTV footage recovered from the scene suggest that the woman may have fallen asleep and crashed into the power pole. The pole had steel rods protruding from its side that utility workers use to climb when service or repairs are needed to the electrical lines, which is what impaled her when her motorbike hit the pole.

The metal rod pierced the woman’s upper chest and went all the way through her body with about 2 inches exposed on the other side of her as she hung from the pole. Rescue workers could not remove her from the steel rod at the scene of the accident safely and instead chose to cut the rod to take her off the electric pole and into an ambulance. Cutting through the steel took about 5 minutes for the rescuers.

She arrived and was admitted into Vachira Phuket Hospital with the metal rod still impaled through her chest. The hospital had no updates about the woman’s condition after her motorbike crash other than that she is alive and receiving treatment currently. The police plan on questioning her once she has had time to recover and investigating the incident further if necessary.

SOURCE: The Phuket News

 

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