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Phuket Live Wire: What to do if your email is blocked

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Phuket Live Wire: What to do if your email is blocked | The Thaiger

PHUKET: I send out a lot of email – many dozens of pieces every day. Lately, I’ve been having more and more problems with the email being rejected at the receiving end.

Here’s a message I just received in response to a message I sent to a reader in the US last night:

SMTP error from remote mail server after initial connection: host relay.verizon.net [206.46.232.11]: 571 Email from 96.127.180.74 is currently blocked by Verizon Online’s anti-spam system. The email sender or Email Service Provider may visit https://www.verizon.net/whitelist and request removal of the block. 120609.”

I’ve sporadically received messages like that for years, but it’s been getting much worse in the past few months.

I’ve even started hitting “spam” blocks when going to web sites. A screen appears that says the web site’s blocking my access because of identified problems with my IP address: I have to type in a CAPTCHA code (where the computer shows a very-hard-to-read picture and expects a typed response) to prove I’m a human before I can see the site.

If you hit either of those problems, you might be tempted to think that you did something wrong. It’s possible that you did, but more likely the problem is due to some other person with an infected computer. Let me explain what’s going on.

Every time you log on to the Internet you get an IP address – a number that’s similar to a phone number.

Right now, for example, I’m connected to the internet on a True ADSL line and my IP address is 58.8.93.20. As long as my router’s connected, I keep that same IP address.

If I turn off the router and turn it back on, or the power goes out or something goes “bump” with the line, I get a different IP address. I just reset my True router and, a few minutes later, my IP address is now 61.90.11.31. (You can check your IP address at askwoody.com/testdntflash.)

IP addresses are assigned in blocks, and the blocks are assigned to Internet Service Providers, so it’s possible for a computer to look at an IP address and tell, more or less, where it came from.

If you use Outlook or Mac OS X Mail or Outlook Express or Windows Mail or iPad Mail (or Eudora, Thunderbird or any other email program that lives on your PC or tablet), your mail sits on a computer, called a mail server, on the Internet until you go out and retrieve it.

Usually when you get your mail, you send mail out, too – and the mail that’s sent out goes from your PC to the server, then from the server to the intended recipient’s server. The mail servers know your IP address – that’s how you communicate with the server.

The message at the beginning of this column says that the offending message came from 96.127.180.74. That could have been my IP address when I sent out the message last night, or it could be the IP address of my mail server. Either way, I’m shafted.

Why? Because the gatekeeper at the Verizon mail server has decided that mail coming from 96.127.180.74 is probably spam. Since that IP address (or perhaps a group of IP addresses) has such a bad reputation, the spam blocker at Verizon basically says, “You’re probably a spam message and we don’t want to hear from you.”

Yes, you can log on to the web site and plead your case to have your IP address unblocked. In my experience, the people who maintain the blacklists couldn’t give a furry rodent’s posterior whether one specific individual (which is to say, me) has been blocked unfairly. They get a lot of spam, and a solitary complainer in Phuket is just collateral damage.

The solution? For years I’ve been using a Gmail account to circumvent the problem. When a message gets bounced, I fire up Gmail, copy the message, and send it from Gmail. When you send mail from Gmail, it gets branded with a Gmail IP address, and no blacklister in their right mind would block all Gmail mail.

Once I’ve got the message out through Gmail, I turn off my router, wait a minute, and turn it back on again. That’s kind of Russian roulette – sometimes the new IP address is better than the old one, sometimes it’s worse.

Usually IP addresses get blacklisted because someone who has been using the IP address (or possibly a whole bunch of people have been using the IP addresses from the same Internet Service Provider) have infected computers.

The infected computers send out hundreds or thousands of email messages an hour.

I once had a TT&T ADSL line that was blocked from accessing Slashdot, one of the most popular Web sites, because other TT&T ADSL users with similar IP addresses were flooding Slashdot with thousands of hits per hour.

Chances are very good that a bunch of TT&T ADSL users had been “zombified” and were responding to remote commands orchestrating them into a DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attack against Slashdot.

