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Phuket Old Town Festival

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Phuket Old Town Festival | The Thaiger

PHUKET TOWN: The annual festival showcasing Phuket Town’s distinctive blend of Chinese and Thai culture is set to return this month.

This year’s Phuket Old Town Festival will take place from February 19 to 21, after the arrival of the Year of the Tiger that falls on Valentine’s Day.

The Tourism Authority of Thailand and Phuket City Municipality are promising more activities than ever during the event, now in its 11th year.

Organizers chose the serene courtyard of Saeng Tham Shrine on Phang Nga Road as the launch site for this year’s festival.

Centered on Queen Sirikit Park and spreading over the Old Town streets of Thalang Road, Phuket Road, Krabi Road and Soi Rommannee, this year’s event will feature performances by entertainers from no fewer than 10 different Chinese provinces.

Wanaphapar Suksombul, assistant director of the TAT Phuket, said the performances would include Shaolin Kung Fu, acrobats from Beijing, tribal dancing from Tibet, Chinese opera, a puppet show and a bian lian mask changing performance from Sichuan.

“This year the Peranakan Association of Phuket will invite those in other Southeast Asian countries, such as Singapore and Malaysia, to come and perform. There will be an extra stage on Thepkrasattri Road and an exhibition presenting Phuket Peranakan origins and culture,” she said.

Peranakan, as well as ‘Straits Chinese’ and ‘Baba-Nyonya’, are terms used to refer to descendants of ethnic Chinese who emigrated to Southeast Asia during the colonial period.

Ms Wanaphapar said the TAT will borrow three of the Phuket Provincial Administration Organization’s pink poh thong buses to help promote the festival.

Setting off at 1pm from Queen Sirikit Park, the buses will take festival-goers on a tour of five of the town’s Chinese shrines. The cost will be 50 baht per passenger.

Bang Niow Shrine will be the first stop. The pinkies will then move on to Saphan Hin Shrine, Kuan Im Shrine and then Jui Tui Shrine “to worship the tiger god, as next year is the year of the tiger,” Ms Wanaphapar said.

The buses will then move on to Saeng Tham Shrine before returning to the park at 6pm.

Activities on the first night of the event are set to include a ceremony of worship of the bodhisattva Kuan Im, whose statue stands in Queen Sirikit park, as well as a cultural exhibition at 63 Thalang Road, rickshaw tours of Phuket Town, and boat trips along local canals.

The second night will see colorful processions of Phuketians dressed in traditional costumes parading from Saphan Hin back to the festival.

The last night of the festival will feature a Hokkien god-worship ceremony, with Chinese monks praying for prosperity and protection for Phuket.

The Phuket Post Office will provide a mobile stamp-printing service that will allow people to have their photograph printed on postage stamps that can then be mailed.

“We would like to invite all Phuket locals and tourists to join in the festival because it is only held once a year,” Ms Wanaphapar said. “It is a festival that shows off the beautiful traditions and cultures of Phuket that are not often seen.”

— Sitthipong Nongkaew

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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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Crime

Now you see him, now you don’t… Patong Police hunt foreigner over $30k theft

Greeley Pulitzer

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Now you see him, now you don’t… Patong Police hunt foreigner over $30k theft | The Thaiger

PHOTO: Patong Police

Patong Police have yet to develop any tangible leads tracking down a foreigner who made off with US$30,000 in cash from a currency exchange booth in Kalim, north of Patong in Phuket, last Tuesday.

The man is about 168 centimetres tall with grey hair and around 60 years old, Patong police told The Phuket News.

“We have no clue what nationality he is.”

He was last seen at the currency exchange booth wearing a purple polo shirt, blue jeans and black cap. Police have checked hotels in the area, police stations across the island and Phuket Immigration, but have yet to join the dots and come up with firm leads.

“Investigators have checked CCTV in the area and collected what evidence we have but we still do not know the man’s name or where he was staying.”

The man had visited the booth several times before Tuesday, when he disappeared with the $30,000 in US banknotes, according to police.

