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Phuket Sports: Going from strength to strength – Bodybuilding

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Phuket Sports: Going from strength to strength – Bodybuilding | The Thaiger

PHUKET: In the 21st century, when women increasingly have the same rights as men, body image ideals have also been increasingly questioned and many women in modern society have become more open, and indeed, proud of their individual body characteristics.

One thing is now certain, having a muscular body is no longer an ideal sought only by men.

Many women aspire to have a feminine look – slender legs, an hourglass figure and flawless skin. As a result, diet pills, cosmetic surgery and other body enhancing techniques have proliferated due to this never ending quest for the “perfect body” as promoted by the fashion, entertainment and celebrity industries.

However, not everyone agrees with this popular view of the “perfect body” and Phuket based world champion female body builder Wilaiporn Wannaklang is one of them. For her, big is definitely beautiful.

Standing 150cm tall, Wilaiporn’s stature would be considered small by most estimates, but her lean sculpted body is 50kg of pure muscle and she’s not afraid to show it off.

Despite disapproval from people around her, especially her family, she sees her bodybuilding as a way to thumb her nose at a society where everybody thinks that a women with a muscular body is something “unnatural” or “unattractive”.

The proverb “health is wealth” became a guiding principal of Wilaiporn’s life, after she had the chance to talk about Dharma with a Buddhist monk in a temple in Lopburi province. The monk told her that to practice religion well, she should take care of herself and live a fit and healthy life. From then on, she started aerobic exercise.

But she soon realized that due to a hyperthyroid condition she gets tired easily, which forced her to seek another style of exercise. She decided to go to a gym and start weight lifting with a friend. Four months later she was hooked, and after competing in her first bodybuilding competition in Nakhon Si Thammarat she has never looked back.

From 2009 to 2013, Wilaiporn has won 21 awards. She recently won first place in the Women’s Bodybuilding class of the Mr Thailand 2013 competition, for the third time running. She was also the champion of the 2010 and 2012 Thailand National Games Women Bodybuilding Open, the 2012 Siam Classic Women Bodybuilding Open. But her biggest achievement was winning the 2012 World Bodybuilding & Physique Federation (WBPF) Women Bodybuilding (50kg class).

In just six years, she has gone from being an average mother of two to a world champion female bodybuilder, but it hasn’t come without struggle, both mental and physical.

She has been on the receiving end of derisive comments questioning her motivation and even her gender. But the same strength she has used to become champion has helped her ignore these jibes and hold her head up high.

“From the start, I was doing something I loved and believed in. I tried my best and I believed in myself, knowing that one day I’d be successful in what I was doing, no matter what others said. Now, I’m at the point that I have been aiming for,” said Wilaiporn with obvious satisfaction.

Women, normally, do not and cannot produce as much testosterone (a masculine hormone) as men do. So, many women who want to increase muscle mass like men, unfortunately, choose to use anabolic steroids (synthetic testosterone) that are dangerous and very unhealthy. Instead of taking this path, Wilaiporn focuses on what she says is the most important part of building muscles – food.

“Most people think that exercising heavily is the main factor to have a lot of muscles, but actually food is the most important thing you should care about.

“To build muscle mass, you need to exercise the muscle group you want to build. When you’re exercising, You’re also destroying that group. Then, any protein that you have after exercising will build up the muscle mass in your body, so protein is an important food for bodybuilders,” Wilaiporn said.

Different people have different dreams. Although Wilaiporn’s dream may be different from other women in the world, she is proof that anyone can pursue their dream, whatever it is, and with effort and dedication, achieve it.

“I want to be the inspiration for housewives. Women with children can still have six packs and be in good shape. It’s true that we don’t even achieve 10 per cent of our body’s capabilities. I think we can always improve our body for the better,” said Wilaiporn.

— Anthika Muangrod

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Crime

Phuket police arrest meth dealer, discover drugs valued at 15 million baht

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Phuket police arrest meth dealer, discover drugs valued at 15 million baht | The Thaiger

PHOTO: Newshawk Phuket

Drugs valued at 15 million baht have been seized in a drug crackdown in Phuket. On October 22, Phuket police, along with Phuket Governor Pakkapong Tawipat, reported to the media about a drug crackdown that ended up with a total seizure valued around 15 million baht.

Earlier, the police received a report from an undercover agent that a woman named ‘Ying’ or ‘Suthicha Thirawut’ was a local drug dealer trading drugs in Phuket area, so police planned to purchase drugs from the woman. They contacted Ying through another woman named ‘Noina’, Ying’s close friend. Around 10pm on October 20, police bought 1 gram of crystal methamphetamine from Noina before arresting Ying and another man, Thanet Thongtan, at the Naka Condominium.