I complained, but in the end had to wait a week until the pinging stopped. Only then would Slashdot allow my IP address to access their site.

Many people, …er, IP addresses, can be tarred by the same brush. The spam blocking routines or web site blocking routines can take out a whole range of IP addresses, if they start getting hit by more than one address.

Some of my friends recommend that you pay extra for a “dedicated IP” line. That will help some of the time, but it won’t work all of the time, simply because of the guilt by association.

It may just be me, but I’m seeing more and more blocking on both my 3BB and True lines, and I wonder if it’s because a whole lot of people using 3BB and True have PCs that are infected. Yes, I use the term “PCs” quite deliberately because the only widespread Mac virus so far doesn’t work this way – and iPads/iPhones/Android phones and tablets don’t get infected this way either. Yet.

In fact, I’d be so bold as to say that 90% of the infected PCs in Phuket are running pirate versions of Windows – most likely XP – and the vast majority are running Internet Explorer 6, with versions of Flash and Acrobat Reader that haven’t been updated recently.

If your PC is running a pirate copy of Windows – especially pirated Windows XP – and you haven’t kept Windows, your browser, Flash and Reader updated, you might as well just point a gun at it right now.

But that’s a topic for next week.

Woody’s Sandwich Shoppes hold computer sessions under the tutelage of Seth Bareiss every other Wednesday afternoon, from 1 to 3pm. If you have a Windows problem that needs to be solved, drop by one of Seth’s free afternoon sessions. Details in the Phuket Gazette Events Calendar.

Live Wire is Woody Leonhard’s weekly snapshot of all things internet in Phuket.

Follow him on Twitter: @PhuketLiveWire, and “like” the pages at facebook.com/SandwichShoppe and facebook.com/phuketgazette.net.

— Woody Leonhard

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

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Phuket

Top 10 spas and massages in Phuket

Donna Toon

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Top 10 spas and massages in Phuket | The Thaiger

One of the best things about living in Asia, and in particular Thailand, is the abundance of fabulous places to have spa treatments. From the true local experience on the beach, to the ultra chic five star luxury treatments here is, in no particular order, our Top Ten Phuket Spa Experiences.

1. Let’s Relax (Boat Lagoon)

Let’s Relax’s latest addition to their Thailand spa portfolio is located in the residential area of Boat Lagoon in Koh Kaew and by accounts a winner in our books! It is a beautiful space with the natural light also bringing a sense of calm as you walk down the long entrance. With multiple treatment rooms as well as a well appointed foot massage space that can accommodate a large gaggle of girls it is has become popular very quickly with the local ladies.

Being brand new it also is a treat to sit in lush white comfy chairs while having your foot massage and a chat to your girlfriend or boyfriend. Priced on the lower end of the market, but higher than the local spas on the side of the street and well worth the extra baht, Let’s Relax is fabulous new addition to the flooded spa market.

Top 10 spas and massages in Phuket | News by The Thaiger

2. Oasis Spa (Kamala)

Oasis Spa Group has a few little gems around the island including one in Laguna and also another great one on the beach road in Kamala, however this hidden sanctuary located on the back roads in Kamala is our pick of the bunch. From the main street you would never know there is a tranquil ten treatment room spa and delightful pool setting behind the single wooden door. With an impressive and consistent list of treatments, positioned above the street-side prices but below the five star offerings, Oasis Spa is wonderful place to pamper away your day.

Top 10 spas and massages in Phuket | News by The Thaiger

3. Kata Rocks Infinite Luxury Spa

Winning the World’s Luxury Spa Awards for 2015, 2016 and 2017 we couldn’t put together a top ten spa list without including the very modern and chic Infinite Luxury Spa at Kata Rocks.