“It was always small amounts”, he added, noting that the amounts didn’t warrant staff at the exchange booth to check the man’s passport before making the exchange.

The man arrived at the booth again at about 1pm on Tuesday, saying that he had 900,000 baht cash to exchange.

SOURCE: The Phuket News

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Crime

Mystery surrounds security guard found dead in his Phuket room

The Thaiger

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Mystery surrounds security guard found dead in his Phuket room | The Thaiger

PHOTOS: Phuket Hot News

The security guard of a hotel in Nai Yang, northern Phuket, 52 year old Yingyot Butsabong, from Maha Sarakham province, was found dead yesterday (October 16) in his room. Police remain mystified how the man came to grief.

A woman named Supattra received a call from the hotel he worked at and was informed that he didn’t show up at work yesterday, so she went to his apartment to check on him.

She saw that his room was locked from the inside, so used the key she had in her possession to open the room and found Yingyot laying on the floor, face down. She thought he was just sleeping so she tried to wake him up but once she flipped him, she found that he already passed away.

She immediately called Saku police, and once on the scene, police found that there was some blood on the floor. The man had a 2 centimetre wound on his left eyebrow which was deep into his skull. There was also a wound on his chin about 1 centimetre long and about a centimetre deep. His left eye had a bruise which looked like he was attacked by a hard object.

Police report that he had been dead for around four hours in the room.

The room was not ransacked and there was no sign of fighting or theft. His body has been sent to Thalang Hospital for a detailed autopsy and to look into the cause of death.

SOURCE: Phuket Hot News

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People

‘Always Smile Journey’ raises fund to provide free English classes for underprivileged people

Nattha Thepbamrung

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‘Always Smile Journey’ raises fund to provide free English classes for underprivileged people | The Thaiger

On October 18, the ‘Always Smile Journey’ group and its partners will host an exhibition with plenty of fun activities at the Yak Yai Market, near Chalong Circle, in Phuket. This event was designed to raise funds to provide free English classes for underprivileged people on the island of Phuket on Saturdays and Sundays. The group does not accept donations but aims to raise money through the sales of the products available at the event.

‘Always Smile Journey’ raises fund to provide free English classes for underprivileged people | News by The Thaiger

From 2 pm to 8 pm, there will be a number of artists, musicians and performers who will keep the attendees entertained along the way. There will be a short film about His Majesty King Rama 9 as well as fun activities and games for kids and families, which are all free of charge.

The big bike crew is also a part of this event. They will ride a parade from Rawai Beach heading to the market and showcase their gorgeous two-wheel buddies.

One of the highlights of the Always Smile Journey exhibition is the ‘Happening’ artists group, who will draw and paint a picture of the His Majesty King Rama 9 under the name ‘Street Art King Bhumibol’ on a 4×10 meter sign live at the event so the guests will experience this large-scale art in action. The Happening will also offer portrait sketching for the participants.

‘Always Smile Journey’ raises fund to provide free English classes for underprivileged people | News by The Thaiger

One of the works created by the Happening team; a painting of HM the King Rama 9 on a huge wall (Photo credit: Chawat Chumpasan)

There will also be some western menus available at the event which will be donated to underprivileged children.

This free English class project has over seven years of experience through its cooperation working with individuals and other charity organizations. Throughout the years, the group visited several areas such as Ban Laem Hoy School, Ban Bopud School and Ban Angthong School in Samui, Surat Thani province, Ban Bueng Ao Oun School and Ban Kakoh Rayong, in Surin province, Jalae Village of Lahu (Muser) in Chiang Rai province, as well as community education centers in Siem Reap, Cambodia and in Luang Prabang, in Laos.

This event is a cooperation between several groups, including Happening, Yak Yai Market and Arrow Media, Tattoo artist group, Thonburi Art School Alumni, International School of Tourism, Suratthani Rajabhat University, big bike group from Phuket, artists/performers/musicians from many provinces as well as several businesses across Phuket.

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