The two confessed that they receive the drug from a man who they weren’t able to name, in order to sell in Phuket. They were paid 40,000 – 50,000 baht per time and admitted to police that they have done this for the man three times already. This time, the drugs hadn’t been sold to customers as they were arrested before being able to make a sale.

Apart from 2.4 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine, valued around 4.8 million baht, the police also discovered 76,800 methamphetamine pills, worth around 11 million baht.

The three are now assisting Phuket police with their enquires related to the case.

SOURCE: Newshawk Phuket

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News

30 dolphins greet visitors to Similan Islands

Greeley Pulitzer

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30 dolphins greet visitors to Similan Islands | The Thaiger

Tourists were treated to the sight of a school of dolphins in the Similan Islands off the Phang Nga coast on Sunday.

Tour organisers said that around 30 dolphins swam close to the boat six or seven miles offshore, creating excitement for passengers. It was the first time dolphins had been seen in the vicinity since October 15.

The Similan Islands National Park director said they were bottlenose dolphins and were among several species now returning to the area following a five-year closure of the park for environmental rehabilitation. Food is again plentiful there for them, he said.

Tourists are forbidden to feed wildlife lest the free handouts alter the animals’ natural behaviour, and the park’s waters are also very sensitive to contamination from human disease and marine debris, according to the director.

SOURCE: nationthailand.com

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Patong

Phuket hotels slashing the price of rooms

The Thaiger

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Phuket hotels slashing the price of rooms | The Thaiger

by Sophie Deviller

Hotels on Thailand’s most popular holiday island are being forced to slash prices, with rooms left vacant and beaches sparse as Thailand’s tourism chiefs struggle with a plunge in Chinese visitors caused by the US trade war and a stronger baht. Phuket was the most visited destination in the country last year, after Bangkok, and a good gauge of the state of its crucial travel industry.

Tourism accounts for 18% of Thailand’s gross domestic product and Chinese holidaymakers make up more than a quarter of total arrivals. But while 2.2 million people from the country visited in 2018, according to official figures, the numbers for January-September were down almost 20% year on year.

Claude de Crissey, the French Honorary Consul in Phuket and owner of about 40 rooms in the Patong Beach area, says Chinese tourists are usually present even during the current low season.

“That was not the case this year,” he said, adding he had to lower his prices by as much as 50%.

The problem is not only in Phuket, with hotels also struggling to fill rooms in the seaside resort of Pattaya on the mainland and on Koh Samui.

Trade tensions with the US have already made some Chinese reluctant to take holidays owing to uncertainty back home, while the Thai baht has risen about 10% against the yuan this year.

A boating disaster off Phuket’s coast that killed 47 Chinese holidaymakers in July 2018 also scared some off.

“We are worried,” said an industry insider, declining to be named due to the sensitivity of the topic in a country where tourism provides tens of thousands of jobs. Adding to the headache is the fact that more than 3,000 new hotel rooms are being constructed on the island, raising the question of who will fill them.

Phuket hotels slashing the price of rooms | News by The Thaiger

“In terms of business, it’s not good,” said Kongsak Khoopongsakorn, vice-president of the association of hotels in Thailand and director of Vijitt Resort.

“Because … we have more hotels, more rooms to sell, we have more restaurants, more coffee shops.”

Still, tourism authority chairman Yuthasak Supasorn said he remained “optimistic.”

“We should reach our goal of 39.8 million foreign visitors.”

However, that is only up from 38.2 million in 2018, much less than the jump seen from the previous year’s total of 35.6 million.

Counting on India

Now hoteliers and tour package operators are targeting visitors from elsewhere, particularly India, which experts see as a huge untapped market.

A rapid expansion of the middle class in India, increased direct flights and visa-free travel have prompted Thailand to revise forecasts upwards.

It now expects two million Indian tourists this year, after an increase of nearly 25% on-year in the first seven months. But for now, the lower arrivals is evident on the streets of Phuket.

“I’ve never seen anything as bad as what it is at the moment,” said Paul Scott from Australia, who said he has been coming to Thailand for 15 years.

He mainly blamed the stronger baht for the drop-off but also the fact that Thailand wasn’t the untouched vacation paradise it once was. “Now it’s not so new … and it’s not cheap,” he said.

SOURCE: AFP

Phuket hotels slashing the price of rooms | News by The Thaiger

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