The spa blends the beyond organic philosophy of ILA spa products with its own “Me Time” philosophy, the latest spa massage technology in its eight luxury treatment rooms and suites, each designed around specific treatments. This includes two rooms for couples complete with luxurious his and her bathtubs, a chromotherapy room for coloured light therapy, a waterbed room equipped with Italian-made Iso-Benessere, a water massage bed for aiding spinal integration, a sleeping pod room with Metronap rest pod, traditional Thai spa massage treatment room, consultation and treatment room, pedicure and manicure treatment room and a contemporary tropical relaxation patio for after treatment chill down.

Positioned in the very high end of the spa market, Infinite Luxury Spa is an impressive and fabulous space to spend your day, worth every baht!

Top 10 spas and massages in Phuket | News by The Thaiger

4. 4th Floor Central Festival Phuket

‘It’s not a very accurate location’ I hear you say, but I love this spa, and whenever I am at Central I always try and allow at least 60 minutes extra to escape the crowds and enjoy a foot massage while reading my book. Located on the top floor of Central on the left hand side as you head towards Central Department Store (sort of above McDonalds), it’s hard to miss it but the staff are always outside greeting you and encouraging you to come in and take a load off. Priced perfectly at 300 baht for a 60 minute foot massage (plus tip of course), the experience is consistent and friendly. Full body treatments are also available behind the traditional curtain.

Top 10 spas and massages in Phuket | News by The Thaiger

5. Amatara Wellness Resort

Located at the very South of Phuket at Cape Panwa, Amatara Wellness Resort as the names suggests has an incredible spa perched high on the cliffs overlooking the Andaman Sea. One of the largest spas in Asia with over 2000 square metres of dedicated spa bliss, paralleled by the extensive menu and holistic and wellness packages, it really is an experience not to be missed.

Amatara has also just opened a new spa wellness experience, the exquisitely designed Thai Hammam brings together traditional Turkish and Moroccan bathing practices with the wisdom and gentleness of Thai spa therapies. Soak your worries away.

Make a whole day of it, indulge in their fabulous Sunday Brunch and then move through to the spa! Perfection!

Top 10 spas and massages in Phuket | News by The Thaiger

6. Banyan Tree Spa

A market leader for many years not only in Phuket but around the world, Banyan Tree is has provided us with professional and impressive spas for decades. Banyan Tree Phuket Spa with it’s impressive 24 treatment rooms hidden in lush surroundings within the gardens of the resort has well trained and dedicated therapist giving you the ultimate in spa experiences. The attention to detail which is synonymous with the spa philosophy of the group together with the consistency and surroundings makes it one of the best spa experiences certainly in Thailand. I can highly recommend the three hour Royal Banyan package, which included a cucumber and coriander scrub, Banyan Tree herbal pouch massage, jade chilled facial and flower bath. My girlfriends and I indulged just last week, and it was such a treat.

Top 10 spas and massages in Phuket | News by The Thaiger

7. Beach Shack next to Dream Beach Club on Layan Beach

We are creatures of habit in our house, we have been in Phuket for ten years now and when we like something we tend to go back regularly. Sunday’s are for chilling and we tend to either head to brunch or down to the local beach at Layan, away from the larger more commercial eateries and clubs we like eating and massaging with the locals.

Purely bang for your buck, the full body oil massages on the beach for 300 – 400 baht are an absolute must. I would love to say head to “Phung’s Massage Shack” next to Dream Beach Club but to be honest it doesn’t have a name but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t get a mention and make our list. Head to the top end of Layan and facing the beach next to Dream go left, it’s worth the trip!

Top 10 spas and massages in Phuket | News by The Thaiger

8. JW Marriott Mai Khao Spa

Mandara Spa at JW Marriott Phuket Resort & Spa is an oasis within an oasis, the resort itself sits on 27 acres of lush gardens and beach side bliss just North of the airport in Mai Khao. Within it’s tropical gardens is the king pin for many years on the island Mandara Spa, its an icon in the local spa industry.

Tranquil, exotic and extremely relaxing, the Mandara Spa at JW Marriott Phuket Resort & Spa features a full service beauty salon, separate steam rooms for male and female guests, five double luxurious spa suites and eleven double deluxe rooms. The spa suites are well fitted out, with some enjoying outdoor bathrooms, but the most impressive aspect of the spa itself is the staff. They are incredibly well trained, and efficient in their craft, professional yet approachable and deliver every time.

The JW Marriott Wellness Retreat (bi yearly) is a highlight every year in my calendar, hosted and facilitated by Linda and her team, as well as the best wellness experts on the island, including Hayden Rhodes, Kim White and Andrew Stanndard. The four day program has informative workshops, wellness consultations, spa treatments, healthy meals, hands on activities, yoga, cooking classes and so much more.

Top 10 spas and massages in Phuket | News by The Thaiger

9. Atmanjai Wellness Retreat

Located on the South of the island just past Chalong circle Atmanjai Wellness Retreat at Friendship Beach offers a friendly and relaxed haven where guests can participate in detox, yoga or wellness programs that help restore your vitality, happiness and health. The cute bungalows located around the pool and on the beach side are a perfect excuse to indulge just a little further and stay on location while doing your retreats.

Top 10 spas and massages in Phuket | News by The Thaiger

10. Coqoon Spa at The Slate

Unlike anything else in Phuket, Coqoon Spa at The Slate is tranquil and idyllic space nestled in the lush green trees of the resort. It has a “cocoon” tree house made from bamboo and other natural products located high off the ground in true robinson crusoe style. Being in the trees is a unique experience matched perfectly with the highly trained and efficient practitioners. Subtle touches throughout the spa together with the extensive well thought out menu make Coqoon a special occasion treat.

Top 10 spas and massages in Phuket | News by The Thaiger

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Phuket

Phuket Town – In CNN Travel’s “Asia’s most picturesque towns”

The Thaiger

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Phuket Town – In CNN Travel’s “Asia’s most picturesque towns” | The Thaiger

“Though most famous for its beaches, the Thai island of Phuket offers ample opportunities for cultural immersion as well.”

Phuket’s Old Town was listed as one of Asia’s 13 most picturesque towns by CNN Travel.

The article mentioned, that whilst the island is renowned for its world-class beaches and leisure, offshore and adventure tourism activities, Phuket Town delivers on romance, history and cultural beauty in the island’s main commercial centre.

Tourism Authority of Thailand Governor Yuthasak Supasorn says the article correctly highlighted Phuket’s cultural diversity and history; things that are often eclipsed by its beaches and Patong nightlife.

“Phuket Town retain its charm and unique identity that comes from the influence of the Baba-Peranakan culture, which started when Chinese families migrated to Phuket. We are seeing more fully independent tourists with discretionary spending power who want the unique experiences that Phuket Town is rich in.”

The pocket-sized town welcomes a large number of foreign tourists each year, a significant number of who come from China and are interested in exploring the area and its Chinese influences.

“The historic old quarter of Phuket Town, located in the centre of the island, is lined with Sino-Colonial style shop houses, built during the island’s tin-mining boom of the 18th and 19thcenturies.

“There are plenty of hip shops, cafés, restaurants and bars, including the batik shops along Thalang Road run by ethnic Malays and Indians. The area is also filled with Chinese temples, crumbling mansions, cultural museums and a nunnery.”

CNN also recommended that one of the best ways to soak up Phuket Town’s rich culture and bohemian atmosphere was to find a local company that specialises in walking tours of the Old Town.

In addition, CNN noted that Phuket Town is where travellers can indulge in some of the island’s best restaurants, ideal for those visitors who have had their fill of the same old tourist fare served in beach areas. Top picks according to CNN include Southern Thai specialist Raya, Tantitium and One Chun.

SOURCE: TAT News

Phuket Town - In CNN Travel's

Phuket Town - In CNN Travel's

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Patong

Phuket authorities confirm alcohol ban Sunday (starts midnight) for 24 hours

The Thaiger

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Phuket authorities confirm alcohol ban Sunday (starts midnight) for 24 hours | The Thaiger
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